bountysource.com - Big news! Bountysource has just gotten another 1000 new software developers signed up on their platform. Definitely impressive that they now have a 43,000-strong community on their funding platform for open-source software! Calling all who are software developers or with tasks to open-source, do check Bountysource out!
FinancialTimes.com - Have you heard?
Almost $1.3bn has been raised so far this year by start-up technology companies via “initial coin offerings”, the blockchain community’s version of crowdfunding, according to a new report from Autonomous, the financial research provider.
What is unclear from the report is whether this is a bubble linked to hype around cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, or if it represents deep change in the way start-ups raise money, equivalent in disruptive power to the launch of the internet. (Read more here on FT.com)
Sharespost.com - A review of TGV's New York Disruption in Banking event by Rohit Kulkarni, Managing Director of Sharespost.
As part of our feet-on-the-street approach to research, we attend key conferences where industry leaders debate emerging trends and issues. We recently went to a FinTech conference hosted by True Global Ventures in New York. (True Global Ventures is an investor in SharesPost, Inc.) We came away with a number of surprising insights regarding investment opportunities in FinTech subsectors, BlockChain technology, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Here are our key takeaways and views on what will happen next.
The Bright Spots Within FinTechAt the conference, there was a general consensus that significant disruption will occur in various financial services verticals due to technology and emerging business models. Veteran investors believe we are currently in the third wave of FinTech applications. During the first wave, technology was used to automate existing processes (e.g., alternative payments). The second wave led to new business models driven by technology (e.g., marketplace lending). In the third wave, new problems and opportunities will be fully solved using technology (e.g., cryptocurrency). At the conference, attendees discussed a wide range of FinTech applications that seem attractive to long-term investors. Early- and mid-stage investors believe the most attractive investments are specific applications, such as regulation tech (e.g., compliance, anti-money laundering, and KYC) and insurance tech (e.g., life, health, and property and casualty insurance). Late-stage investors continue to focus on payments and wealth management (e.g., robo-advisors and alternative investments).
Our take: FinTech remains a bright spot for private growth investors. Our year-end investor sentiment survey also indicates that FinTech presents one of the most attractive long-term investment opportunities. Despite the promise of FinTech, startups tend to have an uphill climb disrupting fairly sticky products and services developed by large financial institutions over the years. And the regulatory environment and cultural inertia weigh on entrepreneurs’ minds.
Exhibit 11: Regardless of investment time horizons, where do you see greatest growth opportunity in the future?
Source: SharesPost Research; N=600 survey respondents; * Consumer Apps; ** Enterprise Software Apps; Survey options also included “Other Enterprise Software Apps”, “Other Mobile or Web Consumer Apps”, and “Other”; We qualified “Infrastructure Apps” to include “Storage, Computing, & Networking”
Still Significant Untapped Applications of Blockchain Technology Beyond Digital CurrenciesBlockchain technology was originally developed as part of the digital currency Bitcoin. At a high level, Blockchain protocol provides a secure and decentralized way to establish trust for virtually any kind of digital transaction, helping simplify the movement of money, products, or services. At the conference, investors compared Bitcoin, the first application to use Blockchain protocol, to email in the early days of the internet. Since the emergence of Bitcoin, BlockChain’s benefits have included efficient and cheaper cross-border payments, proof of delivery, and faster payment processing without intermediaries. Despite Bitcoin’s price volatility and the likely impact on BlockChain’s potential applications, investors continue to keep a close eye on BlockChain technology. Furthermore, active investors in the technology believe that security and processing speed are areas of improvement for BlockChain, and they remain confident that upcoming iterations will open new areas of investment.
Our take: Given the well-known capabilities of cryptocurrency technology, investors at the conference expected a widespread implementation of BlockChain technology in applications beyond digital currency over the next three to five years.
“Cambrian Explosion” in ICO TrendsTrue Global Ventures’ Dušan Stojanović kicked off the conference with a series of impressive statistics highlighting recent trends in initial coin offerings. For instance, more than $500 million in coin offerings have been completed in the past month in nine cities, including New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Stockholm. An ICO allows a company to create a digital coin or token, and then offer a specific number of coins for sale, via either a tender offering or a crowdfunded offering. At the conference, investors agreed that there are clear similarities between ICOs and IPOs. Both are done by private companies to raise funds. However, investors also debated whether buyers in an ICO are purchasing an ownership in the company or simply a form of an asset with rights or licenses. This debate led to several unanswered questions, including the relevance of ICOs in the future of early-stage fundraising, particularly given their potential to provide early investors with increased liquidity.
