Find out more about the latest companies we invested in as well as the latest initiatives and events by Singtel Innov8 right here in this section.
Singapore, 9 January 2015 – Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL), NUS Enterprise and Singtel Innov8 have together set up Block 71 San Francisco, a US-based co-working space to strengthen ties between start-up ecosystems in Singapore and the US. Singapore tech companies exploring business opportunities in the US can leverage this facility to better understand the US market, ‘set up shop' and expand their network into the tech community.
In addition, Block 71 San Francisco will provide opportunities for US-based entrepreneurs, companies and investors to find out more about Singapore and Southeast Asian markets, through networking events, talks by experts from Southeast Asia and other community activities.
The space in San Francisco builds upon the success of Blk71 in Singapore. Established in 2011, Blk71 in Singapore is home to a growing tech start-up community, having transformed from an old industrial estate into a key hub for high growth, innovation-driven technology start-ups in Southeast Asia. NUS Enterprise, Singtel Innov8 and the Media Development Authority were instrumental in this transformation, having set up a strategic incubation programme within Blk71. IIPL is an active investor and strong advocate of the Blk71 community, having partnered with professional accelerators to scale the development of promising and innovative young tech start-ups.
"Block 71 San Francisco is ideally located within the South of Market area, which is a dynamic, up-and-coming area for the technology start-up community. We are happy to be partnering two of Singapore's iconic investment entities, Singtel Innov8 and IIPL to extend Singapore's entrepreneurship community into the San Francisco Bay area. This is also a public-private-IHL sector partnership and we hope to see more such collaborations in the future," explained Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.
"The setup of Block 71 San Francisco strengthens our role as an ecosystem builder to help local innovation driven tech start-ups scale fast and tackle important global challenges. Our partnership with NUS Enterprise and Singtel Innov8 is timely as Singapore is placing increasing emphasis on growing a culture and mindset of experimentation. It is no doubt that the Bay Area houses some of the best tech talents and community and we want to provide the collaborative space for our local tech start-ups to churn big ideas and push the boundaries further," said Dr Alex Lin, Head of Infocomm Investments.
"In our four years of operation, there's been a steady increase of US-based companies and venture funds looking to access the Southeast Asian (SEA) market. Likewise, SEA-based start-ups and venture funds are looking towards Silicon Valley. Beyond funding, Singtel Innov8's mission is also to nurture and develop a vibrant innovation ecosystem in the region. Block 71 San Francisco will help create synergies for the greater ecosystem," said Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8.
San Francisco's high tech magnet, South of Market, was chosen to site the facility due to its increasing vibrancy as the home to major software and tech companies' headquarters as well as young, up-and-coming tech start-ups. There is also a strong investor and accelerator community in the neighbourhood that provides mentoring and coaching to help shape the start-ups that the market needs.
The facility will be available to companies supported by the IIPL, NUS Enterprise and Singtel Innov8. Block 71 San Francisco has co-working space, brainstorming rooms and a gathering area for community events. NUS Enterprise will manage the co-working space, while the three parties will organise regular community events for Singapore and US-based tech companies, professionals, students, investors to explore business opportunities, network and exchange knowledge. IIPL and Singtel Innov8 also have offices within the facility, to provide backing and support to Singapore-based tech start-ups.
In support of this venture, SPRING Singapore's Executive Director for Innovation & Start-ups, Mr Edwin Chow said, "It is important for technology entrepreneurs to adopt an international mindset from day one, and strive to take their business global. Block 71 San Francisco will be a useful, value-adding base for Singapore start-ups to grow in the US. A strong business relationship between the Singapore and US entrepreneurship communities will yield mutual benefit. We wish IIPL, NUS Enterprise and Singtel Innov8 all the best in their initiative".
Interested start-ups can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ninja Blocks, makers of the home automation product of the same name, today announced a US$700K investment from local and international investors including Singtel Innov8, Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups.
Ninja Blocks started in 2012 after selection into the high profile Australian startup incubator Startmate. The company has since gone on to become a leader in the burgeoning smart home industry. Ninja Blocks plans to use the investment to propel the launch of their next product - the Ninja Sphere and scale up their sales and marketing efforts globally.
Ninja Blocks CEO Daniel Friedman said: "We're thrilled at the opportunity to work with such a high calibre group of investors on the upcoming launch of the Ninja Sphere. The early success of our first product, the Ninja Block, opened our eyes to the scope and possibilities of home intelligence. What started as a simple idea has grown into a product we believe has true global appeal. Today's investment will help with the first step towards realising this goal."
The big difference between the Ninja Sphere and other smart home products is that it learns about the user, and their environment. It uses data from sensors and actuators to build a model that can inform users if something is out of place. It can monitor temperature, lighting, energy usage, people or a pets' presence, and anything else connected to the Ninja Sphere. By combining all this data the Ninja Sphere is the first device able to deliver truly intelligent control of the home.
Niki Scevak from Blackbird Ventures said "The team gave us an early sneak peek at the Ninja Sphere and we were simply blown away. The combination of sensors, gesture controls and intelligence put the Ninja Sphere is a league of its own. It's not really about home automation anymore it's all about home intelligence, that's where we see the next frontier. We believe Ninja Blocks have the right team and product to become the industry leader."
Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 added "We are excited about Ninja Blocks' vision to make homes smarter. With Ninja Blocks' product and team, they have the opportunity to make a significant impact in this emerging space."
Initially the company will focus on the US market with the launch of a San Francisco office in early 2015. Daniel adds: "Our focus right now is on making the Ninja Sphere a household name in the US. To achieve this we will be setting a local presence, expanding the local team and focusing on delivering home experiences that feel truly magical."
CAMPBELL, Calif. (August 5, 2014) – Bitglass, a leader in data protection for the enterprise, today announced it has secured $25 million in Series B funding. New investors include a large global bank and Singtel Innov8, the venture investing arm of Singtel Group, Asia's leading communications group with over 500 million mobile customers. Existing investors NEA and Norwest participated in the round. Scott Sandell, general partner and head of NEA's technology investing practice, will join Bitglass' board of directors.
The capital infusion, which brings Bitglass' total funding to date to $35 million, will be used to expand sales, marketing and technology development of Bitglass' Total Data Protection solution. Bitglass offers the industry's most complete solution, securing corporate data in the cloud, at access and on mobile devices.
"Data security takes center stage in this era of cloud and mobile," said Jeff Karras, managing director of Singtel Innov8. "Bitglass is a leader in the US and we look forward to helping them gain global momentum."
Since emerging from stealth in January 2014, Bitglass has enjoyed strong demand for its Total Data Protection solution. The company currently enables customers in every major vertical, including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing and transportation to secure BYOD and cloud applications such as Google Apps, Salesforce, Microsoft 365 and Box.
"We are honored to attract capital from investors with a first-hand understanding of the markets we serve," said Nat Kausik, CEO of Bitglass. "The fresh capital will enable us to accelerate innovation and growth."
Bitglass' 2014 Cloud Adoption Report found that security continues to be the number one inhibitor to cloud and mobile adoption in the enterprise. Bitglass has delivered several disruptive innovations that are enabling enterprises to easily adopt the mobile devices and cloud apps that their business needs, including the following:
Cloud encryption – Bitglass enables enterprises to adopt public cloud apps while storing data encrypted in their own private cloud. Bitglass' patent-pending searchable full-strength encryption technology has been vetted by leading cryptographers.
Clientless BYOD security –Bitglass secures corporate data on any device with no software agents or profiles.
Data tracking and visibility – Bitglass' data-centric security embeds protection directly into the data, and automatically tracks, encrypts, and redacts sensitive corporate data based on policy and context.
User experience – Bitglass is completely transparent to end users allowing them to access corporate data the way that they normally do, without worrying about whether IT is monitoring their personal communications.
POKKT (Pocket), an alternate monetization platform for App Developers and Publishers, and part of GSF Accelerator's first batch in Mumbai, announces its Series A funding of US$2.5 million led by JAFCO Asia, the venture capital firm headquartered in Singapore, with participation from Singtel Innov8, and existing investors Jungle Ventures and K Ganesh.
A year ago, POKKT raised a seed round from Jungle Ventures and Samir Bangara.
POKKT was founded by Rohit Sharma, Ex-CEO, Digital Business Reliance ADA along with ex-colleagues Vaibhav Odhekar and Sharad Ingule. POKKT is helping App developers and Publishers solve their two biggest challenges today - "Discovery" & "Monetization". Using its Android, iOS and Windows SDK, App owners can see significant increase in monetization, which is over and above to what developers are already making through Ads.
Sharma said "In the past year, we have built a great team, got good traction from Publishers & Advertisers and focused on building a world class product & technology. With this round of funding we want to scale up the business, expand to more than 5000 developers globally and launch more products to help developers get their apps discovered and monetized."
He added that POKKT has also launched "Pocket Money", its consumer facing App in July, which will help App developers acquire customers in a targeted way.
Sharma added, that in partnering with JAFCO Asia and Singtel Innov8 for its funding round, POKKT will gain significantly from their extensive network in South East Asia as POKKT plans to quickly expand to those markets as well.
"The emerging markets in SEA is at the cusp of explosion in mobile advertising. POKKT serves a pressing need for the ecosystem and is well-positioned to capture the growing mobile advertising dollars. We are very impressed with the POKKT team's passion and speed of execution and excited about this partnership," said Supriya Singh from JAFCO Asia, who will be joining POKKT's Board.
Mr. Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8 further added "We believe that the team at POKKT is solving a genuine pain point for app developers and publishers. The platform also provides mobile app users more flexibility over how they consume digital contents/apps and advertisers a new marketing channel, creating a winning solution for all stakeholders."
Amit Anand, Managing Partner, Jungle Ventures concluded "We are excited about this new phase of growth for POKKT. The team has the product set and traction to be a regional category leader in the mobile advertising space"
New York, NY, May 28, 2014 - DemystData, a software provider that harnesses Big Data and predictive analytics to deliver information to financial services clients, has closed USD$5 million in Series A funding from Arbor Ventures, Singtel Innov8, Notion Capital, P2P Equity Partners, and Wonga Founder Errol Damelin. Existing investors in DemystData were Accion Venture Lab and Arbor Ventures. The funding will be used to grow the team and continue global expansion.
Financial institutions around the world struggle to access consumer and small business data, but data is increasingly available. DemystData software allows clients to bring together large volumes of online, social, telecommunications, and internal company data, in real-time, to create accurate and easy to use customer profiles. This allows DemystData clients to make better decisions. DemystData technology has now processed more than 30 million profiles for its financial clients globally.
"Big Data is booming; but data access, integration, cleansing, and interpretation is a real pain point for most financial institutions. That's all we do," commented Mark Hookey, Founder and CEO of DemystData. "DemystData software delivers enhanced consumer and small business risk information to augment existing systems and help clients say ‘Yes' more often."
DemystData's clients include some of the largest online, peer-to-peer, automotive, and working capital lenders in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as leading banks from across Asia Pacific.
"DemystData delivers fast, low-cost risk decision making across a wide range of clients. The service is providing great results with tremendous growth potential that we're excited to support," added Stephen Chandler, Managing Partner at Notion Capital.
"We believe DemystData's innovative technology platform's handle on unstructured data will benefit not only financial institutions but other industries such as telecommunications," added William Bao Bean, Managing Director of Singtel Innov8, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Singtel Group.
"Big Data is more than just a headline; it's delivering real value to financial institutions seeking to deepen market reach while lowering cost and risk by harnessing the power of non-traditional data." commented Melissa Guzy, DemystData Board Member and Managing Director of Arbor Ventures.
