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Tag Archives: latin-america

New wave founders are headed to Startup Battlefield Latin America

TechCrunch is thrilled to announce that Rappi co-founder Sebastian Mejia, Enjoie founder Ana McLaren and Konfío founder and CEO David Arana will be joining us on stage at Startup Battlefield Latin America  for a panel about new wave startups coming out of the region. What does scaling a delivery startup out of Latin America look like? Where do you find the top engineering talent to build a marketplace app? What are the big opportunities for ecommerce and fintech companies? These are some of the ideas these three founders will speak to. Sebastián Mejia is a co-founder of Rappi, the on-demand delivery startup worth over $1 billion. Rappi initially began as a beverage delivery service, but has since expanded into groceries, meals, medicine and tech products to become a solution for last-mile delivery on demand. The company also has a popular cash withdrawl feature, and charges $1 per delivery. The Colombian startup has been backed by some of the world’s most prominent investors like Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz. In fact, Rappi marked A16z’s first investment into Latin America in 2016. Now, thanks to a huge $200M round that closed in September 2018 , Rappi is now worth over $1 billion

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The funding mirage: How to secure international investment from emerging markets

Jose Deustua Contributor Jose Deustua is the managing director of Peruvian accelerator UTEC Ventures , the organization behind Peru’s largest investor event, the Peru Venture Capital Conference . Looking for funding as a startup in Latin America is a lot like looking for a watering hole in the middle of the desert. You know it’s out there, but finding it in time is a life or death situation. Granted, venture capital investment in the region is at an all-time high , with leading firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners having made inaugural investments in markets like Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, respectively. But, at the same time, while startup founders might be tantalized by the news of big investments happening around them, as many of them get closer to the funding stage themselves, they often realize it’s nothing but a mirage. And this isn’t just a problem in Latin America. All over the world, startups are struggling to find investment, as VCs are investing more money in fewer deals in the endless search for the next unicorn. Due to a dwindling number of VC deals in both the United States and Europe , even entrepreneurs in established ecosystems are having to look further afield for the resources they need to build their businesses, bringing many of them to emerging markets like Latin America. Fortunately, whether you’re a local or foreign founder in an emerging market, there is a way to quench your thirst for the international investment that you need to scale your company. Here’s what we recommend to the startups that are part of our UTEC Ventures accelerator program in Peru, and what we’d recommend to you, too. Find local seed money first As a startup in an emerging market, the prospect of finding local investment can seem challenging

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Facebook has built and deployed an AI tool, SapFix, that identifies bugs in code, tests patches, and suggests the best to apply, will share with devs…

Josh Constine / TechCrunch : Facebook has built and deployed an AI tool, SapFix, that identifies bugs in code, tests patches, and suggests the best to apply, will share with devs eventually   —  Facebook has quietly built and deployed an artificial intelligence programming tool called SapFix that scans code …

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Twitch will livestream Pokémon TV series and movies, while viewers ‘catch’ badges

Twitch has teamed up with The Pokémon Company to allow viewers to binge watch the  Pokémon: The Series TV show and related movies on its site, and “catch” Pokémon badges along the way. While the former is one of Twitch’s many retro binge watch fests – it’s previously streamed old shows like Bob Ross, Julia Child, Mister Rogers , SNL , and most recently, Knight Rider – the interactive feature it’s debuting is something new. According to the company, Twitch will launch its own Pokémon extension to accompany the broadcast. This overlay, called “Twitch Presents: Pokémon Badge Collector,” will encourage viewers to collect Pokémon badges that appear on the screen for points, which places them on a leaderboard. This is only the second time Twitch has added an interactive element like this to one of its viewing events, and its addition could see users watching for longer periods of time, as a result. The first was a “watch and win” extension during a Doctor Who broadcast, but it was different as it focused on collecting contest entries. Twitch also notes this will be the longest viewing event it’s ever held. The binge will see 16 movies and 19 TV seasons with 932 episodes streamed across Twitch’s network, starting on August 27, 2018, and spanning until 2019. This will kick off with the first season, Pokémon: Indigo League at 10 AM PDT on the 27ths for audiences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Australia. The content will air on TwitchPresents and on its companion channels in French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese. “The Twitch community has a passion for Pokémon based on the warm embrace the series received when we celebrated the brand’s 20th anniversary, as well as the cultural milestone that was set when over a hundred thousand Twitch members played Pokémon together,” said Jane Weedon, Director of Business Development at Twitch, in a statement about the launch. The viewing event comes at a time when reports claim Twitch is going after a wider audience than just gamers. The company has been wooing creatives like vloggers, cooks, artists, and others to come to its site, instead of only broadcasting on YouTube. And it’s been airing non-esports content through marathon events like this new one with Pokémon. According to Bloomberg , TV show livestreams are one of the two fastest-growing genres on the site, the other being “IRL” (in real life) content

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Thoughts on Xiaomi’s eighth anniversary and inaugural month as a public company

