en
Join our growing site,
& meet dozens of singles today!

User blogs

Paige

India’s answer to WhatsApp has completely moved on from messaging.

Hike Messenger, backed by Tencent, Tiger Global and SoftBank and valued at $1.4 billion in 2016, earlier this month announced that it was shutting down Sticker Chat, its messaging app.

The startup, founded by Kavin Bharti Mittal, this month pivoted to two virtual social apps called Vibe and Rush, said Mittal, who is the son of telecom giant Airtel’s chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

In a series of tweets earlier this month, Kavin said that India will never have a homegrown messenger that makes inroads in the world’s second largest market unless it chooses to ban Western companies from operating in the nation. “Global network effects are too strong,” he said. WhatsApp has amassed over 450 million users in India, its biggest market by users.

Mittal described opportunities in building virtual worlds as a “much better approach for today’s world that is unconstrained by cheap, fast data and powerful smartphones.”

The end of Hike’s messenger service comes at a time when Signal and Telegram have added tens of millions of users in recent weeks. A planned update to WhatsApp’s data-sharing policy has prompted many of its loyal fans to explore alternatives this month. “Both [Telegram and Signal] are very good. As entities they have the right incentives (more aligned with consumers) unlike Facebook products, tweeted Mittal earlier this month.

In recent years, Hike made bets on stickers and emojis to cater to the younger population in India. In a meeting with TechCrunch in late 2019, Mittal said that the startup was overwhelmed with the engagement stickers on its platform and was working to automate development of personalized stickers.

In a different meeting last year, Mittal showcased emojis that replicated human expressions and a virtual hangout place called HikeLand. Vibe is the rebranded version of HikeLand and the emojis Hike developed will continue to be available to users on both the newer apps, Mittal said earlier this month.

Hike, which has raised more than $260 million to date, had enough runway last year, Mittal said, who hinted that the startup may raise more capital a year later.

Hike also attempted to build its own operating system through acquisition of a startup called Creo. In 2018, Hike launched Total OS that aimed to cater to users with low-cost Android smartphones and slow internet data.

The startup later shut down the project. Mittal told TechCrunch that the arrival of Reliance Jio, which prompted Airtel and Vodafone to lower mobile data tariff on their networks, solved the data issues in the country and Total OS was no longer needed in the market.


Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/18/tencent-backed-hike-once-indias-answer-to-whatsapp-has-given-up-on-messaging/

Paige 12 hours ago
Paige

For several years there has been talk about how to leverage ‘experts’ online. How do you ‘suck their brains’ for information in an efficient manner, whether it be for research into companies or sectors, often for investment purposes. Major players in this arena include GLG, Third Bridge, Guidepoint and Alphasights. With the pandemic destroying many means of hearing experts – conferences and events for instance – and turning the entire world into a remote working experiment, platforms like these are now far more relevant than they ever were before.

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the expert network and primary research platform, proSapient, has now closed a $10m Series A investment led by Smedvig Capital. Noted high-profile investor Guy Hands and existing investors 24 Haymarket also participated in the round. This brings the total raised by proSapient to date to $18m. The company will use the cash to expand internationally.

proSapient is essentially a SaaS platform for interrogating expert networks. It’s aimed mainly at investors and consultants to gather data. The platform matches experts to projects and provides transcripts. You can gather insight over the phone or in-person; launch bespoke surveys; conduct small strategy projects with a small group of experts. You can search, filter messaging, and also collaborate internally on the platform. It now claims to be servicing over 100 clients across Europe and the USA, with revenue up over 100% year on year. 

Margo Polishchuk, Co-Founder of proSapient, said in a statement: “This funding round will facilitate our strategic objective of being a leading  primary research platform for the private equity and consulting sectors.”

Rob Toms, managing director at Smedvig Capital, commented: “We’re excited to be working with Margo and Jordan to continue their impressive growth and international expansion. They have a great team, strong market position and a clear vision of where the business is going.”

Additionally, proSapient recently appointed Mike Wroe, former group CFO of Just Eat plc, as Chairman.


Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/18/prosapient-raises-10m-series-a-led-by-smedvig-capital-to-expand-expert-network-platform/

Paige 12 hours ago
Paige

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee is back in prison following a retrial of his 2017 conviction in a bribery case that helped lead to the downfall of former South Korean president Park Guen-hye. The Seoul High Court sentenced Lee to 30 months on Monday.

