News > Venture Capital

Startup investment opportunities in payments focus at Cyberport event on Tuesday
Venture Capital
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The torrent of cash flowing into new fintech ventures has been a salient feature of the global investment landscape during the past two years. The deluge has been so powerful that there is danger of saturation as more startups appear promising innovative growth prospects to cash-rich investors afraid of missing the seed that will flourish into a world leader.</p> <p>Indeed, a  study by Accenture and CB Insights found that global investment in fintech ventures tripled to $12.21 billion last year compared with 2013. Money poured into firms that claimed to offer new ways of facilitating the nuts-and-bolts of trade and commerce, such as lending, money transfer, APIs, machine learning, blockchain, risk management, security, biometrics authentication and payment processing.</p> <p>Disruption and disintermediation have become the buzz words central to the lexicon of the fintech promoters.</p> <p>Payments, although perhaps not the most glamorous, is certainly one of the most vibrant and competitive sectors in the tech industry. Global transaction-related revenues grew 9% last year, according to consultancy firm McKinsey. International payments totalled $1.7 trillion, compared with $1.5 trillion in 2013, while they also increased their share of total bank revenue from 38% to 40%.</p> <p>The growing size and scale of the sector is attracting new entrants, keen to break into existing chains and relationships. The activity extends across the payments spectrum, including ecommerce and the mobile wallet, P2P remittances and B2B foreign exchange transactions.</p> <p>On Tuesday, November 24 Cyeberport and NexChange are hosting the next O-2-O Fintech event in Hong Kong. The theme is payments and a distinguished panel of speakers will share their views with venture capitalists, institutional investors, entrepreneurs and regulators.</p> <p>These include Ajmal Samuel, chief executive officer, Octo3 Ltd; Chipper Boulas, co-founder, Firestartr.co; James Lloyd, head of strategy and corporate development, AMP Credit Technologies; Tak Lo, director, Techstars.</p> <p>Meanwhile, regulators throughout the world are having to adjust their supervisory systems and adopt new infrastructures to accommodate, as well as control, the advent of innovative technologies and the arrival of new participants.</p> <p>At the event there will be an important presentation on Hong Kong's new regulatory regime for stored value facilities and retail payment systems delivered by Shu-pui Li, head of financial infrastructure development at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.</p> <p>Please join us on Tuesday at 4pm at Cyberport.</p> <p>Click here to register.<br /> Photo: Vodafone Medien </p>
People Moves: Harmony Partners names new partner; Microsoft vet leaves for VC
Venture Capital
<p>Harmony Partners names new partner. Michael Chou, who joined the New York office in 2011, has been named partner at Harmony. He moved to the firm's San Francisco office earlier this year. He previously worked as an investment banker.</p> <p>Madrona hires Microsoft vet. "Soma" Somasegar has joined Madrona Venture Group as a venture partner. Somasegar worked at Microsoft for almost 27 years, most recently as corporate v.p. of the developer division.<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo</p>
Do crowdfunding platforms need a middleman?
Venture Capital
The startup ecosystem has exploded in recent years and with it the proliferation of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indigogo. Such platforms are a great alternative for those who cannot access traditional venture capital. That said, some founders struggle to make themselves heard above the noise and secure the cash they need. Enter the crowdfunding agency. AlleyWatch reports that this growing&hellip;
VC-backed tech IPO data makes for grim reading
Venture Capital
<p>Square’s value soared as much as 64% on its market debut on Thursday, beating expectations following a lacklustre pricing. While the payments startup’s debut was not as bad as feared, recent data shows the overall state of venture capital-backed tech IPOs probably is.</p> <p>Data published by CB Insights shows that, in the last three years since Facebook’s May 2012 IPO, U.S. VC-backed tech IPOs have returned a mere 7.05% on average. By comparison an equal weight S&amp;P 500 ETF returned 67% over the same period.</p> <p>In short, if you invested in the S&amp;P 500, your return would be 8x higher than if you had backed every single VC-backed tech IPO over the same period.  </p> <p>This is largely thanks to the rise of the “private IPO”. With tech startups seeking higher valuations in order to raise more and more cash through private-mega rounds, many are finding that by the time they list most of the returns have been squeezed out. Now we are beginning to see the fallout.<br /> Photo: Alison E Dunn<br /> &nbsp;</p>
VC-backed startup angers hackers for ‘helping’ IS
Venture Capital
Startups are all about solving problems. But what if solving that “problem" also gets you accused of helping terrorists? This is  the dilemma facing security software startup CloudFlare, and the problem is DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. A DDoS attack is an attempt to shutdown a website by overwhelming it with traffic from an army of virtual computers. It's&hellip;
What slowdown? China TMT deals soar in the first half
Venture Capital
Faltering growth in China seems to be having little impact on venture capital's appetite for the country’s tech space, as investments for the first half of this year touch $8 billion - more than 2014’s full year total. The data – enclosed in a new report by PWC – shows that deal value and volume in the mobile and telecoms,&hellip;
Spiderman advises new fund
Venture Capital
Tobey Maguire is putting his Spidey sense to use, connecting his Hollywood buddies with a new venture capital fund. Joe Lonsdale, young tech giant and founder of the now closed Formation 8 fund, has grabbed Maguire as an advisor for his latest fund, reports the New York Post. The $50 million Eight Partners Fund 1 is investing in early-stage tech&hellip;
Video: The two basic needs for a startup looking to launch overseas
Venture Capital
<p>Most startups don't know how to get started when it comes to expanding overseas, says Shayne Veramallay, venture pipeline manager for DLA Piper. In an interview with NexChange, Veramallay offers two suggestions.</p>
The great global taxi war continues: India's Ola raises $500M
Venture Capital
All of over the world it seems taxi app unicorns are locking horns with Uber in a war for market share. The latest battleground: India. Ola -- a ride-sharing app behemoth that gobbled its rival TaxiForSure earlier this year -- says it has just closed a $500 million Series F (!) round of funding. The investor roster holds no surprises.&hellip;
Video: 'Me-too' startups face challenges in raising money; West Coast dreams big
Venture Capital
<p>The market is becoming saturated with "me-too" startups and are facing an uphill battle when it comes to fundraising, says Shayne Veramallay, venture pipeline manager for DLA Piper. In an interview with NexChange, Veramallay contrasts trends on the East Coast and West Coast.</p>