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SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review


February 23, 2015

Bi-monthly Highlights

Global Trends

The Payments Industry: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem
The payments industry had a huge year in 2014 and it's showing no sign of slowing down. On the one hand tech
giants like Amazon and Apple released new products that affirmed their long-term payments ambitions (Apple Pay
and Amazon Local Register). On the other hand startups such as Stripe and ShopKeep continued to carve out
market share, challenging older players like PayPal and VeriFone. Three trends will shape the payment-cardprocessing ecosystem from 2015 onward: the EMV security migration, rapid development of new payment
technologies, and the massive card-fraud problem in the US. While none of these developments will completely
upend the incumbent system for processing payments, each will disrupt key players. The mobile point-of-sale
(mPOS) is going to have a massive impact on the payments-hardware and payments-software industry. By 2019,
we forecast that nearly 80% of US retailers will have implemented a mPOS device. The move to mPOS will continue
to put pressure on hardware providers that compete directly against mPOS devices, as well as ISOs that sell legacy
devices to merchants. In addition, the ecosystem for credit- and debit-card processing involves a complicated set of
players interacting to process every transaction. Five types of players are involved: acquirers/processors, issuers,
card networks, gateway providers, and independent sales organizations (ISOs). To process a typical transaction,
three steps must occur: authorizing, batching, and funding. Each participant in this process takes a fee off of the
total volume of a transaction. The remainder is deposited in a merchant's account.

The 'connected car' is creating a massive new business opportunity for auto, tech, and telecom companies
The connected car is equipped with internet connections and software that allow people to stream music, look up
movie times, be alerted of traffic and weather conditions, and even power driving-assistance services such as selfparking. By 2020, BI Intelligence estimates that 75% of cars shipped globally will be built with the necessary
hardware to connect to the Internet. The connected-car market is growing at a five-year compound annual growth
rate of 45% 10 times as fast as the overall car market. We expect that 75% of the estimated 92 million cars
shipped globally in 2020 will be built with internet-connection hardware. But of the 220 million total connected cars
on the road globally in 2020, we estimate consumers will activate connected services in only 88 million of these
vehicles. Connected-car vehicle prices are out of reach for most car buyers, but they will drop significantly in the next
few years. The high average selling price of $55,000 is driven by the fact that connected-car shipments tilt toward
the luxury category. In addition, connected-car technology is now split between approaches that put the Internet
connection in the car and those relying on a secondary device. Embedded connections don't require a phone's data
plan to operate, and consumers and carmakers gain access to a wider variety of features and data. Embedded
connections will win, in part because they offer two clear advantages to carmakers. They allow auto companies to
collect data on cars' performance and send updates and patches to cars remotely, avoiding recalls related to the
car's software.

SparkLabs Global Ventures (http://www.sparklabsglobal.com) is a global seed-stage fund with partners in


Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.
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SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology


and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
February 23, 2015

Asia Pacific
China

Alibaba pushes its mobile OS with US$590M investment in phone maker Meizu
Chinas ecommerce titan Alibaba announced a US$590 million investment in phone maker Meizu. It gives Alibaba a
minority but undisclosed stake in the smartphone company. Alibaba says it and Meizu will collaborate at both
strategic and business levels in areas such as ecommerce, mobile internet, mobile operating system, and data
analysis. In addition, Alibabas Tmall and Taobao estores, which collectively have 334 million active shoppers, will
play host to Meizus online stores. That mention of a mobile operating system refers to Alibabas YunOS, which first
launched in 2011 on a variety of phones from third-party brands. However, Alibabas OS has struggled to take off as
a popular alternative to Android. In October 2014, Alibaba and Meizu tied up for the first time to make a special
edition of the Meizu MX4 than runs Alibabas OS rather than Android. That phone sells for RMB 1,799 (US$295) in
China. Alibabas Meizu investment comes after other major Chinese web companies have aligned themselves with
phone companies, such as Qihoos US$400 million investment in Coolpad, and Tencents ongoing partnership with
Xiaomi. Meizu was the first Chinese startup phone maker to make international headlines in the early days of
smartphones, but its star soon faded as arch-rival Xiaomi grew quickly to become a new Chinese tech giant. Meizu
is now battling for attention amidst an array of upstart phone brands in China, such as Oppo and OnePlus.

Chinese education startup 17zuoye raises US$100M series D from Lei Jun, Yuri Milner, etc.
Online education is booming in China. On the eve of the Chinese new year, online education platform 17zuoye
announced that it has raised a series D round worth US$100 million. This brings the companys total valuation to
US$600 million. The round was led by H Capital (which also invested in 17zuoyes series C), and other investors
included Temasek, Yuri Milner/DST, and Lei Juns Shunwei (which has invested in every 17zuoye round starting
with its series A). 17zuoye is an online learning platform for students K-12, as well as teachers and parents. The
name means homework together in Chinese, and the site aims to serve as a nexus for all three groups to facilitate
the educational experience, focusing on English and Math classes. For example, for students one service it offers is
an automated system that allows them to record English sentences and get instant feedback on pronunciation.
Teachers can then listen to their students recordings at any time. Parents can even get real-time reports on their
kids via WeChat. And thats just the tip of the iceberg. Online education is a hot market in China right now, but
17zuoye, which was founded in 2007, has shown especially explosive growth. Two years ago the site had just over
1 million students; now it has more than 7 million. In July of last year alone, for example, the site added more than
130,000 students to its rolls.

Chinese mobile laundry service Bear Butler nabs US$960K angel investment
Chinese O2O startup Bear Butler has raised US$960,000 in angel funding to continue its dry-cleaning dreams. The
new cash will be used to optimize the startups workflow and build out a management team. Bear Butler is a mobile
app and Taobao shop that allows users to book and pay for laundry service. Bear Butler takes charge of pretty much
everything else: theyll send someone to pick up the laundry at your place, wash it, and then drop it back off clean so
that you can forget about the entire laundry process. Of course, that sort of service does come at a cost: RMB 9
(US$1.44) per article of clothing and an additional RMB 50 (US$8) for pickup/dropoff. Trickier items of clothing and
bedding have their own prices. Bear Butler is way more expensive than a laundromat, and it wouldnt take many
loads of clothing for it to be more expensive than buying your own washing machine, too. But the service could well
catch on with Chinas upper-class young urbanites, who have cash to burn, a preference for trendy O2O services,
and a desire for convenience even at significant extra cost.