Lee was originally convicted of bribery in 2017 and sentenced to five years, but was released in 2018 after the sentence was reduced and suspended on appeal. In August 2019, however, South Korea’s Supreme Court overturned the appeals court, ruling that it was too lenient, and ordered the case to be retried.

Lee was expected to become chairman of Samsung after the death of his father, Lee Kun-hee, in October 2020. He has served as the chaebol’s de facto leader since his father suffered a stroke in 2014. With Lee’s sentencing today, it is unclear who will take over his responsibilities at Samsung.

Charges against Lee included bribing Park to gain support for deals that would have helped Lee inherit control of Samsung from his father. The illegal payments played a major role in the corruption scandal that led to Park’s impeachment, arrest and 25-year prison sentence.

 

The bribery case is separate from another one Lee is involved in, over alleged accounting fraud and stock manipulation. Hearings in that case begun in October.

TechCrunch has contacted Samsung for comment.


Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/18/samsung-vice-chairman-jay-y-lee-sent-back-to-prison-in-bribery-case/

Paige 14 hours ago
Paige

Goama (also known as Go Games) lets developers quickly integrate social games into their apps. Some of Goama’s clients have used it for promotional campaigns, while others rely on the platform, which introduces new games every week, to add a full-fledged gaming function to their app.

The startup, which recently took part in SOSV’s accelerator program, presented last week during CES at the Taiwan Tech Arena pavilion. The event is over, but Goama’s virtual booth is still up.

Some of Goama’s clients are “super apps,” or apps that offer several services and want to include games, too. To better serve super apps, Goama recently introduced a tournament model in addition to its subscription model for users.

[gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="2097598,2097599"]

 

The startup says that integrating Goama’s platform can help apps grow brand awareness when people share their results or invite other players tournaments. It also increases user engagement, with players typically spending more than 16 minutes per session playing games. So far, the platform has a combined total of 2.5 million unique users.

The company currently focuses on Asia and Latin America, where mobile penetration is growing quickly, and works with more than 15 partners, including GCash and Rappi, to enable digital payments and communications. Its gaming platform’s user interface can be customized to match host apps and rewards can include points and other prizes that can be spent inside the app. Some companies that have used Goama include food delivery app FoodPanda, Snickers and money transfer app WavePay.


Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/17/goama-lets-developers-integrate-a-social-gaming-platform-into-their-apps/

Paige 15 hours ago
Paige

Five years after its launch, Twitter Moments is growing beyond the American social networking platform.

On Monday, Twitter said it had partnered with Dailyhunt to bring Moments to the Indian social app. Dailyhunt app now has a dedicated tab called ‘Twitter Moments India’ to showcase curated tweets pertaining to news and other events in the world’s second largest internet market.

The partnership will allow Twitter to extend its reach in India, where according to mobile insight firm App Annie (data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch), it had fewer than 75 million monthly active users last month. Dailyhunt, which last month raised $100 million in a round from Google, Microsoft and AlphaWave, in comparison, claims to reach over 285 million users each day.

Unlike Twitter, Dailyhunt is also popular in smaller Indian cities and towns. The Indian social app, which serves users in 14 local languages, termed its partnership with Twitter as its “biggest collaboration” to date.

“At Twitter, we are committed to doing what we can to ensure people can keep up with what the world is talking about at any given time. Moments — a curated set of Tweets about a particular topic — are a powerful way to do so. With this partnership with Dailyhunt, a platform that caters to diverse languages and readers from all parts of India, we are thrilled to extend Twitter Moments to the Dailyhunt app,” said Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director of Twitter India, in a statement.

Umang Bedi, co-founder of Dailyhunt and former head of Facebook India, said, “the past year has shown us the power of public opinion and awareness and it is incumbent upon us to mobilize this discourse by making information more accessible, more reliable, and more engaging. When a trusted partner with our shared vision of enabling consumers to create and share information without barriers validates our platform with their presence, we know we are on the right path.”


Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/17/twitter-moments-dailyhunt-india/

Paige 16 hours ago
Pages: Previous 1 2 3 4 5 ... Next »
advertisement
Password protected photo
Password protected photo
Password protected photo