Startup accelerator and early stage investor 500 Startups is looking to raise a second fund focused on South Korea, according to a regulatory filing.The filing does not specify how much will be raised as part of the fund.In 2015, it raised US$15 million for 500 Kimchi, its first South Korea-focused fund, headed by Tim Chae.The fund has invested in gaming merchandise marketplace Itemku, online cosmetics retailer Althea, and digital comics startup Tapas Media, among others.Chae was promoted to general partner of 500 startups in February.
When Mike Driver was an investment officer at the Asian Development Bank and then subsequently at the International Finance Corporation, he spotted a problem.“We were investing in banks and microfinance institutions, and we were really watching these guys struggle with digital transformation,” he recalls.One core concern, he says, was how inefficiently managed client relationships were.“We see situations where a loan officer has as many as 400 customers.They have to know their names and profiles, and they’re not using a customer relationship management tool to keep track of the conversations they’re having.”Support quality journalism and content.
Your last 10 emails with a recruiter before an onsite interview probably shouldn’t be about rebooking your canceled flight.Pana is a Denver startup now setting its sights on the corporate travel market, with a specific eye towards killing the back-and-forth email or spreadsheet coordination.The startup, founded in 2015, first tried to gain an inroad with consumers, but its $49 per month individual-focused travel concierge plan probably limited its reach.The company’s latest shot at taking on corporate travel lets companies use the service to outsource dealing with out-of-network “guests.” The startup is looking to take this path as an inroad into the broader corporate travel market, and is making the apparent choice to work with more expansive corporate travel companies like SAP’s Concur rather than against them, initially at least.The company just closed a $10 million Series A round led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Techstars, Matchstick Ventures, and MergeLane Fund.Previous investors also include 500 Startups, FG Angels and The Galvanize Fund.
With remote working becoming more of a norm than ever before, remote interviews have, in turn, become a necessity.But how can you truly assess someone from these?In addition, it’s easy to miss great candidates just because you don’t have time to interview all the candidates.A number of startups have appeared to try and address the problem.which has raised $93M, has tried to address with an AI-driven ‘Hiring Intelligence’ platform.AllyO, which has raised $19M, is trying to make hiring more efficient by addressing the traditional inefficiencies of lost applicants and conversions due to poor candidate experience.
The latest controversy in China’s tech industry centers on the intense work culture that often forces people to be on duty from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, six days a week.Dubbed “996” by tech staffers, the grueling schedule stands accused of being bad for people’s health and their social lives.But China’s tech industry workers are divided on whether this really is a societal issue or just an overblown war of words.Andrew Chen, a general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and former executive with ride-hailer Uber’s China wing, points out that the culture is nothing new.As he tweeted this weekend: “When we were building Uber China and competing with Didi, we talked about their ‘996’ culture all the time – 9 am to 9pm, 6 days per week.It’s a scary thing to compete against.”
It’s often said that the dramatic fall of crypto prices last year ushered in a new era for technology-focused startups in the blockchain space, and the same argument can be made for the venture capitalists who fund them.The fund is led by trio Phil Chen, who created HTC’s Vive VR headset and is currently developing its Exodus blockchain phone (he spent time as a VC with Horizons Ventures in between), Edith Yeung, who previously headed up mobile for 500 Startups, and Chris McCann, a Thiel Fellow whose last role was head of community for U.S. VC firm Greylock Partners.The firm — and you have to give them credit for the name — has an LP base that is anchored by HTC — no big surprise there given the connections — alongside YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics, Ripple’s former chief risk officer Greg Kidd (who is also a prolific crypto investor) and a number of undisclosed family offices.“For HTC, it’s obvious, they already have a product to go with it,” Yeung told TechCrunch in an interview, referencing the fact that HTC is keen to invest in blockchain services and startups to build an ecosystem for its play.The fund also includes a partnership with HTC which, slightly hazy on paper, will essentially open the possibility for Proof of Capital portfolio companies to work with HTC directly to develop services or products for Exodus and potentially other HTC blockchain ventures.But other LPs are also keen to dip their toes in the water in different ways.
Today, Proof of Capital announced a $50 million VC fund to invest in blockchain technologies using the decentralized, transparent, and secure technology behind cryptocurrencies and other innovations.The fund’s mission is to build an internet ecosystem that belongs to everyone and ushers in worldwide adoption of blockchain technology.Proof of Capital was cofounded by Phil Chen (one of the creators of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset and a former partner at Horizons Ventures, currently at HTC Exodus).Cofounders include Chris McCann, formerly of Greylock Partners, and Edith Yeung, advisor to 500 Startups.“The architecture and security of Web 3.0 needs close collaboration between both hardware and software builders, with HTC’s Exodus taking a leading role — starting with a Secure Enclave within the phone,” Chen said in a statement.“Proof of Capital will work closely with HTC to define the standards and interactions for this new internet and bring mobile and hardware know-how for our portfolio companies.
