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SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

April 13th, 2015

Bi-monthly Highlights

Global Trends

Augmented and virtual reality to grow to US$150B by 2020, forecaster says

The augmented reality and virtual reality markets have yet to get off the ground. But market advisor Digi-Capital
estimates that the combined markets will reach US$150 billion by 2020. Digi-Capital managing director Tim Merel
believes that augmented reality where you can add a virtual overlay to glasses that enable you to see the real
world in a new way will be four times bigger at $120 billion than virtual reality, which immerses you in a virtual
world via goggles. He estimates that virtual reality will be more of a niche market at $30 billion by 2020. In 2016, he
believes the market will be single-digit billions. VR [virtual reality] and AR [augmented reality] are exciting
Google Glass coming and going, Facebooks $2 billion for Oculus, Googles $542 million into Magic Leap, not to
mention Microsofts delightful HoloLens, said Merel in a statement. There are amazing early stage platforms and
apps, but VR/AR in 2015 feels a bit like the smartphone market before the iPhone. Were waiting for someone to say
One more thing in a way that has everyone thinking so thats where the markets going.

Mobile ad spending to hit US$100B in 2016 and become the biggest digital ad market
Mobile ad spending is on a tear. It will top US$100 billion in 2016 and account for more than 50 percent of all digital
ads for the first time, according to market researcher eMarketer. More than $101.4 billion will be spent on ads served
in 2016 to mobile phones and tablets worldwide. Thats a 400 percent increase from 2013. From 2016 to 2019,
mobile ads will nearly double again, rising to $195.6 billion. That figure will account for 70.1 percent of all digital
advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide. Its all about the number of
consumers adopting mobile devices. As that number soars, marketers are chasing consumers into mobile markets.
Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, more than onequarter of whom will be in China. The U.S. and China will drive mobile ads in the short term. In 2016, U.S.
advertisers are expected to spend $40.2 billion on mobile ads, more than doubling the total from 2014. In China,
advertisers will spend $22.1 billion next year, triple the amount spent in 2014. In both countries, mobile will become
the majority of all digital advertising next year.

Global 3D printing market grew 68 percent last year, generating US$3.3B in revenues
The market for 3D printing continues to build momentum last year as 133,000 printers were shipped, indicating that
the nascent manufacturing revolution has some legs. According to a report from Canalys, those sales represented a
68 percent increase in 3D printers shipped. The result was US$3 billion in revenues generated by printer sales as
well as sales of associated materials. Weve seen the 3D printing industry go from strength to strength in 2014,
said Canalys analyst Joe Kempton in a statement. As we expected, the holiday season saw the most significant
growth, particularly in the consumer segment, with many users buying their first 3D printer. The growth is being
driven by prices that continue to drop and a wider variety of 3D printer models. In addition, the ability to fund product
creation via crowdfunding platforms has also created more demand for 3D printers, Canalys said. In just the last
quarter of 2014, Canalys found that 3D printer revenues passed $1 billion for the first time in a single quarter.
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015

Asia Pacific

Chinese education platform Genshuixue raises US$50M series A

Chinese online education platform Genshuixue announced that it has raised a US$50 million series A round. The
round was led by Hillhouse Capital, and reportedly values the startup at US$250 million. Genshuixue is a website
and mobile app that allows users to search for courses, both local and online, in a variety of subjects from piano to
SAT prep. Once theyve picked a type of course, users can browse all of the teachers of that subject in their area.
The site includes user comments and verifies details like teachers professional qualifications so users can be sure
of what theyre getting. Once theyre done browsing their options, users can register and pay for their classes online.
The site has been online for just under half a year, but in that time Genshuixue has signed up more than 70,000
teachers who offer more than 69,000 different classes to millions of students.

Chinese ridesharing app 51yongche raises series C worth tens of millions

Chinese carpool app 51yongche announced that it has raised a series C funding round in the tens of millions USD.
The exact sum of the round was not disclosed, but the funding was led by Baidu, and Sequoia Capital also
participated. 51yongche is a relatively new entrant to Chinas ridesharing market, but it has already raised money
from a number of high profile investors: Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun started things off with an angel investment, Innovation
Works led the companys series A, and Sequoia led its series B. 51yongche CEO Li Huabing told reporters that
Baidus investment in this latest round is an enormous acknowledgement of the strength of this market and the
51yongche team. The funding round should help the Uber-style app compete, but Chinas taxi/ridesharing app
market is already quite crowded. Other major players include Uber itself, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache (which are
merging), and Yidao Yongche.