Having closed this new round of funding, DemystData plans to expand its team of client Data Scientists to meet increasing demand from banks and alternative lenders, as well as invest in new data partnerships to further enhance its leading API technology globally.
SINGAPORE, 24 April 2014 – KAI Square (KAI), a Singapore-based company offering Video-Analytics-as-a-Service (VAaaS), announced today it had secured S$4m in Series B financing from Ingrasys Technology (Ingrasys), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Foxconn Technology Group, and Singtel Innov8 (Innov8). The funds will be used to fuel product development of new video analytic applications onto its cloud-based platform and market expansion outside of Singapore. The additional funding will also allow for product expansion of its home based solution targeted at family safety in late 2014.
CCTVs have traditionally been used for passive surveillance, but KAI has transformed and unleashed untapped value in these videos. The company's flagship product "KAI Unified Platform" helps business owners, such as retailers, analyze video footages and gain deep insights about their businesses in real time. With a subscription-based model, easy setup, and cutting edge analytics capabilities, retailers are now able to get real-time marketing data about their customers' profiles and shopping habits anytime and anywhere, thereby enabling retailers to improve their service quality and drive up their bottom line.
Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8, commented "There is valuable information in everyday videos. KAI is at the forefront of developing capabilities in video analytics and the recent VAaaS product launch with Singtel has helped Singtel offer to its customers additional capabilities with everyday video. We are excited to be able to support KAI as they expand into new markets by leveraging Singtel Group's experiences, go-to-market capabilities, and strong industry network."
"We have been working closely with KAI in terms of cloud storage solution and hardware supply," Mr Ed Wu, CEO of Ingrasys, mentioned. "Ingrasys has been focusing on fields of cloud computing application, intelligent surveillance, big data platform, and has been a global leading developer in the segment. The investment is strategic for Ingrasys and win-win for both companies. Together with KAI, we will be able to provide additional value through video analytics for the customers."
"We are honored to have Innov8 and Ingrasys as our strategic investors. It is an affirmation of the vision that KAI Square is pursuing," added Dr Neo Shi Yong, CEO of KAI Square. "This strategic investment and partnership will enable us to expand into new markets and territories with access to Singtel Group, through Innov8, and enhance our product development with the leading edge technology Ingrasys brings."
Singapore, 9 April 2014 – Startups in Asia Pacific will now get more help entering new markets across the region, with the launch of Innov8Sparks today. A first of its kind in the region, Innov8Sparks is a network of technology startup support initiatives, from the Singtel Group and its regional mobile associates.
Founding members of Innov8Sparks include Singtel Innov8, AIS The Startup, Kickstart Ventures, Optus-Innov8 Seed, and Telkomsel "Teman-Dev". More information on these members can be found here.
With the formation of this network, supported startups will benefit from the assistance of Innov8 Sparks' member programmes to expand outside their home markets, into Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. This is unique to Innov8 Sparks.
For example, supported startups of Innov8 Sparks member programmes moving into regional markets will be provided working space, introductions to local partners and startup communities, as well as local market information and resources. Expanding beyond local shores is never easy for startups in the region, but the head-start provided by Innov8 Sparks members will help increase their chances of success.
Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8, said "The formation of Innov8Sparks will help accelerate the growth of the startup industry and technology innovation in the Asia Pacific region. With our added ability to foster cross-border collaboration and cross-pollination of portfolio startups across the group, it will now be easier for startups to launch their new offering quickly and successfully."
Mr Dustin Cheng, CEO of ZAP, added "Entering new markets is especially hard for a startup. ZAP has benefited from new connections to both investors and partners in new markets provided by Kickstart Ventures across the Singtel Group. With the network now being formalised, many other startups will be able to experience these benefits too."
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 8, 2014) – Neura (http://www.theneura.com), a leading early stage technology company focused on connecting the Internet of Things (IoT), announced today it has secured $2 million in funding, led by venture capital firm Greenhouse Capital Partners, alongside Singtel Innov8 Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, TriplePoint Ventures, and prominent angel investors, including Ben Narasin and Isaac Applbaum. Neura is a graduate of Silicon Valley based accelerator UpWest Labs.
The funds will be used to further fuel the development of Neura's groundbreaking technology, which enables connected devices to offer a responsive and personal user experience by understanding an individual's patterns and behaviors. Additionally, Neura acts as a connective tissue that bridges devices, locations, people and the web, allowing devices to communicate with one another.
According to Gartner, Inc., the Internet of Things installed base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020. In the era of connectivity and interoperability, Neura aims to create key solutions that help devices communicate, correlate data, and intuitively adapt to individuals' needs.
"Currently, devices available within the marketplace don't correspond to their owners or to one another, with zero contextual understanding and adaptive learning abilities" said Gilad Meiri, CEO of Neura. "This funding will allow our team to finally develop the solution in which devices are empowered with intelligence and cooperate to understand the human element behind behavioral patterns."
"Neura represents one of the most exciting opportunities we have seen," said Peter D. Henig, Managing Partner with Greenhouse Capital Partners, and board member of Neura. "The combination of a wide open market within IoT, exceptional technology created by a sophisticated team of experienced entrepreneurs and engineers, and the opportunity to apply connectivity, big data, and intelligence all within one ecosystem clearly represents the future of connected devices."
The creation of Neura's technology comes at a time when the IoT industry is proliferating exponentially. GSM Association, which oversees mobile phone standards, predicts that machine-to-machine connections will grow from 195 million connections to 250 million - or 22% - by the end of 2014. By 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology is estimated to be as much as $6.2 trillion, primarily from devices in the healthcare ($2.5 trillion) and manufacturing ($2.3 trillion) spaces, according to The McKinsey Institute.
"The world has just begun to experience the vast potential IoT will deliver. Areas such as safety, healthcare, and security, will be enormously disrupted by IoT-fueled solutions," said Eitan Bek, General Partner at Pitango Venture Capital. "The Neura team has developed a robust platform that has proven significant potential, and we are pleased to help accelerate their company's success."
Los Angeles, California - The Walt Disney Co has agreed to buy Maker Studios, one of YouTube's largest networks, for $500 million, a deal that makes Disney a major online video distributor and should help draw more teens into the Disney entertainment empire.
The price tag could rise to $950 million if Maker hits certain performance milestones, Disney said, confirming what a source told Reuters earlier on Monday.
Maker, founded in 2009, is one of the largest video production networks on Google Inc's YouTube. Its producers target the younger millennial generation, known for its high appetite for online video.
"This gives a presence online to reach the millennial group that is increasingly getting its video online," said Kevin Mayer, Disney executive vice president for corporate strategy. "And it gives us a lot of data to help promote our other businesses to them."
The deal will be "mildly dilutive" to earnings per share through fiscal 2017, Mayer said. Disney's fiscal year closes at the end of September.
Maker helps produce and distribute videos to more than 380 million subscribers worldwide across more than 55,000 channels. Its videos now collectively garner some 5.5 billion views every month, according to the source.
The company, whose backers include Time Warner Investments, Upfront Ventures and Greycroft Partners, is partners with PewDiePie, the online persona of 24 year-old video gamer Felix Kjellberg. Kjellberg has more than 25 million subscribers and is YouTube's single most-subscribed star.
"Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
The deal is expected to close in Disney's third fiscal quarter.
SAN FRANCISCO and BEIJING – December 9, 2013 – Yodo1, Beijing-based publisher and platform provider for mobile games, today announced $11 million in Series B financing led by GGV Capital, a leading venture capital firm that invests in the US and China. Existing investor, Singtel Innov8 along with new investors Pavilion Capital and Iris Capital joined the round. The Company has raised $18 million since its founding in 2011.
As one of the first platforms to help Western mobile developers crack China's mobile games market of over 500 million users, Yodo1 will use the funding to strengthen its core business and support strategic expansion into the world's top smartphone markets. The Company's priority will be Japan and Korea, which are ranked first and second respectively for Google Play mobile revenue by country. Like China, both countries are difficult for outside developers to penetrate due to language and cultural barriers, native social network ecosystems and differing monetization models. As a first step in this expansion, Yodo1 has established a new production studio in Seoul to extend its co-production publishing model in the Korean market.
"Our games studio partners have been quick to embrace our co-production model and have grown with us to reach an active user base of more than 90 million mobile gamers in China, up 750% from 2012," said Yodo1 co-founder and CEO Henry Fong. "Now we're ready to tackle the world with globally tuned investors and developers who are eager to expand with us into new markets."
With over 30 games chart topping games over the past year and more than 10 million new users per month, Yodo1 is well positioned to accelerate its growth momentum by expanding to the global markets, in addition to continued growth of the China smartphone market with a projected 800 million install base in 2014.
"The convergence of mobile internet across global markets represents a dramatic growth opportunity. Yodo1 recognized this early on by bringing together Western developers and Asian gamers. Today, they are in a unique position to leverage this trend to expand throughout Asia and other top smartphone markets – and we are proud to invest in their growth," said Jenny Lee, partner, GGV Capital.
AUSTRALIA, 17 October 2013 - From today, tech innovators around Australia can now apply for funds, resources and support all year round from Optus‐Innov8 Seed, an early‐stage investment collaboration between Optus and Singtel Innov8. This change from a bi‐yearly application model, along with showcase events for startups launching in December 2013, will provide more chances for entrepreneurs to get a leg up that could shoot them into startup stardom.
Open for business all year round
With an application process now open throughout the year, innovators around the country can apply for funding when they're ready.
Peter Huynh, Director, Optus‐Innov8 Seed said, "Through feedback from the startup community, we're evolving the Optus‐Innov8 Seed model to offer support to startups when they need it."
"Early‐stage entrepreneurs have immediate needs for funding and support. Now we're open all year long, startups now have the freedom to approach us when the timing is right for them."
Bringing the startup ecosystem closer
Forming networks and relationships is crucial to hitting the big time, so Optus‐Innov8 Seed is launching a series of showcase events to help startups meet key industry players. Bringing early‐stage startups together with corporates, investors and fellow innovators in a casual setting will look to spark some useful connections that could lead to partnerships, investments and future opportunities.
Peter said, "In working with early‐stage startups over the last 18 months, we've really come to understand their priorities. The Optus‐Innov8 Seed showcase events aim to get key industry players together to connect and hopefully form fruitful business relationships. The reality is that for startups, customers and partners are just as important as funding."
"There are already some fantastic incubators, accelerators and co‐working spaces in Australia. We think the best way Optus can contribute is to provide opportunities for the community to come together."
The showcase events will commence in December this year, with each focusing on specific investment themes. The first will look at how the new digital age of innovation impacts the way we learn.
121cast and VenueMob move forward with Optus‐Innov8 Seed
Two startups going places are 121cast and VenueMob, both supported by Optus Innov8 Seed.
Company Raises Total of $61 Million in Series C. Investors Include Canal +, Astro, Singtel Innov8, Lakestar, Northgate Capital and Existing Investor Upfront Ventures
CULVER CITY, CALIF. – Sept. 12, 2013 – Maker Studios, a next-generation media company and the world's largest multi-channel network of online video content, today announced that it has completed the second and final part of its Series C financing. The second close of this round is $26 million and includes Canal +, Astro, Singtel Innov8, Lakestar, Northgate Capital and existing investor Upfront Ventures (formerly known as GRP Partners). The total raised in the Series C is $61 million.
