Industry Archives: Mobile Services

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U.S. Mobile App Company Seeking Seed Funding

The Company has developed a new iOS, GPS-based app for parents, caregivers and children, which provides a better way for families to keep in touch by using advanced geofencing and alerting technology. The Company offers a sense of security and peace of mind for parents and equips children with important security and communications features.

A secondary product offering is the iBeacon, a small standalone wireless sensor that dramatically increases the precision of Apple location services. It allows the user to see the location of someone relative to the iBeacon for use in a home, vehicle, school, or wherever the user sees fit. The location is accurate to within a few feet.

The Company’s management team, comprised of former telecom, nonprofit, technology and professional sports executives, has experience in rapid growth, venture-capital funded and Fortune 500 companies; the lead investor and company spokesperson is a high-profile current NFL player.

The U.S. market potential for mobile monitoring applications alone is $3.05 billion. The Company is positioned to become the leader in the mobile monitoring market, which has a customer base exceeding 38M parents and caregivers benefiting over 75M children.

Not only is the Company suited for parents, caregivers and children, the market also includes elderly parents, particularly those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or memory loss. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total U.S. market alone is 43.2M customers.

The Company recently soft-launched its product in the App Store. The Company generates its revenue via a paid subscription service that also allows the user to buy the iBeacon products. Additionally, the Company has secured major channel partnerships with an NFL sports agency with more than 150 current NFL players who will promote the app via their 14.7M social media followers. Other partnerships include companies with 5M+ consumer customer bases.

The company is seeking their second seed round of funding, which will be used for the completion of its Beta program, continued product development, and for implementing its marketing infrastructure and strategy for both pre- and post-launch efforts – launch will be in September ’15.

Deal Contact:
FamilySignal LLC
Richard Maaghul
[email protected]
+1 415 798 6876

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Japan’s Recruit Buys European Restaurant Booking Service Quandoo For $219M

TechCrunch
Restaurant reservation service Quandoo, a major European rival to OpenTable, is being acquired by Japan’s Recruit in a deal worth 27.11 billion yen, that’s around $219 million.

Berlin-based Quandoo, which was founded in 2012, took a strategic investment from Recruit — via its RGIP venture capital fund — in October, and now the Japanese company has returned to snap up the remaining 92.91 percent of the company to give it 100 percent ownership. Last year Quandoo closed its Series $25m growth financing round lead by Piton Capital, along with Holtzbrinck Ventures and DN Capital.

Quandoo is an online reservation system that is used by over 6,000 restaurants in 10 countries in Europe, South Africa, Lebanon and Singapore. The company said that it is seeing particular momentum in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey and Poland, but it did not provide more specific figures.

The deal is an interesting one because Recruit, as the name suggests, started out in the business of connecting job seekers with potential employers when it began life in 1960. It has since branched out to become a “global matching platform” that offers 10 different kinds of services, including HR, education, travel, housing and (in Japan) dining.

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TrulyMadly Is A Tinder-Style Dating App That’s Built For India

TechCrunch
“Facebook is India’s Facebook and Twitter is India’s Twitter, but Tinder won’t be India’s Tinder.” That’s according to Sachin Bhatia, co-founder of TrulyMadly, an app that is aiming to take the mobile dating phenomenon fueled by the likes of Tinder and repackage it to fit with India’s social and cultural nuances. “There is still a stigma around online dating, but our mandate is to make it more cool,” Bhatia explained to TechCrunch in an interview.

Bhatia, who co-founded top online travel site MakeMyTrip, sat down with two friends — MakeMyTrip colleague Rahul Kumar and Hitesh Dhingra, founder of Flipkart owned-Letsbuy — to brainstorm areas that were “ripe for disruption” last year after he exited his company.

The trio looked over a number of areas for new opportunities but were most taken by dating, and, in particular, the lack of services catering to the 18-26 year-old demographic. TrulyMadly was created to fill that void.
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Russian fintech fund Life.Sreda acquires Southeast Asian mobile acquiring startup iboxPro

East-West Digital News
Life.Sreda, a Russian fund investing in financial and mobile technologies, has acquired iboxPro, a leading Asian mobile point-of-sale service, and intends to merge it with its Russian portfolio company LifePay.
The details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but an unnamed source told business daily Kommersant that it amounted to “up to $10 million.”
Tapping into iboxPro’s networks in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, Life.Sreda aims to create a market leader in Southeast Asia. A new company, christened ‘LifePay Global,’ is being created with headquarters in Singapore.
LifePay Global, which plans further expansion to the Chinese and Philippine markets, has set for itself the goal of processing $40 million worth transactions per month by the end of 2015.
The company is also hoping to launch a number of new services, including online loads, online acquisitions, and digital wallet services.
“The reason for our attention to mPOS projects is the fact that today they are the fastest-growing. That is quite understandable: they have one of the lowest CPAs and the highest customer base growth rate. No other financial technology demonstrates such growth speed, low customer acquisition cost, and upwell capabilities,” international tech blog Tech Cocktail quoted Vladislav Solodkiy, LifePay Global Managing Director, as saying.
“Today’s main competitive advantage is the ability to use data, analyze it the right way, and implement the results. Modern smartphones and tablets turn each payment into a unique source of data valuable for management and development,” said John Langer, Chairman of the Board at ibox.
Life.Sreda announced recently its intention to support actively the development of LifePay, which it considers to be its most promising project in Russia. The new  Life.Sreda II fund focuses exclusively on foreign markets.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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Samsung Acquires LoopPay, Maker Of An Apple Pay Competitor

Samsung has acquired LoopPay, the companies announced today. The acquisition confirms earlier rumors that suggested the two were working closely together on an upcoming project, and suggests Samsung could make use of LoopPay’s technology to offer is own Apple Pay competitor on future devices.

