Quantified driving Zendrive doesn’t just want to grade our own behaviors behind the wheel, but also those of the taxi drivers and car-sharers that chauffeur us around our cities.
Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has launched an enormous venture capital fund, totalling €500 million ($621 million) over five years, that’s aimed at newer startups and more mature companies. The fund will be run by a new company called Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP) rather than the telco’s existing T-Venture arm, which will still retain responsibility for follow-up investments in its hundred-or-so existing portfolio startups, but will be otherwise closed to new investments. DTCP will have a “special focus” on German startups, and will launch in early 2015. People love to whine about the lack of startup funding in Europe, but in truth the last couple years have seen billions of euros put on the table to support local scenes.
Like peers such as Axel Springer, the German magazine-publishing giant Bauer Media has been branching out into the digital world as an investor, notably in Swedish health startup Lifesum earlier this year. Now it’s really diving in: On Monday, Bauer announced the creation of Bauer Venture Partners, with €100 million ($134 million) lined up for a decade’s worth of investments. Created alongside VC Thomas Preuss, late of Neuhaus Partners, the fund will invest in European tech startups at a range of stages. As I noted when Google(s goog) came to town with a $100 million fund a few weeks back, the days of European startups complaining about a lack of local capital seem to be fast receding.
The anonymous sharing iOS (s aapl) app Secret has raised close to $10 million from Google (s GOOG) Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in a round valuing it at over $40 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing unidentified sources. The company had previously raised $1.2 million in seed funding, with Google and Kleiner Perkins both participating then as well. Secret also released an update on Friday that lets users share secrets to their social networks and view secrets by location — features that might make the app more appealing to a larger audience.
London-based early-stage venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures officially revealed itself on Wednesday, despite having already made some quiet investments into startups Campanja and (according to TechCrunch) Tizaro. The firm will make 4 to 6 investments a year from its $40 million fund, which will apparently soon close at $50 million. Europe may be experiencing a much-needed boom in early-stage investment — Hoxton Ventures’ rivals include the likes of London’s Balderton Capital, Wellington Partners and MMC Ventures, and Berlin’s Earlybird and Point Nine Capital.
While there’s been huge growth in VC funding over the past two decades, it’s not nearly what it was during the VC bubble in 2000.
A successful company requires both a good product and a good business foundation.
Twilio acts as universal translator between the arcane language of telecom networks and the new speak of the developer world. Apparently VCs are buying into the power of its APIs, and they’re investing accordingly.
The mobile explosion has meant an exponential growth in data use – and punishing traffic to our cellular networks. In the eyes of VCs, that mobile misfortune spells opportunity.
Every VC firm has its own way of evaluating potential investments. Remmy Oxley, an anonymous VC, says that Moneyball-style methods are the next step, and reveals his firm’s algorithm for screening candidates.