Shopline nets US$1.2M in funding from Ardent Capital and 500 Startups, sets sights on Southeast Asia
Shopline, the Hong Kong-based startup that offers online tools for e-commerce vendors, announced that it has
closed a US$1.2 million seed funding round. Investors include 500 Startups, Ardent Capital, SXE Ventures, East
Ventures, and COENT Venture Partners. Co-founder and CEO Raymond Yip says Shopline will use the funding to
ramp up staffing and marketing. Once a team of three, the company has now increased its employee count to nine,
and expects to get bigger as it targets expansion in Southeast Asia. Shopline is an online platform that helps ecommerce merchants sell goods directly to consumers on standalone websites, as opposed to an eBay-esque
marketplace. Similar to Shopify, the Ottowa-based startup thats reportedly valued at over US$1 billion dollars,
Shopline charges vendors a monthly subscription fee of about US$16 for access to a domain name and a
customizable admin panel. In addition to Shopify, Shopline faces a handful of other Asian competitors. Taiwans
91mai, which is founded by former team behind Yahoo Taiwans ecommerce channel, offers a similar product for
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ecommerce vendors, but through native apps rather than mobile websites. Uitox, another Taiwan company founded
by an ecommerce veteran, lets vendors build websites free of charge and monetizes through commissions on
purchases and value-added services.

Chinese smartphone glucometer Dnurse raises millions in series A


Chinese healthcare startup Dnurse announced that it has raised a round of series A funding led by SAIF Partners
and Innovation works, according to Sina Tech. The exact sum of the funding was not disclosed, but it is reported to
be in the tens of millions in RMB, which means it was likely at least US$1-2 million. Dnurse produces a
smartphone-compatible glucose monitor along with monitoring app software. The small monitor plugs directly into a
phones headphone jack, and requires just a tiny amount of blood (0.6 microliters) to function. Once the blood has
been sampled, users can check out the results and track their blood sugar over time using the free Android and iOS
app. The app also offers reminders so that users dont forget to test. The investment is a timely one for SAIF and
Innovation Works, as diabetes the most common disease requiring a glucometer has risen sharply in China over
the past decade as income levels and lifestyles change. It is estimated that China now has more than 100 million
diabetics, and the disease has become a full-blown public health crisis there. Most cases of diabetes are still
undiagnosed, so only a fraction of those 100-million-plus diabetics are actually using glucometers, but that number
is likely to rise sharply over the next five to ten years.
Tantan, a Chinese Tinder clone, raises US$5M series A
In the wake of the Momo IPO, it seems investors are interested in the Chinese mobile dating market. The latest
evidence of this: US$5M in series A funding to Tantan, a Chinese flirting/dating app, in a round led by Bertelsmann
Asia Investments. Readers familiar with the Western dating app Tinder will have no trouble understanding Tantan,
because its basically a carbon copy: you set up a profile, and then use it to browse the photos of other people in your
area. If you like the photo you see, swipe right and if they like you too youll have a chance to chat with them. If you
dont like what you see, swipe left and move on to the next persons photo. Of course, any social network lives or
dies based on its user numbers. Its not clear just how many users Tantan has. The iOS version of the app has just
three reviews on the iTunes store, one of which complains about a lack of users. But founders Pan Ying and Wang
Yu claim that the app has a weekly active user rate of 80 percent and a weekly user retention rate of between 55 and
60 percent.

Korea

Koreas top app for finding apartments closes on US$18M funding


Zig Bang, an apartment hunting app from Korea, raised a US$18 million funding round from previous investors
including Stone Bridge, Company K Partners, and others. Thats the biggest funding round for a Korean startup since
food delivery app Baedal Minjeok raised US$36 million in November. Zig Bang is the primary product of Channel
Breeze, which previously raised US$8.21 million from the same investors. In smartphone-savvy Korea, Zig Bang
claims to make up 80 percent of the countrys real estate app market. Its growth has far outpaced Naver Real Estate,
a similar app from Koreas biggest web giant. This new round of funding will be used to ramp up marketing among
other expenses. It has already invested heavily in TV commercials and public display ads. Users on Zig Bang can
search for rental properties by the number of rooms, occupants, and price. Across both mobile and web versions, the
startup reports 6 million users (though those arent all necessarily active and there might be some overlap). The goal
for 2015 is to hit 10 million and potentially seek another funding round. Real estate apps are proving popular across
Asia among both users and investors, from Singapores 99.co and PropertyGuru to Rocket Internets Lamudi, Indias
CommonFloor, Chinas Uoko and Ziroom.

LimoTaxi Raises more than US$1M from Big Basin Capital


LimoTaxi, a mobile on-demand taxi app, announced that it raised more than US$1M from Big Basin Capital, a
venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. Altos Ventures, one of LimoTaxis previous investors, also participated in
the investment round. The new investment will now allow the venture company to expand more rapidly into other
regions beyond Seoul and to focus on service improvement. LimoTaxi was founded in July 2014 by former
businessmen who had successfully introduced EasyTaxi, a Brazil-based on-demand taxi app, into Korea. After
launching its beta service, LimoTaxi has successfully expanded its service into various cities in Korea, including
Seoul, Cheonan, Jeonju, Yeosu, Busan and Icheon. As its official launch date is approaching, Limotaxi has also
merged with HeavenlyIdea (also known as Dangol Taxi), a firm founded by mobile technology experts. The merger
was proposed for the purpose of market expansion and enhancement of LimoTaxis IT capabilities in January this
year.
SparkLabs Global Ventures (http://www.sparklabsglobal.com) is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.
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Naver Subsidiary Gogolook Acquires Hong Kong Startup StudioKUMA


Gogolook, a subsidiary of Korean Internet giant Naver, announced that it has acquired Hong Kong startup
StudioKUMA. The value of the deal was undisclosed. Taipei-based Gogolook itself was purchased by Naver, the
maker of Line messaging app, in 2013 for about $17.6 million. Its main product is Whoscall, a caller ID app. Like
Whoscall, StudioKUMA is also an app that filters out marketing calls and suspicious numbers. A company
representative told TechCrunch that integration with other Naver services (including Line) is a possibility, but in the
short-term both will remain standalone products. Gogolook claims the acquisition of StudioKUMA doubles its daily
active users in Hong Kong to 2 million. Whoscall currently has 20 million users around the world and a database of
over 700 million telephone numbers. It plans to invest heavily in Hong Kong for R&D as well as product development
this year. The company believes Hong Kong is a potentially lucrative market for call-screening apps because 23
percent of Hong Kong residents surveyed by the Hong Kong University Social Sciences Research Centre said they
receive more than six marketing calls a week, even after attempting to unsubscribe from calling lists. The acquisition
is part of Gogolooks strategy to expand Whoscalls userbase in East Asia. The company plans to focus on Taiwan,
Korea, and Japan this year and will move on Southeast Asia in 2015.

