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SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014

Weekly Highlights

Global Trends
Private Company Human Capital Management Tech Exit Valuation Multiples Heat Up Exit valuation multiples (price/sales) of private Human Capital Management tech companies have bumped up in recent years. According to the CB Insights HCM tech valuation data, the average price-to-sales (P/S) ratio has been 4.6x while the median stands at 2.6x. While funding activity in the space has been picking up over the past few years, the HCM tech exit valuation multiple trend has been pretty inconsistent but do seem to be climbing. The average P/S ratio has climbed from 2.4x in 2010 to 4.1x in 2013 while the median grew from 2.4x to 3.7x in the same period. Mobile PCs and smartphones to be top revenue opportunities for IC suppliers in emerging high-speed wireless device market, says IHS According to IHS, mobile PCs and smartphones will represent the top revenue opportunities for high-speed wireless integrated circuit (IC) suppliers by 2018, as these devices are projected to be the highest-volume applications in this market over the next five years. Between 2013 and 2018, more than 400 million high-speed wireless ICs are projected to ship cumulatively into the mobile PC market, generating global revenues of US$2.5 billion. During the same period, more than 80 million high-speed wireless ICs are projected to ship cumulatively into the smartphone market, with worldwide revenues forecast to exceed US$260 million in 2018. Tablet processor market to rise 23% in 2014, says IHS According to IHS, Global shipments of tablet processors will reach an estimated 299.7 million units in 2014, up 23% from 243.1 million in 2013. Another robust increase is expected in 2015 when volumes spike 18%, with tablet processors then exceeding 400.0 million units by 2016. Worldwide smartphone shipments top 1 billion units in 2013, says IDC The worldwide smartphone market has reached another milestone, shipping one billion units in a single year for the first time. According to IDC, vendors shipped a total of 1.0042 billion smartphones worldwide, up 38.4% from 725.3 million units in 2012. This aligns with IDC's most-recent forecast of 1.0104 billion units, a difference of less than 1%. Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phones shipped in 2013, up from 41.7% in 2012. Worldwide mobile phone shipments totaled about 1.82 billion units in 2013, up 4.8% from the 1.74 billion units shipped in 2012.
IDC: Top-5 smartphone vendors shipments and market share, 2013 (m units) Vendor Samsung Apple Huawei LG Lenovo Others Total 2013 shipments 313.9 153.4 48.8 47.7 45.5 394.9 1,004.20 2013 M/S 31.30% 15.30% 4.90% 4.80% 4.50% 39.30% 100.00% 2012 shipments 219.7 135.9 29.1 26.3 23.7 290.5 725.3 2012 M/S 30.30% 18.70% 4.00% 3.60% 3.30% 40.10% 100.00% Shipment Y/Y 42.90% 12.90% 67.50% 81.10% 91.70% 35.90% 38.40%

Emerging market volatility, mobile saturation will weigh down IT spending in 2014 IDC is now predicting worldwide IT spending growth will increase by 4.6% this year, slightly lower than 2013's 4.8% improvement. IDCs report cited the inevitable deceleration of the white-hot demand for smartphones and tablets as well as currency devaluation and inflation concerns in emerging markets as the main reasons for the downward revision. Regardless, everything points toward merely moderate growth over the next year as mobile devices are now bumping up against the same kind of pricing pressures and commoditization issues that have afflicted the PC, software and server sectors in recent years.

SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 1

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014

Asia Pacific
Samsung cuts target notebook shipments to 7 million units for 2014 Samsung Electronics has set a goal of shipping seven million notebooks globally in 2014, a reduction of 41.7% from the 12 million units shipped in 2013, and will no longer launch conventional notebook models except Chromebooks in 2015, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Samsung aimed to ship 17 million notebooks in 2013 but actually shipped 12 million units, the sources said. Samsungs Galaxy Note Pro and Tab pro tablet series will go on sale in the US from Feb. 13 Samsung took the wraps off a new series of four tablets last month at CES the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro, and the Tab Pro which comes in three sizes of 12.2, 10.1 and 8.4 inches. The company announced that three of these devices will be available in the US starting February 13. The exception is the 12.2-inch Tab Pro, which will arrive in March. South Korea just issued its first startup visa South Korea at the end of 2013 issued its first ever startup visa to Jason Lee, founder of J.J. Lee Company. The D-8 visa requires a Bachelors degree, ownership of intellectual property approved by domestic law, and, a properly registered company. Once finally obtained the visa, Lee had access to national health, employment, and accident insurance as well as a pension. He could also use financial services normally only offered to citizens. This year, the South Korean government plans to expand the startup visa program with a mentoring system. South Korea first announced back in June that a startup visa would be made available to facilitate foreign investment and employment. Once a startup hires at least two Korean citizens and attracts at least KRW 300 million ($280,000) investment, the entrepreneur will be eligible for a permanent resident visa. The government is one of the main investors in the countrys venture capital scene. Last year, it pledged $2.9 billion in funding and loans for startups in the tech sector. Samsung, Cisco sign cross-license pact for tech patents Samsung Electronics signed yet another agreement to safeguard against future litigation risks over technology patents, this time with Cisco Systems Inc. The cross-license agreement with Cisco, the biggest maker of networking equipment, gives the two companies access to each other's existing patent portfolios as well as those filed over the next 10 years, covering a broad range of products and technologies. Financial terms weren't disclosed. For Samsung, the deal hints at its need to remove any potential threats in wireless technology, which is valuable not only in smartphones but increasingly in consumer-electronics devices, cars and other products. This new app helps Koreans and Japanese speak English like its their first language Korean educational startup Smatoos, known for its BeNative apps, has just launched an iOS app called Formula for English Conversation (our translation) for people in Japan and Korea, which focuses on improving English speaking skills. Its free, and the Android version will be released within the first quarter of this year. This app is available only in Japan and Korea now, but Smatoos is planning China and Taiwan releases by the end of February. The team is targeting 500,000 monthly active users for the app. A win for Asia at Seedstars World event thanks to Korea-made app Flitto Seedstars World, a global startup competition that focuses on emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, has crowned its newest winner at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland. In a boost to Asias startup ecosystem, the winning team is Flitto from South Korea. Flitto is now eligible to get up to $500,000 in funding from Seedstars SA, but the actual sum hasnt yet been revealed. Flitto is a crowdsourced, hive-mind, fastpaced translation service that, unlike similar web services, is oriented towards normal people, not enterprises.

Chinas second biggest e-store files for US IPO, aims to raise up to $1.5 billion After years of speculation, one of Chinas top e-stores, JD, has filed to list publicly in the US. According to JDs filing with the SEC, its aiming to raise up to $1.5 billion with its US IPO. JD is second to Alibabas Tmall in
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 2