The first part of Maker's Series C financing was led by Time Warner Ventures and included investments from Greycroft Partners; GRP Partners; Ynon Kreiz, Maker's executive chairman; Downey Ventures, the investment company for Robert Downey Jr.; Elisabeth Murdoch; FUEL: M+C, the investment company for John Miller and Jimmy Yaffe; Daher Capital; and Academy Award®-winning producer Jon Landau.
Today's news follows last week's announcement that Maker has acquired Blip, a leading technology platform for distribution of online video.
"Our objective is to expand our investor base to include major players in key international markets. With talent in more than 80 countries, our viewers outside the U.S. already account for more than half our total audience," said Ynon Kreiz, executive chairman of Maker Studios. "Our new partners will be instrumental in continuing our growth as a truly global media company. The new funding will allow us to further expand our team and executive talent globally, extend our technology offerings for content creators and brand partners, and establish our local footprint around the world."
Maker is the top producer and distributor of online programming worldwide, and partners with brands including Pepsi, Maybelline, Kia, Target and Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures.
Maker has more than 4 billion views online per month with 60,000+channels and more than 260 million subscribers. Maker also is home to many of online video's top digital stars and content including the all-time most-subscribed YouTube personality PewDiePie, KassemG, Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD's "Epic Rap Battles of History," the Shaytards, Snoop Dogg's WestFestTV, The Yogscast, The Gregory Brothers, Bad Lip Reading, Toby Turner and Mike Tompkins, among many others.
TOKYO and SAN FRANCISCO, September 2, 2013 – Rakuten, Inc. (4755:Tokyo), one of the world's largest internet services companies, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire global video streaming platform Viki. The acquisition represents a significant step forward for Rakuten as it continues to add to its digital content offerings and launch its internet services ecosystem into new markets.
Viki's totally unique business model creates new value for a global audience. Viki is a global TV and video site that uniquely brings primetime TV shows, movies, music videos and other premium video content to new audiences and opens up entirely new markets for content providers. Through its social TV and subtitling intellectual property, Viki's community of viewers have crowdsourced subtitles in more than 160 languages and translated more than 400 million words to date.
Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi (Mickey) Mikitani, commented on the deal:
"Viki is a one-of-kind company with an entirely unique approach to video streaming that is truly global and truly engaging. They are fast, agile, and highly mobile. Their smart and creative approach to bringing popular content to global audiences will enable Rakuten to move quickly into new markets around the world."
"There are a striking number of synergies and shared philosophies between our two businesses; the Viki model is built on a powerful community, focused on removing the language barriers that have traditionally trapped great content inside geographical borders. Since our foundation, Rakuten's focus too has been to open up great services, content and goods to a global community. Viki is a perfect complement to Rakuten's joint philosophies of Empowerment and Shopping IS entertainment." Razmig Hovaghimian, Viki CEO and co-founder, adds:
"Our vision is very well aligned with Rakuten's focus on building a borderless digital ecosystem. We've built a truly global TV platform, with and for the fans, allowing content owners to reach the world in any language."
The Viki model has allowed us to unlock a massive torso of untapped demand. While viewers get to enjoy great entertainment they never knew existed anywhere, anytime and in their language, content owners get to reach a globally fragmented market, and increase the size of their target market multiple-fold through localization. Focusing on both content providers and fans, has allowed us to reach traditional TV like ratings online, with top shows getting translated in more than 50 languages."
With Rakuten, we can now focus on building an entertainment ecosystem that also seamlessly allows viewers and content partners to jump across platforms, and interact with relevant Rakuten products and services seamlessly. I am thrilled to enter our next phase of growth as part of the Rakuten family, creating a service that competes with the largest industry players."
Setting the Stage for a Global Rakuten Ecosystem
With this acquisition, Rakuten plans to leverage Viki's global footprint, content and language analytics and community-first DNA to further expand the scope of its $16 billion internet services ecosystem. Rakuten and Viki expect exponential growth in Viki's primary revenue driver, selling advertising against its video content. Viki also syndicates select content and has the potential to launch new revenue models. At the same time, Viki can now leverage Rakuten's 85 million registered users in Japan and deep digital commerce and media experience to grow its user base in Japan and Europe.
Rakuten began its march into global digital content in 2012 when it acquired Kobo Inc., one of the world's fastest-growing eReading services that now offers 4-million eBooks, magazines and newspapers to customers in 190 countries. That same year, Rakuten welcomed Wuaki.tv, an innovative Europe-based video-on-demand and streaming service, which recently began its international expansion beyond Spain by offering customers in the UK its premier movie titles catalogue and unique hybrid payment model. Viki perfectly complements Wuaki.tv's front-line strategy and extends Rakuten's digital content offering to include international primetime and mid-and long-tail content from leading broadcasters and distributors.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Launched: December 2010
CEO and Co-Founder: Razmig Hovaghimian
Offices: San Francisco, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo
About Viki: Video
Users: 22 million+
Mobile app installs: 12 million+
Minutes viewed per day: 40 million+
Streams per year: 1 billion+
Viewer countries: 200
Regional strengths: North America, South America, Asia
Words subtitled: 400 million+
Subtitle languages: 160+
Content highlights: 14K+ hours of global prime-time content from 40+ global broadcasters
Investors: Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Neoteny Labs, SK Telecom, Singtel Innov8, BBCWorldwide, 500 StartUps
New York City - August 1, 2013 -
Singtel Innov8, the corporate VC arm of the Singtel Group, Asia's leading communications group, is investing $10 million in Fab. This is a particularly meaningful relationship for Fab. We are very pleased to have Singtel's insight as we explore our expansion plans in the Asia region. Fab is the place to discover the most exciting things in your life. Today, Fab sells in 28 countries
across North American and Europe. We are developing plans to bring the Fab lifestyle to Asian markets.
Singtel has a lot in common with Fab – they serve a growing young, and sophisticated population of consumers who are looking for lifestyle products to reflect their optimistic, dynamic and vibrant approach to life. That matches well with the predominantly 25-45-year-olds that come to Fab to browse and buy unique and compelling items that they'll live with in their homes, wear, and gift.
Jeff Karras, Managing Director of Singtel Innov8, said that, "Fab has a unique and growing business, and is exactly the kind of company Singtel looks to partner to best serve our customers in Asia. We are pleased to lend Singtel's market knowledge and networks to facilitate seamless connections between infrastructure, technology and customer reach as Fab continues to build their global lifestyle brand."
Since the last annoucement of the initial round of Series D financing (which now brings our total fundraising to $320 million), Fab has made huge strides in executing against our priorities and vision. We announced the centralization of our operations at our New York headquarters, underscoring our shift from a flash sales model to more of a comprehensive global online lifestyle shop. We have momentum, we have growth, we have a solid team in place, and we have millions of customers worldwide that we want to continue to fall in love with Fab.
More Series D investors will be announced in the coming weeks and months, and we've decided to share that news as it occurs, rather than hold to announce all at once. We believe that Singtel will be an integral part of creating a superior customer service experience in Asia and are pleased to welcome them as part of our Series D financing round.
MENLO PARK, Calif. – June 20, 2013 – Today, Tempo AI, creator of the breakthrough personal productivity app, Tempo Smart Calendar, is announcing a $10 million Series A investment to advance its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The round, led by Relay Ventures and Sierra Ventures, is aimed at improving the app's advanced AI and semantic learning machine to harness the massive quantities of calendar data and complex behavior patterns, creating personalized experiences that anticipate needs and complete tasks. To create a calendar that learns and improves with use, Tempo AI, an SRI International spin-off, leveraged AI research adjacent to the research that led to Siri.
The calendar is life's uber-dashboard to the "who, what, where, when and why" of the actions in one's day. Tempo Smart Calendar connects the dots by presenting all the information people need and then behaves like an assistant by making this information easily actionable right from the calendar. It was designed to be both beautiful and smart, saving time and eliminating hassles.
Common tasks are reduced to a single tap. Dial into conference calls, send a text when running late, check flight status or review an agenda—all without leaving the calendar. The new funding gives the Tempo team the ability to work on delivering solutions for more time-consuming tasks such as the complexities around scheduling meetings. Tempo AI could be used to enable attendees to know a person's precise location and calculate arrival time when someone is late, suggest a location that's midway between attendees or book more time when the schedule and travel time don't add up. Tempo is already the number one calendar for many people and will eventually become their go-to mobile assistant.
"We're on a mission to help people get more done by building a mobile assistant in the calendar that delights users with AI, picking up where Siri left off as the next evolution of assistants," said Raj Singh, CEO of Tempo AI. "We enhance massive amounts of data, and the calendar serves as the perfect framework because it has real context. It knows you, what you're doing, and where you're going. This is the future of big data engineering—to push the AI down into the individual bits of your calendar."
"Both the mobile calendar and the productivity category are just getting their first tastes of 'smart.' We think of AI as a layer across all apps, and Tempo is bringing it to the mobile calendar – from how we interact with it to what we expect," said Kevin Talbot, co-founder and managing partner at Relay Ventures. "What got us excited is that the calendar is just the beginning. Tempo is the perfect platform to connect all of the disparate content we have buried in our phones, infer intent and ultimately help us 'do' more."
Tempo Smart Calendar, the company's debut app, has seen tremendous traction since launching just four months ago. Tempo has applied AI to terabytes of data, including processing over 1 billion documents and enhancing over 100,000 unique conference call dial-in formats. It's a learning machine constantly improving its results. With one in five users now using Tempo as their default calendar, and users opening the app five times per day on average, the company is able to learn from this data to better understand, even anticipate, the actions most commonly made around meetings and calendar events.
Tempo AI has built a seasoned team of specialists from across the machine learning, artificial intelligence, and semantic search domains to tackle the computational challenges unique to assistant technologies. Kevin Talbot, Ben Yu, managing director of Sierra Ventures, and Norman Winarsky, vice president of SRI Ventures, have joined Tempo AI's Board of Directors. Winarsky is a leading authority on virtual personal assistant technology and was a co-founder and board member of Siri, an SRI spin-off company acquired by Apple in April 2010.
In addition to Relay Ventures and Sierra Ventures, this round includes participation from Tempo's previous investors in its $2.5M seed round, which was also led by Relay Ventures. These investors include Mayfield Fund, Horizon Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Singtel Innov8, Miramar Venture Partners, SRI International, Golden Venture Partners, Seavest Capital Partners, ENIAC Ventures, as well as angel investors Gaurav Garg (formerly of Sequoia Capital) and Peter Wagner (formerly of Accel Partners).
SINGAPORE, May 29, 2013 - TubeMogul announced that it successfully completed the second tranche of its Series C funding today. The funds will be used to expand the footprint of programmatic buying of video advertising throughout Asia.
TubeMogul is backed by venture capital from a diverse group of financial and media heavyweights from both Asia and the United States. This round of financing was led by Singtel Innov8, the corporate venture capital arm of the Singtel Group. Cross Creek Capital, a venture fund associated with Wasatch Advisors, also participated in this round along with existing investors Digital Advertising Consortium, Foundation Capital and Trinity Ventures.
"TubeMogul fits perfectly into our strategy of investing in top advertising companies that are poised for rapid growth in Asia," says Punit Chiniwalla, Director, Singtel Innov8. "We are impressed by the product and team on the ground and look forward to working more closely with the company."
The company plans to use the capital to ramp up information technology infrastructure and hires in a region where it is already seeing traction. In the past year, TubeMogul's offices in Singapore and Sydney have grown from having a handful of sales executives to full teams spanning account management, marketing, and operations and planning. In addition, TubeMogul Japan, which was launched in February and led by CEO Masahiro Kano, has already signed on with several of the country's leading advertisers, including Digital Advertising Consortium and Omnibus.
