How a Hong Kong startup gets caught up in US-China trade war


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Taylor Host has been operating his artificial intelligence startup out of Hong Kong for more than two years. The American entrepreneur has clients from Europe, North America and Asia, but he settled in the city for its adjacency to Southeast Asia and mainland China’s massive market.

Miro, which Host co-founded in 2017 with a British software engineer, had bootstrapped to six employees before raising a small note investment. Backed by Silicon Valley-based SOSV, it’s now seeking $2 million in a new funding round. As trade tensions between China and the U.S. drag on, the company is considering relocating for the first time because being a Hong Kong entity starts to turn off western investors.

Miro uses computer vision to tag images and videos of runners for the brands they wear. It then attributes that data — sporting goods purchases — to consumers profiles that are part of its

miro tech2
miro sxsw winner

Continue reading “How a Hong Kong startup gets caught up in US-China trade war”

How a Hong Kong startup gets caught up in US-China trade war


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Taylor Host has been operating his artificial intelligence startup out of Hong Kong for more than two years. The American entrepreneur has clients from Europe, North America and Asia, but he settled in the city for its adjacency to Southeast Asia and mainland China’s massive market.

Miro, which Host co-founded in 2017 with a British software engineer, had bootstrapped to six employees before raising a small note investment. Backed by Silicon Valley-based SOSV, it’s now seeking $2 million in a new funding round. As trade tensions between China and the U.S. drag on, the company is considering relocating for the first time because being a Hong Kong entity starts to turn off western investors.

Miro uses computer vision to tag images and videos of runners for the brands they wear. It then attributes that data — sporting goods purchases — to consumers profiles that are part of its

miro tech2
miro sxsw winner

Continue reading “How a Hong Kong startup gets caught up in US-China trade war”

Fifth Wall Ventures raises $503M for second real estate fund


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Fifth Wall Ventures, an investor in Clutter, b8ta, ClassPass, Lime and others, has raised $503 million for its sophomore venture capital fund.

The firm, which closed on $212 million for its debut fund in May 2017, prefers to invest in the burgeoning real estate industry but has made opportunistic investments in other sectors.

The Los Angeles firm counts real estate owners as limited partners, as well as a number of global partners including U.S.-based Cushman & Wakefield, Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate, and the U.K.s’ British Land and SEGRO.

“Fifth Wall sees powerful network effects in our unique fund model as it becomes a centralized platform for the world’s largest real estate companies to share insights and access new technologies to enhance their businesses,” Fifth Wall managing partner Brendan Wallace said. “For our entrepreneurs, Fifth Wall efficiently opens distribution channels for their products to more than

Continue reading “Fifth Wall Ventures raises $503M for second real estate fund”

India’s 30-year-old MyMoneyMantra raises $15M to scale its financial services marketplace


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




MyMoneyMantra, a 30-year-old New Delhi-based firm that operates a marketplace of financial services, has raised $15 million in its maiden funding round from an external source to expand its offerings and reach in the nation.

Dutch investment firm IFSD BV and private equity firm Vaalon Capital funded the $15 million round in MyMoneyMantra, the Indian firm said on Wednesday. A person familiar with the matter said the round valued MyMoneyMantra at about $50 million.

The company’s founder Raj Khosla said MyMoneyMantra, which employs about 2,500 employees and serves over 4 million customers across 50 cities, will use the capital to explore ways to capture a larger share of the market.

Khosla said the firm would work closely with Vaalon Capital’s team to expand its offerings and deepen its ties with banks and insurance companies. In the financial year that ended in March, MyMoneyMantra generated a revenue of $19.6

Continue reading “India’s 30-year-old MyMoneyMantra raises $15M to scale its financial services marketplace”

India’s 30-year-old MyMoneyMantra raises $15M to scale its financial services marketplace


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




MyMoneyMantra, a 30-year-old New Delhi-based firm that operates a marketplace of financial services, has raised $15 million in its maiden funding round from an external source to expand its offerings and reach in the nation.

Dutch investment firm IFSD BV and private equity firm Vaalon Capital funded the $15 million round in MyMoneyMantra, the Indian firm said on Wednesday. A person familiar with the matter said the round valued MyMoneyMantra at about $50 million.

The company’s founder Raj Khosla said MyMoneyMantra, which employs about 2,500 employees and serves over 4 million customers across 50 cities, will use the capital to explore ways to capture a larger share of the market.

