Deals & Funding (51)

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Singapore bitcoin ATM producer Tembusu announced today it has closed its seed funding round and raised over S$300,000 (US$236,600), just one and a half weeks after launching its first machine and after the company itself was valued at S$5.1m (US$4.02m).

Company spokesman Jarrod Luo said the extra capital would form the bulk of the working capital the startup requires to “fulfill its outstanding machine orders in a timely fashion”, including stockpiling raw materials and expanding its team.

Tembusu was the first company to open a bitcoin ATM in Singapore, and it is also the first to design and manufacture its machines there. It is also Asia’s first home-grown bitcoin ATM producer, having just beaten South Korea’s Coinplug to launch by a couple of days.

At press time Singapore has six active bitcoin ATMs, with several companies racing to increase that number. Another Singapore company, Bitcoin Exchange, launched a Lamassu ATM in a busy Singapore shopping mall right after Tembusu’s release.

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Online food ordering site Meican has secured US$10 million in series B funding to help it grow and expand into more cities across China. Nokia Growth Partners was the lead investor in Meican this time, along with first-round investors KPCB. Meican – which is roughly pronounced "may-tsahn", back in 2011 when starting up covered about 9,500 restaurants only in the Beijing area. Since then it has grown to have partnerships with 35,000 restaurants and fast food joints in five cities – the capital, plus Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Tianjin.

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A big challenge for investors is piercing management's feel-good, "it's all great if you leave out the bad stuff" earnings metrics to measure a company's true profitability. Even the official GAAP accounting numbers frequently need plenty of scrubbing to reveal the real picture. For example, many companies claim victory by boasting that their ratio of net profits to shareholders' equity is a big number. Investor beware: Management can hike "return on equity" by piling on debt, and high leverage makes the player riskier, not better. Another tactic, now in vogue, is moving factories that make the most profitable products to low-tax nations where the taxes may not remain low for long. That tax arbitrage provides a one- or two-time boost in earnings, but doesn't prove management is running the basic businesses any better.

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Crowdfunding website IndieGoGo has flipped the switch on its promotional algorithm, which pushes campaigns to a coveted spot on its front page. The company says the algorithm adds more democracy to a human-bias driven industry.

“Like America, IndieGoGo is equal opportunity for all, but no guarantees,” said co-founder and chief executive Slava Rubin in an interview with VentureBeat.

IndieGoGo, like competitor Kickstarter, allows groups to go online, post a funding request, and accept money. Anyone, whether they have a big idea or individual project, can create a page and set a funding goal. Goals are not set in stone, however. Some competing crowdfunding websites won’t allow its users to collect promised money unless it has hit a funding goal. IndieGoGo, on the other hand, lets people choose whether to “fix” their funding to an all-or-nothing structure, or take whatever they can get.

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Polarion Software Inc., an enterprise-scale browser-based application lifecycle management provider, has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Siemens Venture Capital.
The investment, which is the San Francisco-based startup’s first outside funding, enables it to expand globally. The company did not disclose specifics and has yet to respond to an email inquiry seeking more information.
Polarion’s ALM solution allows for traceability and transparency, and supports all software and product development processes in one platform.

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Philippine game development startup Altitude Games received US$275,000 seed funding from mobile content provider Xurpas founder Nix Nolledo, gaming company Level Up! Games co-founder Philip Cahiwat, and several other investors. The funding will help the startups springboard to create mobile games for the Philippines, and moving forward, the Asian market. Altitude Games intends to create original mobile games “with casual gameplay that’s easy to pick up and play,” says Altitude Games creative director Luna Cruz.

Founded by five friends who have backgrounds in the gaming development scene across Southeast Asia, Altitude’s mission is to create original “mid-core” games. Altitude CEO and co-founder Gabby Dizon, together with the startup’s engineer director Marc Polican, and Luna met at Filipino gaming companyAnino Games. Technical director Paul Gadi and art director Chester Ocampo got their start creating mobile games for Symbian phones, and later went on to work at various studios.
After around 10 years of slugging in the games industry, the team is now looking to apply their experiences into their own venture. They’re currently creating their first game, which will initially be launched in the Philippines. Dizon adds:

“With the number of gamers and smartphone users here, we think the Philippines be a great test bed before we launch throughout the rest of the world. We’re focusing on our first game and making sure it’s really fun and polished. We’re starting small, but we’re hoping to hit it big.”

Its first game, the title of which hasn’t been revealed yet, is set to be available on Android before the end of the year.

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Li Ka-Shing who is ranked as Asia’s wealthiest man according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $28.8 billion, was recently photographed scrambling artificial eggs. For a man with that much money you may indeed be asking yourself why, but these eggs have been produced by a company called Hamton Creek, a Silicon valley startup. The CEO in the photo pictured with Li Ka-Shing is Josh Tetrick who has just received US$ 23 million in a round of investment from Li. The company is now planning a major expansion into the Asian market. The company aims to reduce costs significantly in the egg market by introducung the lower cost substitute. The interesting thing about this deal is not just the nature of the business but the growing trend in which Silicon Valley start ups are now going over to Asia to seek new funding and tap wider markets. This trend happened over the last 10 years in which startups from the valley targeted Europe and European investment.

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 The US$19 billion purchase of WhatsApp mobile messaging service by Facebook, currently trends as the largest purchase by a venture capital backed firm ever. Facebook closed an agreement to buy WhatsApp for a record breaking US$19 billion in a mix of cash and stock, a mega deal that dwarfs Facbook’s earlier purchase of Instagram for a mere US$ 1 billion in 2012. This by far has to be one of the largest deals concluded in a market where tech and mobile startups deal in astronomical prices.

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India-based RoomnHouse offers travellers alternate accommodation options by allowing private accommodation owners to list their properties on the site. These accommodation options could be a shared room, apartment, private room, boat/tree house, service apartment, villa, farm house, etc. The service is similar to the industry leader in this segment – Airbnb. RoomnHouse was founded in November 2012 by Amit Solanki and Rakesh Singh. It also received seed fund from Euphoria Ventures (the firm has also invested in tours and activities platform Thrillophilia) Singh believes this alternate accommodation market is massive since its largely an unorganized industry, and it is also growing very fast because of the lower price bracket. He estimates the marketsize of alternate accommodation at 15-20 % of overall travel market. When it comes to competition, RoomnHouse says they aren't aware of any established player in their focus market of South East Asia and Middle East. - Source and more information

 

 

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