Our take: We think many parallels exist between the 1999 internet IPO boom and current ICO activity. Roughly 275 internet companies went public in 1999, raising about $25 billion. In the past six months, we estimate that roughly 50 global ICOs have raised almost $1 billion, implying a 400 percent growth from 2016 levels. While the numbers evoke a strong comparison to the internet IPO boom, we think there are several key differences. Each ICO has a different value proposition, and this is a global phenomenon, with non-U.S. regulators already stepping up their oversight. In other words, early signs indicate that ICOs may not be a fad and may play a bigger role in early-stage funding in years to come.
Hong Kong's Block.one taking the Lion's share as its record breaking ICO raises US$185M! Who will get it right on ICOs? The risk takers or the risk averse?
One thing's for sure, ICO is gaining so much traction in Asia, definitely taking the lead in this coin race (raise) !
techinasia.com - The hot streak for initial coin offerings (ICOs), which is a way for the public to buy new cryptocurrencies, continues. Hong Kong-based company Block.one announced today that it has raised about US$185 million (ETH 652,902) for its Ethereum-based EOS tokens. (read more)
Initial Coin Offerings: Will they lead to disruption or end in destruction? Singapore startup raises $80m in cryptocurrency sale; another follows suit
Good news for our Portfolio company, Bluzelle, about to do an ICO in Singapore too!
techinasia.com - Initial coin offerings (ICOs) might be taking off in Singapore with two recent announcements relating to the new funding format. Blockchain startup TenX has raised close to US$80 million from a token sale held last week, while Cross Coin – a special purpose vehicle linked to eastern Europe-focused, US-based Starta Accelerator – is looking to raise up to US$5 million from its upcoming ICO. (read more)
e27.co - Singapore blockchain startup Bluzelle has been selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the 30 “technology pioneers” for 2017. The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers community are early-stage companies that are developing innovative solutions which can significantly impact business and society. Past recipients include some of the industry’s biggest tech giants such as Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Scribd, Spotify, Twitter and Wikimedia. (read more)
Scandasia.com - During the first ever Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit held in Singapore (2016), when it was time to talk start-ups, Mr Dusan Stojanovic showed up in the panel of speakers on stage. Dusan represents the hard-to-get venture capital (VC) category of financing for growth businesses. Probably not too many in the audience knew who he was but within the fast-growing financial technology, or fintech, segment Dusan is a name to be reckoned with. And from what this Swedish angel investor told the audience it was clear that he had relevant things to tell. He shared his enthusiasm for Singapore and insights into things like ‘regulatory sandboxes’. (read more)
Stryking Entertainment clinched partnership with Sportdigital: Featuring 10 international football leagues!
Good news for Styking!
Stryking.com - Stryking will develop a dedicated version of its fantasy football platform Football-Stars for the Hamburg based pay-TV station. Under the name of ‘sportdigital Stars – Die Fußball Challenge” (The Football Challenge), football fans will be able to play a specially tailored version of Football-Stars. (read more)
He Strykes, He Scores! Stryking Entertainment GmbH strikes again starring in Red Herring's TOP 100 European Award
Stryking.com - Stryking and its Daily Fantasy Football platform Football-Stars have been selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the European business region. During the months leading up to the announcement, Red Herring reviewed over 1,200 companies in the telecommunications, security, cloud, software, hardware, biotech, mobile and other industries that completed their submissions to qualify for the award. (read more)
Forbes.com - "How do I get a return on my investment?” - Flip the 75-25 percent rule on due diligence to focus on supporting exits
Dusan Stojanovic diverges from the traditional practice of spending 75 percent of the time on due diligence and 25 percent on an exit. He flips the ratio and spends only 25 percent of the time on due diligence and 75 percent of the time working on the exit. How does this work? He's already well-versed in his industry, so he can quickly weed out startups he feels won't have a chance of succeeding. He also spends a tremendous amount of time in one-on-one networking meetings with company merger and acquisition representatives, employees who work on corporate ventures, and chief innovation officers to understand what they think and to create strong relationships. He understands who the potential customers are and what companies might be interested in an eventual acquisition.