Tencent-backed Dianping funds startup to fuel Chinese takeaway tussle

Dianping, Chinas top Yelp-like site, led a series C funding round into food delivery startup Meican. The investment
is worth US$22.6 million, with KPCB and Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) also participating. The move comes as
Chinas online food delivery sector finally heats up after a lukewarm start. The involvement of Dianping in which
tech titan Tencent owns a 20 percent stake shows that both Dianping and Tencent are looking to dominate this
sector by taking strategic stakes in the leading takeaway services. In May 2014, Dianping put US$80 million into perhaps Chinas top food delivery site and then at the start of this year Tencent and Dianping joined in
with a few other investors to put a further US$350 million into Tencent has also backed the fast-growing
Line0 app.

1-hour delivery startup from China crowdsources local convenience stores, snags US$20M funding
Beequick, a food and drink delivery startup, has announced it secured a US$20 million series B round of funding led
by Hillhouse Capital with participation from Sequoia Capital, according to iYiou. Beequick says its now valued at
US$200 million. Founded in May last year, Beequick got its start in Beijing by promising one-hour delivery of snacks,
beverages, liquor, coffee, and fruit. It has since expanded to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and a few other cities. In
October last year, the company completed a US$20 million series A round led by Sequoia. Beequick takes
advantage of a large network of local convenience stores to find the nearest vendor with the requested items. The
startup says it has more than 10,000 convenience stores on board, who deliver over 30,000 orders daily. Payments
are made in the app.


Mobile Map Startup Dabeeo Secures around US$914K Investment from Bon Angels
Bon Angels CEO Byungkyu Chang announced that Bon Angels and Technology Innovations Program of Small
Business Administration jointly invested around US$914,000 (1 billion KRW) in the mobile map API startup Dabeeo.
Founded by ex-LG Electronics employee Jooheum Park, Dabeeo is a startup that provides offline storage type map
that allows fast access to maps for businesses and startups. In Korea, Dabeeo developed the first map editing
platform using OpenStreetMap data. Dabeeo registered patent of this technology in South Korea, the U.S., and
China. Since its launch Dabeeo has aimed to provide users with access to high quality map data regardless of the
stability of their data connection. Dabeeo has recently signed strategic partnerships with corporations that have
expanded shopping and media services. Dabeeo plans to help its partners launching new businesses based on the
map data.
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015

Online fashion retailer Storets secures around US$914K investment

Storets, an online womens clothing retailer, secured around US$914,000 (1 billion KRW) investment on March 27.
Early stage venture capital firm Bon Angels and Silicon Valley-based Big Basin Capital participated in the investment.
Launched in 2011, Storets sells edgy and bold Korean fashion to customers all over the world. The retailer offers
both products designed by the company as well as products from Dongdaemun, a commercial market in Seoul,
where numerous shopping malls feature both wholesale and retail merchandise. Although based in Korea, Storets
exclusively caters to the foreign market. The company does not provide a website in the Korean language.The
designs and silhouettes of clothes that Storets carries, according to Bo Kim, CEO of Storets, are a little too bold for
the Korean market. Instead, the retailer focuses on customers in the US, China, and Europe, markets which accounts
for more than 98% of the sites total sales.

Video Editor Startup Vapshion Secures Investment from Bon Angels

The CEO of Bon Angels Byungkyu Chang announced that Bon Angels has invested in video editing software startup
Vapshion. Since its launch, Vapshion has won several startup competitions, including KDB Enterprise Challege and
2014 Young Businessman Award, which was hosted by South Koreas Ministry of Education. It currently provides
video, photo, and audio editing softwares Vapmix, Vapshion, Vapcut, Mucut, and Vappotho. The main products,
Vapshion and Vapmix, allow users to embellish plain videos recorded with cellphones or camcorders, into quality
videos resembling clips in popular television programs. In addition to various editing tools and effect filters, it provides
over 1,000 types of TV show-style subtitles. Particularly, the subtitle editing software Vapshion has spiked in
popularity recently. Attracting both amateur and professionals video editors, Vapshion has accumulated over 200,000
registered users so far.


News reader app SmartNews raises US$10M to open up shop in San Francisco
Japan-based news aggregating application SmartNews just snagged US$10 million to open up an office in San
Francisco and attract top machine-learning engineers. SmartNews aggregates news from around the web and
through partnerships with media outlets and then serves up stories based on machine learning. The app works both
online and offline, so you can still access stories when youre not connected to a network much like Flipboard.
The new cash will help SmartNews hire a new rash of machine learning and deep learning engineers, which is one
of the reasons its opening an office in San Francisco. The Bay Area is becoming a hub for machine learning
startups and projects, and cofounder Kaisei Hamamoto thinks a move to San Francisco will help the company
attract better talent as it grows. Social game maker, Gree led the investment round. Globis Capital Partners,
Atomico, Mixi and Social Venture Partners also contributed. In total SmartNews has raised $50 million in funding.