In line with its expansion, TubeMogul opened an office in Beijing today, headed by Director of Business Development Sven Rossbach. Previously, Mr. Rossbach helped Cadreon (Interpublic Group's trading desk) develop a presence in Asia, pioneering global technology partnerships. At TubeMogul, Mr. Rossbach's responsibility is simple: introduce Chinese brand marketers and publishers to the programmatic buying of video ads, and grow TubeMogul's presence.
"Our private investments are focused on high-growth, late-stage companies with the potential to become public companies and TubeMogul fits that bill," says Karey Barker, CFA, Managing Director at Cross Creek Capital. "TubeMogul will continue to see high growth as marketers adapt to changing consumer viewing habits."
"Partnering with best-in-class buying platform TubeMogul will help DAC continue to push the frontiers of real-time buying in Japan," said Hirotake Yajima, President and CEO at DAC. "The result creates a powerhouse for marketers looking to harness the persuasive power of video advertising." "TubeMogul is simplifying what was once a complex ecosystem for brand marketers and quantifiably delivering on their goals," says Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital. "We look forward to continued collaboration with the company."
"TubeMogul's singular focus on the intersection of branding and technology is resonating with marketers. In just over four years since Trinity first invested, TubeMogul has become an undisputed leader in programmatic brand advertising. We are delighted that TubeMogul is building a world-wide organization to bring its solution to marketers around the globe," says Ajay Chopra, General Partner at Trinity Ventures.
BEIJING/SAN FRANCISCO – April 16, 2013 – Yodo1 (www.yodo1.com), a leading publisher of Western smartphone games for China's 300 million+ iOS/Android market, has successfully raised $5 million in Series A funding. The funding will be used to meet incessant and continued demand from non-Chinese indie developers avid to enter the world's largest mobile game market.
This round was led by Singtel Innov8, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Singtel Group, with additional funding from original investor Chang You Fund. This announcement comes as Yodo1 reported 25 million active Chinese players of its many popular iOS and Android games, including Defiant Development's Ski Safari, XMG's Powder Monkeys, HandyGames' Clouds & Sheep, and Robot Entertainment's Hero Academy.
Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong notes that the company is experiencing exponential user growth, and incessant demand from Western developers eager to join its roster of partners. "So the challenge," as Fong puts it, "is keeping up with the demand from high quality studios." (See growth stats below.) This funding will expand Yodo1's production capacity to be able to work with more Western game companies, and build the company's platform and production team.
"Emerging markets such as China and Southeast Asia represent the most exciting prospects for mobile games developers," Fong explains, "with close to 1 billion mobile subscribers migrating from feature phones to smartphone handsets over the next 2 years." For that reason, he added, "the Singtel Group is a perfect partner for Yodo1, with over 450 million mobile subscribers across Southeast Asia and other high growth emerging markets, and growing."
Since publishing its first game in June 2012, Yodo1 has experienced strong user growth and engagement in China. Here's a sampling of relevant stats:
SINGAPORE/BANGKOK - 19 February 2013. Today ShopSpot Mobility announced the launch of its new mobile shopping platform. The ShopSpot platform, which will be offered on the iPhone first, brings fashion brands, retailers, trendsetters and offers together in one place to give consumers a more efficient and engaging experience when shopping on their mobile phones.
"In the past few years, e-commerce and mobile adoption have dramatically advanced in Asia, yet mobile commerce accounts for less than 11 percent of all online sales," said ShopSpot Co-Founder and CEO Natsakon Kiatsuranon. "Our goal is to become a dominant player in this space by creating products that fit into the behavior and requirements of the mobile consumer as well as the Asian retailer".
Launched first in Thailand, which is one of the fastest growing markets for mobile applications and services, the ShopSpot platform has information and products from hundreds of online retailers in categories such as fashion, beauty, gift, and gadget. The platform targets the fashion-savvy consumer who loves shopping and craving for a rich and intelligent browsing experience on their mobile.
"Over 25% of people in Southeast Asia own a smartphone. This means that one in four shoppers already have immediate access to an incredibly powerful device, no matter where they are. ShopSpot is leveraging that capability but is also making it more inspirational and fun with a fashion magazine meets social network style interface" said, Thomas Clayton, CEO of Sequoia backed mobile media company BubbleMotion, who also recently joined the Board of Advisors of ShopSpot.
The new iOS app launch also coincides with the ShopSpot revealing more details about its seed round. It received funding from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures under the Technology Incubator Scheme (TIS) of National Research Foundation, Singapore and Singtel Innov8. The Company has previously raised seed investments from a group of Thailand based angel investors led by Kris Nalamlieng and is one of the 11 startups graduating from the inaugural batch of the JFDI.Asia Innov8 Bootcamp.
Learn more at shopspotapp.com or download the ShopSpot iPhone App
Singapore – 11 December 2012 – "Where can I go for $200 this weekend?" Flocations PTE LTD, a popular online travel discovery tool, helping travelers answer that question, closed a pre-series round of funding, raising SGD 700,000 led by TNF Ventures. The investment is supported with additional capital from Singtel Innov8 and Singapore-based business angel Ben T Ball.
Flocations.com finds getaways and short-haul breaks for travelers in Southeast Asia, in a fun and interactive way. Flocations.com presents users with an interactive map comparing travel options based on price rather than the traditional date and destination. The funding allows Flocations.com to offer a new set of innovative features, integrating both hotel and flights into their search by price methodology.
Tudor Coman, Co-founder at Flocations.com, said: "This is an extremely exciting step for Flocations as this funding allows us to launch our new feature set that combine both hotels and flights into one price, in addition to the continuation and finance of operations across Asia Pacific. This means users can search for a whole vacation just by putting in their price and also lets them discover places they never even thought of within seconds!"
Shirley Wong, Managing Partner at TNF Ventures, said: "Flocations' targeted market of short haul travellers and their search-by-price methodology is what's powerful. It changes the paradigm of traditional travel search and tries to disrupt the travel market by targeting a niche market." Flocations graduated among the first batch of 11 start-up companies from the JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp earlier this year. It was one of two companies to be earmarked for investment by Singtel Innov8 immediately following the bootcamp demo day.
"We are excited about the innovation Flocations will bring to the travel space," said Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8. "Everyone loves a bargain and Flocations changes the way travellers discover vacation spots, enabling them to learn about places they never considered within a budget."
Mountain View, CA – 28 November 2012 – Everything.me (formerly DoAT), developer of an innovative HTML5-based dynamic mobile app platform, today announced it has secured $25 million in series C funding in a round led by the Silicon Valley-based venture team of Telefónica Digital. The latest round also includes investments from Singtel Innov8, Mozilla and previous investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), DFJTF, BRM Group and Horizons Ventures. The Israeli-based company will use the funding to expand its team and drive Everything.me's ongoing development.
Everything.me is powering a new paradigm for smartphones – changing them from "smart" to "dynamic." Rather than the static experience of today's smartphone, a dynamic phone adapts its offering of apps on the fly, matching the content and services a user needs with the most relevant apps available – whether locally or from the cloud. This shift bridges the gap between the web and applications on mobile. Apps appear on the screen according to user intent and are all instantly available and ready to use whether the user downloaded them or not. This dynamic platform enhances mobile OS and app store experiences by providing easy access to thousands of apps, games and services available on HTML5.
"Everything.me was started to harness the power of HTML5 and the openness of the web to disrupt the mobile industry," said Rami Kasterstein, CEO and Co-Founder, Everything.me. "We see this investment as evidence of the capabilities of fully-mobile web apps, which Everything.me provides to users at their fingertips, on demand. We are excited to be working with our new partners Telefónica, Singtel and Mozilla, who are driving innovation for consumers."
"Everything.me represents a significant breakthrough in bringing the power of the web to mobile," said Carlos Domingo, Director of Product Development & Innovation, Telefónica Digital. "We are committed to driving greater openness in mobile ecosystems which will in turn spur innovation. This is why we are such strong supporters of Firefox OS. The integration of Everything.me into Firefox OS will add a rich and compelling content experience for customers."
"Everything.me is aligned closely with Mozilla's mission and goals," said Jay Sullivan, VP, Products, Mozilla. "Like us, they are committed to using the power of the web to bring the mobile app experience to consumers, regardless of the platform, OS or browser used. We are excited to be working closely together to further the abilities of the HTML5, and to create an outstanding content experience on the Firefox OS."
"We are excited to be a part of the team at Everything.me," said Jeff Karras, Managing Director, Singtel Innov8. "Everything.me offers a fundamental change to the mobile experience providing access to a broad universe of mobile applications and unlocking the power of HTML5."
"Everything.me will change the way mobile users access and interact with mobile apps," said Tim Draper, Founder and Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Board Member, Everything.me. "Everything.me emerges in the intersection of apps, HTML5 and cloud, to connect people with the information and the functionality they want in a more agile manner. For developers, it provides an open web and multiplatform (HTML5) playground to innovate beyond the limitations of the existing app stores. For users, it brings the right services to them at the right place at the right time. We look forward to the opportunity this latest round of funding provides Everything.me in the future."
Milpitas, CA – November 14, 2012 – Vuclip, the world's largest independent mobile video and media company, has raised $13 million in Series D funding led by Singtel Innov8, a new strategic investor, and existing investors NEA and Jafco Ventures. The funds raised will be used to meet tremendous global demand particularly in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, as well as to further innovation around Vuclip's media and advertising platform.
The rapid growth of Vuclip in the past year includes achievements such as hitting 45 million monthly active unique users and 1.2 billion minutes of video viewing per month, as well as approaching a double-digit million-dollar revenue run-rate. Additionally, the company has introduced an iOS app as part of a complementary app and browser strategy to address the needs of all mobile video viewers no matter the device or quality of network they are on.
"We believe that growth in mobile video is being driven by three major factors: the spread of low cost smart phones, rapid growth of mobile-only internet users and demand for compelling content. We see this happening in emerging markets in ways that are different compared to developed markets," said Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO, Vuclip. "This is very much informing our vision and strategy for reaching consumers, carriers, content providers and advertisers worldwide as a media platform and we believe we are on a unique, global path to success."
The Benefits of Vuclip
With Vuclip, 45 million monthly active users worldwide enjoy a consistent mobile video experience regardless of the model of device they own. Vuclip has pioneered ease of sharing across more than 5,500 different models of handsets and tablets, as well as compression of files by up to 80 percent, reducing the consumption of data in the newly capped mobile data plans.
Via Vuclip, global and regional content providers such as AP (Associated Press) and UTV benefit from being able to monetize quality mobile content while reaching as many viewers as possible.
Also, global brands such as Cadbury Silk and Samsung are able to branch out successfully into the burgeoning mobile video advertising space, gaining exposure to consumers who are highly engaged and within the right, tailored context for the brand.
Additionally, Vuclip partners with operators such as Vodafone and Airtel worldwide, offering incremental revenue opportunities, reduced tolls on data load in the face of growing mobile media consumption and custom products.
Commentary from Vuclip Investors
"Innov8 is focused on identifying the next generation of leaders in enterprise, network and digital media," said Jeff Karras, Managing Director, Singtel Innov8. "Vuclip has built an impressive user base, monetization strategy, and management team and is truly emerging as a leading mobile media company."
"Most of the world's first internet experience is on a cell phone," said Nick Sturiale, General Partner, Jafco Ventures. "Vuclip is the fastest growing video service since YouTube, but has much better engagement. The company is poised to be a dominant global media services platform."
