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Month: May 2013

Fanatix Bolsters Its Seed With Another $1M As Its Mobile Social Network For Sports Fans Hits 1M Monthly Actives, Up 566% Since January

Fanatix, the U.K. startup that’s made a mobile-first social network for sports fans to chew over their team’s performance as and after they watch them play, has bolstered its seed round with another $1 million, from a series of undisclosed UK-based Angels. The additional funding brings its total raised to $3 million to date. The new financing follows a greater than expected bump in its monthly active user numbers which have risen from 150,000 to one million monthly actives since the start of the year — up 566% since January. Fanatix launched its service back in October 2011. It says it’s seeing particular traction among 13- to 24-year-old males — a prime advertising demographic. Founder and CEO Will Muirhead tells TechCrunch the service is adding 30,000 users per day, with younger users apparently using the app up to 10 times a day. Fanatix offers fans a personalised stream of sports content via its app and web platform, including pulling in tweets, videos, Instagram photos and content from relevant sports blogs. It also offers a group chat feature (called a Huddle) where fans can swap banter and share content. ”We have deals with sports rights holders for much of the video content and partnerships in place with many sports blogs for the ‘fan opinion’. In addition, we pull in feeds from Instagram (great stuff here), YouTube, Facebook and Twitter,” explains Muirhead. The startup...

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Fanatix Bolsters Its Seed With Another $1M As Its Mobile Social Network For Sports Fans Hits 1M Monthly Actives, Up 566% Since January

Fanatix, the U.K. startup that’s made a mobile-first social network for sports fans to chew over their team’s performance as and after they watch them play, has bolstered its seed round with another $1 million, from a series of undisclosed UK-based Angels. The additional funding brings its total raised to $3 million to date. The new financing follows a greater than expected bump in its monthly active user numbers which have risen from 150,000 to one million monthly actives since the start of the year — up 566% since January. Fanatix launched its service back in October 2011. It says it’s seeing particular traction among 13- to 24-year-old males — a prime advertising demographic. Founder and CEO Will Muirhead tells TechCrunch the service is adding 30,000 users per day, with younger users apparently using the app up to 10 times a day. Fanatix offers fans a personalised stream of sports content via its app and web platform, including pulling in tweets, videos, Instagram photos and content from relevant sports blogs. It also offers a group chat feature (called a Huddle) where fans can swap banter and share content. ”We have deals with sports rights holders for much of the video content and partnerships in place with many sports blogs for the ‘fan opinion’. In addition, we pull in feeds from Instagram (great stuff here), YouTube, Facebook and Twitter,” explains Muirhead. The startup...

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Incubator NEST Investments Wants To Help Hong Kong’s Fledgling Startup Industry Take Flight

Though Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial hubs, its startup industry is still embryonic. Incubator NEST Investments hopes to change that by helping tech companies take advantage of the region’s wealth and resources as they work toward entering the mainland Chinese market. Founded in 2011, NEST Investments offers initial seed capital of HKD$500,000 (about US$64,000), a follow-up round of up to US$1 million, access to strategic investors, office space, tech support, an in-house lawyer and a marketing and branding advice. The incubator’s portfolio currently includes several consumer lifestyle startups, including restaurant review and recipe site Foodie, Red Packet, which sells gift packages of themed experiences, community guide I/Love and media and events company Info/Nation. Founder and CEO Simon Squibb says he is also interested in real estate and big data startups. NEST Investments plans to hold onto each investment for two to three years before exiting. Though Hong Kong is a global financial center, Squibb, who has lived in the city for 15 years and is a naturalized citizen, says its startup ecosystem has only begun to take shape within the last 12 months, with an increase in angel investment and co-working spaces. “It’s a victim of its own success in a way. People are making a lot of money here. There are incredible amounts of wealth here, but that wealth can be invested in property...

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Incubator NEST Investments Wants To Help Hong Kong’s Fledgling Startup Industry Take Flight

Though Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading financial hubs, its startup industry is still embryonic. Incubator NEST Investments hopes to change that by helping tech companies take advantage of the region’s wealth and resources as they work toward entering the mainland Chinese market. Founded in 2011, NEST Investments offers initial seed capital of HKD$500,000 (about US$64,000), a follow-up round of up to US$1 million, access to strategic investors, office space, tech support, an in-house lawyer and a marketing and branding advice. The incubator’s portfolio currently includes several consumer lifestyle startups, including restaurant review and recipe site Foodie, Red Packet, which sells gift packages of themed experiences, community guide I/Love and media and events company Info/Nation. Founder and CEO Simon Squibb says he is also interested in real estate and big data startups. NEST Investments plans to hold onto each investment for two to three years before exiting. Though Hong Kong is a global financial center, Squibb, who has lived in the city for 15 years and is a naturalized citizen, says its startup ecosystem has only begun to take shape within the last 12 months, with an increase in angel investment and co-working spaces. “It’s a victim of its own success in a way. People are making a lot of money here. There are incredible amounts of wealth here, but that wealth can be invested in property...

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Russia Hopes The Skolkovo Tech City Will Produce Its Great Leap Forward

During the height of the Cold War the Soviet Union built up a network of “Naukograd” or “Science Cities”. These were state-created clusters of scientists working on technologies that could help it compete with the West, especially in the field of nuclear weapons and space exploration. Those days are of course long gone, but today Russia – though now freed from the days of the old USSR – now faces a new race: how to revive its economy, compete globally in the next industrial revolution of science and technology and wean itself off its reliance on oil and gas. For Russia has a problem. The energy sector accounts for approximately two-thirds of Russia’s exports, around 30 percent of Russia’s GDP, and almost half of Federal Budget revenues. In the U.S. almost 3% of GDP is spent on research and development while Russian firms spend just 1%. The economy has entered the doldrums and needs re-balancing for the modern world. As the OECD has pointed out, Russia needs a thriving SME and startup culture if it is to prosper in the future, particularly in science and technology. Though Russia has some of the best of breed in these sectors, it’s had difficulty spinning that capability in science, technology and research into global commercial successes. Although completely different from the old days of the Naukograd, could it be that Skolkovo, a...

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