Posts Tagged ‘Funding’

Give money to your favorite YouTube channels with Fan Funding

You can finally tip your favorite YouTubers for a job well done, thanks to the new Fan Funding feature. According to AndroidPolice, all it takes is clicking the relevant icon on the top left corner of a video, interacting with the support button on a user’s channel, or accessing the functionality through the YouTube Android app.

As is often the case with these things, YouTube will subtract a processing fee from any contribution made. The amount taken varies slightly from country to country but it looks like the video-sharing site imposes at least a 5% charge. Currently, only users located in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and the United States can make donations but Google has plans to eventually extend the service. Fan Funding is part of Y…

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Give money to your favorite YouTube channels with Fan Funding

You can finally tip your favorite YouTubers for a job well done, thanks to the new Fan Funding feature. According to AndroidPolice, all it takes is clicking the relevant icon on the top left corner of a video, interacting with the support button on a user’s channel, or accessing the functionality through the YouTube Android app.

As is often the case with these things, YouTube will subtract a processing fee from any contribution made. The amount taken varies slightly from country to country but it looks like the video-sharing site imposes at least a 5% charge. Currently, only users located in Australia, Japan, Mexico, and the United States can make donations but Google has plans to eventually extend the service. Fan Funding is part of Y…

Continue reading…

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OnBeep To Tackle Group Communication Wearables With $6.25M In New Funding

SF Pride 2013 Medical Dispatch Team at end of a VERY long day. Stealth startup OnBeep got a little less stealthy today, announcing a new Series A round of $ 6.25 million in funding including investment from Riche Levandov of Avalon ventures, and including previous seed funding from WordPress-creator Matt Mullenweg and others. The company revealed a bit about their secretive product development back in January, when they talked about their efforts… Read More

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Samsung Backs GamePop As BlueStacks Adds $13M In New Funding

gp+samsung1 Samsung’s venture arm has contributed to a round of funding that adds $ 13 million to the total raised by BlueStacks, the virtualization startup that debuted its GamePop platform earlier this year to offer over-the-top mobile gaming for living room and TVs. Samsung’s investment backs the company’s vision of delivering GamePop as a white-label solution aimed at TV makers and… Read More

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Super PAC to end all super PACs hits its $5 million funding goal

A crowdfunded super PAC designed to end all super PACs has achieved its funding goal. The Mayday PAC raised $ 5 million from over 50,000 small contributions over the past couple of months. Added to the $ 5 million matching contribution it’s expecting and the $ 2 million it pulled in this past May, the political action committee should have the $ 12 million founder Lawrence Lessig said it’d need to wield influence in five key House races this year.

Lessig, a Harvard professor outspoken against the state of campaign finance in the US, said in a blog post that “this may be this movement’s most incredible moment so far.” He added, “We’ve got lots of ideas about how to make this work. We’ll be testing them and improving them and building lots…

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With $8M In Fresh Funding, Ezetap Is More Than Just A Square For Emerging Markets

photo-11

There are almost 900 million active cell-phone users in India now, and from newer startups to some of the biggest companies in the world, everybody is chasing the next mobile disruption that could potentially result in a business model for all of the emerging markets.

One such startup is Ezetap, a mobile payment company backed by some of the biggest names in the VC industry, including Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and founder of Social+Capital Partnership, and Angelprime, an Indian seed fund run by serial entrepreneurs.

Today, Ezetap is raising $ 8 million in Series B funding led by Helion Advisors, Social+Capital and Berggruen Holdings. This round takes the total fund raised by Ezetap to around $ 11.5 million (including $ 3.5 million it had raised in Series A funding in November 2012). The fresh capital will be used to expand Ezetap in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. 

Ezetap is much like Square, at least in terms of the basic model. It uses a rectangular device that can turn any mobile phone into a point-of-sales terminal when plugged in. The device including a card reader and chip, costs around $ 50, and Ezetap has been able to sell around 12,000 of them to date. The startup is aiming to have over 100,000 such devices installed across Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East in a year.

“From day one, we wanted to go global and really felt that mobile payments in general is a great opportunity for emerging markets. There’s disparity in cash versus electronic payments leading to the challenges of financial inclusion,” Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap, told TechCrunch.

Ezetap was incubated in 2011 by Angelprime, a $ 10 million seed fund backed by Mayfield Fund, Palihapitiya and several others in the Silicon Valley. It’s run by three veteran entrepreneurs — Sanjay Swamy, Shripati Acharya and Bala Parthasarathy. With the latest round, Ashish Gupta of Helion is joining the startup’s board. Helion is an India focused, $ 600 million fund. 