"Today consumers have nearly unlimited options in how they spend time on their mobile devices, and Vuclip is clearly delivering content that consumers want to engage with," said Rohini Chakravarthy, Partner, NEA. "Sixty-five percent of videos consumed via Vuclip are shared--this is an extraordinary rate of social sharing, and it's driving tremendous growth in the company."
Australia, November 12, 2012 - The Optus-Innov8 Seed Program today announced its inaugural investments in the Australian startup scene, with 121cast and Venuemob being the first Australian startups to receive funding.
These investments kick off the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program's support of local early-stage startups in taking their business to the next level by providing funding, mentoring, networking and dedicated co-working spaces.
121cast and Venuemob have been recognised for their ingenuity, standing out in the pitch round that saw entries come in from all around the country.
Austin R. Bryan, Vice-President of Digital Communities and Ecosystems, Singtel Group Digital L!fe said, "The first round of the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program received a number of impressive entries that showcased remarkable ideas and concepts. This really validates our view that the startup community in Australia is bursting with talent and we are proud to offer them the opportunity to take their concepts to the next level."
Both launched in 2012, 121cast and Venuemob look to provide inventive solutions in two different areas. Venuemob has re-imagined the venue booking industry by providing users with a simple-to-use database of party and function locations in Melbourne. 121castoffers added convenience through a free and personalised digital audio feed to inform and entertain on-the-go.
121cast raised a total of A$250k led by Singtel Innov8 and co-invested by Adventure Capital, while Venuemob raised a total of A$450k, also led by Singtel Innov8.
Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8 said, "Singtel Innov8 complements the Group's digital strategy by investing in new technologies and entrepreneurial talent worldwide. We are excited to kick off our first investments as part of the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program in 121cast and Venuemob, and look forward to seeing more exciting ideas coming out of Australia."
The Optus-Innov8 Seed Program will be re-opening the application process in January 2013, where startups across the country can submit their innovation for the summer intake. More details and information can be found at http://optusinnov8seed.com.au.
About 121cast (www.121cast.com)
121cast is the Melbourne based startup behind SoundGecko, a free service that converts text into spoken words, allowing users to listen to any news article or web page on the go.
121cast's next-generation personal radio product, designed to help people sidestep the barrage of digital information available, formed the foundation of the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program's interest. It aims to change the way broadcast content is delivered to mobiles by offering a free and personalised radio feed made up of your news, weather, social network updates, podcasts and more to inform and entertain on-the-go.
A resident at co-working space York Butter Factory and a graduate from the Melbourne University Accelerator Program, the team behind 121cast consists of Long Zheng, Andrew Armstrong and Edward Hooper. The team recently returned from Silicon Valley after exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt.
Long Zheng, Co-founder, 121cast said, "The Optus-Innov8 Seed Program is a significant new opportunity for early stage Australian startups and we're very excited to have both Singtel Innov8 as the investment partner and Optus as a strategic partner. With their technology expertise and business network, we believe the support from Singtel Innov8 and Optus will strengthen our product and business development."
About Venuemob (venuemob.com.au)
Venuemob provides information and booking access to a hand-picked selection of Melbourne's best bars, restaurants, reception centres and function rooms.
With over 300-plus event spaces across Melbourne, ranging from award-winning bars and restaurants like the Golden Monkey and The Botanical to hospitality groups such as the Publican Group and JBS Hospitality, Venuemob has provided the local social scene with the ultimate party planning guide. The team is also looking to spread its wings across Australia and incorporate venues from around the country.
Besides giving locals an easy way to discover and book the hottest venues, Venuemob's service also delivers another effective channel for owners to market their businesses and generate additional bookings.
The Venuemob founders are no strangers to the startup scene. David Wei and Ying Wang previously teamed up to start a group-buying business, which was sold to Groupon in 2011. Along with James Giang, the trio have successfully launched a website that delivers benefits for both Australian consumers and businesses.
David Wei, Co-founder, Venuemob said, "The investment will allow us to catalyse our expansion strategy into other cities, so that we can offer function venues in Sydney and other major cities across Australia. It also opens the door to strategic partnership opportunities with Optus and Singtel Group. The support from the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program certainly reflects the fast-growing nature of the Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem."
Beijing, 11 October 2012 - UniQlick, a Beijing-based start-up, announced today that it has received US$5 million in Series B funding led by Singtel Innov8 and Mustang Ventures.
Launched in 2010, UniQlick has developed its On Demand workflow solution to help agencies and advertisers scale their digital advertising operations by overcoming the challenges of executing digital advertising campaigns in China's complex market. On Demand automates the majority of the campaign workflow, making execution less labor-intensive. It also enables users to centralize and standardize campaign administration, which helps them overcome issues caused by a lack of uniform digital standards.
"Everyone acknowledges that real-time bidding is in China's near future but advertising operations have been built around planning and buying of fixed inventory," says UniQlick CEO Esther Yang. "The challenge for agencies and advertisers to maintain their current operations while preparing for a real-time future. The lack of uniform web advertising standards or a governing body like the Interactive Advertising Bureau causes very high administrative requirements for campaigns and impedes agencies' ability to focus on the data and its usage.
With a modular feature-oriented design, On Demand requires minimal training and supports users' existing advertising operations. It is also a neutral buy-side solution that works side-by-side with various technologies. Users can plug into existing systems with a single user interface, making it easy for UniQlick customers to work with multiple third party partners. "We recognize that agencies and advertisers have significant relationships with multiple technology partners and our On Demand platform works in conjunction with those," said Yang. "On Demand has been created to allow our customers flexibility and choice."
With this round of investment, UniQlick will set up additional network infrastructure including real-time data analytic functions for its On Demand software platform. "By upgrading our infrastructure and including real-time analytics capabilities with our existing On Demand workflow solution, our customers can make more timely informed decisions," said Yang.
This round of new investment will also accelerate the release of the real-time features. On Demand already provides the ability to track data across multiple channels and campaigns helping agencies and advertisers overcome the challenge of data silos – a key obstacle to transitioning to real-time operations. The rapid rollout of real-time analytics and real-time bidding combined with sophisticated attribution modelling and algorithms means customer's data becomes the powerful new currency in China's digital landscape.
Singapore - 3rd October 2012 - BRANDSCREEN is pleased to announce it has completed a funding round of over USD 11 Million to fuel growth across the Asia-Pacific region. The Series B round was led by Macquarie Capital Group Limited ("Macquarie Capital"), and was joined by new co-investors including Singtel Innov8 (Singapore) and existing investor Southern Cross Venture Partners (Palo Alto and Sydney).
BRANDSCREEN CEO Julian Tol: "BRANDSCREEN will use the funds to accelerate our drive to be the Number One digital media trading platform in major APAC markets; Australia, China, Japan, Korea, India and South East Asia. We have the product, the relationships and the team to continue to build on our position in the Asia-Pacific market."
Revolutionizing the way media is bought and sold
The move to 'real time media trading' is essential to free the industry from the inefficiencies of old, manual trading systems. The introduction of automated trading systems and advertising exchanges is enabling the media industry to move from a world where digital was a very small part of the overall media mix, towards a situation where digital is expected to account for around 40% of all media spend.
BRANDSCREEN builds the trading platforms that media agencies use to buy media on a 'real time' basis. Real time buying involves buying the attention of people, one impression at a time, while an individual is browsing on their PC, tablet, phone or smart TV. The software runs in the cloud, using thousands of servers, processing data on the petabyte-scale, making bids for individual users at the rate of 200,000 times per second.
Julian Tol: "We are witnessing the transformation from manual to automated media trading," he said. "We used to buy media space to get in front of an audience. Now we are starting to directly buy 'customer minutes' one person at a time and what online companies now sell is the access to the customer and all their data."
HONG KONG, 25 September 2012 QVIVO Limited (QVIVO), announced today it has secured US$1 million in funding from investors including Singtel Innov8, the Singtel Group's corporate venture capital fund.
QVIVO, the recently launched cloud-based media company plans to use the capital to expand its infrastructure capacity to meet the incredible growth of users signing up to its unlimited cloud media storage plans.
The company's platform enables users to sync their entire personal media collection of film, music and television favorites to the cloud to be streamed to any browser, desktop or mobile device. The QVIVO Cloud service offers unlimited media storage plans starting from only US$1.99 per month, an industry first.
QVIVO recently refreshed its suite of apps, allowing users to drag and drop media files and links directly onto the browser to then stream to any device with the QVIVO app installed. With a heavy focus on video, QVIVO is being referred to as "your personal Netflix".
"The post-PC era has reshaped how consumers enjoy their media and QVIVO is here to support them on any device they choose. Pause a movie on your tablet as you leave the home and resume it on your phone on the way to work, then finish it through your browser in your lunch break - all in sync with the QVIVO Cloud," said Mr. Liam McCallum, CEO and co-founder of QVIVO. "With our new financing in place we hope to reassure our users that their media collections, no matter how large, are secure for years to come."
QVIVO apps are free, allowing users to play and stream media around the home, automatically setting up a home network between devices running the app for PC and Mac. Away from home, users can also rely upon the QVIVO Cloud to stream through the browser, iPhone and iPad, with Android, Windows Phone and many more devices coming soon. Finally, QVIVO supersedes other cloud storage platforms by supporting storage capacity for thousands more video and music files. Users using QVIVO would enjoy a 96% cost saving over the Dropbox 500GB plan, truly offering an efficient solution for the market for today and beyond.
"QVIVO's ability to offer cloud-based media storage and streaming anytime, anywhere and anyhow, especially in the realm of mobile video, is particularly relevant to consumers as their consumption of digital entertainment continues to grow. It's an exciting space," said Mr. William Bao Bean, Managing Director (Investments) of Singtel Innov8.
SILICON VALLEY, CA, 21 August 2012 - Ness Computing, a California-based startup that is making search personal, today announced the completion of a $15M round of Series B funding led by Singtel Innov8 and including participation from American Express Ventures. The investment supports Ness' continued development of its search technology, a "Likeness Engine" that curates personalized recommendations based on people's tastes and preferences.
The company also announced an update with robust new features to their first product the Ness Dining Guide, a restaurant search and discovery iPhone app. Ness' personal "Likeness Score" predicts how much a customer will like a restaurant based on their unique preferences, making it easier to find a place they'll enjoy. The latest release adds restaurant reservations via OpenTable, as well as over 325,000 menus from SinglePlatform.
With this round of funding, Ness will incorporate additional user preference signals from new social platforms into its technology, and will expand to new verticals by applying its "Likeness Engine to personal search and discovery for nightlife, events, movies, shopping and more. The company will also continue to build its team of top engineers and computer scientists in systems and interface engineering and machine learning.
Ness' technology learns an individual's taste preferences and combines this with signals from their social networks -- including Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram -- to deliver personalized recommendations. Launched in August 2011 with $5M in funding, Ness users have already generated over 3 million ratings, and the app includes more than 5 million Instagram images for restaurants.
"We want to help people experience more of what they love by understanding why they love the things they do" said Corey Reese, Co-Founder and CEO of Ness. "By enhancing our core technology, we can improve our understanding of what customers are expressing about themselves, and turn that information into something truly valuable for making decisions."
"Ness Computing is developing a platform at the intersection of social, local, and mobile data and paving the way to transform mobile discovery with personalized recommendations" said Managing Director of Singtel Innov8, Jeff Karras. "We are thrilled to be working with the talented and passionate team at Ness."
"American Express is impressed by Ness' vision to create great products that better serve consumers," said Harshul Sanghi, Managing Partner, American Express Ventures. "As Ness evolves and the commerce landscape changes, we believe their preference-based search engine has the potential to deliver differentiated value to merchants and consumers alike."
