Items filtered by date: March 2014

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.

Published in Deals & Funding

Indian e-store Flipkart announced yesterday it surpassed $1 billion in gross merchandising volume, according to NextBigWhat. Despite slowing sales growth, Flipkart reached the billion-dollar benchmark a full year earlier than originally projected and seven years after it first launched. Co-founder Sachin Bansal originally made that forecast in March 2013.

Published in Research & Trends

Kids GPS trackers to help worried parents keep track of them is hardly a new thing, however these new tracking watches for nippers are certainly cute. HereO was started by three founders Daniel Ivesha, Gill Mendelson CEO and COO Allon Gladstone, now up to a team of 10 with a common mission to make a product that will keep children safe and within arm's reach. After three years of research & development, they have now completed their first assembly run.

• Newsweek magazine identified Temple City, California resident Satoshi Nakamoto as the elusive founder of Bitcoin in a cover story published today
• But the 64-year-old model train enthusiast denies having anything to do with the digital currency
• He led a pack of reporters on a car chase to the Associated Press headquarters in Los Angeles today where he told his side of the story
• Nakamoto says he never heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago when his son called to say that he had been contacted by reporters

The man Newsweek claims is the founder of Bitcoin led reporters on a car chase today after denying he had anything to do with the digital currency.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, 64, was described as 'the face behind Bitcoin' in a Newsweek cover story published today, but when reporters showed up at his home, a confused-looking Nakamoto dodged their questions before speeding off to the Associated Press offices in Los Angeles to tell his side of the story.
Nakamoto spoke with reporters at the AP for two hours, telling them that he had never heard of Bitcoin until three weeks ago when his son called to say he had been contacted by a reporter.

Nakamoto acknowledged that many of the details in Newsweek's report are correct, including that he once worked for a defense contractor. But he strongly disputes the magazine's assertion that he is 'the face behind Bitcoin.'
Since Bitcoin's birth in 2009, the currency's creator has remained a mystery. The person —or people— behind its founding have been known only as 'Satoshi Nakamoto,' which many observers believed to be a pseudonym.
But Newsweek's story alleged that Nakamoto was not a pseudonym but instead a real man.
They tracked Nakamoto down to his modest home in Temple City, California, after a two-month investigation in which they unearthed shadowy dealings with US military technology contractors, his mysterious work for the FAA in the aftermath of 9/11 and claimed that he could be potentially sitting on a $657 million fortune from his invention that he mysteriously refuses to touch.

The reclusive and secretive Nakamoto, whose own brother described as 'an a**hole', was interviewed on his doorstep - as Newsweek appeared to solve one of the largest mysteries of the digital age.

Is this the face behind Bitcoin?

'I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,' he said to the magazine's reporter about his connection to the now troubled online currency. 'It's been turned over to other people,' he said without specifying who. 'They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.' In a later AP interview, Nakamoto said he was misunderstood in a key portion of the Newsweek story, where he tells the reporter on his doorstep, 'I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.' Asked by the AP if he had said that, Nakamoto said, 'No.' 'I'm saying I'm no longer in engineering. That's it,' he told the AP.

'And even if I was, when we get hired, you have to sign this document, contract saying you will not reveal anything we divulge during and after employment. So that's what I implied.' 'It sounded like I was involved before with Bitcoin and looked like I'm not involved now. That's not what I meant. I want to clarify that,' the AP reported him as saying.
The Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group promoting the adoption of the digital currency, said '...We have seen zero conclusive evidence that the identified person is the designer of Bitcoin.'

'Those closest to the Bitcoin project, the informal team of core developers, have always been unaware of Nakamoto's true identity, as Nakamoto communicated purely through electronic means,' it said in a post on its website.
Describing his appearance as he answered the door, the Newsweek reporter said that anyone would have trouble believing this was the man whose creation could potentially revolutionize the financial system and could be a multi-millionaire.

'He’s wearing a rumpled T-shirt, old blue jeans and white gym socks, without shoes, like he has left the house in a hurry.
His hair is unkempt, and he has the thousand-mile stare of someone who has gone weeks without sleep,' wrote investigative reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.

Startled by his apparent discovery, Nakamoto called the police to intervene - claiming that he would be in danger if he spoke to the reporter.

'So, what is it you want to ask this man about? one of the officers asked the Newsweek reporter.
'He thinks if he talks to you, he’s going to get into trouble.'
'I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto,' said reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.

Original source

Published in News

Nakamoto is a Japanese-American descended from Samurai who born in July 1949 in the city of Beppu, Japan, where he was brought up poor and as a Buddhist by his mother.

She migrated to California in 1959 bringing Satoshi with him and he graduated from California State Polytechnic University at the age 0f 23. For the past 40-years he has not used his birth name and in 1973 changed his name to Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. He signs his name Dorian S. Nakamoto. The name Nakamoto appeared in the 2008 whitepaper introducing bitcoin, but the moniker was widely believed to be an alias for a person or group.

Published in Features

London U.K. accelerator called Wayra is still a relatively new player in the startup market place. Wayra set up shop in May 2012 and took in its first set of startup seedlings. Out of the 17 startups selected last year, they included a lesbian dating service called Dattch and journal app called Narrato. Recently Wayra has listed the current selection of young hopefuls that will be groomed through a nine month training and mentoring course.