Ezetap is the second attempt by Abhijit and Sanjay to build a mobile payment company in India. In 2006, Sanjay was the CEO of mChek which had raised around $ 10 million by 2009, and Abhijit worked with another venture-funded payment startup called Ngpay. 

Back then, mChek and several others fizzled out because of several challenges.

“I believe there was nothing wrong with mobile payment back then, it was just the timing,” said Bose.

Indeed, the environment has changed dramatically. Back then, there were only 10 million credit cards. Today there are around 316 million credit and debit card holders in India. More importantly, the telecom infrastructure has improved tremendously, allowing users to do much more than just voice calls and texting.

“For us, Android and iOS are the game changers, too. Moreover, consumers are much more willing to use mobile payments for ease of use,” said Bose.

After building the product for one year, Ezetap officially launched with a Citibank mobile payment pilot in January 2013. Since then, the startup has signed up several banks and newer e-commerce companies, including Flipkart and online grocery retailer BigBasket. In Kenya, Ezetap partnered with Mastercard and Equity Bank to launch its services in March last year. Later in May 2013, Ezetap’s solution received global certification from EMVCo, an organization that specifies processes and gives approval for chip-based payment cards. 

“Chip and pin is now the established global standard for mobile payment processing, and will soon take over the U.S. as well. Ezetap has created the only product that is certified globally, at a price point materially better than any other player – regional or otherwise,” said Palihapitiya.

Both Ezetap and Square are using similar models to enable mobile payments, but for completely different target markets, which is perhaps why Bose doesn’t like being called “the Square of India.”  Ezetap’s merchants include India’s biggest e-commerce company Flipkart and even much smaller mom-and-pop shops.

“I always hate it when people call it that [Square of India]. Fundamentally, we are attacking underserved markets and are both similar in thinking about mobile payments. But we want to build a business that makes us number one mobile payment platform in emerging markets,” said Bose.

To be sure, Ezetap is not the only mobile payment startup that’s beginning to do well. With around 2 million customers using its mobile wallet, MobiKwik is aiming to reach the 100 million mark in two years. While MobiKwik and at least two dozen others are offering mobile wallets, startups such as Mswipe are more similar to Ezetap. Mswipe raised its Series B funding earlier this year from investors including Matrix Partners. All these startups are shaping an ecosystem of mobile payments in India that goes beyond just creating a non cash economy.

 

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With $8M In Fresh Funding, Ezetap Is More Than Just A Square For Emerging Markets

photo-11

There are almost 900 million active cell-phone users in India now, and from newer startups to some of the biggest companies in the world, everybody is chasing the next mobile disruption that could potentially result in a business model for all of the emerging markets.

One such startup is Ezetap, a mobile payment company backed by some of the biggest names in the VC industry, including Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and founder of Social+Capital Partnership, and Angelprime, an Indian seed fund run by serial entrepreneurs.

Today, Ezetap is raising $ 8 million in Series B funding led by Helion Advisors, Social+Capital and Berggruen Holdings. This round takes the total fund raised by Ezetap to around $ 11.5 million (including $ 3.5 million it had raised in Series A funding in November 2012). The fresh capital will be used to expand Ezetap in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. 

Ezetap is much like Square, at least in terms of the basic model. It uses a rectangular device that can turn any mobile phone into a point-of-sales terminal when plugged in. The device including a card reader and chip, costs around $ 50, and Ezetap has been able to sell around 12,000 of them to date. The startup is aiming to have over 100,000 such devices installed across Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East in a year.

“From day one, we wanted to go global and really felt that mobile payments in general is a great opportunity for emerging markets. There’s disparity in cash versus electronic payments leading to the challenges of financial inclusion,” Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap, told TechCrunch.

Ezetap was incubated in 2011 by Angelprime, a $ 10 million seed fund backed by Mayfield Fund, Palihapitiya and several others in the Silicon Valley. It’s run by three veteran entrepreneurs — Sanjay Swamy, Shripati Acharya and Bala Parthasarathy. With the latest round, Ashish Gupta of Helion is joining the startup’s board. Helion is an India focused, $ 600 million fund. 

Ezetap is the second attempt by Abhijit and Sanjay to build a mobile payment company in India. In 2006, Sanjay was the CEO of mChek which had raised around $ 10 million by 2009, and Abhijit worked with another venture-funded payment startup called Ngpay. 

