Nitrous.IO (formerly Action.IO), a Singapore-based startup that makes setting up an Integrated Development Environment a snap, has just announced a USD 1M round led by Silicon Valley based Bessemer Venture Partners.
Draper Associates, CrunchFund, 500 Startups, TIBCO Software, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures, and Peanut Labs co-founder and CTO Prosper Nwankpa also participated in this round. According to Golden Gate Ventures partner Vinnie Lauria, his firm put in less than USD 50k in this round, which was closed third-quarter of last year. Read more
Canva, an Australia-based startup that is aiming to disrupt the desktop design industry, has announced today that it has raised USD 3M in seed funding from Australian and US investors, including Matrix Partners, InterWest Partners and 500 Startups.
The other participants in this deal are: angel investor Bill Tai, Blackbird Ventures, Director of Engineering at Facebook Lars Rasmussen, Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman, and former Seek co-founder Paul Bassat and partner at Square Peg Ventures. Commercialisation Australia, a government funding scheme, also contributed in this round. Read more
My friend Jon Russell from The Next Web has recently penned that there are four issues challenging Southeast Asia’s startup ecosystem: risk aversion, fear of failure, lack of big firm presence and immature ecosystem.
To his credit, he has spotted some inherent weaknesses of a diverse market fragmented not just by geography but also business culture. In a similar reflection, Michael Smith Jr from Spuul focused on the lack of enough big firms.
While there is a lot of hurrah with the arrival of 500 Startups to the region, there are several trends that might deter the growth of the ecosystem — the purpose of this article is to open a discussion on what these might be. Read more
Payroll Hero, a Philippines and Canada based startup specializing in time, attendance, payroll, and scheduling enterprise software, has announced today that it has raised a USD 1M round from 500 Startups, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, and LX Ventures.
Other participants in this investment include The Futura Corporation, 8capita Partners, Clarity CEO Dan Martell, Benjamin Joffe, MAKE Technologies founder Christian Cotichini, and other angel investors.
The startup differs from traditional payroll software in that it operates on a SaaS model and uses facial recognition and GPS location to ensure that the right employees clock in at the right time. The software facilitates transparency between employees and management through attendance analytics. Read more
This just in: Singapore company Dropmysite has revealed that 500 Startups venture partner George Kellerman was an investor in the company’s previous round. Read more
US seed fund and startup accelerator 500 Startups has announced its latest batch of incubatees. Among the 33 are representatives from Asia that include Taiwan’s Cubie and Japan’s Cinemacraft. This fifth batch is notable for being one of the most diverse in the incubator’s history. Seven companies have at least one woman founder, while 19 of the startups are from outside the United States. The application process for this batch was more open. Startups simply needed to fill up the application and they could supplement it with data from AngelList.
Melanie Amaro, champion of X-Factor USA season one, a reality TV singing contest started by media mogul Simon Cowell, has released her debut single “Don’t Fail Me Now” on TwitMusic, a service which lets users discover and share music uploaded by artists.
Her single, which was let loose last week, has garnered over 6,500 plays on the platform, making her one of the more popular singers there. To listen to the new song, users are required to sign in to Twitter and tweet about it using a preset hashtag.
TwitMusic was officially launched in January 2012 by CEO Stefano Fazzini and CTO Christian Fazzini who recently moved from the Philippines to Silicon Valley to join 500 Startups, a well-known accelerator and venture fund. Since its founding, the service has been used by over 9,000 artists.
According to the company, the platform has reached out to about 44 million people, and experienced 348% growth in registered artists and a 638% increase in engagements since January this year. ‘Engagements’ involve people retweeting a song, commenting on it, clicking ‘love’, and using the #nowplaying hashtag.
Another fairly well-known artist on TwitMusic is Carly Rae Jepsen, whose hit single “Call Me Maybe” has been getting heavy airplay recently. It has gotten over 8,000 listens on the platform.
Infocomm Investments, the VC arm of Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority, has invested in San Francisco-based mobile development company Twilio, joining existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures and 500 Startups, announced CEO Lim Kuo-Yi in a blog post on 13th June.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Twilio offers developers an API that allows their apps to make and receive phone calls, as well as send and receive text messages. Singapore-based Hoiio, the winner of the People’s Choice Award at DEMO Asia 2012, has a similar concept. But while Twilio has focused on being an app enabler, Hoiio has ventured into developing a suite of communication apps.
Cinemacraft, a Singapore and Tokyo-based interactive media platform startup, has announced today an investment from 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley startup accelerator.
This injection comes within months of earlier investments from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures and other angels. To date, Cinemacraft has received US$900,000 in funding, and also a research and development grant from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), which is spread over two years. Read more
Having always been a LEGO fan, Bjorn Lee can now count visiting toy stores and revisiting aspects of his childhood as part of his work. Together with co-founders Jarrold Ong and Fadly Mahdar, he just announced the seed round raise of their new mobile learning game platform for kids, Stickery, whose mission is to “make mobile games that are not just fun for kids, but useful for parents.”
Stickery’s USD 325K seed round consists of Google Ventures, 500 Startups and several strategic investors from the United States, Europe and Asia. This also coincides with the launch of the game: “Mermaid Waters: Adventures of Hana & Cory” (iTunes) for iOS. This game is the first of a serialized adventure and learning platform for preschool children and their parents.
Both Bjorn and Jarrold are old friends and ex-schoolmates of mine from the Stanford-NUS Overseas College program so it was exciting to speak to them again on this new venture of theirs. Here we have a mini Q&A with Bjorn, CEO of Stickery. Read more