Japanese ecommerce startup Origami lands US$13M from SoftBank, Credit Saison
Tokyo-based ecommerce startup Origami announced a US$13.3 million series B funding round led by SoftBank
Group, Credit Saison, and angel investor Makoto Takano. In addition to the new investment, Origami has also
partnered with SoftBank Group and Credit Saison to boost its online-to-offline (O2O) focused mobile shopping
experience. Origami allows users to follow their favorite retailers, receive updates on new releases in a personalized
feed, and ultimately purchase products in-app or in-store. At present, more than 800 brands feature and sell their
wares on Origami. The number seems a bit small after launching two years ago, but the startup appears focused on
high-end and lesser-known boutique outlets. Origami, available for iOS and Android, raised US$5 million in series A
funding from Japanese telco KDDI and Digital Advertising Consortium (DAC) back in 2013. The startup also
previously partnered with Conde Nast Group, publisher of Vogue Japan, GQ Japan, and Wired.

Helmed By Lines Former CEO, Video Startup C Channel Launches With US$4.1M In Funding
Today marks the official launch of C Channel, the new video startup headed by former Line chief executive officer
Akira Morikawa. So far, the company has raised about US$4.1 million (500 million yen) in funding from investors
including GMO Venture Partners, i-Stye, Asobi System Holdings, Gree, Nexyz, B Dash Ventures, MAK Corporation,
and Rakuten. Morikawa was officially replaced by chief operating officer Takeshi Idezawa at the beginning of this
month, but the transition was first announced in December. C Channel is positioning itself as a combination lifestyle
magazine/video site that showcases content related to fashion, food, travel, and pop culture. Each video is just one
minute long, the better to capture short attention spans, and most are shot and edited by professionals. C Channels
target audience is young women in their teens to thirties.
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015


Mumbai-based Classifieds Site Quikr Grabs US$150M In New Funding

Quikr, which claims to be Indias largest classified ads site, has scooped up US$150 million from returning investors
Tiger Global and Investment AB Kinnevik, as well as Steadview Capital. The latest round, which is the biggest single
one Quikr has raised so far and brings its total funding to $350 million, will be used to enhance its mobile business
and expand its most active categories, including cars, real estate, jobs, and services. The site claims to have 30
million monthly users, including individual consumers and small businesses, and is active in 1,000 cities across
India. Quikr is planning to launch a separate property portal called, thanks to a two-fold increase in
listings over the past year as the real estate market prepares for a recovery. The new site will compete against
players like SoftBank-backed; CommonFloor, which has also raised funding from Tiger Global as well
as Google Capital;; and 99Acres.

Thiel Fellow Raises US$25M For OYO Rooms, A Network of Branded Budget Hotels in India
In the largest funding round to date for a Thiel Fellow project, Ritesh Agarwal has raised US$25 million from
Lightspeed, Sequoia and others to build a branded budget hotel network across India. Called OYO Rooms, the
company partners with property owners across India and makes sure that their facilities meet a baseline of
requirements from linen quality to breakfast to Internet access for a starting price of 999 rupees or $16 a night. The
company, which has booked around 60,000 stays so far since starting almost two years ago, works with each
partner hotel to improve their facilities over the span of a week before launching on the platform. Theyve partnered
with more than 200 hotels across 10 cities in India. By the end of the year, they plan to quintuple in size with a
network of 1,000 hotels in 25 cities. Along with Lightspeed and Sequoia, Greenoaks Capital and DSG Consumer
Partners also participated in the round.

PressPlay raises US$2.2M to make long distance bus rides more fun in India
Press Play, India-based travel entertainment startup has raised US$2.2 million in pre-series A funding from Sequoia
Capital and a group of eight angel investors. The startup had earlier raised US$500,000 from angel investors. At the
outset, PressPlay placed tablets in buses, locked on the backs of seats. But it has recently pivoted to an app-based
model, as increasing numbers of bus travelers in India have smartphones. Travelers can now get connected to wi-fi
in the bus which allows them to access Press Plays app called Touchplay on their smartphones. The app is
loaded with a range of 30 movies, 1,000 songs, and 10 documentaries and cartoons. It has tied up with eight state
transport operators, including those of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh, besides 50
private operators, to provide the service. Its available in about 600 buses across 14 cities currently.

Indias online realty consultant Proptiger acquires interaction design firm

Indias online real estate advisor PropTiger has acquired two-year-old digital interaction design firm Out of Box
Interaction (OoBI) for an undisclosed amount in an all-cash deal. OoBI is a digital interaction design company that
offers interactive technology to display real estate projects. It claims to have served about 270 projects by 42 real
estate developers. With the acquisition, OoBI will function as the design studio of PropTiger, where it will continue to
work closely with developers in enhancing customer experiences. The acquisition will help us in adding a new
dimension to our customers home search process by making digital information more tangible and interactive, says
Dhruv Agarwala, CEO of PropTiger, adding that OoBI team will develop engaging products for home buyers.