In July 2011, Ness announced a $5M Series A round of financing led by Vinod Khosla and Ramy Adeeb of Khosla Ventures with participation from Alsop Louie Partners (the original seed investor in the company), TomorrowVentures, Bullpen Capital, a co-founder of Palantir Technologies, and several angel investors. An affiliate of the LeFrak Organization also participated in the most recent round.
26 June 2012 -- General Mobile Corporation (General Mobile), a Cayman-based company, announced today it has secured US$5million in funding from Singtel Innov8 (Innov8), the wholly-owned corporate venture arm of the Singtel Group, and Mitsui & Co. (Mitsui). General Mobile plans to use the proceeds to expand and fund future growth in the fast growing mobile internet business in the emerging markets.
Founded in 2011, General Mobile is dedicated to providing mobile internet service to emerging markets with its proprietary content management and application store hosting platform. The strong growth in mobile phone sales and mobile phone users have led to increased demand for mobile applications, content and services over the last few years in the emerging markets. But these users have often been underserved due to technology limitations and fragmentation in the supply chain in these markets. Through General Mobile's platform and partnership with handset manufacturers, handset brands and mobile content providers, it provides a one-stop mobile internet service offering for emerging market mobile phone users with the application store and applications to meet the users' needs.
With this round of investment, Innov8 and Mitsui join existing investors such as Taiwan-based MediaTek Inc., the leading mobile chipset and platform provider. Innov8 is backed by the Singtel Group which has 445 million mobile customers in countries such as Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Africa. Mitsui is one of the largest and most reputable companies in Japan with worldwide business coverage, including IT & mobile related businesses such as IT channels, digital content, electronic payments, etc.
"The opportunities are huge and close cooperation among all players from the value chain is key to successfully running a mobile internet business in the emerging markets," said Mr. Paul Wu, CEO of General Mobile. "At General Mobile, our mission is to provide a one-stop service by integrating all key elements required to run the business from devices, platforms, telecom operators, content providers, and channels. With this round of investment, we have on board world-class strategic partners across all the fields to help accelerate our worldwide service deployment as well as enabling us to provide a more complete set of services and solutions."
CEO of Innov8, Mr Edgar Hardless, said "General Mobile's solution addresses the strong demands for mobile application and services seen by emerging market mobile users across our footprint. We look forward to working with the company to build and expand on their success to date"
Australia, 21 June 2012 - The Optus Innov8 Seed Program gives Australian startups access to seed funding, mentoring, networking and dedicated co-working spaces to support their business growth and progression to Series A funding. The program will support early stage startups with innovative or disruptive digital solutions, either in proof of concept or advanced development stage, in the areas of mobility and convergence, with a focus on industry verticals including health, education and media.
Backed by Singtel Innov8, the Singtel Group's corporate venture capital fund, the program will provide up to A$250,000 in funding per startup investment. Optus has also partnered with Fishburners in Sydney and York Butter Factory in Melbourne to provide the selected startups with dedicated co-working spaces to share ideas and host regular events to connect startups with industry experts and potential investors.
Austin R. Bryan, Vice President, Digital Communities and Ecosystems, Singtel and Optus, said "We have launched the Seed Program to further accelerate digital innovation in Australia, help keep talent on our shores and make it easier for startups to source local funding and support in the early development stages.
"As Australia moves into a digital economy, we believe we can add the most value to this community by providing access to funding and partnering with leading startup co-working spaces and incubators to build a support network and co-investment opportunities. We'll continue to evolve the program based on feedback and hope it will give local talent an incentive to grow their business within Australia, and serve as a stepping stone to venture capital funding."
The Seed Program is the latest initiative from Singtel Group Digital L!fe to promote innovation and support the Group's expansion into new areas in the digital space and create growth engines beyond traditional telecommunications services.
Edgar Hardless, CEO, Singtel Innov8, said "Singtel Innov8 complements the Group's digital strategy by investing in new technologies and entrepreneurial talent worldwide. There is tremendous talent in the Australian market and we expect to invest in up to eight Australian startups in the first year. With the Singtel Group's strong presence and scale of over 445 million mobile customers, we can assist startups to go regional."
To be eligible for the Optus Innov8 Seed Program, startups must have incorporated as an Australian company, established a team, developed solid business strategies, be able to demonstrate a working prototype and meet the program's key digital focus areas.
Startups can be referred for the program from July via incubators or accelerators, or apply directly via 'pitch events' to be held at Fishburners and York Butter Factory through-out the year. The first pitch event will be held in late July, with details announced closer to the time.
In addition to Fishburners and York Butter Factory, the program is supported by a range of incubators such as Pollenizer, AngelCube and Pushstart.
Peter Bradd, Director, Fishburners and ScribblePics, said "Our partnership with Optus is a win-win situation. We've been able to expand our co-working space to house more startups while opening up new opportunities for startups that are ready to progress to the seed funding round."
Stuart Richardson, co-founder of York Butter Factory and Managing Partner at Adventure Capital, said "This is a fantastic initiative to extend the support available locally to startups as they emerge from the incubation phase. It gives them a greater incentive to stay in Australia, and helps grow innovation among the digital startup community."
In addition to the Seed Program, Optus supports local entrepreneurs as the premier sponsors and judging panel of the Sydney and Melbourne Startup Weekends, and its annual Unleash Your App competition targeting university students in association with NICTA.
BOSTON, MA, Jun 06, 2012 -- Nexage, the leading mobile advertising exchange with the market's most advanced real-time bidding (RTB) platform, today announced it closed a US$10 million Series B financing led by Singtel Innov8, the corporate venture capital arm of the Singtel Group. Existing investors Relay Ventures and GrandBanks Capital also participated in this round of financing. Nexage plans to use the funding to expand its products and technology, global reach, and ecosystem of buyers and sellers to accelerate liquidity in the mobile advertising industry.
Key to the investment is the dramatic growth of mobile advertising and the vital role RTB has in fueling that growth. According to the IAB, mobile advertising spend grew 149% in 2011 and, according to Gartner, worldwide mobile advertising revenue will reach US$20 billion by 2015. The industry's rapid scaling and maturity is being driven by the emergence of RTB, which has become the strategic technology foundation of the mobile advertising industry. RTB creates unparalleled market efficiency and liquidity -- a key value realized across all of digital advertising.
Mobile RTB is unique, as it provides real-time discovery and targeting capabilities that are central to creating both advertiser value in driving campaign ROI, and publisher value in maximizing the value of their inventory while protecting their brands and channels. As the strategic technology foundation of mobile advertising, RTB is expected to mirror share of market in online; IDC predicts that RTB will support 27% of ad spend by 2015.
Nexage is leading RTB's charge; Nexage's RTB exchange grew in bid volume by more than 70% per month in 2011. On top of its RTB leadership, Nexage continues to expand its technology, customer base, and capability to further drive liquidity. Nexage recently released the Nexage Ad Server 2.0, added publishers including Dictionary.com and ZeptoLab (developer of Cut the Rope), and added buyers such as MediaMath and Drawbridge.
"The mobile revolution has reshaped how consumers work, learn, play, and live -- fueling the remarkable growth of mobile advertising," said Ernie Cormier, CEO and president of Nexage. "RTB is critical to the market's ability to meet this extraordinary opportunity, providing the requisite efficiency and liquidity and the unique real-time discovery and targeting capabilities that are essential to advertisers. With this financing in place, we will extend our RTB leadership and help drive the growth and maturity of the mobile advertising market."
"We are excited about investing in Nexage and helping them to continue to lead and accelerate the mobile advertising industry," said Punit Chiniwalla, Director of Investments for Singtel Innov8. "Mobile advertising has quickly shifted from an experimental market to being an integral part of the advertisers' ability to reach and compel consumers. Nexage is well-positioned to be one of the winners in this rapidly growing market." With this round of funding, Punit Chiniwalla will join Nexage's board of directors.
"We have had the pleasure of being part of the Nexage story from the start, and we are very excited to be part of this round of financing," said John Albright, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Relay Ventures. "Nexage has not only demonstrated technology leadership, but also the ability to execute in the market, converting technology leadership to consistently strong results and satisfied customers."
Singapore, 4 May 2012 – Over 100 investors including MIH Internet, JAFCO Asia, iGlobe Partners, Crystal Horse Investments, WaveMaker Labs, Golden Gate Ventures and Jungle Ventures attended 'Demo Day', an event to showcase the results of the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp, this morning. Demo Day marked the end of an intensive 100 day acceleration programme that has given 11 digital startup companies seed funding, intensive mentorship from international industry experts and the potential to access mobile markets across Asia.
Like several local and international investors, Singtel Innov8 (Innov8), the corporate venture arm of the Singtel Group, has opened discussions with some of the bootcamp teams about the possibility of investing. In the last week, two participants, Kark Mobile Education and ShopSpot, have already received investment offers.
The bootcamp was organised by Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) with sponsorship from key partner, Innov8, and grants from SPRING Singapore and Singapore's Media Development Authority. Each startup received free access to technology facilities worth over S$100,000, provided by technology vendors and S$15,000 capital from local business angels. In addition, 50 local and international mentors provided advice, as the startups raced through the 100day programme.
Mr Sindhu Prabowo, CEO of bootcamp startup Kark Mobile Education said: "The JFDI–Innov8 Bootcamp has been a really good experience. The mentors have been great, helping us refine the financial and technical aspects of our project. Our mindsets shifted when the mentors challenged us to think bigger and see our project as something that could go global. Now that is happening."
Mr Hugh Mason, CEO and CoFounder of JFDI said: "This is a great result for the startups, the JFDI–Innov8 Bootcamp and the regional startup ecosystem. For the first time, the fasttrack accelerator approach pioneered and proven successful in the US by TechStars has delivered real results in South East Asia. Just as in the US, the bootcamp has been a community effort that would not have been possible without the huge generosity of many people and organisations."
Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said: "We are delighted to be part of this pioneering programme. Working with partners such as JFDI, we hope to help create the confidence and processes to inspire and deliver innovation for consumers and businesses across the region."
Teams participating in the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp were selected for their technical and communications skills as well as their passion to solve problems in a particular domain. Many were first time entrepreneurs with no formal business training, but had the commitment to apply the 'Lean Startup Methodology' which lies at the heart of the TechStars method. Coupled with community support, this method is the 'secret sauce' that offers the chance to create valuable companies quicker and more consistently than ever before.
Mr Meng Wong, CoFounder and Social Engineer at JDFI said "The Lean Startup method is all about finding 'fit': a fit between an idea and a team; problem/solution fit and product/market fit in a way that maximises the chance of success for a startup and makes investment attractive to early stage investors because they can see that a business has eliminated many risks. Our aim was to have teams focus on customer discovery, hypothesis testing, market validation, and development of a minimum viable product. Some have gone farther than others but all have used a scientific process that roots their decisions in
evidence from the real world.