Khosla said the firm would work closely with Vaalon Capital’s team to expand its offerings and deepen its ties with banks and insurance companies. In the financial year that ended in March, MyMoneyMantra generated a revenue of $19.6

Continue reading “India’s 30-year-old MyMoneyMantra raises $15M to scale its financial services marketplace”

Contract management startup Icertis becomes unicorn with $115M new round


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Icertis, a Washington-headquartered startup that develops cloud-based software to help large companies manage contracts, has raised $115 million at more than a billion dollar valuation to become the latest SaaS unicorn as it looks to further expand its footprints across the globe.

The Series E round for the 10-year-old firm was led by Greycroft and PremjiInvest, and saw participation from existing investors B Capital Group, Cross Creek Advisors, Eight Roads, Ignition Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and PSP Growth. The startup, which also has offices in Seattle, Pune, Singapore, London, Paris, Sydney, has raised $211 million to date.

Icertis said it would use the fresh capital to expand its technology platform to address wider use cases. It said it would also expand its blockchain framework that integrates with enterprise contract management platforms to solve challenges such as transparency in supply chain and certification compliance. Its revenue are at about $100

Continue reading “Contract management startup Icertis becomes unicorn with $115M new round”

What seed-stage dilution tells us about changing investor expectations


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Round sizes are up. Valuations are up. There are more investors than ever hunting unicorns around the globe. But for all the talk about the abundance of venture funding, there is a lot less being said about what it all means for entrepreneurs raising their early funding rounds.

Take for instance Seed-stage dilution. Since 2014, enterprise-focused tech companies have given up significantly more ownership during Seed rounds. What gives?

Scale is an investor in early-in-revenue enterprise technology companies, so we wanted to better understand how this trend in Seed-stage dilution impacts companies raising Series A and Series B rounds.

Using our

Continue reading “What seed-stage dilution tells us about changing investor expectations”

China startup deals shrink as fundraising for investors plummets


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Chinese startups continue to weather tough times as private investors, caught in a cash crunch, are concentrating money into fewer deals.

China’s deal-making activity for startups in the six months ended June halved from a year ago to 1910, according to data from consulting firm ChinaVenture’s research arm. The amount invested in domestic startups during the first half of 2019 plummeted 54% to $23.2 billion.

The slide in startup investment comes as the money behind the money shrinks amid a cooling economy in China that is exacerbated by a trade war with the U.S. Fundraising for investors was already showing signs of slowdown a year earlier. In the first half of this year, private equity and venture capital firms in China secured 30% less than what they had raised over the same period a year ago, amounting to a total of $54.44 billion. 271 funds managed to

vc funding china

Continue reading “China startup deals shrink as fundraising for investors plummets”

3 lessons from Roblox’s growth to gaming dominance


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Our recently published EC-1 on Roblox recounts the origin story and growth prospects of the company. But there’s one more piece to the story: what Roblox’s impact will be on gaming and the broader startup industry, if the company manages to multiply its current 90 million users.

roblox maus 1

Sources: TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Roblox

We’ve distilled three key ideas out of the EC-1 — lessons that may apply not only to game developers and gaming entrepreneurs, but also to the broader startup industry.

Lesson 1: UGC is a missed opportunity in games

Roblox has shown that user-generated content (UGC) is a missed opportunity for much of the game industry. The company aspires, in a way, to be the YouTube of games. And it is succeeding, with 2 million experiences to date.

The game industry generally has two problems with UGC. One is the games themselves: AAA games today are too complex, and lack

Continue reading “3 lessons from Roblox’s growth to gaming dominance”

3 lessons from Roblox’s growth to gaming dominance


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Our recently published EC-1 on Roblox recounts the origin story and growth prospects of the company. But there’s one more piece to the story: what Roblox’s impact will be on gaming and the broader startup industry, if the company manages to multiply its current 90 million users.

roblox maus 1

Sources: TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Roblox

We’ve distilled three key ideas out of the EC-1 — lessons that may apply not only to game developers and gaming entrepreneurs, but also to the broader startup industry.

Lesson 1: UGC is a missed opportunity in games

Roblox has shown that user-generated content (UGC) is a missed opportunity for much of the game industry. The company aspires, in a way, to be the YouTube of games. And it is succeeding, with 2 million experiences to date.