Japan

Metaps hauls in US$36M, strengthens focus on payments and artificial intelligence


Metaps, as a must-use tool for app monetization, announced that it has nabbed US$36 million in a series C round.
The full list of investors are not being disclosed at this time, but the company has confirmed that previous investors
were included, though Sato declined to identify them. Given Metaps global reach, this means that Fidelity Growth
Partners Japan, the only non-domestic VC firm among the existing investors is very likely involved. The company is
making no move away from the app monetization industry, but the new funds are primarily earmarked for
strengthening its fledging online payments service, Spike, as well as harnessing the reams of data gathered from
app users. Spike launched in March 2014 as a freemium online payment solution. Merchants with less than
US$10,000 in monthly transactions can use it for free. Within seven months the service secured 40,000 merchants
three months later, the number is now over 50,000. Due to the freemium model, Spike is adding a lot of low
transaction ecommerce SMEs as customers. The number still stands out, though, considering GMO Payment
Gateway (founded in 1995) is one of the market leaders with 55,000 shops using its service. The service is not
limited to Japan either. Spike already launched in the US and is planning a European expansion next.

Raksul is changing printing in Japan and just scored US$33.7M


Metaps online payment system and app monetization know-how powered it to a hefty US$36 million series C
funding round. In roiling markets like China or India, 36 million might not stand out, but in Japan its rare for even
one startup to get that sort of cash per year. 2015 might turn into a special one today Raksul, a startup that lowers
printing costs, publically confirmed it scored US$33.7 million for its own series C. Ten firms joined the funding round.
Repeat investors were Opt, Global Brain, World Innovation Lab, Itochu Technology Ventures, ANRI, Dentsu Digital
Holdings, and GMO Venture Partners. The new faces are Link and Motivation Group, Gree Ventures, and Global
Catalyst Partners. This funding follows a US$14.3 million series B in February 2014. Printing may not seem sexy,
but Raksul has hit onto something. The company is best known for acting as a mediator between users who have
printing needs and the thousands of printing companies around Japan ready to serve, taking a percentage of each
sale. Users can detail what their printing needs are and even get assistance with the design and file formatting
and then look around at the different printing options in their area. To save time, users can also rely on Raksuls own
algorithm to find them the best printer and price for their needs. From there, the printing company takes over and
delivers the goods to the user.

Line Life Global Gateway has US$42M for startups


Line, the messaging app taking over the world one sticker at a time, announced a new investment fund. Titled the
Line Life Global Gateway, the fund will operate independently from Line Ventures, although the latter company
along with Line itself are the only two parties putting up capital. The US$42 million fund went live on February 4th
and is expected to operate for 10 years. Similar to the US$100 million gaming fund set up last summer this project is
also earmarked for a specific purpose to support startups operating in online-to-offline, ecommerce, payment,
media, and entertainment industries. This shift mirrors Lines own change in priorities. No longer content to be just a
gaming and messaging company, the firm has launched a number of lifestyle apps from shopping to payments to
television. Although Line Ventures is supplying some of the money for Line Life Global Gateway, the new
organization will be a completely separate subsidiary. Speaking with Tech in Asia, a Line spokesperson said that
Line does not use the same investment team for its three funds. Further, they pointed out that Line keeps the funds
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and teams separate because they are focused on different things. While it is plenty common to have a single
investment team at a single VC firm focus on multiple verticals, Lines approach to arranging its investments is
unlikely to ruffle any entrepreneurs feathers. The companys name brand is strong and it is investing both in Japan
and without.

India

Practo gets an injection of US$30M from Sequoia, Matrix for expansion to 41 more cities
Indian healthtech startup Practo announced that it raised US$30 million in a series B round of funding led by existing
investor Sequoia Capital. Matrix Partners participated in the round. In 2012, Sequoia had invested US$4 million in
the company. Practos search engine helps one million users book 120,000 appointments on average in a month,
says a statement from the company. The fresh funds will be used to expand to 35 more cities in India and 6 cities
abroad over the next six months. Besides India, Practo is already up and running in Singapore and the Philippines.
Practo has a proprietary algorithm, which ranks doctors listed on the site based on user needs location and
specialty, feedback from patients, and appointment experience. The number of appointments booked with a doctor
in the last 30 days, doctors availability, and patients recommendations are key parameters to rank doctors. Patients
looking for doctors can pick the most suitable ones based on these and other criteria. In Bangalore itself, another
doctor search portal Qikwell raised series A funding just over three months ago from SAIF Partners. It has gained
traction quickly with the promise of getting confirmed appointments with doctors who have busy schedules.

Stayzilla, Indias Airbnb, raises US$20M to reach 8,000 towns by year-end


India is a diverse country, and Stayzilla is a diverse site for travelers looking for places to stay. It has something for
everyone: from hotels, homestays, and peer-to-peer rentals a la Airbnb to guest houses, jungle lodges, and boat
houses. More than a third of its accommodations are alternative options. This diverse approach has helped Stayzilla
fan out rapidly across the large country, with a presence in over 1,200 Indian towns and more than 20,000
properties listed on its site. Now, it has just raised US$20 million in series B funding from Nexus Venture Partners
and Matrix Partners to scale that up to 50,000 properties in 8,000 places by the end of this year, according to a
statement. Founded in 2010, Stayzilla received funding of US$500,000 from the Indian Angel Network, which was
followed up by series A funding of an undisclosed amount from Matrix Partners India and IAN last year. Its founder
Yogendra Vasupal, a.k.a. Yogi, is an engineering dropout who started taking on web-based projects from the age of
19.

Capital Float gets US$13M from SAIF, Sequoia to give startups easier access to loans
Founded in 2013, Capital Float announced that it has raised US$13 million in series A funding led by SAIF Partners
and Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investor Aspada. The startup evaluates the financial health of
SMEs and provides working capital to companies not being served adequately by traditional banks. The Capital
Float platform has so far delivered US$6.4 million in loans to SMEs in 10 cities across India. Last year, the company
raised US$2 million from Aspada and US$1 million from SAIF Partners. A statement on the funding says the
company saw a ten-fold increase last year in online applications, particularly in the ecommerce market, where it is
partnering with sites like Snapdeal, Flipkart, Amazon, and PayTM to finance small merchants selling online. The
fresh funding will support a nationwide expansion program. Rishyasringa has an MBA from Stanford University and
graduated magna cum laude in Economics from Princeton University. Prior to Capital Float, he was working with
McKinsey & Company. His co-founder Hinduja too has an MBA from Stanford University.