Swiggy bags US$2M from Accel, SAIF to deliver food to Bangaloreans in 35 minutes
Food ordering and delivery app Swiggy has raised US$2 million from Accel Partners and SAIF Partners. Swiggy app
accepts orders from users and has 150 delivery personnel who pick-up the food from restaurants and deliver to
customers. The app is powered by routing algorithms to create an efficient delivery system. It currently works only in
Bangalore but is gearing up for expansion. We plan to use the current funding for expanding into Mumbai, New
Delhi, and Chennai, says Sriharsha Majety, founder of Swiggy. He is a graduate of Birla Institute of Technology &
Science (BITS) Pilani, one of Indias top engineering colleges. More niche food startups like iTiffin, Yumist, and
TapCibo, which recently raised seed funding, are also booming. Unlike Swiggy, these three startups deliver food
cooked by their own chefs instead of relying on restaurants. Most of them position themselves in the healthy food

70,000 itineraries for travelers and US$3M in fresh funding: the TripHobo growth story
Indian travel planner TripHobo has raised series B funding of US$3 million from Mayfield and Kalaari Capital. The
three-year-old portal that lets travelers share itineraries and plan their tours better had raised more than US$1
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015
million from Kalaari last year to add more itineraries to its data pool and enhance its tech tools. The startup currently
has more than 70,000 itineraries, which travelers can customize according to their requirements. It also has curated
content on almost 400 tourist hotspots across the globe. The ambition for TripHobo is to be the central point of the
trip planning process by allowing users to plan, optimize, and eventually book customized trips by leveraging
technology, says Nikhil Khattau, managing partner with MF Advisors.

LimeRoad, a fashion portal made by a woman for Indian women, raises US$30M
Suchi Mukherjee gave birth to both her second child and her startup in 2012. In fact, she was on maternity leave
when she started up LimeRoad, a fashion ecommerce site targeted at Indian women. Today, it is one of the biggest
success stories by a woman entrepreneur in India. LimeRoad has just raised US$30 million from Tiger Global,
Matrix Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners in series C funding. The same investors had pumped US$15
million into the fast-growing fashion portal less than a year ago. Earlier, at inception, Matrix and Lightspeed had
invested US$5 million. LimeRoad combines fashion ecommerce with social discovery. The site features usergenerated looks which mix and match interesting combinations of apparel and accessories. A user can build
collections of styles in scrapbooks on the site, which others can browse for ideas. LimeRoads algorithms rank the
scrapbooks to make the most relevant and popular of them easier to find.


Indonesias IdblogNetwork grabs series A funding

IdblogNetwork, an Indonesia-based digital advertising startup, announced that it has closed a series A funding round
of an undisclosed amount. Its said to be worth between US$500,000 to US$1 million, according to a statement.
IdblogNetwork was created to accommodate the need for advertisers to do personal marketing and communication
activity, which is why it focuses on bloggers. IdblogNetwork says the spending for digital advertising in Southeast
Asia has risen from US$420 million in 2014 to US$720 million this year, citing a report by eMarketer. IdblogNetwok
says the growth of the ad market in Indonesia is supported by a growing number of middle-class consumers. The
fresh funds will be used to help IdblogNetwork grow in terms of the quality of its human resources, infrastructure,
products, and services.


Taiwans 91App raises US$9M series A round, eyes international expansion

91App, Taiwan-based startup that builds customized apps for brands and retailers, announced that it has closed a
US$9 million series A investment. The round was led by AppWorks with participation from CID group and
91Capital, the investment branch of 91Apps parent company. Two domestic ecommerce moguls also contributed
as individual investors Jan Hung-Tze, founder of PCHome, and Paul Lin, chairman of Chunghwa Telecom
ecommerce subsidiary Sennao. 91App creates standalone online storefronts for vendors of all kinds. Like Ottowas
Shopify, the company aims to liberate merchants from garden variety ecommerce portals, which can charge high
sales commissions and give limited options for marketing. It does this by offering merchants specialized apps,
along with mobile web sites. Depending on the service tier, the company monetizes through a combination of
subscription fees and commissions.

AppWorks announces US$50M fund to invest in Taiwan startups

AppWorks, the Taiwan based accelerator and venture fund, announced that it has established a US$50 million fund
for investing in domestic startups. Contributors to the fund consist of a number of Taiwanese conglomerates and
corporations. The list includes Cathay Life Insurance, Taiwans National Development Fund, Phison Electronics,
best known as a maker of flash drives; Far Eastern, the islands third-biggest telco; CID group, a Shanghai-based
VC firm best known for investing in Taiwanese semiconductor firms; and China Trust Capital. AppWorks founding
partner Jamie Lin says that the fund will be used to support Taiwanese startups that go through its accelerator
program, which has been active since 2010. To date, it has graduated more than 190 teams. Its investment branch,
managed by IC Jan, Nice Cheng, Joseph Chan, and Lin, funded 19 portfolio companies through its previous US$11
million fund.