Hans Tung Contributor Hans Tung is a managing partner at GGV Capital . More posts by this contributor Consumer internet startups go mainstream outside of Silicon Valley Beyond Amazon and Alibaba: what’s next for e-commerce? Zara Zhang Contributor Share on Twitter Zara Zhang is an investment analyst with GGV Capital and a blogger about China, tech, and food. On August 16, Xiaomi celebrated the seventh anniversary of the release of its first phone, and the eighth anniversary of MIUI’s launch. As an early investor in Xiaomi in spring 2010 and a former board member of the company, I attended Xiaomi’s IPO in Hong Kong on July 9. I felt nostalgic and grateful, and marveled at how much Xiaomi — which seemed like a crazy idea to many back in January 2010 — has achieved over the past eight years. Xiaomi’s business model is not the easiest to appreciate if you have never tried its products. Its holistic value proposition doesn’t have an easy equivalent in the US. I frequently get asked questions about how the company works and what justifies its valuation for each round over the years. Here’s my take on the five most asked questions: Why is Xiaomi an “Internet company”? Isn’t it just a manufacturer of cheap smartphones with really low margin? At first glance Xiaomi may seem like a hardware company, which traditionally has lower gross margins.

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Thailand’s central bank says it has partnered with R3 and eight other financial institutions for a proof-of-concept trial of a central bank digital…

Wolfie Zhao / CoinDesk : Thailand's central bank says it has partnered with R3 and eight other financial institutions for a proof-of-concept trial of a central bank digital currency   —  The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has announced it expects to complete the first phase of a proof-of-concept trial for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by March 2019.

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Nokia says its licensing fee for 5G standard essential patents will be a flat rate of €3 per device, lower than those announced by rivals…

Jeremy Horwitz / VentureBeat : Nokia says its licensing fee for 5G standard essential patents will be a flat rate of €3 per device, lower than those announced by rivals Qualcomm and Ericsson   —  Trade wars generally aren't good for technology companies or consumers, and neither are patent battles …

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Data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon, which was suspended from Facebook after allegations of using user data for surveillance, says it’s regained…

Alex Pasternack / Fast Company : Data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon, which was suspended from Facebook after allegations of using user data for surveillance, says it's regained firehose access   —  Crimson Hexagon, a Boston data analytics company, raised some eyebrows last week when it announced that its access to the firehose …

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Nylas, a San Francisco-based startup that lets developers integrate email content into apps through the Nylas API, raises $16M Series B led by Spark…

Ron Miller / TechCrunch : Nylas, a San Francisco-based startup that lets developers integrate email content into apps through the Nylas API, raises $16M Series B led by Spark Capital   —  Nylas, a startup that helps developers integrate email content into applications via an API, announced a $16 million Series B today led by Spark Capital.

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Inside the Snapchat "Council" where employees discuss their inner thoughts, and Evan Spiegel’s attempts at self-improvement after company’s…

Sarah Frier / Bloomberg : Inside the Snapchat “Council” where employees discuss their inner thoughts, and Evan Spiegel's attempts at self-improvement after company's DAU decline   —  On the second floor of the new headquarters of Snap Inc. in Santa Monica, Calif., is a room dedicated to helping employees open up.

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Walmart partners with Rakuten Kobo to launch Walmart eBooks, with a catalog of 6M+ titles and a $9.99/month Audible-like subscription service for…

Charisse Jones / USA Today : Walmart partners with Rakuten Kobo to launch Walmart eBooks, with a catalog of 6M+ titles and a $9.99/month Audible-like subscription service for audiobooks   —  Walmart ratcheted up its battle with Amazon, planting a stake on the e-commerce giant's turf by selling e-books for the first time.

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China shuts down ~8 blockchain and cryptocurrency news accounts on WeChat and bans hotels in downtown Beijing from hosting events promoting…

Zheping Huang / South China Morning Post : China shuts down ~8 blockchain and cryptocurrency news accounts on WeChat and bans hotels in downtown Beijing from hosting events promoting cryptocurrencies   —  The two incidents are the latest instances of China's continuing crackdown on cryptocurrencies, which began last September with bans on local exchanges and ICOs

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China shuts down ~8 blockchain and cryptocurrency news accounts on WeChat and bans hotels in downtown Beijing from hosting events promoting…

Zheping Huang / South China Morning Post : China shuts down ~8 blockchain and cryptocurrency news accounts on WeChat and bans hotels in downtown Beijing from hosting events promoting cryptocurrencies   —  The two incidents are the latest instances of China's continuing crackdown on cryptocurrencies, which began last September with bans on local exchanges and ICOs

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One Medical, a members-only tech platform offering concierge medical services, raises $350M from Carlyle Group to help double up offices and offerings…

Sarah Buhr / TechCrunch : One Medical, a members-only tech platform offering concierge medical services, raises $350M from Carlyle Group to help double up offices and offerings   —  One Medical has confirmed to TechCrunch it has closed on funding from the Carlyle Group for a new cash infusion worth $350 million.

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Facebook says it will forego its 30% share of in-app revenue for Messenger’s Instant Games on Android (Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat)

Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat : Facebook says it will forego its 30% share of in-app revenue for Messenger's Instant Games on Android   —  Facebook has announced it is going to forego its 30 percent share of Instant Games in-app revenue on the Android platform.  —  Instant Games are casual titles that can be shared …

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