Quick hiring startup MyNoticePeriod raises US$3M funding from IDG Ventures
Recruitment startups have been attracting the attention of venture capital firms, with tech-based differentiators from
the traditional job portals. One of these is MyNoticePeriod which has raised close to US$3 million (INR 180 million)
from IDG Ventures. It had raised US$322,000 in seed funding from angel investors and IDG Ventures just four
months earlier. A statement from the company, announcing the new funding, says MyNoticePeriod has seen rapid
growth in both job-seekers and recruiters, with over 400 companies using the platform. MyNoticePeriod was
incubated in the software industry body Nasscoms 10,000 Startups program. Its focus was on quick hiring by
identifying candidates actively looking for jobs. It began with candidates serving out a notice period in their
companies; hence the name. Now its roster has expanded to include all candidates actively seeking jobs. .

FreeCharge raises US$80M as its uniquely Indian rewards-based model gains traction
FreeCharge, which provides a platform for recharging mobile phones and data cards in India, announced that it has
raised US$80 million in series C funding. New investors Valiant Capital Management and Tybourne Capital
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Management came on board in this round. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, RuNet, and Sofina also participated.
FreeCharge has seen transactions take off on its platform in sync with the smartphone explosion in India. This
attracted Sequoia in a US$33 million series B funding round in September last year, and now its poised to scale up
faster this year. Its a uniquely Indian business model of rewarding users for using the platform to recharge their
phones, and could be replicated in other markets. FreeCharge CEO Alok Goel told Tech in Asia that it will also
leverage its growing user base for targeted marketing. The company recently launched FreeCharge Delights which
are rewards for consumers on purchases from leading e-commerce sites in India. It also has tie-ups with food
outlets such as McDonalds. This round of funding will be used for product innovations on mobile. The company says
it has a customer base of more than 20 million.

NewsHunt, Indias news reader app for local languages, raises US$40.5M in funding
Indias homegrown news reader app NewsHunt has secured US$40.5 million in a series C funding round led by New
York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital. Existing investors Matrix Partners India, Sequoia Capital India, and
Omidyar Network also participated in this round of funding. Newshunt raised US$16 million in a Series B round of
funding led by Sequoia Capital last year. The app has a wide collection of regional content in over 12 languages
making it the leading app for local language users in India with about 75 million downloads to date. Aside from
aggregating national and international news, the app also has an ebookstore. So far, over 10 million ebooks have
been downloaded by 2 million NewsHunt users. 40 percent of the users are paid members. Payments for ebooks
are handled by the companys own epayments system, called iPayy, which supports carrier billing for
microtransactions. In the last six months, an estimated 4 million unique customers have used the iPayy platform for
payments. NewsHunt supports the countrys top English dailies but the bigger draw is the coverage of the
vernacular newspapers around the country. The app also supports a few publications from Bangladesh and the
African continent. NewsHunt app users consume a cumulative average of 1.7 billion pages per month.

Indonesia

Indonesias Vela Asia closes US$1.5M series A funding round from Singapore-based Majuven
Founded in 2012, Indonesian fashion ecommerce and brand partner Vela Asia announced that it closed a series A
funding round of US$1.5 million led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Majuven. Vela Asia will use the funds to
drive growth across its partners websites and expand its technology offerings. Brands working with Vela Asia
currently have access to real-time information about website performance, but the co-founders say this is also
something they want to improve. Vela Asia is a two-year-old company in Jakarta, and claims to have captured an
appealing section of Indonesias online fashion market. Vela represents international fashion brands such as Lee
Cooper and Havaianas by building and operating their ecommerce stores in Indonesia. The startup says it is
currently the exclusive online partner for more than ten fashion brands, and there will be more coming soon.
Majuven is run by several prominent business figures including SingPost chairman Ho Kee Lim and former SingTel
CEO Lee Hsien Yang. The investment in Vela is part of a wider push by Majuven to expand its holdings in
ecommerce. The VC firm adds that it is currently working on a number of other regional deals.

Indonesian marketplace BukaLapak receives series B funding from local media group Emtek
Indonesias second largest media company Emtek Group announced that it made a series B investment of an
undisclosed amount in local online marketplace BukaLapak. BukaLapak founder Achmad Zaky says the fresh funds
will be used to grow the startups staff and adopt new marketing strategies to spread brand awareness. Zaky also
hopes to acquire more Indonesian SMEs as vendors on its marketplace. This could be interpreted as an early step
for BukaLapak (a consumer-to-consumer marketplace) to make the move toward business-to-consumer sales.
BukaLapak received its series A investment last February from price comparison site Aucfan, IREP, 500 Startups,
and GREE Ventures. Zaky says BukaLapak facilitated more than US$80 million in transactions during 2014 with the
highest sales occuring in the gadgets, fashion, and hobbies verticals. BukaLapaks merchants reached 163,000
sellers at the beginning of this year.

Singapore

Pirate3D raises $2M, plans pro printer targeted at architects and designers
Pirate3D, which makes affordable yet stylish 3D printers, raised US$2 million in a seed round involving individual
investors from Singapore and Germany. Also, a quarter of the money came from Low Capital Management, a
Singapore-based family office. The startup had a pre-money valuation of over US$8 million, and it plans to raise
another US$3 to US$5 million before the year ends. The funds will go towards fulfilling existing orders and refund
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Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.
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requests, expanding the R&D team, and increasing manufacturing capabilities. [We want] to really ramp up
production and get those sweet volume discounts. If we buy materials in bulk we save 25 to 30 percent off the
printer bill of materials price, which is fantastic, said Pirate3D co-founder Brendan Goh. The company previously
received US$1.43 million through a crowdfunding campaign in June 2013 a record for a Singapore company that
still stands today. But it later faced delivery delays caused by manufacturing and design problems, leading to plenty
of irate customers demanding refunds. The company returned money to just under 15 percent of backers at the
time of writing.