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 Chinas cut-throat e-commerce industry, but its the largest e-store in China that buys most of its own stock and ships them to consumers. JD said last month that itll pull in over $16 billion in sales in 2013. The Beijing-based company now has 35.8 million active users accounts, 25.7 million products, and 82 warehouses in 34 cities across China backed up by 1.453 delivery stations in 460 cities. In addition to all that infrastructure, JD has its own delivery service for the final leg from delivery stations to e-shoppers doorsteps. Bitcoin exchange BTC China starts accepting deposits again When BTC China in December stopped accepting deposits in its home currency, the renminbi, global Bitcoin prices went into free fall. But today, after a six-week hiatus, BTC China is accepting deposits in RMB again (hat-tip to TNW for spotting). BTC China now offers a bank transfer payment method, but the third-party systems Alipay, Tenpay, Yeepay, etc are still nowhere to be seen. As a gimmick to help regain some of its former glory, BTC China launched a program where those who post multiple buy and sell offers. The aim is to increase liquidity in the market. People who post offers receive a bonus fee, and those who take the offers are charged a fee. Until February 15, every time RMB 100,000 ($16,500) is rebated through the program, the maker and taker whose transaction passes the 100,000 threshhold each receive an RMB 1,000 ($165) prize. China market: Prices of octa-core smartphones drifting below CNY1,000 The battle for the entry-level smartphone segment in China is intensifying, and Coolpad with releasing an octacore model priced below CNY1,000 (US$165). The keen competition in the 8-core segment could also affect pricing for the 4G LTE smartphone market and prices of mainstream LTE models will fall to around CNY1,500 in 1H14 and drop to below CNY1,000 in 2H14. Demand for low-cost entry-level LTE smartphones from China Mobile, and fierce competition among LTE chipset suppliers including Qualcomm, Marvell Technology, MediaTek and Spreadtrum Communications will also accelerate price erosion of LTE smartphones. Chinese New Year welcomed in with 13.6 billion messages in 1 day on Chinas top social network Today Tencent revealed that QQs users sent a total of 13.6 billion QQ chats on the instant messaging service during Chinese New Years Eve, the busiest and most raucously celebrated day of the year. At the high tide of the messaging flood there were 32.7 million QQ messages sent in one minute. That dwarfs the number of friendly missives fired on the same day on WeChat, which reached 10 million in one minute. Led by China, Asian countries are the worlds biggest online spenders According to eMarketer, Consumers in Asia Pacific will spend more money online than North America for the first time ever this year. eMarketer projects worldwide e-commerce sales will reach $1.5 trillion this year, and increase of 20.1%. That growth will be fueled by mobile commerce, especially in emerging markets, improved shipping and payment methods, and major brands entering new international markets. Asia Pacifics sales are expected to hit $525.2 billion, while North Americas will amount to $482.6 billion. China leads Asias surge with India in a distant second place. Every six out of 10 dollars spent in Asia will come from China, and eMarketer predicts that figure will increase to three-quarters of the entire regions spending by 2017. Google takes 5.94% stake in Lenovo, worth $750 million, as part of last months Motorola deal Google ploughed $750 million into Lenovo at the end of last month. Its related to the deal for Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility that was announced on January 30, and is part of the payment agreement for the phone-maker between the two tech giants. Reuters reports that a filing on the Hong Kong stock exchange shows that Google now has a 5.94% stake in Chinas Lenovo Group. Chinese WeChat users sent out 20 million cash-filled red envelopes to friends in family within two days WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, launched a feature letting users based in China gift money to friends and family. The feature went viral in China, and yesterday parent company Tencent disclosed to Chinese media that during the first two days of Spring festival, over five million users participated in the scheme, exchanging over 20 million envelopes. At its apex, over 121,000 envelopes were sent within a fiveminute stretch, during with 585,000 attempts were made by users to snatch one up. After binding ones bank card to the app, users can send cash-filled virtual red envelopes (a traditional gift for the Lunar New Year) one of two ways. Individuals can send cash directly to a recipient, or, if you want to spice things up, senders can put up a set sum of cash thats then distributed randomly among a specified group of friends.

SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 3

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 Sony said to be in talks to sell PC business to Japan fund Sony is in talks to sell its money-losing PC business to an investment fund and focus on smartphones, accordking to a Japan-based report. The fund will establish a new company that would take over Sony's entire PC business, the report said. The sale price is estimated to be 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($391 million to $489 million). The new company would continue to sell PCs under the Vaio brand and also handle after-sales service, and Sony would only take a small stake in the firm. Japanese mobile app developer TriFort raises $3.9 million from WiL fund Tokyo-based startup TriFort announced that it has raised about $400 million yen (about $3.9 million) from WiL (World Innovation Lab), a fund recently formed by Japanese venture capitalist Gen Isayama. Since its launch back in August of 2012, the company has been working on contract-based software development for social gaming and smartphone app developers. They have rapidly grown to 100-person team in just 1.5 years. The company will use the new funds to start developing and marketing its own mobile apps globally. Couples app Between is now Japans top social networking app After the app!s recent 2.0 release back in December, it appears to have picked up some steam in a number of markets around the world, including Japan where it is has ranked as the top social networking iOS app. Since that update they have acquired more than 600,000 new downloads in the span of less than a month. Between was given a featured banner position in the App Store in 94 countries, giving it a great boost in global visibility. The app surpassed 5 million users last month, with the majority " or about 60% " coming from its home market of Korea, and about 10% in Japan and 10% in China. Line messaging app racks up $338 million in revenue in 2013 According to Line Corp, its Line business brought in JPY 12.2 billion ($120.3 million) in revenue for Q4; that brings the 2013 total revenue for the app to JPY 34.3 billion ($338.4 million). Lines Q4 revenue figure is up 20% from Q3, and its up an astounding 450% from the same period a year ago. It makes money from a mix of brand accounts, stickers/emoticons, and in-app social gaming purchases. Thats why Line makes more money than any other non-game app in the world. Theres no word on profits for the app, which now has 340 million registered users around the world. The app has been busy expanding across Southeast Asia, India, Mexico, and South America in the past year all of which required expensive marketing campaigns, including TV commercials.