Back then, mChek and several others fizzled out because of several challenges.

“I believe there was nothing wrong with mobile payment back then, it was just the timing,” said Bose.

Indeed, the environment has changed dramatically. Back then, there were only 10 million credit cards. Today there are around 316 million credit and debit card holders in India. More importantly, the telecom infrastructure has improved tremendously, allowing users to do much more than just voice calls and texting.

“For us, Android and iOS are the game changers, too. Moreover, consumers are much more willing to use mobile payments for ease of use,” said Bose.

After building the product for one year, Ezetap officially launched with a Citibank mobile payment pilot in January 2013. Since then, the startup has signed up several banks and newer e-commerce companies, including Flipkart and online grocery retailer BigBasket. In Kenya, Ezetap partnered with Mastercard and Equity Bank to launch its services in March last year. Later in May 2013, Ezetap’s solution received global certification from EMVCo, an organization that specifies processes and gives approval for chip-based payment cards. 

Both Ezetap and Square are using similar models to enable mobile payments, but for completely different target markets, which is perhaps why Bose doesn’t like being called “the Square of India.”  Ezetap’s merchants include India’s biggest e-commerce company Flipkart and even much smaller mom-and-pop shops.

“I always hate it when people call it that [Square of India]. Fundamentally, we are attacking underserved markets and are both similar in thinking about mobile payments. But we want to build a business that makes us number one mobile payment platform in emerging markets,” said Bose.

To be sure, Ezetap is not the only mobile payment startup that’s beginning to do well. With around 2 million customers using its mobile wallet, MobiKwik is aiming to reach the 100 million mark in two years. While MobiKwik and at least two dozen others are offering mobile wallets, startups such as Mswipe are more similar to Ezetap. Mswipe raised its Series B funding earlier this year from investors including Matrix Partners. All these startups are shaping an ecosystem of mobile payments in India that goes beyond just creating a non cash economy.

 

Related Posts:

With $8M In Fresh Funding, Ezetap Is More Than Just A Square For Emerging Markets

photo-11

There are almost 900 million active cell-phone users in India now, and from newer startups to some of the biggest companies in the world, everybody is chasing the next mobile disruption that could potentially result in a business model for all of the emerging markets.

One such startup is Ezetap, a mobile payment company backed by some of the biggest names in the VC industry, including Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and founder of Social+Capital Partnership, and Angelprime, an Indian seed fund run by serial entrepreneurs.

Today, Ezetap is raising $ 8 million in Series B funding led by Helion Advisors, Social+Capital and Berggruen Holdings. This round takes the total fund raised by Ezetap to around $ 11.5 million (including $ 3.5 million it had raised in Series A funding in November 2012). The fresh capital will be used to expand Ezetap in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. 

Ezetap is much like Square, at least in terms of the basic model. It uses a rectangular device that can turn any mobile phone into a point-of-sales terminal when plugged in. The device including a card reader and chip, costs around $ 50, and Ezetap has been able to sell around 12,000 of them to date. The startup is aiming to have over 100,000 such devices installed across Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East in a year.

“From day one, we wanted to go global and really felt that mobile payments in general is a great opportunity for emerging markets. There’s disparity in cash versus electronic payments leading to the challenges of financial inclusion,” Abhijit Bose, CEO of Ezetap, told TechCrunch.

Ezetap was incubated in 2011 by Angelprime, a $ 10 million seed fund backed by Mayfield Fund, Palihapitiya and several others in the Silicon Valley. It’s run by three veteran entrepreneurs — Sanjay Swamy, Shripati Acharya and Bala Parthasarathy. With the latest round, Ashish Gupta of Helion is joining the startup’s board. Helion is an India focused, $ 600 million fund. 

Ezetap is the second attempt by Abhijit and Sanjay to build a mobile payment company in India. In 2006, Sanjay was the CEO of mChek which had raised around $ 10 million by 2009, and Abhijit worked with another venture-funded payment startup called Ngpay. 

Back then, mChek and several others fizzled out because of several challenges.

“I believe there was nothing wrong with mobile payment back then, it was just the timing,” said Bose.

Indeed, the environment has changed dramatically. Back then, there were only 10 million credit cards. Today there are around 316 million credit and debit card holders in India. More importantly, the telecom infrastructure has improved tremendously, allowing users to do much more than just voice calls and texting.

“For us, Android and iOS are the game changers, too. Moreover, consumers are much more willing to use mobile payments for ease of use,” said Bose.