A little over a year after it introduced Syndicates to the India market, AngelList — the U.S. service that helps connect companies with investors — is rolling out its own fund in the country with the backing of some stellar names.Dubbed ‘The Collective,’ the syndicate includes money from Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal — Flipkart, of course, sold a majority stake to Walmart for $16 billion last year — and VCs Salil Deshpande of Bain Capital Ventures, Matrix India trio Avnish Bajaj, Tarun Davda and Vikram Vaidyanathan, Navroz Udwadia from Falcon Edge Capital and Rahul Mehta of DST Global.There’s also involvement from funds that include Kalaari Capital, FJ Labs and Beenext.The Collective will be managed through an investment committee that is Utsav Somani, a partner with AngelList who launched the service in India, former 500 Startups India partner Pankaj Jain and Nipun Mehra, who has worked with Sequoia Capital, Flipkart and payment startup Pine Labs.The size of the fund is undisclosed, but Somani told TechCrunch it will likely back 60-80 companies over the next 12-18 months.Syndicates interested in engaging The Collective can draw up to $150,000 per deal, according to an AngelList India announcement.
Singapore-headquartered technology-enabled student housing startup Oxfordcaps today announced that it has raised over US$8 million (S$11 milliom) in series A funding.The round was led by India-based Times Internet with participation from returning investors Kalaari Capital and 500 Startups.Oxfordcaps works with landlords to redesign properties, turning them into standardized accommodation for students to rent.Its properties are fully-fitted, which means they offer wifi, laundry, housekeeping, and meals.The startup has three sub-brands that target students in different price segments: Oxfordcaps Premium Residences, Oxfordcaps Student Residences, and Oxfordcaps Dorms.Founded in 2017, Oxfordcaps will use the new injection to fuel its growth in over 10 cities in India.
When 500 Startups partner Hasan Haider announced the $15 million first close for the accelerator and investment firm’s Middle Eastern focused fund, 500 Falcons, Dave McClure was still at the helm of Silicon Valley’s second most famous accelerator.Within a month, McClure was removed from the accelerator after admitting to sexual misconduct and 500 Startups started reckoning with the ramifications of his actions.Over the course of 2018, 500 saw some successes among its international operations, ending the year with $454 million committed across multiple funds, according to the company’s chief executive, Christine Tsai.The firm’s international operations kept humming with 500 Vietnam raising $14 million in an oversubscribed close and the Southeast Asian-focused fund, 500 TukTuks II, holding their initial close.Last year there were 366 investments made in Middle Eastern startups — the highest number on record.And those deals managed to raise 31% more than their 2017 total, with $893 million in capital committed, according to the region’s industry tracker, Magnitt.
FireVisor, a Singapore-based artificial intelligence startup providing software for large manufacturing companies, has raised about US$740,000 for its seed round, which was led by the 500 Startups Durians II Fund and Acequia Capital and joined by SGI along with Entrepreneur First.The founders, Surbhi Krishna Singh and Long Hoang, believe their product is better than the simple software automation available to manufacturers today.FireVisor’s platform connects to data sources in the manufacturing line to automatically perform engineering failure analysis in real-time.It can help manufacturing companies save costs otherwise lost to product failures and quality issues.“Today, an army of human inspectors are needed to make sure no fault escapes the production line, while process control engineers constantly tweak and monitor machines.The machines, on the other hand, produce an abundance of valuable data but these vast amounts of data are unused and simply get discarded,” says Singh, CEO and co-founder of FireVisor.
In the febrile atmosphere of today’s politics, hate crime incidents in the US increased by 17% between 2016 to 2017, according to the FBI.It’s strange and saddening to think that men, women, and gender non-conforming people who “travel while gay” are now in a more dangerous – and potentially life-threatening – situation around the world, despite us being well into the 21st Century.There are many incidents where, at hotels, gay travelers have been rejected or forced to book separate rooms, and had to fall back on third-party, unverified, user-generated reviews.Now, misterb, the short-term rental marketplace aimed at the Gay community, has a simple solution.Customers can book an entire home or rent a private room at the home of a gay or gay-friendly host, and with many located in gay-friendly neighborhoods.The startup graduated from the 500 Startups accelerator and has raised US$13.5M from institutional investors like Project A and Ventech, and from angels like Joel Simkhai (founder of Grindr, which sold for $300M USD).
The weather is not what I expected when I moved here seven, six years ago, but I don’t know, we’re still in the middle of the universe of tech, so it’s not that bad.Kate Clark: I’m a Seattle-ite, so I try not to complain about the rain, but this is really annoying.Kate Clark: Yep, that’s how I feel.Alex: This is fun, because the first fund was actually 15.3 million, so it’s just ever so slightly more than double, but they probably shot for roughly double, and what’s cool is we were going back through the archives, and Charles Hudson, the kind of main person at Precursor was a guest back in June of 2017, which means that Equity is officially old.Kate Clark: It was 500 Startups Japan.So, it looks like they’ve decided to roll out as an independent fund, completely separate from 500 Startups.