Indias fashion-commerce site Myntra gets $50 million funding ahead of potential merger with Flipkart Bangalore-based fashion e-commerce site Myntra announced it raised $50 million led by Premji Invest. The money will be used to strengthen its technology, infrastructure and customer experience; and fund future growth initiatives. The Times of India reported last week that Myntra is in talks with Flipkart, Indias biggest general e-commerce site, for a potential merger. Myntra reports 50 million visits on its site every month. The latest funding round brings Myntras total investment to about $75 million to date. It aims to be the largest fashion destination in India by 2016. Indias $3.1 billion e-commerce market is expected to grow by over seven times to $22 billion in five years excluding online travel, according to Hong Kong-based investment bank CLSA. Apple resurrects the discontinued iPhone 4 just for India, Indonesia, and Brazil Apple will resume manufacturing of the iPhone 4 specifically for sale in India, Indonesia, and Brazil, according to sources cited by Indias Economic Times.This is the first time for Apple to restart production of a discontinued iPhone. The Times estimates an additional 50,000 to 60,000 iPhone 4 units were made by Taiwan-owned Foxconn to be sold this quarter for about Rs 20,000 ($320) each in India. Apple holds two percent of smartphone market share in India, and growth slowed in the country last year after the latest generation hit shelves. Overall, Apple sold about 250,000 iPhones (all models) last quarter there. Rocket Internets clothing e-store for India raises $100 million in funding Jabong, one of Indias top online clothing stores, has secured $100 million (Rs 628 crore) in funding, according to the Economic Times. Jabong, which sells mens, childrens, and womens clothing and home furnishings, is backed by Rocket Internet, the German startup dynamo that runs many ventures across Asia and the globe.
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 4

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 Rocket Internets Jabong is battling with local rival Myntra in the clothing e-store sector. Jabong features big brands from labels such as Nike, Levis, and Converse.

Australias music streaming service Guvera launches in Indonesia Guvera, Australia-based music streaming service company, is working together with Skybee (SKYB:Indinesia), a IT company listed on the Indonesian stock market, to enter the archipelago country. However, in contrast to Guveras freemium business model in Australia, Indonesia is a full-on subscription service. A monthly subscription costs IDR 55,000 ($5). Guvera aims to help fight music piracy in Indonesia. They believe the services ease of use, price, and payment options can encourage more Indonesians to use their service and stream legal music. Bitcoin will not be regulated in Indonesia, but its still illegal Indonesias central bank has stated today it will not regulate Bitcoin. Still, Bank Indonesias initial stance made public in January still stands, which states Bitcoin is an illegal and unsupported exchange method. Bank deputy governor Ronald Waas said in January that Bitcoin violates three Indonesian laws, but that the bank doesnt have the authority to punish or sanction users. Therefore, consumers may use it at their own risk. Foxconn signs letter of intent to build factory in Indonesia Foxconn signed a letter of intent to build a factory in Jakarta. The letter states that the city has committed to provide a 200-hectare plot of land in Marunda, Central Jakarta, for the upcoming factory. The agreement was signed jointly by Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and Jakarta governor Joko Widodo on Feb 7th. The Jakarta Post quoted the governor as saying Foxconn would invest around $1 billion in Indonesia over next three to five years. BlackBerry!s upcoming phone codenamed #Jakarta$ is planned to be the first BlackBerry phone built together with Foxconn.

Thailands one tablet per child faces another dead end as a Chinese manufacturer cancels the deal With the political crisis ongoing, one of the governments most popular policies, One Tablet Per Child has hit another dead end. According to Thai Post, Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control Co Ltd., which won a bid to become the tablet manufacturer for the schools in the Central, South, North, and Northeastern zones, has shut down its business in Thailand after refusing to pay a penalty fee of 2.2 million Baht ($67,000) per day due to the companys inability to deliver the tablets on time. The company sent its representative to cancel the contract with the Thai government. The Thai government is now in the process of seizing the companys assets, valued at 120 million Baht ($3.5 million). Wongnai, Thailands answer to Yelp, now has 1 million registered users Founded in 2010, Wongnai, the restaurant review site often called Thailands Yelp, has now grown to one million registered users. It has about 220,000 active users per month. Wongnai also shared some interesting data regarding its users: 56% of its members are female; the majority (more than 72%) are aged 18 to 34; and 66% of its users live in Bangkok. Available both as a website and mobile apps, 79% of its one million members access the service using smartphones. The company notes that its desktop and mobile users behave differently. Smartphone visitors use the Wongnai app during the time between meals and before bedtime, while computer-based users visit the site right before meal times (11 am, 4 pm) and also before bedtime. On workdays, more people use Wongnai in the afternoons, while on weekends, usage is more consistent throughout the day.