LoopPay even advertises its solution as an alternative to Apple Pay for non-Apple device makers, and advocates its compatibility with systems already in place at retailers throughout the U.S. Its tech currently works using a standalone fob or a CardCase, which incorporates the payment tech into a protective case designed for use with some of the top smartphones currently available. A LoopPay app allows you to input and store payment card information, and the case communicates wirelessly with existing tap-to-pay terminals available at merchants and retailers. It works by mimicking mag stripe technology, meaning it shouldn’t even require updated hardware in most stores.
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Mobile Cooking App Kitchen Stories Raises $1.8M

Kitchen Stories_Team_v2 After garnering over 3 million downloads on iOS, mobile cooking app Kitchen Stories has closed a $1.8 million seed round, including backing from Point Nine Capital, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments. Read More

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Chinese Education App XueXiBao Raises $20M Series B From SoftBank And GSR

education XueXiBao, a homework help app, is the latest educational tech startup in China to receive funding. SoftBank China Venture Capital, an arm of the Japanese telecom giant, and returning investor GSR Ventures led a $20 million Series B in the company. Read More

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Vaizra invests in Israeli and US startups

Vaizra Investments, the fund belonging to VKontakte founders Lev Leviev and Vyacheslav Mirilashvili, has invested in startups Moovit and Boxed. Moovit is an Israeli app which helps users to plan journeys on public transport, and Boxed is a US app for wholesale buyers.
Moovit monitors levels of traffic and the schedules of different forms of public transport in order to help users plan the most efficient route. It received $50 million from a group of funds, which also included Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, BMW i Ventures, Keolis, Bernard Arnault Group, BRM Capital and Gemini Partners.
The app is currently used in over 400 cities across 40 countries, including Moscow and St Petersburg. Including the current deal, it has received over $81.5 million in investment since it was first launched in 2011, and is now valued at $450 million.
Boxed received $25 million in series B investment, with DST Global founder Yuri Milner also participating in the round, as well as GGV Capital, Founders Fund and AME Cloud Ventures.Boxed has now received a total of $33 million in investment, with the latest funds going towards increasing its range of products.
Source: Firrma.ru
 

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‘Uber For Logistics’ Startup Lalamove Lands $10M To Expand In China And Southeast Asia

TechCrunch
Lalamove, an Uber-like service for logistics, has raised $10 million to expand its presence across Asia, where it already operates in six cities.

The company, which began life in Hong Kong in December 2013, offers iOS and Android apps that allow customers to move items across a city using its network of ‘regular’ drivers. Its business model is basically akin to an ‘Uber for logistics’ since anyone with a valid license and car can sign up to be a driver.

The $10 million round is led by China’s Crystal Stream Capital, and it includes participation from Geek Founders, Mindworks Ventures, Sirius Venture Capital and Aria Group. Lalamove said a number of unnamed individual investors also took part.

Executive Blake Larson told TechCrunch in an interview that the money will be used to strengthen its position in its existing markets: Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Taipei and — as of last week — Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The capital will also be used to “further penetrate” China and enter more parts in Southeast Asia.
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Croice secures $500,000 from Imperious Group to develop new format of “photo stories”

Last week Croice, whose mobile app allows you to create photo stories with a background audio, announced its first round of financing with $500,000 brought in by venture fund Imperious Group.
Launched earlier this year by Russian entrepreneur Vadim Zhernov, the St. Petersburg-based startup presents its app as “a new media format.” The photo stories, named ‘Croices,’ can be up to 30 seconds long – for example, pictures of a party with music and voices in the background.
“This format conveys context better than a single photo or a short video clip,” underlines the company.
“Compressing information for quicker consumption is a trend that is gaining momentum. Working at the RIA Novosti news agency I noticed that it took roughly 15 seconds to read a piece of news while perusing visual information took substantially more time. That is why we invented the format of short photo stories that are easy to create and grasp,” says Zhernov.

Croice is currently available for iOS in more than 30 languages, targeting the US, European and Russian markets with plans to expand further to various Asian markets.
As a new media product, the startup claims to have no direct competitors. It may be compared, however, with Flipagram, an app that allows the creation of short video stories from a user’s gallery, add music and share them.
Launched in 2010 in Russia, Imperious Group already has physical or virtual offices in Ukraine, Israel and the USA. The fund has invested in 31 profile companies so far, including Ukrainian, American and Russian ones. Its target segments are big data, mobile, SaaS, e-commerce, security, fintech, enterprise software, social, advertising, consumer Internet, healthcare, sport, analytics, video and audio.

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