A startup that converts conversations to text so it can offer instant information gets financing from Telefónica, Samsung, and Intel.
Would you give your wireless carrier permission to listen in on your phone calls? Telefónica, one of the world’s largest mobile carriers, is testing a technology that can understand conversations and quickly pull up relevant information. If that info turns out to be useful, customers may want to invite it to listen in.
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Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part guest column by Zach Noorani.
Is angel capital an attractive asset class? Is the crowd capable of being good investors, willing to spend 20-40 hours doing due diligence per investment? These are critical questions to help determine just how big equity crowdfunding will become, right? I say no.
While 4G LTE is still rolling out across the US, Europe is already thinking about the next cellular technology. The European Commission has invested 50 million euros ($ 65.4 million) into 5G cellular technology research, and to accelerate the development process of the new technology. The European Commission wants to have 5G ready by 2020. The
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Nutmeg, the UK-based online investment management service that earlier this year raised $ 5.3 million from Pentech, Tim Draper, Spotify board member Klaus Hommels and Armada Investment Group chairman Daniel Aegerter, opens its doors for business today. It is coming to market armed with a concept it hopes will grab consumers at a time of disillusionment with banks and existing investment models: the idea that any one of us can be a superstar investor.
The fact is, the majority of tech industry investors are men — that goes from the larger venture capital firms that fund companies in the mid- to late-stages, to the angel investors who help to get seed-stage companies off the ground.
But an organization called the Pipeline Fellowship is working to deliberately change that, by putting on angel investing “bootcamps” for women.
Editor’s note: Brian Singerman is a partner at Founders Fund and previously worked at Google and There.
This is the first in a series of articles I am writing to bring more transparency and honesty to the field of venture capital. While many of the themes may be contrarian or controversial, I have two primary goals: First, I want to help entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts understand what motivates investors. Second, I hope to draw attention to some of the fallacies venture capitalists use in their negotiations with entrepreneurs. Aligning the incentives of entrepreneurs and VCs will lead to much stronger relationships and innovation.
Entrepreneurs regularly come to Founders Fund asking us to lead or participate in their seed/angel round. They are often confused or shocked when I try to convince them that with very few exceptions, it is not in entrepreneurs’ best interest to raise seed capital from large venture firms and neither is it beneficial for large firms to invest in seed stage companies. Among the reasons: the structure of VC economics and unavoidable perception issues. Since this conversation happens frequently, I’d like to share my honest thoughts on why large funds should avoid angel investing -‐ and also why Founders Fund nevertheless does so through its wholly owned FF Angel funds.
Apple Inc. held discussions with Twitter Inc. more than a year ago about taking a strategic investment in the short-messaging service, according to a person familiar with the talks.
Betterment, the better investment app, launched at Disrupt in 2010 and went on to manage approximately $ 50 million in two years.
The site is essentially an investment engine. Seamless automatic deposits ensure that you drag cash over to your investment account every month and the UI is clean, readable, and eminently simple – a gauge tells you how much you’re investing in various buckets of stocks and bonds, and a built-in advisor tells you where to keep your money in order to reach a certain goal.
VCs poured significantly more money into deals in 2011, according to a recently released MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters. Venture capitalists invested $ 28.4 billion in 3,673 deals in 2011, an increase of 22 percent in dollars and a 4 percent rise in deals over the prior year. The amount of venture dollars invested in 2011 represents the third highest annual investment total in the past ten years.
In terms of the fourth quarter, investments in the quarter totaled $ 6.6 billion in 844 deals, which is actually a 10 percent decrease in terms of dollar amount and an 11 percent decrease in deals from the third quarter of 2011 when $ 7.3 billion went into 953 deals.
Serial Internet entrepreneur and angel investor Fabrice Grinda took the stage at Le Web this morning to share his thoughts on investing in Russia, Brazil and other emerging markets and general lessons he’s learned as a global angel investor.
Grinda, who is French but currently resides in New York, says he’s made every mistake you can possibly make, but that he’s getting better with every investment deal he inks (he and his team have backed 90 startups to date).
So why does he invest in Russia and Brazil?
Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest celebrity to get in on the celebrity tech investing trend, joining Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher and others. Leo is leading a $ 4 million round in photo sharing app and Israeli startup Mobli.
For background, Mobli is a photo-sharing app where users can share moments and see the world through other people’s eyes. Unlike other apps, Mobli is made up of subject-based channels and filters such as people, places and topics. The platform has seen significant celebrity adoption and is used by Leo himself, David Arquette and Paris Hilton.