This black box that turns your car into an intelligent beast is now up for crowdfunding Singapore-based startup Clickdrive is one of many companies driving this trend forward. Today the company
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 5

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 launched a crowdfunding campaign for its first product, a computer that can be plugged into your cars dashboard to give it a second brain. It hopes to raise $100,000 by March. The device is an implant that links a car to the cloud. But its not just about raw computing power and internet connectivity: Clickdrive wants to extend the functionality of the car and change the way a driver interact with it. It aims to do to vehicles what Apple did to mobile phones. Clickdrive is being targeted at car enthusiasts who are into car modding, as well as car owners who want to get the most out of their vehicles. Southeast Asia-born Paypal competitor 2C2P secures $2 million funding 2C2P, an online payment processing company, has concluded a $2 million Series B financing round, led by $1.5 million from an undisclosed investor and $500,000 from Japan-based GMO Payment Gateway. The deal was closed six months ago but wasnt covered by any media. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Singapore, the company aims to solve online payment problems in Southeast Asia, a tough market for ecommerce since many consumers dont own credit cards. As of today, 2C2P is valued at $16 million. The startup has processed over $500 million worth of online payments in 2013, with annual revenue of roughly over $2 million. 2C2Ps goal is to maintain a 30 to 50% growth in yearly transactions. The company has offices in nine countries: Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippine, Singapore, and Thailand

Vietnams biggest telco wants to acquire KakaoTalk for $5 billion According to an article in VNExpress, the vice president of Viettel, Vietnams biggest telco, wants to acquire Korea-based messaging app KakaoTalk for $5 billion. KakaoTalk which has over 100 million registered users, mostly in South Korea but with about three million in Vietnam could be useful to Viettel as a mobile and social service thats already established and grown into a platform for many web services, such as social gaming and web publishing. However, KakaoTalk co-CEO Sirgoo Lee said that the Kakao Talk has not heard of such a deal and they are currently not in any talks. Such a deal would put Viettel on the map in the consumer space. Viettel has long been ambitious about expanding outside of Vietnam with its telco services and acquiring KakaoTalk would allow them to access the large user-base on the chat app platform spread across Asia.

United States files for $100M IPO on the NYSE has just filed S-1 papers with the SEC for an IPO on the NYSE, trading under the name COUP, and raising $100 million. As one of the earlier movers in the online coupons space, is also one of the biggest. It notes in the IPO that in the first nine months of 2013, its sales were generated from 940 million transactions on its site. Those included customers picking up digital coupons and also redeeming codes over its platform. That figure is up 49% YoY. says that today its platform includes more than 700 consumer packaged goods companies, representing over 2,000 brands, and retailers covering some 58,000 physical stores in North America. It had 17 million monthly unique visitors on average across and affiliated sites over 2013 and visited the sites of its CPGs, retailers and publishers. Its mobile apps have been downloaded some 7 million times. Twitter acquires over 900 IBM patents following infringement claim, enters cross-licensing agreement Twitter announced that it has acquired over 900 patents from IBM, and that it has entered into a crosslicensing agreement with the Internet services and software company. IBM had issued a complaint against Twitter previously for patent infringement. IBM was seeking a settlement according to that document, and while Twitter appeared ready to defend itself, potentially in court, this deal today indicates that instead the two companies have come to an agreement that involves Twitter buying some of IBMs intellectual property. Twitter partners with 300 Entertainment to give full access of its user data to the music industry Twitter is focusing on unlocking the potential of its platform for the music industry. The company announced a
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 6