Philippines

Lamudi raises US$18 million, merges Asia and Latin America operations
Emerging markets property listings site Lamudi raised US$18 million in fresh funds to further grow its operations in
Asia and Latin America. It also announced that it merged its operations in both regions to form Lamudi Global. The
investment came from Asia Pacific Internet Group, a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo; Holtzbrinck
Ventures, the investment arm of the German publishing group; and current investor Tengelmann Ventures, a
division of international multi-sector retailer Tengelmann Group. Lamudis global co-founder Kian Moini says, Since
Lamudis foundation, our goal has been to build the biggest real estate platform in the emerging markets. In less
than two years, we have created a comprehensive online database for house-hunters that stretches from the
Philippines to Peru. Since its launch in October 2013, Lamudi has operated in 32 countries in Africa, the Middle
East, Asia, and Latin America. It has 800,000 property listings globally, 550,000 of which are in Asia and Latin
America alone. The site, which focuses on emerging markets, allows property brokers to list homes for sale and
rent. It has seen tremendous growth over recent years as more and more consumers take their real estate journeys
to the web. Lamudi launched in the Philippines just a year ago, but already it has set up two offices outside Metro
Manila (Cebu and Davao) with plans for expansion soon. Close to 500,000 users visit the website every month,
while its listings have grown to almost 90,000.

Rocket Internets car classifieds site Carmudi gets US$25M to dive deeper into Asia
Rocket Internet-backed car classifieds site Carmudi announced a fresh investment round of US$25 million, adding
on to the US$10 million it raised early last year. Rocket Internet and Ooredoos joint venture Asia Pacific Internet
Group (APACIG), Holtzbrinck Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures, and a private investor participated in the latest
funding round. The investment will be used to boost its operations in Mexico and Asia. In a statement, the company
claims to be seeing a growth rate of over 50 percent across all 20 of its markets seven of which are in Asia. It also
says it has listings of over 300,000 vehicles globally, and has around five million users every month, though it is not
clear what percentage of those users are active. The investment demonstrates Rocket Internets confidence in
Carmudi. According to Stefan Haubold, co-founder and global managing director of Carmudi, the car classifieds site
is doing well in several Asian markets, such as Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. In Asia, Haubold
doesnt see many competitors in the car classifieds space none that would give him any headache, anyway. So
our focus is on growing the overall market, getting people from offline to online, explaining them how easily they can
sell a car in less than two minutes, or how they can choose from thousands of cars on the go, he says.

Thailand

500 Startups Is Raising A $10M Fund In Thailand To Increase Its Focus On Asia
500 Startup, the U.S. startup investor/accelerator, raised a new $10 million micro-fund, 500 TukTuks, to deepen its
efforts in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand. According to documents, 500 TukTuks will provide an average of
around $75,000 as a first investment, usually as part of a seed-stage round with other investors. 500 Startups is the
highest profile investor to focus on Thailand to date, and its fund is managed by two of the countrys most
prominent startup figures: the CEO of Ookbee and a former U.S.-based Googler who runs Disrupt University, a
program to increase Thailands links with Silicon Valley and mentor young entrepreneurs. 500 Startups has already
invested in more than eight Thai companies via 500 Durians, its another $10 million fund for Asia launched in 2013.
The fund is not closed yet, but a formal announcement is expected to be made next month.

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United States

6senses predictive powers for sales and marketing help it land US$20 million
San Francisco-based B2B predictive intelligence platform for marketing and sales, 6sense announced a new
investment of US$20 million. Imagine a world where you can predict with above 85 percent accuracy who will buy,
what they will buy, how much, what channel will reach them, what message will resonate, CEO and founder
Amanda Kahlow said. The platform merges machine learning with its B2B Buyer Intent Network that includes
behavioral data from search engines, B2B trade publications, blogs, forums, and communities. It processes billions
of rows of buyer intent data each month to find buyers who are ready to buy. This Series B round, which brings the
total raised thus far to $36 million, was led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from existing investors Battery
Ventures and Venrock. The new money will be used to expand the development and data science team, accelerate
marketing and sales investments, and expand customer engagement in new vertical markets. A first annual
INmarket user conference will be launched in July. Competitors in the category of predictive lead scoring include
Lattice Engines and Infer.

Warner Bros. invests US$24M more into game video site Machinima
Machinima, a digital video site that is dedicated to fandom and gamer culture, has raised US$24 million in funding
from Warner Bros. Entertainment and existing investors. The investors include Redpoint Ventures, MK Capital,
Coffin Capital, and Allen DeBevoise, Machinimas former chief executive. Machinima has been in transition for the
past year as it continues to grow its monthly viewership. Machinima said that it has 430 million total subscribers
worldwide and 170 million monthly unique viewers and 3.7 billion monthly video views. Monthly viewership is up 70
percent from a year ago, and the number of U.S. unique viewers has tripled in a year. Before this round, Machinima
had raised $53 million in funding, including an $18 million round in March 2014. Warner Bros. and Machinima have
been partners for some time. They have created the live-action web video series Mortal Kombat Legacy, and later
this year will release Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, an animated video series from DC Comics
and Blue Ribbon Content. Machinima has been putting more emphasis on its gifted talent network and original
programming. Recently, Machinima announced distribution partnerships with Samsung and Vessel.

Reserve takes US$15M to be your go-to mobile app for when youre hungry
People are hungry for good service at restaurants, and thats why mobile concierge app Reserve just raised US$15
million. Reserve books a dinner reservation and sets up a payment option (including tip) so that when youre done
with the meal, you just get a thank you card not a bill. Reserves provides its 114 restaurants with a tablet and
software for cashing out its diners. The service costs $5 per reservation and operates in Boston, New York, San
Francisco, and Los Angeles. The company wants to use the money to bring its booking-and-payment service to
more people. Reserve combines the utility of apps like OpenTable and Cover into a single package putting it a
step ahead of its competitors. But it also charges for its service, whereas both OpenTable and Cover are free.
Despite the fee, Reserve is growing. Helping Reserve to achieve success in the future is a cast of star-studded
investors like Wil.i.am, Jared Leto, and Jon Favreau, who will undoubtedly push the product to their famous
colleagues. Human Ventures Capital led the syndicate round, a new firm founded by Reserves co-founder Joe
Marchese, and Expa, a startup strategy company. First Round, Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital, Sherpa
Ventures, SV Angel, Venture51 and Visionnaire Ventures also participated in the raise. Reserve has raised $17.3
million to date.