Philippine incubator Kickstart to support high-growth startups using fresh US$50M funds
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April 13th, 2015
Philippine telecommunications giant Globe Telecom announced that it is injecting up to US$50 million into its
incubator arm Kickstart Ventures, which will use the fresh capital to support high-potential startups. The amount the
group dubs as Fund 2 is possibly the largest commitment to early-stage startup investing coming out of a
Philippine company, Globe claims. It will target startups expanding anywhere in the world with clear regional and
global prospects. Kickstart started in 2012 with a US$2.4 million capital or Fund 1 and then got a US$1.1 million
top-up under the same program for 2015 deals. Fund 1 eyed startups based in any country, and which needed
closer, more frequent mentoring. Thus, Fund 1 portfolio companies tended to have some of their operations in the
Philippines, Globe explains. To date, Kickstart has made 20 investments, which have also attracted follow-on
funding from other investors, including Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and IMJ Investment Partners.

ZipMatch eyes Southeast Asia expansion with US$2.5M fresh funds

Real estate marketplace ZipMatch recently closed a US$2.5 million series A round for its expansion across the
Philippines and Southeast Asia. It will also use the money to develop more products for homebuyers and brokers.
The round was led by Singapore--based venture capital firm Monks Hill Ventures. Existing investor 500 Startups
also participated. ZipMatch says it will use the fresh capital to recruit more talent and experts in real estate,
computer programming, content creation, product development, and customer service. Unlike other platforms that
focus mainly on classifieds, ZipMatch eliminates most of the online research and physical work done when
searching for property. For one, the startup has been collecting and curating pertinent information about properties
and this information is accessible in a single, interactive page.


Mobile marketplace Duriana raises US$2.5M from Japanese investor Beenos

Duriana, a mobile app that lets users buy and sell with fellow consumers, announced the raising of a US$2.5 million
round led by Beenos, a Japanese investment firm with an ecommerce business. Existing investors also joined the
round. The startup raised US$3.5 million to date. The funding gives the company a runway to enhance its product
discovery feature and integrate payments and logistics capabilities, says Duriana CEO and co-founder Amanda
Ernst. She adds that the app lists 600,000 products and presides over a few thousand transactions a week. This
fundraising round is noteworthy because its apparently playing second fiddle to Carousell, probably the leading
peer-to-peer mobile marketplace in Southeast Asia. It launched in 2012 and, last heard, listed eight million items and
saw two million transactions sice inception eight a minute.


Image recognition startup Viscovery nets US$5M in funding

Viscovery, a Singapore- and Taipei-based startup that provides image recognition software for mobile apps,
announced that it has closed a US$5 million series A round. Viscovery offers business an out-of-the-box SDK and
API that lets customers scan real-life items and learn more information about them on their phones which
hopefully leads to a purchase. For example, customers in Taiwan who download an app from Taaze, one of the
islands online booksellers, can scan books they see in a store using Viscovery-powered visual search. Theyll then
see Taazes product description, and perhaps an option to buy the title. Viscovery also provides its clients with
analytics. It monetizes by charging clients for the number of images they store in the cloud, which Viscovery powers
with AWS, and by taking commissions on purchases.

SAP Startup Focus Acceleration Program to pour US$7.3M into smart city startups
Singaporean and overseas startups are getting a new acceleration program to help them in their first fledgling steps
to market. The SAP Startup Focus Acceleration Program is the self-explanatory title of an initiative undertaken by
Singapores Infocomm Development Authority, enterprise software firm SAP Asia, and investment firm August
Capital Partners. The program has a duration of two years and is open to all technology-based startups that are
looking into smart city solutions based on data and analytics. Those who are chosen for the program will collectively
have access to an overall investment of US$7.3 million from ACP and IDA (as investment and grants respectively)
and mentorship from SAP executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and other prominent business figures. The SAP
Startup Focus Program has already had significant success, with over 1,250 startups from 55 countries participating
in the program and covering various industries, supported by technology partners including Cisco, Intel, NetApp and
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015

US$16M to be pumped into IoT vehicle initiatives: EDB Singapore

Starting from this year, the joint project by NTU and semiconductor firm NXP will focus on exploring key areas
critical to the real world adoption of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, using NTUs campus as the test
bed.This follows an initiative by Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) to test driverless
cars two months ago as well as another SMART trial for autonomous golf buggies in October last year. The
Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB) has largely funded the US$16 million that will be pumped into the
NTU-NXP project, involving 100 vehicles and 50 roadside units to research V2X technologies over the next four
years. Showcased at NTU today, three cars exchanged real-time data with each other and the roadside
infrastructure using V2X technology developed by NXP. The IoT initiative will test security parameters such as
cybersecurity threats and passenger safety.