Every entrepreneur and would be startup will remember in 2013 when Yahoo snapped up Tumblr for US$1.1Billion, and the story of its founder, entrepreneur David Karp. At only the age of 27, Karp is estimated to have received around US$220 million from the deal. So how did Karp actually get set up in the first place, although he eventually raised capital through venture funding, Karp launched his hugely successful social blogging platform from a simple idea. His inspirational story paves the way for many young visionary dreaming about launching their own startup business and the next big idea in the market. Here are 10 tips from the business blogging community for creating the next big startup success story, from a simple idea:

Published in Advice & Tips

Recently, the Financial Times published its annual Study on European Cities and Regions of the Future for 2014/2015. In this study, Eindhoven, located in the Netherlands, was ranked third European city of the future after London and Helsinki.

The city of Eindhoven is a new entry to this specific list, thanks in part to the incubation facilities existing in the local technology campus. Below are nine reasons that make Eindhoven a dream place for tech startups. Tech refers to sectors like semiconductors, nanotechnology, advanced materials, health tech, Internet and web based apps.

Published in Research & Trends

Y Combinator's a US business launched the first Female Founders Conference which brought approximately 500 women together last Saturday afternoon to hear discussions of startup struggles and stories of success. G8FMFJG2AJ2V

YC co-founder Jessica Livingston said they were please with the turn out and plan to repeat the conference again next year, Saturday's event took place in California’s Hahn Auditorium at the Computer History Museum. Keynote speakers included several female startup founders who shared their views including business inspiration, successes and also failures, but the key message was trial, error and persistence are the common keys to a successful business

Adora Cheung’s journey stood out. She is founder of Homejoy, an online platform for home services. For years, Cheung and her younger brother Aaron tried several startups unsuccessfully before finally getting it right with their current business. Their latest endeavor has been a big success and is now established in 30 markets nationwide across the U.S. The business boasts 100 employees, with offices in San Francisco and New York City. Cheung successfully raised around $40 million in venture capital, and has now exceeded a monthly revenue in millions. But she described their first 1,000 days as "the dark ages," eventually stumbling upon the realization that its not worth working on draining projects and best to focus on those that can be developed rapidly and effectively. Interestingly the idea for the business came when the siblings worked out of bachelor Aaron's apartment, which Adora said, was a mess with a bathroom so disgusting that she refused to use it. That led to a frustrating experience of looking for a house cleaner, then the realisation, "There's actually a problem here we can work on," she said and Homejoy was created.

Aaron and Adora Cheung of Homejoy

Speakers included:

Adora Cheung, Founder, Homejoy
Michelle Crosby, Founder, Wevorce
Diane Greene, Founder, VMware
Julia Hartz, Founder, Eventbrite
Elizabeth Iorns, Founder, Science Exchange
Ann Johnson, Founder, Interana
Jessica Livingston, Founder, Y Combinator
Jessica Mah, Founder, inDinero
Kathryn Minshew, Founder, The Muse
Danielle Morrill, Founder, Mattermark
Elli Sharef, Founder, HireArt
Jamie Wong, Founder, Vayable

fundedflow looks forward to seeing the lineup for next year, for more information please visit the website

Published in Features
Monday, 03 March 2014 21:10

Asia's Power Businesswomen, 2014

Running for three years now “The 2014 FORBES ASIA Power Businesswomen list”, presents a selection of 50 women from a range of industries that includes venture capital, lingerie, toolmaking and constructions. New additions that make it onto the list are Alison Watkins, who rises to the top of Coca-Cola Amatil,l who became only the second woman to head up a top 30 listed Australian company; Ong Chih Ching, an entrepreneur and property magnet based in Singapore with a taste for yachts and fast cars. Also onto the list is veteran Hong Kong movie producer, Nansun Shi, whose career spans almost four decades.

The Researchers at Forbes say they use the following criteria to qualify who makes it onto the list: company revenue (rarely less than $100 million, frequently in the billions), the woman’s position at the company (if she’s the boss that’s a big plus) and how involved she is (preferably running operations day-to-day).

Chew Gek Khim of Singapore fits all this criteria and then and beyond as she transforms Straits Trading, a staid colonial-era tin smelter, into a sleek 21st-century holding company. The Forbes team also selected entrepreneurs, like Noriko Nakamura of Poppins from Japan and Australian retail queen Naomi Milgrom, who have nurtured their own businesses.

It’s a tough process finding and judging women across a large geographic space and this year’s selection includes 13 countries. The range of industries is also very diverse as are the cultures and economies that must be taken into account. A company in Vietnam with $100 million in annual sales for example might be a standout on the local stock exchange but would register barely a blip in a more developed market. Countries such as Indonesia tend to throw up family-run conglomerates rather than listed companies, where information is easier to come by. And then there is culture: In Greater China women seem to advance more smoothly than in many other countries in the region, where tradition can remain a barrier.

A survey by Grant Thornton International Business Report notes a sharp rise in senior management positions held by women in mainland China to 51% (as of February 2013) from 25% a year earlier. Compare that with 7% in Japan, rock bottom of the heap of 44 economies studied; 22% in Australia; and 34% in Asean overall. The global average is 24%.

From a daring bright spark creating an online social media venture in Myanmar to a longtime executive just named the first woman to run an Indian oil major, these women are a small selection of those driving change.

Research: Shu-Ching Jean Chen, Susan Cunningham, FORBES INDONESIA, Don Frazier, Ron Gluckman, Jane Ho, Joyce Huang, Seline Jung, Naazneen Karmali, Sunshine Lichauco de Leon, Noelle Lim, Lan Anh Nguyen, Anuradha Raghunathan, Lucinda Schmidt, Jennifer Schultz Wells, James Simms, Blessing Waung.

Source Forbes Asia


Published in Features