The startup companies featured at today's event were:
ShopSpot, a C2C mobile app that makes buying and selling items as easy as sending a tweet. (http://shopspotapp.com)
Kark Mobile Education, a B2C tablet game platform using collectible QR cards to make 4–12 year old children masters of a simulated world. (http://blog.kark.asia)
Tradegecko, a B2B webbased service providing supply chain management for independent brands and their retailers. (http://tradegecko.com)
Remember, a B2C mobile app is the family Time Capsule in your pocket that makes it simple to capture and relive memories on your smartphone. (http://therememberapp.com)
FamilyKo, a B2C multiplatform app that allows families separated by business to bond and grow together. (http://www.familyko.com)
Flocations, a B2C web travel service that visualizes nearby destinations on an interactive map, so leisure travellers can browse by budget and book their next getaway in minutes, not hours. (http://www.flocations.com)
Fetch Plus, a B2B web service that gives brand franchises with local businesses control and analytics as they use social media to maximise impact for all their franchisees. (http://fetchfans.com)
Trafflers, a B2C web service that makes it fun to discover and plan vacations with friends, thereby increasing the frequency and size of group travel bookings online. (http://www.trafflers.com)
Stubb, a B2B document sharing service for the masses that connects your printer to the cloud. Anything you can print, you can publish online! (http://stubb.to)
Wildby, a fun talking encyclopedia on your iPhone that 5 to 12 year olds can enjoy without needing any literacy skills. (http://www.wildby.com)
TribeHired, the social recruitment platform for fastgrowing startups that puts friends to work. (http://www.tribehired.com)
MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, Barcelona, 27 February 2012 – Ruckus Wireless™ (Ruckus) today announced that it has secured $21.7 million in financing, increasing the total investment in the company to $72.7 million since its formation in June 2004. In addition, the company named two new industry luminaries, Richard J. Lynch and Georges Antoun, to its board of directors.
Joined by existing investors, the financing was led by two new investors, Meritech Capital Partners and Singtel Innov8, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singtel group. Profitable and cash flow-positive in calendar year 2011, Ruckus will use the proceeds to expand and fund future growth into the explosive carrier mobile Internet infrastructure market as well as to bolster its rising position in the enterprise wireless LAN market.
"The impact of the mobile Internet is transforming the telecom industry, congealing new and massive opportunities that we have been developing since 2008," said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. "The addition of Dick and Georges to our board validates our vision in Wi-Fi/cellular convergence and strengthens our execution in the carrier Wi-Fi market. Dick and Georges represent the top caliber of our industry in experience, technical, business and management savvy, as well as relationships with operators and ecosystem partners. We are honored and excited to have them on our team."
"We invest in companies with technologies that can potentially enhance the capabilities of the operators within the Singtel Group by delivering solutions across various product segments and verticals," said Jeff Karras, Managing Director of Investments for Singtel Innov8. "Ruckus is one of these companies and with the changes in the carrier market, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead of them."
"We believe there is significant growth ahead in the service provider market for a new class of Wi-Fi and small cell solutions," said Mike Gordon, Partner at Meritech Capital Partners "Ruckus is clearly well-positioned and has a proven record for developing unique technology to capitalize on this emerging market. Their recent service provider wins have already demonstrated this success."
New Board Members Bring Unmatched Telecom Expertise
Former executive vice president for Verizon Communications, Dick Lynch was responsible for delivering strategic technology initiatives across the corporation. Previously, Lynch was executive vice president and chief technology officer for Verizon Communications and had been the executive vice president and chief technical officer for Verizon Wireless and its predecessors since 1990. Lynch is a Fellow of The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He has served on the executive board of the CDMA Development Group (CDG), the board of GSMA, and as a member of the Federal Communications Commission Technical Advisory Committee.
The former head of Ericsson's product area IP & broadband networks (PAIB) business, Georges Antoun joined Ericsson when it acquired Redback Networks where he was head of sales and marketing and later on, CEO. Previously, Antoun spent five years at Cisco Systems where he served as vice president of worldwide systems engineering and field marketing, vice president of worldwide optical operations, and also served as vice president of carrier sales. Antoun was instrumental in the successful strategy behind Cisco's entry into the service provider and optical markets.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - August 15, 2011—Sentilla Corporation, leading provider of IT infrastructure software that discovers, monitors, analyzes, plans and automates data center workloads, today announced it has secured $15 million in Series C financing. The funding round was led by Singtel Innov8 Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the Singtel Group, with participation from Sentilla's existing backers, ONSET Ventures and Claremont Creek Ventures. The infusion of capital will be used for sales and marketing expansion.
Sentilla is poised to deliver on its unique business model when enterprises need it most. IT executives that are developing strategies for upcoming quarters are increasingly asked to support new business initiatives with diminishing budgets. Sentilla allows IT executives to treat data centers as opportunity to generate new revenue and increase profits. With instant visibility into operations and the planning tools, IT executives can make strategic decisions that minimize capital investment and operating expenditure, and will be able to deliver at least double the business value and revenue potential of the IT services they control. It is Sentilla's immediate, granular view of the data center that, for the first time, positions IT departments as a profit center instead of a financial burden.
SINGAPORE - July 5, 2011 – Dealised, an innovator in group-buying solutions, has announced S$6.5 million (A$5 million) in Series A funding to accelerate the global roll-out of its combined marketing solution and technology platform. Led by Singtel Innov8, the Singtel Group's corporate venture capital fund, Series A also included Yuuwa Capital LP, an Australian-based venture capital firm. Dealised is the first to offer this group-buying solution in Asia. Dealised will use its regional Asian headquarters in Singapore to drive global business expansion and develop mobile group-buying solutions.
Dealised is already working with several UK-based customers, including The Daily Telegraph, as well as leading media owners Mecom in Scandinavia and with customers in Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East and the US. Companies, including media firms, mobile operators, retailers and others, use Dealised's technology and services platform to create and manage their own deals and develop their business. A new Dealised partner can have a dedicated group-buying business running within weeks, without significant upfront costs.
Dealised also announced the appointment of veteran telecommunications executive, Jonathan Marchbank as Chief Executive Officer. Mr Marchbank has worked with both mobile operators and device manufacturers in the US and Asia for the past 20 years, and immediately prior to joining Dealised served as Chief Operating Officer for Virgin Mobile US.
"Dealised partners in Australia and Scandinavia have already beaten Groupon and Living Social in their local markets. With our platform & services, partners quickly create and manage regular offers for their customers, maintaining revenue and relationships at risk from Groupon-like clones. We are busy repeating that successful formula in other markets," noted Mr Marchbank.
Mrs Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said, "Dealised's platform and market knowledge offers publishers, media companies and telco companies the opportunity to generate better value for their customers through innovative group-buying services."
"The most exciting trend is in mobile, especially in Asia, and we see the volume of group-buying transactions on smartphones and other mobile devices growing exponentially over the next couple of years. Our operations in Singapore, as the business hub for Asia, are where we will focus on mobile growth," concluded Mr Marchbank.
Dealised is one of the earliest entrants into what is a very young industry. It was created in late 2009 to power Spreets, an Australian deals site, which quickly became a market leader. Spreets was acquired by Yahoo7! in Australia in 2010 for A$40 million.
Other Dealised investors include Sydney start-up incubator, Pollenizer and a select number of angel investors. These investors bring a great depth of managerial experience, with backgrounds in digital media, e-commerce and mobile. The company will use the A$5 million from this fundraising to grow its base in Asia and in Europe, and to develop mobile group-buying solutions.
Santa Clara, California – June 27, 2011 – ViVOtech, the near field communication (NFC) software and systems company, today announced it has closed $24 million in a multi-stage extension to its Series C round of funding. The extension featured notable new investors Singapore's EDBI, Singtel Innov8, and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, which were joined in the round by ViVOtech's current financial and strategic investors Alloy Ventures, Citi Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurveston, DFJ Gotham, First Data Corporation, Miven Ventures, Motorola Mobility, Nokia Growth Partners and NCR.
The funds will be used to drive ViVOtech's rapid growth and accelerate expansion into more countries beyond the 35 where ViVOtech NFC software and systems are used today.
ViVOtech's NFC software and systems enable rich mobile commerce solutions for in-store payment, loyalty, marketing, and merchandising. Founded in 2001, ViVOtech provides key building blocks of the NFC ecosystem: smart applications for enhancing the customer experience, wallet and trusted service manager (TSM) software, and point of sale systems.
"Businesses today are relying more on innovative solutions to enrich the retail experience," said Chu Swee-Yeok, CEO of EDBI. "ViVOtech has emerged as the clear leader in this field, with its unique end-to-end NFC-based mobile commerce solutions that are successfully gaining traction with its customers globally. With our investment, ViVOtech will be able to leverage EDBI's extensive industry networks and understanding of Asia to capitalize on opportunities created by the vibrant mobile commerce industry in the Asia Pacific region. We also look forward to the setting up of ViVOtech's Global Centre of Excellence in Singapore to commercialize innovative mobile commerce applications for the international markets."
"As part of Asia's leading communications group, with access to over 400 million mobile subscribers in the region, Singtel Innov8 is searching for innovative technologies to invest in that will help the Singtel Group deliver exceptional customer experience," said Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8. "With NFC set to revolutionize the mobile commerce market, it is important for us to partner with ViVOtech, one of the pioneers in this space, as they expand their global presence."
"With retail being a key vertical market for Motorola Solutions, it is important for us to identify and invest in solution providers that offer technologies that can have a major impact on the retail ecosystem," said Tony Palcheck, managing director of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. "ViVOtech is one of a select group of companies that have the technology, vision and expertise that provides a unique benefit to major retailers, banks, credit and loyalty card providers, carriers and ultimately consumers."
"Citi has been a ViVOtech investor for more than three years because we see them as a key player in the mobile payments ecosystem," said Chris Kay, managing director, Citi Ventures. "Citi Ventures' goal is to develop and commercialize the highest new growth opportunities that directly support Citi's strategic directions and that foster emerging technologies. We're happy to work toward this goal with leading companies like ViVOtech."
"ViVOtech has worked long and hard over the last 10 years to establish ourselves as a leading enabler of in-store mobile commerce," said ViVOtech CEO, Michael (Mick) Mullagh. "The market is on the verge of rapid growth and we are gratified by the support and validation of our stellar group of strategic and financial investors. We particularly welcome our new investors from Singapore, EDBI and Singtel Innov8, and Motorola Solutions. In and of themselves our investors represent a mini NFC ecosystem. By collaborating with them and our partners and customers, we will stay on the leading edge of innovation and the development of merchant and consumer friendly applications."
San Jose, California, 13 April 2011 - Capella Intelligent Subsystems, the leading provider of wavelength selective switches (WSS) for use in reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and optical cross connects, today announced it closed a $20 million financing. The oversubscribed round was led by Black Diamond Ventures. Other participants in the investment include Singtel Innov8, the corporate venture arm of the Singtel Group, Levensohn Partners, Formative Ventures, Lucas Venture Group and Rustic Canyon Ventures.
The $20 million in new capital will be used to expand and strengthen Capella's presence in the ROADM market, which is expected to grow to $1.8 billion over the next four years according to Infonetics Research. New product offerings and operational improvements are Capella's key focus in the coming months, as the Company expands to meet growing market demands.
"We are in the midst of a global network transformation driven by consumer services such as video, music and social networking. Capella is well positioned as an enabler in broadband content distribution. As companies upgrade their networks to support IP-based consumer services, Capella's technology will be critical," said Larry Schwerin, chief executive officer of Capella. "Networks need to deliver quality broadband services at a price consumers are willing to pay, and Capella provides the industry-leading solution to enable their customers to build cost effective, flexible networks."
"With the increasing need of optical network flexibility and reliability, Capella's Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS) has the potential to significantly reduce service provider CAPEX and OPEX," said Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8. "As service providers build out and upgrade their networks, Capella's WSS technologies provide a compelling competitive advantage."
"We believe Capella's technology leadership in the wave selective switch market will continue to expand through various consumer applications. VoIP, VoD, and video gaming are just a few of these consumer applications made possible by Capella," commented Christopher B. Lucas, Founder and Managing Director of Black Diamond Ventures.. "With the recent additions to their senior management team, Capella is poised for what we expect will be a period of explosive growth for the company worldwide."