After building the product for one year, Ezetap officially launched with a Citibank mobile payment pilot in January 2013. Since then, the startup has signed up several banks and newer e-commerce companies, including Flipkart and online grocery retailer BigBasket. In Kenya, Ezetap partnered with Mastercard and Equity Bank to launch its services in March last year. Later in May 2013, Ezetap’s solution received global certification from EMVCo, an organization that specifies processes and gives approval for chip-based payment cards. 

Both Ezetap and Square are using similar models to enable mobile payments, but for completely different target markets, which is perhaps why Bose doesn’t like being called “the Square of India.”  Ezetap’s merchants include India’s biggest e-commerce company Flipkart and even much smaller mom-and-pop shops.

“I always hate it when people call it that [Square of India]. Fundamentally, we are attacking underserved markets and are both similar in thinking about mobile payments. But we want to build a business that makes us number one mobile payment platform in emerging markets,” said Bose.

To be sure, Ezetap is not the only mobile payment startup that’s beginning to do well. With around 2 million customers using its mobile wallet, MobiKwik is aiming to reach the 100 million mark in two years. While MobiKwik and at least two dozen others are offering mobile wallets, startups such as Mswipe are more similar to Ezetap. Mswipe raised its Series B funding earlier this year from investors including Matrix Partners. All these startups are shaping an ecosystem of mobile payments in India that goes beyond just creating a non cash economy.

 

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UPDATED: Fin, The Bluetooth Ring That Turns Your Hand Into A Wireless Controller, Hits Its Funding Goal

Fin_ring

Back at CES in January, TechCrunch met Fin, the Bluetooth ring that went on to become one of our Hardware Battlefield finalists. Fin, which turns your hand into a wireless controller for smartphones, TVs, and other connected devices, just reached its $ 100,000 Indiegogo goal. Now Fin is aiming for its stretch goal of $ 150,000, which will make the ring available for a discounted price to visually impaired people.

Fin is worn on your thumb and has a tiny optical sensor that detects movements, allowing you to send commands to connected devices with a few swipes and taps of your fingers. As TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak described when he wrote about the device’s prototype in January, you can turn down your phone’s volume by swiping your thumb down your index finger or skip the current track by swiping your thumb across the palm of your opposite hand. In the future, creator RHL Vision wants to use biometrics to assign a different behavior to each segment of your finger, basically turning them into buttons.

Fin is one of the coolest wearable devices out there because it makes you look like you have magical powers. But the ring is also very useful, especially for people with visual or motor impairments. RHL Vision says that Fin can potentially help more than 285 million visually impaired people interact more smoothly with technology. If it reaches its stretch goal, the company will make its ring available for $ 59 to blind people.

To get a sense of a visually impaired person can use Fin, take a look at this video, in two users talk about how Fin helps them control their smartphones and tablets without struggling to see controls on their touchscreens.

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Fin, The Bluetooth Ring That Turns Your Hand Into A Wireless Controller, Is Almost At Its Funding Goal

Fin_ring

Back at CES in January, TechCrunch met Fin, the Bluetooth ring that went on to become one of our Hardware Battlefield finalists. Fin, which turns your hand into a wireless controller for smartphones, TVs, and other connected devices, is now just a few hundred dollars short of its Indiegogo goal. To be sure, Fin has a flexible funding campaign, which means it will receive all money raised even if it doesn’t hit its target amount. But if Fin reaches its stretch goal of $ 150,000, it will be able to make the ring available for a discounted price to visually impaired people.

Fin is worn on your thumb and has a tiny optical sensor that detects movements, allowing you to send commands to connected devices with a few swipes and taps of your fingers. As TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak described when he wrote about the device’s prototype in January, you can turn down your phone’s volume by swiping your thumb down your index finger or skip the current track by swiping your thumb across the palm of your opposite hand. In the future, creator RHL Vision wants to use biometrics to assign a different behavior to each segment of your finger, basically turning them into buttons.

Fin is one of the coolest wearable devices out there because it makes you look like you have magical powers. But the ring is also very useful, especially for people with visual or motor impairments. RHL Vision says that Fin can potentially help more than 285 million visually impaired people interact more smoothly with technology. If it reaches its stretch goal, the company will make its ring available for $ 59 to blind people.

To get a sense of a visually impaired person can use Fin, take a look at this video, in two users talk about how Fin helps them control their smartphones and tablets without struggling to see controls on their touchscreens.

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