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 partnership with 300 Entertainment, a music industry firm founded by ex-Warner Music Group head Lyor Cohen, to delve into its data. The partnership represents Twitters first step into music-related analytics, and it shows its continued efforts to be seen as a platform to provide consumer insight. U.S. to push for mandatory car-to-car wireless communications The US government will work to enable wireless communication links between cars, technology it expects will reduce accidents and, eventually, decrease fuel consumption and speed travel. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration will begin working on a regulatory proposal that would require V2V devices in new vehicles in a future year. DOT believes that the signal this announcement sends to the market will significantly enhance development of this technology and pave the way for market penetration of V2V safety applications. V2V technology initially will assist drivers, but NHTSA is considering linking it to "active safety technologies that rely on on-board sensors." That could let a car brake or steer to avoid a collision without driver involvement. Microsoft names Satya Nadella as CEO Microsoft has tapped Satya Nadella to replace Steve BAllmer. Nadella will become the third CEO in Microsofts four-decade-long history. Nadella is 46 years old and has worked at the company since 1992, taking on a number of roles that have influenced its Office, Xbox and Bing products. Over the last 20 years he has led Microsofts efforts in the cloud and enterprise space, two areas that have always been of great importance to the company. He will take on the new role immediately, replacing the outgoing Steve Ballmer as the head of Microsoft. Ballmer announced his resignation last August, 13 years after he took over from Bill Gates in 2000. Noom picks up $7M in series A funding for its marathon effort to help people lose weight Noom, the NYC-based startup behind a set of mobile weight loss apps announced today it has received a $7 million series A funding round led by New York-based RRE Ventures. The company will use the funding to expand its audience, which has been growing steadily. This funding round follows a $2.6 million pre-seed investment led by m8 capital in August 2012. In 2013, after translating the app into German and Japanese, the app passed the 20 million download mark by the end of the year. Smartphone surprise success Flappy Bird earns $50K per day Flappy Bird is earning $50,000 in ad revenue each day. While that's nothing compared with the insane $850,000 Candy Crush Saga -- the App Store's longtime leader in the top grossing charts -- it's certainly nothing to scoff at for a non-freemium game that was uploaded in May 2013, last updated in September, and remained virtually invisible for months. Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen says that the reason Flappy Bird is so popular is that it happens to be something different from mobile games today, and is a really good game to compete against each other. People in the same classroom can play and compete easily because [Flappy Bird] is simple to learn, but you need skill to get a high score. Flappy Bird has been download upwards of 50 million times and has earned 47,000 reviews on the App Store. KitKat claws 1.8 percent Android market share According to stats published by Google, the newest Android release, codenamed KitKat, is powering under two percent of Android devices accessing the Google Play store. The data, which is based on smartphones and tablets accessing the Google Play store over a 7-day period ending on February 4, 2014, shows that Android 4.4, codenamed KitKat, is installed on 1.8 percent of devices, up 0.4% MoM from 1.4% a month ago. Twitter's first earnings report: Active user count up 30 percent to 241 million The micro-blogging service reported a fourth quarter net loss of $511 million, or $1.41 per share. Twitter ended the quarter with 241 million monthly active users as of December 31, a 30% uptick year-over-year. Mobile monthly active users jumped by 37% annually to 184 million. As for perhaps the most important metric while Twitter continues to prove its worth in all sense of the word, advertising revenue per thousand timeline views was $1.49, up 76% year-over-year. Mobile advertising revenue alone accounted for 75% of the total advertising department intake. Amazon acquires video gaming studio double helix games Amazon has acquired a gaming studio called Double Helix Games. Financial terms have not been disclosed. The Irvine, California-based company, founded in 2007 through the merger of two well-known game

SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 7

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 development shops, The Collective, Inc. and Shiny Entertainment, today employs 75 people who will now become Amazon employees and will continue to operate out of their Orange County home. RadioShack to Close About 500 Stores Within Months RadioShack is planning to close around 500 locations in the coming months. It isn't clear which of RadioShack's roughly 4,300 stores will be closed and when exactly the closings will begin. The people familiar with the matter noted that it isn't unusual for companies to close stores when going through a restructuring. The retailer has struggled to reverse a string of losses deepened by a sales strategy focused around smartphones, which failed to improve revenue over the past two years. RadioShack executives last year suggested the company would resist shrinking its store footprint as they focused on reinventing the brand's image. Stores might close in one section of a neighborhood to set up shop in more highly trafficked locales, but the number of outlets would stay the same. Netflix now pulls in almost as much revenue as HBO but HBO is far more profitable In 4Q13, Netflixs revenue climbed 24% to $1.2 billion, within shouting distance of HBOs $1.3 billion in revenue, which was up 6% YoY. Netflix is on a faster growth trajectory than HBO and other premium cable TV networks. However, the 41-year-old HBO remains significantly more profitable than Netflix, which is investing in new market launches in Europe this year and is in the early stages of building up its original content portfolio. As a more mature business, HBO has a beefier bottom line it generated operating income of $413 million for Q4 (33% margin), compared with Netflixs operating income of $82.3 million (7% margin). 500 Startups, Andreessen Horowitz top list of most active venture capital investors The most active venture capital investors last year were for the most part young and early-stage. 500 Startups led the pack with 57 new deals. Founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, 500 Startups is a seed fund and accelerator that has backed hundreds of startups. Right behind the firm was Andreessen Horowitz, also a relative newcomer to the venture capital business but one that has rapidly made a huge name for itself with bets on companies such as Facebook and Groupon. Andreessen Horowitz did more total deals than 500 Startups when follow-on investments are included. Total deals is a common measure of investment pace for venture firms but it can obscure the possibility that an investor who appears very active is simply pumping more money into its portfolio companies and not making many investments into new ones.
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LinkedIn to acquire job-seeking site bright for $120 million LinkedIn announced that it plans to acquire Bright, a data-driven job search startup, for $120 million. The buy is LinkedIns largest acquisition to date, topping the companys earlier major acquisitions of SlideShare ($119 million) and Pulse ($90 million). Terms of the deal included 73% of the $120 million in stock, with the remaining 27% ($32.4 million) in cash. To date, Bright has raised upward of $20 million in venture funding from Toba Capital and Passport Capital. LinkedIn expects the deal to close by the end of its first financial quarter.

SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 8

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 Google's acquisition of Nest wins FTC approval The US Federal Trade Commission has cleared the way for Google to purchase Nest for $3.2 billion in cash. After Mountain View announced the buyout earlier this year, Google stated it expected the deal to close in the next few months. The FTC has opted to grant Google an "early termination" to the transaction's review, creating an avenue for a sooner-than-expected end to the acquisition process. Flappy Bird removed from App Store by Developer As promised, Dong Nguyen, the developer of Flappy Bird, has removed the popular game from the App Store. Flappy Bird has been the number one downloaded free app on Apple's App Store for almost a month. Nguyen had previously expressed frustration at the attention he has received since the sudden popularity of his game. Flappy Bird no longer shows up in search, developer's app listing, and Top Free games. In subsequent tweets, Dong said the removal was not due to legal reasons and that he was not interested in selling the game. GoPro Files for IPO The hip, versatile camera company has filed for its IPO. Official statement: GoPro, Inc. announced today that it plans to conduct a registered initial public offering of its common stock. The offering is expected to commence after the SEC completes the review process initiated by GoPro's confidential submission on Friday February 7, 2014 of its draft registration statement.

GetYourGuide gets $4.5M Series A expansion, from CEO, to help it scale globally GetYourGuide closed a $14 million Series A funding round about a year ago. And now its bulked up that round with a further $4.5 million in what its describing as strategic expansion funding owing to two of the new investors the round brings on board.The funding is led by Kees Koolen, former CEO of and also (since 2012) an advisor to Uber on scaling globally; with Fritz Demopoulos, founder and former CEO of Chinese-language travel info portal, also joining in. GetYourGuide, a Berlin-based startup, has been ramping up its efforts to push beyond its home market of Europe. The challenge for the business is scaling to support that global goal hence the importance of bringing on board investors such as Koolen who bring experience of building global online booking companies. Hackers access 800,000 Orange customers' data Orange customers in France could see a spike in phishing attempts after hackers nabbed hundreds of thousands of customers' unencrypted personal data in an attack on the operator's website. Hackers accessed the personal data of three percent of Orange's customers in France, the company confirmed, using the 'My Account' section of According to local reports, the attack took place on 16 January, and affected nearly 800,000 individuals. London gets another Fintech accelerator, as Startupbootcamp partners with MasterCard, Lloyds & Rabobank A new fintech incubator has been announced, by pan-European accelerator Startupbootcamp, which will be based in London. The three-month program which is accepting applications from startup anywhere in the world for its first intake, due to kick off in August is backed by a roster of corporations, including financial services groups Lloyds and Rabobank, and payment giant MasterCard. Although Startupbootcamp FinTech doesnt start for several months, the incubator will be running a global innovation program. This program will comprise a range of events taking place in FinTech hotspots across the world, including New York, Singapore and Shanghai which will include FinTech hackathons, networking events for later stage startups to rub elbows with FS execs, and worldwide pitch days where startup communities around the world will be invited to pitch in front of Startupbootcamp FinTech experts. Website building platform BaseKit raises further 4.5M Website building platform BaseKit, a Seedcamp winner from all the way back in 2008, has raised a further 4.5m in funding. The round was led by Angel CoFund. The additional funding brings total investment to ~14.5m, and will be used to continue development of the BaseKit platform and pick up more partner
SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 9