Credible, a Kayak for student loans, lands US$2.7M for itself


The San Francisco-based student loan marketplace Credible announced that it has closed the final US$1.5 million
tranche of its US$2.7 million seed financing, the total raised thus far for the two-year-old company. In ten seconds,
a recent graduate can use Credibles comparison tool to find out if they are overpaying on their student loans, said
founder and CEO Stephen Dash. In five minutes, he added, a student borrower can complete a Profile that enables
lenders to offer personalized quotes with exact rates for private loans. In a Dashboard, users can compare such
factors as APR, monthly payment, fixed or variable interest rate, total repayments, and estimated savings. More
than 15,000 profiles have been created on Credible since it launched last March, of which about 12,000 were
entered in the last three months. Investors providing the recently completed funding for Credible include Carthona
Capital, Cthulhu Ventures, and Redbus Group. The new money will be used to expand Credibles team and to build
out its user-friendly features, the company told us.

Website-testing startup Sauce Labs picks up US$15M


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Sauce Labs, which accumulated 3,500 customers for its cloud-based website and mobile app testing services,
raised a new US$15 million funding. In 2014, Sauce Labs revenue was up 145 percent over the prior year. Now the
San Francisco-based startup can build out more of a European presence with data center infrastructure and some
new salespeople. The customer list features several big names, including Intuit, PayPal, Sony, Shutterfly, Staples,
and Visa. And yet, Sauce Labs hasnt picked up a buzz the way developer-friendly startups like GitHub and New
Relic have. Perhaps as the customer list grows, that could change. Sauce Labs testing services are based on the
Selenium and Appium open-source tools. Competitors include HP, with its application lifecycle management line of
software, as well as startups like BrowserStack. Sauce Labs started in 2008. More than 100 people should work for
the startup by years end, Cerna said. Existing investor Toba Capital led the new round. To date the startup has
raised $36 million.

Atlantas Pindrop Security raises series B round of US$35M to fight phone fraud
Pindrop Security announced that it raised US$35 million in a round led by Institutional Venture Partners. The
Atlanta-based company has been gaining traction in recent years with its acoustic fingerprinting technology that
lets it identify peoples voices, locations, and devices, which in turn helps it build a data set of fraudsters. Over six
billion individuals across the globe have access to a phone, yet there has been little security innovation in phone or
voice, said Somesh Dash, general partner at IVP, in a press release. Pindrop has revolutionized phone and call
center security and is poised for impressive growth. In addition to IVP, investors in the latest round include
Andreessen Horowitz, Citi Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Webb Investment Network. Most of
those firms had already invested in the $11 million round that Pindrop raised in June 2013. Large financial
institutions have traditionally invested heavily to protect themselves against physical and online attacks, but now the
bad guys have moved to the phone channel, said Paul Judge, Pindrops chairman, in the press release.

New round of US$117 million lands a lot of Taboola for content discovery platform
Thats a lot of Taboola, you might say. The company intends to invest the new funds into continuing to develop
cutting edge technology and tools, said CEO and founder Adam Singolda. He pointed out that the company is
heavily tech-oriented, with close to one hundred mathematicians and engineers roughly half of the team. The
goal this year is to push Taboolas tech into its next generation of personalization. In the past, Singolda has
mentioned his interest in expanding into recommendations for food, travel, and other categories. The funds will also
be used for global expansion, and for what he called inorganic growth opportunities. In August, the company
bought programmatic ad tech startup Perfect Market, so that automated ads could appear with recommended
content. This Series E round, which brings the total investment in Taboola to $157 million, was led by Fidelity
Management and Research, with participation from existing investors Marker LLC and Steadfast Capital and from
new investors that included Advance Publications, Comcast Ventures, Gruppo Editoriale LEspresso chairman Carlo
De Benedetti, Groupe Arnault, and Yahoo Japan.

Skimlinks raise US$16 million to bring comtent to the masses


Skimlinks, a content monetization platform for digital publishers, announced that the company has raised US$16
million in Series C financing. Frog Capital led the round, with participation from existing investors Bertelsmann
Digital Media Investments (BDMI), Greycroft, Sussex Place Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). To date,
Skimlinks has raised a total of $24 million in equity. Founded in 2007, Skimlinks creates native monetization
solutions for publishers, rewarding them for any e-commerce they drive by automatically turning product links and
references into trackable affiliate links. Integrated with more than 20,000 merchants, Skimlinks processes 300
million clicks a month on over 1.5 million sites on the web. In 2014, Skimlinks enjoyed 60 percent revenue growth
and was responsible for creating more than $625 million in sales for its retail partners. To support this growth,
Skimlinks expanded its team by 40 percent and opened a second office in the U.S., located in New York. With its
core technology in place for some time, the funding will help Skimlinks expand their offerings for helping publishers
to earn substantially more through content marketing. This Series C round, which was led by Frog Partners Joe
Krancki and Iyad Omari, marks Frog Capitals first investment in Skimlinks.

Goldman Sachs leads US$43M round in IT monitoring company ScienceLogic


ScienceLogic, a company with software for tracking the health of companies applications and underlying IT
infrastructure, is unveiling today a new US$43 million funding round. The Reston, Va.-based company has been
around since 2003, so its not exactly the hottest new startup around. But ScienceLogic does have a major new
investor to boast of: Goldman Sachs, which led the new round. Previous investors NEA and Intel Capital also
participated. The new money will give ScienceLogic the freedom to spend more on sales, marketing, geographical
expansion, and further product development. The nature and sheer size of the investment suggests that an exit
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might not be all that far off and that the companys technology stands to become more popular. And its a vote of
the confidence in companies in the business of IT operations management especially when it can provide a view
of cloud infrastructure alongside companies existing data center infrastructure. Other companies in the market
include HP, IBM, Solarwinds, and Zenoss. ScienceLogics customers include AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, Equinix,
Kellogg, and SAP. The company announced a $15 million funding round in 2012.

Accel Partners invests US$15M in KnCMiners to build a 16 nm processor


Cloud Bitcoin mining operation KnCMiners announced a new round of funding just five months after its last round.
Led by Accel Partners, KnCMiners raised US$15 million to fund a superprocessing 16-nanometer chip for its mining
servers. For comparison, Apples iPhone 6 and 6 Plus run on a 20-nanometer processor. The new chip has already
been taped out by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. KnC expects to be the first company to market
with this kind of technology. The new chip will mean KnC should be able to generate Bitcoin at a reliable rate.
Between the exorbitant cost of energy associated with mining Bitcoin and the price of Bitcoin hovering around $238,
some miners are no longer able to profit off their businesses. KnC, on the other hand, has an efficient data center in
Sweden where it processes Bitcoin. The addition of 16 nm chips will only make its process more profitable.
KnCMiners started out selling mining equipment to at-home miners. Late last year, however, the company caught
flack from some of its buyers for taking too long to send pre-ordered equipment. The company has since offered to
refund dissatisfied customers for unfulfilled or delayed orders. Its also gotten out of the equipment-selling business.
Existing investors Creandum, GP Bullhound, and angel investor Martin Wattin contributed to KnCMiners series B
funding.

