Could the next billion-user Internet company be one that focuses on literature? It might sound unlikely, but that's Wattpad's goal.

Wattpad, an online community for writers and readers to share and discover good stories, announced Tuesday that it has raised $46 million in a Series C round of funding led by OMERS ventures. The latest funding round brings the company's total funding to more than $60 million and is intended to help Wattpad accelerate product and user growth.

Published in Deals & Funding

Munchery, a startup that provides same-day delivery for meals prepared by local chefs, announced Thursday that it raised a $28 million Series B round, bringing its total funding to date to about $35 million. The company intends to use the funding to expand its service to new cities beyond the Bay Area.

The majority of the new round — $25 million — was contributed by Sherpa Ventures. Shervin Pishevar, the VC firm's founder, had pitched in for Munchery's seed round and Series A, and believes the company has the potential to be "bigger than Chipotle," a bold statement considering Chipotle generated more than $3 billion in revenue last year.

Who says bloggers don't make any money?

Automattic, which runs the popular blogging service, is in the market for a new round of funding that would value the company at more than $1 billion, according to Fortune.

Published in Deals & Funding

Secret and Whisper, the current favouruits of the anonymous messaging market, are all about broadcasting your innermost thoughts or general gossip in a feed format.

But the founders of Truth created an anonymous messaging app that sends private missives to people on your contacts list. It's incognito one-on-one messaging between friends.

When you send a "truth," you are assigned an anonymous username and avatar (one of an assortment of playful owls). If the recipient already has the app, the message will show up in the app's inbox. If they don't, a text message will display part of the "truth" and prompt the recipient to download the app.

It's not every week that you see a tech founder who has worked as an analytics associate at Google and as a nurse assistant at a hospital. Sean Duffy has always straddled these two worlds: his mother was a nurse and he developed a fascination for medicine, but he never could shake the fact that he was "huge tech geek."

Published in Deals & Funding

Like other countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines’ startup ecosystem is in a growth stage. Tech in Asia earlier revealed how the country’s ecosystem is doing in terms of investors and accelerators’ activities. But for some, questions still remain: Why should we (or should we not) start an internet business in the Philippines? What should we expect? The creation of the World Startup Wiki is centric to this goal: to share information about a specific country to those who are interested in doing business in a specific market. Tech in Asia is dissecting these facts from the World Startup Report team’s discoveries. Grabbing opportunities The Philippines’ English-speaking population is one of the glaring factors that make it easy for any foreign individual or business to enter the market. This is the exact reason why a huge number of foreign companies have decided to put their outsourcing businesses in the country. From a startup’s point-of-view, we’ve also seen a number of businesses such as Rocket Internet and individuals like Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Hose starting businesses here.

Twitter has acquired Cover, an Android lock screen app, the two companies announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Cover was founded by former Google employees and launched on an invitation-only basis in October. Cover displays the six apps on the Android lock screen that users are most likely to want to use, based on daily analysis of the user's smartphone habits and the current context (whether you're at home, work or driving somewhere). The app attracted "hundreds of thousands" of users prior to the acquisition.

Published in Deals & Funding
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

5 New Startups To Watch In San Francisco

From technology to fashion, California is a hub of innovation so it’s no surprise that it’s also startup central. However, only one city can be crowned king (or queen) of entrepreneurship and that title clearly goes to San Francisco. It’s where scores of startups are born and thriving, but there has to be a best of the best. What are the top five SFO startups to keep an eye on in 2014, whether you’re an investor, looking for your next job or need a little inspiration yourself?

LinkedIn is introducing some new tools for businesses hoping to attract a following with their LinkedIn content.

First up, there’s a content marketing score, which measures the total effectiveness of a businesses’ LinkedIn content. It’s calculated by taking the total number of unique LinkedIn members who engaged with a companies’ Sponsored Updates, Company Pages, LinkedIn Groups, employee updates, and Influencer posts, then divides that by the total audience of active LinkedIn users that you’d like to reach. In other words, it tells you what fraction of your target audience you’re actually reaching.

Published in News

If its good enough for Facbook...

Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has jumped into the messaging market with a $215 million investment in Tango, a four-year-old messaging and social-networking app.

Part of a total fundraising round of $280 million, the investment provides Tango with capital to compete in the increasingly high-stakes competition between messaging apps that has blossomed outside the U.S.

Published in Deals & Funding
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