The game industry generally has two problems with UGC. One is the games themselves: AAA games today are too complex, and lack

Continue reading “3 lessons from Roblox’s growth to gaming dominance”

The need-to-know takeaways from VidCon 2019


This post is by Eric Peckham from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




VidCon, the annual summit in Anaheim, CA for social media stars and their fans to meet each other drew over 75,000 attendees over last week and this past weekend. A small subset of those where entertainment and tech executives convening to share best practices and strike deals.

Of the wide range of topics discussed in the industry-only sessions and casual conversation, five trends stuck out to me as takeaways for Extra Crunch members: the prominence of TikTok, the strong presence of Chinese tech companies in general, the contemplation of deep fakes, curiosity around virtual influencers, and the widespread interest in developing consumer product startups around top content creators.

Newer platforms take center stage

GettyImages 1161447217

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images

TikTok, the Chinese social video app (owned by Bytedance) that exploded onto the US market this past year, was the biggest conversation topic. Executives and talent managers were curious to see where

Continue reading “The need-to-know takeaways from VidCon 2019”

The need-to-know takeaways from VidCon 2019


This post is by Eric Peckham from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




VidCon, the annual summit in Anaheim, CA for social media stars and their fans to meet each other drew over 75,000 attendees over last week and this past weekend. A small subset of those where entertainment and tech executives convening to share best practices and strike deals.

Of the wide range of topics discussed in the industry-only sessions and casual conversation, five trends stuck out to me as takeaways for Extra Crunch members: the prominence of TikTok, the strong presence of Chinese tech companies in general, the contemplation of deep fakes, curiosity around virtual influencers, and the widespread interest in developing consumer product startups around top content creators.

Newer platforms take center stage

GettyImages 1161447217

Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images

TikTok, the Chinese social video app (owned by Bytedance) that exploded onto the US market this past year, was the biggest conversation topic. Executives and talent managers were curious to see where

Continue reading “The need-to-know takeaways from VidCon 2019”

Is blitzscaling killing early employee equity opportunities?


This post is by Danny Crichton from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Silicon Valley has many dreams. One dream — the Hollywood version anyway — is for a down-and-out founder to begin tinkering and coding in their proverbial garage, eventually building a product that is loved by humans the world over and becoming a startup billionaire in the process.

The more prosaic and common version of that Valley dream though is to join an early-stage company right before its growth kicks into high gear. Sure, those early employees might only have a smidgen of equity, but that equity could be worth a whole heck of a lot if they join the right startup.

Every startup has a window of opportunity, a timeframe in which early employees can join while the stock option strike prices are low and the equity grants are high. Join before the big uptick in valuation, and suddenly what might have been an otherwise nice couple of hundred K

Continue reading “Is blitzscaling killing early employee equity opportunities?”

Startups Weekly: Zoom, Superhuman and small reactions to big scandals


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted the big uptick in VC spending in 2019. Before that, I struggled to understand WeWork’s growth trajectory.

Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, do that here, now, please, thanks.

Anyways, onto today’s topic. Venture capitalist’s favorite company, Zoom, endured its first high-profile scandal this week.

After security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh published a Medium post detailing a major security vulnerability within Zoom’s technology platform, the company patched its Mac video conferencing client to remove a rogue web server that allowed any website to join a video call without permission. Users can now update their client or

2D0A0089 1
Screen Shot 2019 07 10 at 11.44.14 AM

Continue reading “Startups Weekly: Zoom, Superhuman and small reactions to big scandals”

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Could Roblox create a new entertainment and communication category, something it calls “social co-experience”?

When it was a small startup, few observers would have believed in that future. But after 15 years — as told in the origin story of our Roblox EC-1 — the company has accumulated 90 million users and a new $150 million venture funding war chest. It has captured the imagination of America’s youth, and become a startup darling in the entertainment space.

But what, exactly, is social co-experience? Well, it can’t be described precisely — because it’s still an emerging category. “It’s almost like that fable where the nine blind men are touching and describing an elephant.

Everyone has a slightly different view,” says co-founder and CEO Dave Baszucki. In Roblox’s view, co-experience means immersive environments where users play, explore, talk, hang out, and create an identity that’s as thoroughly fleshed out (if not as

Lineup All 1

Continue reading “Digging into the Roblox growth strategy”

Digging into the Roblox growth strategy


This post is by Arman Tabatabai from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Could Roblox create a new entertainment and communication category, something it calls “social co-experience”?