Singapore, 4 April 2011 -Media Development Authority (MDA), Singtel Innov8 and NUS Enterprise are joining forces to establish a strategic incubation programme, a move set to boost the Interactive Digital Media (IDM) space in Singapore. This programme, known as Blk71 is designed to allow start-ups to gain one-stop access to the resources they need to effectively develop and market their solutions to customers.
As part of Blk71, MDA and Singtel Innov8, the corporate venture arm of the Singtel Group, have signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MOU) to provide funding and create a dynamic environment for start-ups. Under the MOU, both parties will make joint Calls-for-Proposals (CFPs) which will provide successful start-ups with up to S$50,000 of initial seed funding and opportunities for follow-on funding of S$200,000 or more. MDA and Singtel Innov8 will also co-sponsor activities such as industry speaking engagements, workshops and networking events. To support these initiatives, MDA and Singtel Innov8 will commit an initial sum of up to S$2 million each over three years.
MDA will also allocate office and incubation space at Mediapolis Phase 0 located at Block 71 Ayer Rajah Industrial Estate, where NUS Enterprise and Singtel Innov8 have already signed on as anchor tenants. NUS Enterprise and MDA will work together to manage the facility to foster a vibrant environment for IDM-related start-ups, investors, technology incubators and industry partners.
Mr Michael Yap, Executive Director of the Interactive and Digital Media Programme Office hosted by MDA said: "We are glad to have the support from both Singtel Innov8 and NUS Enterprise to drive this incubation programme. Their support will bring about greater sophistication and effectiveness in helping our start-ups. This augurs well with our aspiration to develop IDM products and services targeted for the "Next Billion Internet Users" emerging from Asia."
NUS Enterprise will leverage its experience and networks as an incubator to manage the Blk71 incubation space. This space will house a host of support structures that will facilitate the translation of ideas into start-ups and bring start-ups to the next stage. Common space will be provided, as well as business services such as legal and financial advisory resources, and intellectual property management.
Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise added: "Blk71 will pull together the relevant companies and industry players in the IDM sector that are currently dispersed around Singapore. By bringing these together in one vibrant start-up environment, it will build up a critical mass for increased synergy, entrepreneurial dynamism and economies of scale. Blk71 will form a key complementary component of NUS Enterprise's eco-system, which includes NUS Enterprise's office and the NUS Enterprise Incubator, where we support some 80 technology start-up companies."
Completing this one-stop access at Blk71, successful start-ups can look to Singtel Innov8 for support and a platform to showcase their innovative solutions via regular pitching sessions, as well as mentorship from subject matter experts and access to markets. In short, Singtel Innov8 is a start-up's partner that not only provides funding, but the access, capabilities and infrastructure that could accelerate and boost their success.
Mrs Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said: "With MDA and NUS Enterprise, we want to create a rich, vibrant eco-system and community involving start-ups, incubators, investors and industry players to help catalyse the development of innovative ideas and solutions in the IDM and internet space. With the backing of the Singtel Group, Singtel Innov8 offers a unique value proposition to start-ups with our industry knowledge and presence in Asia and Africa."
Singapore, 31 March 2011 - Bubble Motion today announced that it has raised $10 million (USD) in growth capital to accelerate the roll-out of its voice-based social communications service that has attracted millions of consumers across Asia. Led by Singtel Innov8, the Singtel Group's corporate venture capital fund, this round also includes Singapore's Infocomm Investments in addition to insiders Sequoia Capital, Palomar Ventures, and NGC.
This is Bubble Motion's second round of financing since its strategic shift into becoming a social messaging company in 2009. Since Bubble Motion launched Bubbly™, its flagship voice-based social messaging service, just one year ago, it has gained over 7 million users across 4 countries (India, Indonesia, Japan and Philippines) and has delivered more than 250 million bubble messages through its service.
This strategic round of financing will be used by Bubble Motion to accelerate growth of its service into new countries, while scaling its technology platform which has become the standard voice-based mobile social networking solution for mobile operators across Asia. The company's flagship service Bubbly will expand to additional mobile platforms including additional operator networks, the mobile Web and smartphone applications.
Bubble Motion is already working closely with several large associates within the Singtel Group, including Bharti Airtel in India, Telkomsel in Indonesia, and Globe in the Philippines. Singtel brings a vast network of operator partners and contacts, as well as renowned telecom expertise and experience to Bubble Motion.
"We have been impressed with the strong growth of the Bubbly service across Asia and are excited to be joining up with the Bubble Motion team" said Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8. "We are looking forward to working with the company to build and expand on their early success.
"We are excited to have Singtel and Infocomm Investments join our group of existing investors as we continue to shape the mobile social media landscape in Asia and beyond," states Bubble Motion CEO Thomas Clayton. "Given our focus in mobile social media in Asia, these two new investors are the perfect fit for our current strategy and we're very excited to have them onboard."
"Bubble Motion has assembled a world-class team in Singapore. It is yet another leading tech startup leveraging Singapore's position as a base for technology innovation and to address the fast-growing Asian market," said Dr Kuo-Yi Lim, CEO of Infocomm Investments. "Infocomm Investments is pleased to join a distinguished team of investors and be a strategic partner to Bubble Motion."
Singapore, 8 February 2011 - Stream Media Private Limited, a Singapore-based start-up,
announced today that it has received S$1 million in Series A funding, led by
Stream Global Pte Ltd and Singtel Innov8 Pte Ltd. Stream Media will focus on
content acquisition and is working with game studios globally to make use of
its payment platform, MoVend.
Launched in July 2010, Stream Media's flagship product, MoVend (www.movend.com), is an in-app commerce platform that allows users to make transactions and payments easily, without exiting the app. Other than collecting payment from established gateways like operator billing and PayPal, the platform provides a complete set of features, including user and license management, sales tracking and analytics; so that the developer can have a ease of mind and focus on building quality mobile content and services.
With this round of investment, Stream Media will focus their efforts on aggregating all major global payment options for mobile in-app transactions, through MoVend. Developers will be able to incorporate the MoVend software development kit (SDK) effortlessly into their mobile applications. The product resolves users' problems of fragmented payment options and developers' headaches of monetising their applications. MoVend is currently available for Android phones and will be available on the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone 7 mobile devices within the year.
"We plan for MoVend to become the uniform payment mechanism to enable in-app and virtual goods transactions in all application stores," said MoVend creator and CEO of Stream Media, Chua Zi Yong. "We have closed app distribution deals with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and operators to use MoVend for their appstores, and will help developers who use our SDK to publish and market their apps in these channels. We will also preload selected high quality games into devices to boost our developers' revenue.
Mr Edgar Hardless, Managing Director (Investments), Singtel Innov8 said, "The mobile space needs more high-quality apps as more users turn to their mobile devices to cater for their entertainment and productivity needs. And the ability to easily monetise apps will certainly help encourage developers to continue to produce innovative mobile apps."
San Jose, California, 12 Jamuary 2011 - Baynote,
a leader in personalization and digital marketing optimization,
announced today that it has closed $13 million in Series C financing.
The investment was led by Singtel Innov8,
the corporate venture arm of the Singtel Group, Asia's leading
communications group with 368 million mobile customers across Asia
and Africa. All existing investors, including Hummer Winblad, Steamboat
Ventures and JK&B Capital also participated in the round.
Concurrently, Baynote announced that former SAP executive Doug Merritt
has been named president and CEO to lead the company through its next
phase of investment and growth.
Both announcements come on the heels of 2010 being another record year for Baynote as the company grew year over year revenues by approximately 75 percent. This momentum drove the board's decision to invest in several functional areas that will allow the company to scale with heightened demand for its adaptive web solutions among digital marketing and e-commerce executives at Global 2000 organizations. The new capital, which brings total funding for Baynote to more than $28 million, will be used primarily to advance the company's entrance into new high-growth industries, such as telecommunications and financial services, and accelerate product innovation. Funds will also be used to more aggressively expand Baynote's brand exposure worldwide.
"Through Singtel Innov8's investment, we hope to tap into the Singtel Group's expansive markets and capabilities to help take Baynote and our technology for digital and e-commerce professionals to the next level," said Jack Jia, founder and chairman, Baynote.
"We believe Baynote's thought leadership around the adaptive web and its disruptive collective intelligence technology for digital marketers and merchandisers will continue to fuel the company's growth in an area which is becoming more important for enhancing customer experience," said Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8. "With Doug's appointment to CEO and the latest financing, Baynote is now poised for what we expect will be a period of very explosive growth for the company worldwide."
"Baynote has done an excellent job growing between 70 and 120 percent each year since the company was founded in 2005," said Doug Merritt, Baynote's newly appointed president and CEO. "Based on the founding team's incredible success to date and the increasingly strong reception to our technology among digital marketers, the board and management team expect our growth rate to be multiple times higher by the end of 2012. We'll use the funding to be more aggressive in product innovation, marketing, and channel development to scale with this exciting opportunity."
Singapore, 10 January 2011
– Singtel Innov8 Pte. Ltd. (Innov8) today announced that it has led a
Series-A financing in 2359 Media Pte. Ltd. (2359 Media), a
Singapore-based company, making this Innov8's first investment since
its launch in September 2010.
Innov8, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Singtel Group, has invested approximately S$800,000 in the company. 2359 Media was founded in 2009, and is supported by NUS Enterprise Incubator.
The Series-A financing will help 2359 Media accelerate the development of MobDis, its mobile advertisement creation platform that allows marketers and designers to rapidly create engaging mobile advertisements. 2359 Media plans to expand its distribution into the US market within the next quarter.
Innov8 was set up to help the Singtel Group gain early access to new technologies and stay relevant to customers' needs. In turn, developers and innovators can leverage the scale and reach of the Singtel Group to access 368 million1 mobile customers across Asia and Africa.
Mrs Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Innov8, said: "We are excited to support the local ecosystem of developers and innovators. We have also been encouraged by the level of interest and promising ideas we have received so far, not only from Singapore, but from around the world including China and the US."
Singapore, 21 September 2010
– Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) today announced it has
set up Singtel Innov8 (Innov8), a corporate venture company to invest
in innovative technologies and solutions to create future growth
engines for the Group. Innov8, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singtel,
will have an initial fund size of S$200 million.
Innov8 will collaborate with leading innovators, developers, government agencies, R&D organisations as well as other equity providers around the region to promote innovation. It will work closely with these partners to identify and explore new ideas and technologies, fund and support promising companies and provide access to markets that the Singtel Group operates in.
Mrs Yvonne Kwek, CEO of Singtel Innov8, said: "Innov8 will connect with the innovation hotspots of the world for new ideas, technology, products and services. We will invest in and incubate these innovations, and eventually bring them to market."
Innov8 will focus its investments on technologies and solutions that lead to quantum changes in network capabilities, next generation devices, digital content services and enablers to enhance customer experience.
Developers and innovators can leverage the scale and reach of the Singtel Group to access over 350 million customers across Asia and Africa. Innov8 will also allow developers and innovators to uncover the uniqueness of different markets and help them create better solutions for mass deployment. In return, the Singtel Group will gain early access to new technologies, allowing it to enhance its customer proposition and make forays into new markets or segments.
Innov8 is part of the Singtel Group's journey to transform itself from a traditional telecommunications provider to become a leading multimedia and ICT solutions provider.
Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO, said: "The investments made by Innov8 will ensure that the Singtel Group continues to stay relevant to customers' needs and capture growth opportunities. With Innov8, the Group will continue to shape the market and deliver sustainable growth into the future."