SparkLabs Global Ventures Technology and Internet Market Bi-Monthly Review

February 10, 2014 sites/resellers in the website hosting and telecoms space. On the product development side theres an emphasis on mobile: BaseKits Editor 7!, the latest version of the companys drag n drop website builder, works on mobile devices and will continue to see new capabilities. Rocket Internet-backed Foodpanda gets $20 million in fresh funding delivered to its doorstep Foodpanda, the Rocket Internet-backed meal delivery service, just received a $20 million investment from several firms including Phenomen Ventures. The funding round (which will also serve Hellofood, an affiliate brand) follows an equally large investment from Phenomen and Swedens AB Kinnevik last May, along with an $8 million injection from iMENA last September to help operations in the Middle East. As a result, the latest round boosts the companys total funding to $48 million since its launch in 2012. The investment will help the company expand into Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, and Uganda within weeks (Foodpanda is active in 34 countries, ten of which are located in Asia). Monitise buys Turkeys Pozitron for up to $100M to take its mobile money network to the Middle East Monitise, a UK-based company that works with the likes of Visa to build and roll out mobile payment solutions, has acquired mobile commerce technology provider Pozitron for $100 million in an all-share deal. This is about inorganic expansion: Pozitron is based in Istanbul, Turkey and is most active in its home market and the Middle East, two regions where Monitise has been less strong. The details of the deal lay out that the $100 million will only be payable after three years: Monitise will pay 24 million initially based on Monitises closing share price of 66.5p on Friday 31 January, 2014, and will then give a three-year earn-out of up to 36 million based on achieving aggressive performance targets.

App that teaches you how to play piano is number 1 on iTunes store JoyTunes iPad app has become the most popular on the US App store. JoyTunes was founded in 2011, by two brothers, Yigal (a musician) and Yuval (a computer programmer) Kaminka. Piano Mania, Joytunes piano practice game that teaches beginners the basics of playing the piano, achieved great rankings on the Canadian, Russian Norwegian and other App Stores. It is used by at least 10,000 piano teachers worldwide. JoyTunes operates out of Tel Aviv and has raised a total of $2 million to date. This electric city car can fold to the size of a motorcycle The Israeli company, City Transformer, has created a foldable car that takes up just a quarter of a regular parking spot. Its also eco-friendly. City Transformer!s invention takes up the room of a regular car on the road and that of a motorcycle when it!s parked. With the press of a button, the car goes from 1.6 meters (approx. 5!3!) to 1.0 meters (approx. 3!3!) in width. For now, the company plans to focus on building its final prototype and selling the platform to other companies. They are currently seeking additional funds to begin advancing towards manufacturing. BioBlast Pharma plans $37.5m NASDAQ IPO Less than a year has passed since the IPO of Alcobra Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and the companys founders are preparing the IPO of another drug development company. BioBlast Pharma Ltd. Has filed to raise up to $37.5 million at a company value of more than $100 million before money. BioBlast Pharma is developing a platform of products for rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases. The company's most developed product is Cabaletta a mutant protein stabilizing platform based on a small re-purposed molecule. BioBlast is currently conducting a Phase II clinical trial to assess its efficacy in treating Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystropy (OPMD). Mobile shopping company Tapingo raises $10.5m Mobile shopping platform Tapingo Ltd. has raised $10.5 million in its second financing round. Khosla Ventures led the round, and was joined by Carmel Ventures, which invested in the company's first round. Tapingo, launched in January 2012, is headquartered in San Francisco and Tel Aviv. Its app can be downloaded from iTunes, Google Play, and Facebook. Tapingo is currently fully live at 25 major universities across the US from New York University on the East Coast to the University of Southern California on the West Coast.

SparkLabs Global Ventures ( is a global seed-stage fund with partners in Silicon Valley, Chicago, London Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Seoul. 10