TuneGo raises US$1.2M to help indie musicians find fans and record deals
Based in Las Vegas, TuneGo, a fledgling music discovery service for indie musicians, has raised US$1.2 million and
is planning the official launch of its platform for later this quarter. The idea is to provide a platform for independent
musicians to get their work in front of potential new fans and also to connect those musicians with producers and
record industry execs who can help them navigate the business. Each of those execs has their own portal on
TuneGo, where they can check out promising artists, check out their TuneGo score, and potentially make
connections with them. That TuneGo score is based on an algorithm that analyzes social network activity,
crowdsourced feedback, live event activity, published reviews, and more. The company claims that it can predict an
artists likelihood of success based on analyzing that data. Competition for this nascent company includes Reverb,
which connects fans and musicians, and TuneCore and CDBaby, which give musicians distribution platforms. For
digital distribution, most musicians probably count on more established players, like iTunes, Spotify, and
SoundCloud. The current round of funding comes from serial entrepreneur Chris Murray and Pasadena Angels
investor Kenny Kam.

AppDirect raises US$50M to power sales for SaaS companies


AppDirect raised US$50 million to grow its e-commerce platform that sells cloud products from the likes of
Samsung, Comcast, and Rackspace. Todays raise brings the companys total funding to $110 million. AppDirect is
a cloud-based marketplace featuring hundreds of software-as-a-service apps. It connects businesses and
consumers to the software theyre looking for and gives its clients a management system for handling billing,
distribution, and reselling services. The influx of cash couldnt come at a better time. The market for SaaS products
is growing and growing fast (if the Hortonworks IPO is any indication). As that market grows, [co-CEOs] Nicolas
[Desmarais] and Daniel [Saks] have put AppDirect on track to turn their early wins into a durable franchise, said
Peter Thiel, chairman of Mithril Capital Managements investment committee, in a statement. The company has
plans to expand its employee base in Munich and Montreal, as well as open a new office in the San Francisco Bay
area. AppDirect is also eyeing areas of Latin America and Asia and expects its staff to grow to over 300 people total
in 2015. Mithril led the round, which saw participation from investors Henry Kravis and Paul Fribourg, as well as the
Foundry Group, iNovia Capital, and StarVest Partners. AppDirect last raised money in April 2014.

Yelp acquires online food ordering service Eat24 for US$134M in cash and stock
Yelp has acquired Eat24, an online food ordering service and long-time Yelp partner. The deal, which has already
closed, is valued at US$134 million and amounts to $75 million in cash and 1.4 million shares of common stock.
Founded in 2008, Eat24 competes with the GrubHub Seamless food ordering monolith. Eat24s 2013 deal with Yelp,
where it added an ordering widget to various restaurant pages, gave the service a fighting chance against larger
competitors. Following this deal, Yelp and Eat24 will only get closer. Yelp chief Jeremy Stoppelman says he plans to
further integrate with Eat24 to enhance our user experience [allowing] our large consumer audience to transact
directly with businesses. In the same statement, Stoppelman called online ordering a key vertical for Yelp. This
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news means quite a bit for Yelp, which has largely sustained itself on advertising, with mixed results. Its noteworthy,
however, that Yelp is in no way giving up the ad business in fact, it will apparently increase its sales staff by 40
percent this year. In other news, Eat24 only yesterday announced a deal with Sidecar Sidecar will power some of
Eat24s food deliveries in California.

Parklet lands US$1.5M so more new employees can get up to speed


Every new employee needs to get into the swing of things, ranging from required paperwork to the new companys
traditions. Startup Parklet specializes in easing that task, and the San Francisco-based firm announced its first
outside investment a US$1.5 million seed round so it can help companies onboard and culturally integrate more
new workers. The platform accomplishes this by automating documentation, syncing employee data across their
systems, creating role specific workflows, and making digital versions of their orientation and training documents.
Documentation can include W-4s, required signatures, basic employee info, and a dynamically revised
organizational chart. The round was led by Jason Lemkin of Storm Ventures, and Greylock Ventures Joseph
Ansanelli and Sarah Guo. There were also investments from Facebook cofounder Andrew McCollum, Radius CEO
and cofounder Darian Shirazi, and KISSMetrics cofounder Hiten Shah, as well as FundersClub, Winklevoss Capital,
and Western Technology Investment.

ClusterHQ gets US$12M to help devs stick their databases in containers


Startup ClusterHQ isnt really concerned with accumulating revenue right now. And yet, investors have just given the
startup US$12 million. Thats because ClusterHQ is currently trying to become a leading startup in the nascent
movement to package up application code inside of Linux containers a supplement or alternative to longstanding
virtual machine technology for running multiple applications on top of each physical server. Containers are perceived
to be more lightweight than virtual machines, and several companies have begun to adopt the technology. A startup
called Docker is at the helm of the container movement. But not all application components can easily be run from
containers and then moved around from one server to another. Databases in particular can be tricky for the
container model, and thats what ClusterHQ is focused on. Chief executive Mark Davis wants to increase the
adoption of an open-source tool called Flocker that ClusterHQ came out with last year. Davis last startup, Virsto, got
bought by VMware in 2013. ClusterHQ started in 2008 and pivoted to focus on Docker last year. Its headquarters is
Davis spare bedroom in Los Altos, California. Most of the startups employees work in the English city of Bristol.
Accel Partners led the new round. Canaan Partners and previous investors also participated. To date ClusterHQ has
raised $15 million.

With US$5M in tow, Eero will make your Wi-Fi better cover your entire house not just one corner
People struggle to get adequate Wi-Fi coverage throughout their homes all the time, but Eero, a new startup from
San Francisco is building a gadget that could help solve that. And it announced that after it raised US$5 million in
funding last summer, preorders for its product are now open. Eeros pod-shaped devices, a new take on the range
extender, use mesh networking and Bluetooth to connect and extend your network. You can get just one or multiple
(Eero recommends three to cover a typical home). The first connects to your modem, while the others only need a
power outlet as they connect to each other via mesh networking via the two radios built inside. The Eero devices are
also equipped with Bluetooth chips, and thats the key to Eeros bigger vision. Although they currently only serve to
connect with Eeros companion smartphone app, the company will eventually enable the devices to connect to other
Bluetooth-equipped devices. First Round Capital led the round, with Stanford University, Menlo Ventures, AME
Cloud Ventures, Homebrew Ventures, Alexis Ohanian, and Garry Tan also participating.