United States

CoreOS raises US$12M and introduces its Tectonic platform, featuring Kubernetes
CoreOS, which aims to put together a whole easy-to-consume package, raised a US$12 million round and is
launching a new product called Tectonic that companies can use to run applications in Linux containers. Tectonic
comes with a stack of tools that work together. And it should help CoreOS ride the wave of interest in containers and
become a top arms dealer for systems for building and shipping software in containers an alternative or even a
competitor to virtual machines, which have been around for more than a decade. This is the second funding round
for San Francisco-based CoreOS, which started in 2013 and now has 35 employees. To date CoreOS has raised a
total of $20 million, including the $8 million round announced last June. Google Ventures led the new round. Accel
Partners, Fuel Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also participated.

Disney invests US$250M in online fantasy sports startup DraftKings, claims report
Disney said that it is investing US$250 million in online fantasy sports startup DraftKings. That investment creates a
huge moment for the online fantasy sports business, which has been booming with lots of startups, plenty of
investments, and a surge in customers as this hobby goes social and mobile. The deal values the Boston company
at $900 million. That means Disney would own roughly 27 percent of the company. With daily fantasy sports, fans
can create and manage teams and put real money on the line. The pay off comes on a per game basis, rather than
lasting for an entire season. The Journal said DraftKings and Disney which also owns ESPN, the largest sports
network in the world, declined comment. Fortune reported the two were in talks last month. DraftKings offers cash
prizes for contests in Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.
DraftKings was founded in April 2012, and it is headed by Jason Robins, its CEO.

Via raises a fresh US$27M to expand shared SUV ride service to new cities
Via, which offers SUV rides to groups of passengers with compatible destinations in New York City, raised US$27
million round led by Pitango Venture Capital, with Hearst Ventures, Ervington Investments, and 83North throwing in.
Passengers request a ride through an app, then wait less than 10 minutes to get picked up. If necessary, the Via
algorithm might reroute the vehicle to a more direct path to the riders destination. The ride costs five dollars (if
prepaid). The new funds bring Vias total investment to $37 million. Via will use the new financing to accelerate
product development and hire new people. Via says its now providing New Yorkers with tens of thousands of rides
per week and has provided over 300,000 shared rides in total. The service has 40,000 members, 90 percent of
whom have come through word-of-mouth referrals, the company says.

Index Ventures raises US$706M for new growth fund

Prominent venture capital firm Index Ventures has raised US$706 million for a new growth fund, according to a new
filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Officially designated as Index Ventures Growth III
(Jersey) LP, the new fund, which comes out to 650 million euros, according to a clarification in the filing, will enable
Index to keep investing in startups right alongside other venture heavyweights that have raised new funds recently,
including Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. And last year Google Ventures allocated $100
million for a Europe expansion. (Hat tip to Fortunes Dan Primack for flagging the filing.) With offices in San
Francisco and Europe for investing in technology and life sciences startups, Index Ventures started in 1996. Index
has backed startups such as Anki, Bla Bla Car, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Factual, Lookout, MoveLoot, Nginx, Path,
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015
Secret, Stack Exchange, and Trello. Last year Index Ventures announced a $542 million fund for backing earlystage startups.

Spruce raises US$15M more for telemedicine platform, supports new dermatology conditions
Spruce has hit a growth spurt. The San Francisco company has expanded its dermatology telemedicine service to
cover far more skin conditions, and has taken another large chunk of venture capital to fuel its national expansion.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the new US$15 million funding round, with participation from Baseline
Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, and Google Ventures. These same players, with the exception of Google Ventures
contributed to a $2 million seed round for Spruce during 2014. Heres how the Spruce app works. First, the user
shares photos and medical information with a board-certified dermatologist, and within 24 hours a dermatologist
reviews the information and sends a personalized treatment plan back to the users phone. A prescription is sent to
the users pharmacy if needed. Importantly, the user can always refer to the app for exact aftercare instructions.
Right now Spruces service is available to people in four states California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania.

IT management startup Tanium brings in US$52M to expand internationally

Tanium, which makes an IT management tool, raised another US$52 million from Andreessen Horowitz. The
companys system allows IT managers to visualize their entire network and access all devices within it in real time.
This not only aids IT managers in maintaining a network, but also helps them to secure it. Andreessen Horowitz has
already placed a big bet on Tanium. Last summer, the firm invested $90 million in the company. This round of
funding will help the IT management startup branch out globally. Tanium has already broken ground in the U.K.,
Australia, and Japan. The company boasts big growth. It said that it quadrupled both its staff and its billings in the
past year, ending the year with over $100 million in cash. Most of the growth is coming from the banking and health
care industry, according to Hindawi. To date the Emeryville, California-based company has raised $142 million in
venture funding.