The team behind 500 Startups’ Japan fund has spun out of the US-based seed investor and relaunched as independent firm Coral Capital.Previous 500 Japan investors Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi Estate, and Taizo Son – brother of SoftBank supremo Masayoshi Son – are among those to have backed Coral Capital’s first independent fund.Shinsei Bank has also come on board as a limited partner, alongside a number of undisclosed institutional investors.“Historically [a lot of the money for [Japanese] startups comes from corporates,” he explained.“But in Silicon Valley it’s mostly institutional.Institutional investors haven’t really shown a lot of love for startups in Japan.
Budget airline AirAsia is launching a venture capital fund called RedBeat Capital that will invest in post-seed startups around the world who are entering or expanding their presence in Southeast Asia, it announced.The fund targets travel and lifestyle, logistics, AI, internet of things, cybersecurity, and fintech companies.RedBeat Ventures, the entity running the fund, also said it is tying up with venture capital firm 500 Startups to access their deal flow.Based out of San Francisco, the fund will be run by AirAsia Group deputy CEO Aireen Omar.TechCrunch reports that the fund is targeting a first close of US$60 million and that some of the money has been raised from limited partners, which means this not quite a corporate fund.Its checks could go as high as US$1 million or even US$5 million.
Embattled venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck (pictured) is suing his former co-Binary Capital founder Jonathan Teo, alleging breach of contract, fraud and more.Caldbeck, accused of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances in 2017, took an indefinite leave of absence from Binary Capital, leaving to Teo all the responsibilities of the $175 million fund.Ultimately, Binary Capital shut down and New York venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau assumed responsibility for its $125 million debut investment vehicle, 70 percent of which has been deployed, per details shared in the lawsuit.In the legal filing submitted to the Superior Court of The State of California, Caldbeck accuses Teo of mismanagement following his June 2017 departure.The filing cites 500 Startups and Sherpa Capital as examples of funds that were able to survive following similar scandals wherein a partner was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct.Caldbeck, in essence, is upset Teo wasn’t able to successfully run Binary Capital following his own alleged wrongdoings.
DocDoc is pleased to announce that it has secured a strategic investment from Cyberport Macro Fund (CMF), following which they will open a new office in Hong Kong’s Cyberport.DocDoc, combining Asia’s largest network of doctors with a powerful AI-powered doctor discovery platform, will use the proceeds from its latest fundraising to expand its market presence in Hong Kong and strengthen its network of doctors in the region.The amount of the investment was not disclosed.Singapore-based DocDoc has previously raised funds from the likes of 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, former DBS and Singtel chairman Koh Boon Hwee, and VC firm Jungle Ventures.In April 2015, it banked US$8.5 million in series A funding from Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Financial Group and South Korean venture builder Sparklabs Global.The latest investment from CMF brings DocDoc’s total funding to date to US$18.5 million.
IBI continues rapid expansion as the leading global think tank for the growing Digital Securities IndustryWEST PALM BEACH, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–February 21, 2019–The Institute for Blockchain Innovation (IBI) continues its growth as the leading global think tank for the Digital Securities or Security Token Industry.The think tank brings together the world’s innovators in the Digital Securities space, along with leaders from corporate, academic, regulatory, entrepreneurial, venture capital, and governmental backgrounds.The IBI has been a global pioneer in the Digital Securities space and its current members include among others the leaders from Securitize, Polymath, 500 Startups, Ausum Ventures and many other pioneers in the Digital Securities space.New IBI founding members announced today include:
It’s launching out of beta today in an effort to stand out from the saturated dating app market, filled with endless swiping and mundane messaging.Quiz Date Live offers livestream Q sessions with single women.Contestants are then quizzed so that they can qualify for a chance to go on a date.Quiz Date has immediate plans following launch to expand to male bachelor and LGBTQ+ episodes, spreading fun and love to all corners of America.1 dating app, East Meets East, which received $4 million in funding from investors including 500 Startups).Tokioka is also an expert in the quiz app space and the cofounder of Quipper, a global education technology company.
Facebook and Google made them popular in the early 2010s, although deals have tended to be smaller and quieter in recent years.But US tech companies may be missing out on opportunities in newer markets like Latin America.Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names are starting to invest in Latin American startups at earlier stages, including Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners, Founders Fund, 500 Startups, Sequoia Capital, and Y Combinator, proving that foreign firms now view Latin American startups as less risky.Yet despite growing investor interest in the Latin America, I’ve heard many US tech firms say they are still put off by the region and rarely consider a local acquisition when launching into Latin American markets.Acquihires generally happen when a startup cannot build a sustainable business, runs out of money, or entrepreneurs decide they would rather move on to working at a bigger business and step away from their startup.From the perspective of a VC, an acquihire might not be the ideal outcome, but it helps the founders and early employees find a home when the startup doesn’t work out.