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Europe

Sigfox raises Frances biggest VC round ever at US$115M to expand its IoT wireless network
Sigfox, a startup based in the southwest corner of France, has raised US$115 million to fund a global expansion of
its wireless network that is dedicated to connecting Internet of Things devices. That amount tops the $100 million
raised by Paris ride-sharing leader BlaBlaCar last summer, a round that at the time was considered the biggest ever
in French history. The $115 million round not only will accelerate Sigfoxs growth, but it should cement its place at
the top of any list of Europes hottest startups. This funding will demonstrate that we can work with other partners to
provide a network that will help us achieve our vision of a world with more connected devices, said Sigfox chief
executive Ludovic Le Moan in an interview. It was not easy when we started to raise this round because we didnt
know what the market would be like. The French government has identified the IoT sector in general as an area of
strength for the countrys startups, focusing on hardware, software and the networks that will enable a growing
number of connected devices to communicate. Le Moan said he hopes to hire another 100 employees over the next
year. The latest round of financing will fund new hiring as well as additional expansion of that network. Investors in
the latest round include Spains Telefonica, Frances GDF Suez and Japans NTT DOCOMO Ventures.

Construction-oriented startup GenieBelt reels in around US$800K


GenieBelt, a Danish construction-focused startup, has announced that they have obtained around $US800K (700K
Euro) in funding from former JustEat CEO Klaus Nyengaard and OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl. Including the $500K
that the company raised back in 2013, external funding for GenieBelt now totals roughly $1.3 million. GenieBelt CEO
and co-founder Gari Nickson says that the company intends to use this latest investment to improve existing
modules, scale to all platforms, develop additional features, and to take on more of the value chain. GenieBelt
publicly launched in November 2014 as a collaboration platform geared specifically towards construction firms. The
platform allows users to keep track of various projects, check the status of tasks, access a directory of workers,
records actions, receive notifications, and communicate internally. Geniebelt is available on the web and for iOS,
while an Android app is in development. The startup operates on a freemium model, charging admin users 190
British pounds monthly per user for those who wish to access advanced features. While we do not have information
about the companys userbase, the startup reported in November that they have begun to generate revenue.

Rocket Internet buys 100% of Kuwaiti Talabat for US$170.85M


Germanys Rocket Internet seems focused on growing very aggressively via acquisitions across the world. Only a
week after it bought 30% of Delivery Hero and the entire shares in Spanish and Italian leaders, Berlin-based
incubator-investor has now acquired 100% of Kuwaiti Talabat, the leading food delivery platform in the country and
the surrounding region. The transactions pertaining to the deal will be closed in few week, according to a press
release. Talabat will also be integrated into Global Online Takeaway Group, which was formed simultaneously with
the recent acquisitions. Headquartered in Kuwait, Talabat is one of the major players delivering food in MENA
region, operating also in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. It claims around 1300
restaurants across the region, including fast food chains like KFC and Burger King. Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket
Internet said: The online food takeaway sector is currently undergoing tremendous change. With the newly created
Global Online Takeaway Group, Rocket Internet is at the forefront of consolidating the key markets in one of the
most attractive online sectors. The Middle East is one of the most attractive markets with significant growth potential
and highly attractive EBITDA margins. The acquisition of Talabat.com is another important step in our long-term
global Food & Groceries strategy.

Spanish startup Finanzarel takes in about US$797K in new funding


Spanish startup Finanzarel, which has developed a platform to allow companies to crowdfund their invoices, has
announced that they have raised US$797,300 (700,000 euros) in funding from undisclosed foreign VCs and local
backers. The company plans to use the funding towards improving the platform and boosting their marketing efforts.
As a part of the deal, Jose Maria Ayala, former chairman of the Official Credit Institute, will be joining the companys
board of directors. The service allows companies to auction off their invoices to private investors, with Finanzarel
generating revenue by taking 0.25% on each invoice monthly. The platform is primarily geared towards SMEs in
need of working capital, offering them the ability to trade credits to investors (they explain the concept in greater
detail, but you will, unfortunately, need to know Spanish or use Google Translate to get the entire picture). The
startup launched last year and reports that they have thus far received credit requests totalling 10 million euros.

Rocket-backed Lamudi raises about US$18M to grow further in Asia and Latin America
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Real estate classifieds web site Lamudi has raised around US$18million (16 million) to further grow in Asia and
Latin America. It has also decided to merge all its businesses in these two regions in one company Lamudi Global.
The round is led by came from Asia Pacific Internet Group, which is a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo,
and contributed by Holtzbrinck Ventures and Tengelmann Ventures. The fresh funds came only two weeks after the
company announced the addition of four new countries in its network of markets. Lamudis Global Co-Founder, Kian
Moini, said Since Lamudis foundation, our goal has been to build the biggest real estate platform in the emerging
markets. In less than two years, we have created a comprehensive online database for house-hunters that stretches
from the Philippines to Peru. The international network that operates mainly in emerging markets has therefore
expanded its portfolio for classifieds business to 32 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin
America. The Berlin-headquartered marketplace has raised $7 million investment earlier last year to expand in Asian
markets. Lamudi claims to be the leader property classifieds platform in Bangladesh and Myanmar, with strong
presence in its Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia through 2014.

Israel

Microsoft acquires Israeli digital pen company N-trig for US$200M


Just six months after Israeli company N-trig successfully lured Microsoft as a client, the global giant will gobble up
the smaller company outright, acquiring it for a reported US$200 million. N-trig creates both touch screens and
digital pens to go with them. Despite having top-of-the-line technology and signing big-name clients like Microsoft,
Acer, Dell, Toshiba, HP, Sony, Lenovo and HTC, the company has always struggled to turn a profit. Founded in
1999 by Dr. Meir Morag, the company has raised $160 million in ten rounds of financing. But with only $12 million in
equity and $5 million in cash, the buyout will not result in significant profits for investors. In 2014, the company tried
to issue an IPO at a valuation that was lower than the amount it had raised from investors and received a going
concern warning. In October, the company cancelled its IPO. But in August, Microsoft switched its pen technology
provider from Japans Wacom (which has 80 percent of the market) to N-trig. Microsoft also had acquired a stake in
the company and reportedly accounted for 79 percent of its revenue. N-trigs stylus is sold with Microsofts Surface
Pro 3 tablet.

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