When it was a small startup, few observers would have believed in that future. But after 15 years — as told in the origin story of our Roblox EC-1 — the company has accumulated 90 million users and a new $150 million venture funding war chest. It has captured the imagination of America’s youth, and become a startup darling in the entertainment space.

But what, exactly, is social co-experience? Well, it can’t be described precisely — because it’s still an emerging category. “It’s almost like that fable where the nine blind men are touching and describing an elephant.

Everyone has a slightly different view,” says co-founder and CEO Dave Baszucki. In Roblox’s view, co-experience means immersive environments where users play, explore, talk, hang out, and create an identity that’s as thoroughly fleshed out (if not as

Lineup All 1

Continue reading “Digging into the Roblox growth strategy”

Cannabis processing startups hope to unlock new chemicals and treatments


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Jeff Ubersax knows yeast.

The chief executive officer of Demetrix studied yeast genetics and biochemistry in school and was an early employee at Amyris Biotechnologies, a technology company that was using fermentation to make biofuels back in the early days of the first clean technology boom back in 2008. 

Now, the same technology that Ubersax and Jay Keasling, the celebrated professor from the University of California at Berkeley who co-founded Amyris and Demetrix, used to make biofuels is being applied to the production of cannabis.

The company launched with an $11 million seed round led by Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong-based investment fund backed by the multi-billionaire real estate mogul Li Ka-shing, to begin commercializing the technology that Keasling had been researching in his lab.

The goal was to refine a process that would enable yeasts to make a range of cannabinoids that are found in the marijuana plant

Continue reading “Cannabis processing startups hope to unlock new chemicals and treatments”

Runa Capital closes $70M for its third fund aimed at early-stage DeepTech


This post is by Mike Butcher from TechCrunch


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Runa Capital, an international VC firm HQ’d in Silicon Valley says it has now closed $70 million for its third fund aimed at backing early-stage startups in so-called ‘DeepTech’. Runa says it is aiming for a $135 million final target for Runa Fund III. Last year, its total funding in the U.S. increased by 30 percent, tallying just shy of $100 billion across more than 5,500 deals, according to PwC and CB Insights.

Runa already has $270 million under management from its first two funds and is best known for backing mobile banking startup Final (acquired by Goldman Sachs), web server NGINX (acquired by F5 Networks), the mobile app analytics French Capptain (acquired by Microsoft), and the cloud banking platform Mambu. Its most recent investment was Acumatica acquired by private equity fund EQT Partners.

Founders Serguei Beloussov, Ilya Zubarev and Dmitry Chikhachev launched Runa Capital

Continue reading “Runa Capital closes $70M for its third fund aimed at early-stage DeepTech”

Airbnb competitor Sonder confirms new investment, $1B+ valuation


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Sonder, which rents serviced apartments akin to boutique hotels, has raised $225 million at a valuation north of $1 billion, the company announced this morning.

News of the round, which brings Sonder’s total raised to date to more than $400 million, follows an April report from The Wall Street Journal that the business was closing in on its unicorn round. Valor Equity, Westcap and Nicolas Pritzker via Tao Capital Partners have co-led the round with participation from Fidelity, Atreides Capital, ARod Corp, Spark Capital and Greenoaks Capital.

The Airbnb competitor says it tripled the number of rentable units in its online marketplace last year with more than 8,500 spaces in 20 cities around the world available today. San Francisco-based Sonder expects a $400 million revenue run rate by the end of 2019, representing 4x growth year-over-year.

“The future of hospitality will be dynamic,” writes Sonder co-founder and chief executive

Continue reading “Airbnb competitor Sonder confirms new investment, $1B+ valuation”

India’s Rivigo raises $65M to expand its freight and logistics platform


This post is by Manish Singh from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Rivigo, a tech startup in India that wants to build a more reliable and safer logistics network, has raised $65 million as major investors continue to place big bet on opportunities in overhauling trucking system in the country.

The Series E round, which has not closed, for the five-year-old startup was led by existing investors Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners.  The startup, which has raised more than $280 million to date, said it aims to be profitable by March next year.

Rivigo operates a tech platform that tracks and manages shipments and ensures that drivers are available at all times and trucks are as fully loaded as possible. The platform also automatically rotates drivers so that they can get enough rest and see their family while the trucks keep moving. Drivers use an app to navigate maps and accept assignments.

“Relay trucking is now very well established where

Continue reading “India’s Rivigo raises $65M to expand its freight and logistics platform”