ProsperWorks raise US$7.5 million to put CRM in your Google

ProsperWorks announced that the company has raised US$7.5 million in series A financing. True Ventures lead the
round, joined by existing investors Bloomberg Beta, Crunchfund, and other high-profile angel investors. To date,
ProsperWorks has raised a total of $10 million in equity. Founded in 2011, ProsperWorks is a customer relationship
manager (CRM) that is built in and around Google Apps. In fact, according to the company, it is the first CRM of its
kind. ProsperWorks are attempting to reduce the amount of time involved in maintaining a CRM by baking it into
Google. And while CRM solutions are still favored by B2B organizations more than those that sell to consumers, the
high cost of owning and running a CRM affects millions. CRM is a mature area of martech, with hundreds of players.
ProsperWorks hopes to stand out from the crowd by putting the application in the right place, according to the

Handy sweeps up US$15M to grow its home maintenance platform

On-demand house cleaning service Handy just raised another US$15 million in funding and hired a new chief
technology officer to grow its platform. Handy is the next evolution of Angies List-like services: a single destination
where you can book home repair or cleaning services. The platform, which connects individuals with Handyapproved independent contractors, is accessible on web or mobile. Handy is looking to expand its presence both
within the areas it already operates and beyond. The company recently rebranded itself from Handybook to Handy
in an effort to build consumer trust, and now the company is hiring Little to scale its technology as it grows its user
base. The on-demand cleaning service is located in 37 cities and regions in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. TPG
Growth led the round, which also saw participation from Sound Ventures and other current investors. In total the
company has raised $60 million.

RealtyShares Gets US$10M From Menlo To Grow Its Platform For Crowdfunding Real Estate Projects
Sort of like a LendingClub for real estate, RealtyShares has taken the idea of crowdfunding and applied it to the
real estate market. After about a year of operations in which it was able to show product-market fit, the company has
raised US$10 million in funding from Menlo Ventures to quickly grow the number of projects made available to
investors. With the newfound cash, RealtyShares will be looking to bring on more underwriters to handle the
increasing volume of applications coming its way. Unlike some other crowdfunding platforms, RealtyShares isnt
aimed at the consumer market. Like AngelList, it is focused fully on helping accredited investors easily find
opportunities for investment. Its main goal is to reduce the friction between project sponsors and real estate
developers looking for capital and investors who are looking to diversify their portfolios.
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

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April 13th, 2015

Privateer Holdings Closes US$75 Million In Funding To Create The P&G Of Pot
Privateer Holdings, a company focusing on producing, distributing, and educating consumers about legal marijuana,
has closed on a US$75 million round of funding it will use to create new brands of cannabis products. Privateer is a
holding company that was designed to create, incubate, and to acquire companies in the cannabis industry. A lot of
progress has happened in the five years since Privateer was founded. In 2010 medical cannabis was legal in just 15
states, and only about 29 percent of the U.S. population lived in areas. But now medical cannabis is legal in 23
states plus Washington, D.C., and fully legal in another four states. Today more than 72 percent of the population
lives in areas where some form of marijuana is legal.


Peer-to-peer car-rental service Drivy announces around US$8.47M funding, acquires domestic rival Buzzcar
French startup Drivy, which bills itself as the largest peer-to-peer car-rental service in Europe, has made a pair of
major announcements, revealing that they have taken in another 8 million Euro (about US$8.47 million) and
acquired competitor Buzzcar. This latest round of funding, obtained from BPIs Ecotechnologie Fund and Via-ID, as
previous investors Index Ventures and Alven Capital, doubles the amount that they had previously raised, bringing it
to 16 million Euro. Buzzcar, which was founded in 2011 and acquired its own competitor, Cityzencar, in 2013, will
deliver 7,000 and 100,000 to its new owner. The service works by allowing users to search for cars in their
neighborhood, based upon a number of different categories, and then requesting cars that seem like a good match.
One the users request has been accepted, they can communicate with the owner of the car about the terms of an
agreement and then go to rent it.

Market-intelligence startup Signal raises US$1.8M to prepare for a global launch

British market-intelligence startup Signal has announced that it has raised US$1.8 million ahead of the global launch
of its platform, which scours media sources across the web and analyzes the content to offers users insight into
what people are saying. The company says that the funding, obtained from Irish VC Frontline Ventures, Samos
Investments, Reed Ventures, and a host of private angels, will be directed towards hiring additional data scientists
and to continuing to develop the platform before the big global launch. Signal currently offers solutions in brand and
media marketing, market intelligence, and media and content marketing. The first is billed as being able to track a
particular story and indicate how it may impact the brands reputation.

Luggage-management startup FastTrack gets US$2.9M in funding, opens up to pre-orders

FastTrack-eviateBritish-Dutch suitcase-tracking startup FastTrack has announced that it has raised a total of US$2.9
million, as well as a partnership with airlines KLM, Air France, Saudi Airlines, and KPN. FastTrack initially pulled in a
seed round worth $1.7 million from Mainport Innovation Fund, KPN, and startup management to fund their efforts to
develop a prototype of their tracking device and to develop the back-end of the software. Now, they have revealed
that they obtained another $1.2 million this month to support their global marketing campaign. Most of the time that
you fly, you can expect that your luggage will also arrive, safe and sound, at the final destination. But, things
sometimes go wrong and, while you show up at your destination, the luggage is nowhere to be found. FastTrack
started in an effort to provide passengers with some peace of mind, offering a tracking device and electronic tag,
that allows them to check their bags in while they are still at home and to monitor its status at any point during the

Task marketplace Colego raises US$2M in Series A funding from Northcap

Danish startup Colego, which provides a marketplace for hiring businesses to bid to complete a variety of tasks, has
announced that they have concluded a deal for US$2 million in Series A funding from Northcap and that they are
moving southward, entering the German market. Colego has attracted 50,000 users since the service launched back
in 2012, which is an impressive total when you consider that they had no prior external investment, but they are now
ready to go international. Colego reports that Hamburg will be the first German city that they target. Colego functions
by allowing users to search for a particular category and to then submit tasks, whether related to gardening,
bookkeeping, auto-repair, legal services, or other area, describing in detail the work that the user needs completed.
Users are not immediately connected with bidders, however, as Colego takes applications, verifies the task, and
then submits it to companies that meet a certain quality and set of requirements. From there, the users receive 3
free price-quotes from interested contractors and move to negotiate the terms.
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in
Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology

and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review
April 13th, 2015

Ukrainian startup Petcube takes in US$1.1 million funding

Petcube, a Ukrainian manufacturer of a pet-focused device, has announced that they have obtained US$1.1 million
in funding from Ukrainian investor AVentures and Russian investor Almaz Capital, as well as SOSVentures, Mint cofounder and CTO David Michaels, and Nick Bilogorskiy, former Chief Malware Researcher at Facebook. This latest
round will enable the company to boost its presence in physical stores across the United States and Canada, as well
as increase overall distribution. Petcube previously garnered a good amount attention for their successful Kickstarter
campaign, through which they picked up more than $250K, which helped establish the company as one of the most
promising Ukrainian startups. Yevhen Sysoyev from AVentures will also join the startups board of directors as part
of the deal.

Orientation-software startup initiafy announces rebranding, reports US$1.5 in seed funding

The employee orientation software developer known as Induction Manager in the United States and Orientation
Manager in Europe has announced that they have rebranded under the unified name of initiafy and that have raised
US$1.5 million total seed funding from a group that includes Delta Partners Group, ACT Venture Capital, and private
investor Leslie Buckley. initiafy targets companies who hire contractors and temp staff with a platform that allows
them to cut costs by training workers before they even show up for their first day on the job. The platform is
designed to cut the amount of time that will be required to train a particular worker, as well as provide employees
with information that will allow them to see how well the workers understand the tasks that they will be completing.

Distribusion, which provides standardized bus schedules, announces another seven figures funding
German startup Distribusion, which offers a platform for finding intercity bus tickets, has announced that they have
picked up a seven-figure investment from HR Ventures, which is the VC company of e-ticketing specialist Hahn Air,
and Fruhphasenfonds Brandenburg, an amount that they intend to use to further develop their platform and to
consider expansion to new European markets. Distribusion previously obtained a seven-figure investment from
undisclosed angels. Backed by this new funding, the company announces that they are planning expansion to the
United Kingdom, Spain, France, Poland, and countries in the south-eastern part of the continent. They are also
interested in improving their core product, stating that they intend to roll out a platform that will enable end-users to
directly book intercity bus tickets through online and physical travel agencies. At the moment, Distribusion says that
it is partnering with more than 40 intercity bus operators and provides standardized content for travel portals like
Qixxit, Coachfairer, and Waymate.


Israeli augmented reality startup nabs US$5M funding led by Japanese Pachinko company
Israeli augmented reality startup InfinityAR announced that it has completed a US$5 million series B funding round
led by Japans SUN Corporation, followed by New Zealands Singulariteam and US-based Platinum Partners Value
Arbitrage Fund. InfinityAR makes a software-based augmented reality (AR) engine that will let people interact with
augmented content in their physical surroundings. Its less Google Glass and more Microsoft Hololens. InfinityAR
says it "can turn any device with two simple cameras into a powerful content augmentation platform." The latest
funding will go toward further development of the product and expanding into the Japanese market. SUN
Corporation is a major player in Japans Pachinko industry. Pachinko is a mechanical arcade game popular with
gamblers, sort of like slot machines in the West.

SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in

Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul.