Help Is At Hand As Telefonica Makes Its First Wayra-Incubated Investment: Taskhub, A TaskRabbit For Volunteers (And Making Money)
Telefonica has been operating its Wayra Academies to seed fund and mentor startups in Latin America and Europe since April 2011; and in a signal of how Telefonica hopes to tap into that talent in the future, today the carrier has made its first-ever follow on investment on one of those business. Taskhub, a TaskRabbit that lets people volunteer as well as take paid jobs, has taken a six-figure sum from Telefonica, plus a commitment to integrate Taskhub into its own location-based mobile business later this year. Taskhub, like TaskRabbit and Milk.ly in Europe, is an online marketplace that lets users outsource jobs or errands to individuals or small businesses. Taskhub’s differentiation comes in how it pitches this towards communities and volunteering, which gives it a public-service angle on top of the financial one. It has been in private beta since October 2012. Today it is opening to the public, although it’s still remaining invite-only for the next few weeks, with early users each ...
Paymill, The Samwer Stripe Clone, Raises $13M From Serial Rocket Internet Backer Holtzbrinck Ventures And New Investor Sunstone
Paymill, the Rocket-Internet incubated online payments company that works like developer-friendly Stripe by offering users an API to quickly integrate card transactions, is today announcing that it has picked up €10 million ($13.2 million) in funding. Rocket regular Holtzbrinck Ventures participated, along with new investor Sunstone Capital, a backer of companies like Prezi and Trunk. Rocket has confirmed that this is the first time Sunstone has invested in a Rocket-backed company. The Rocket Internet spokesperson also tells me that to date, Paymill, which is active in 34 countries, has now raised funding in the region of “double digit million euros” — although, as is par for the course with many of the Samwer’s businesses, we don’t have an exact figure yet. Other investors in Paymill are Rocket Internet and RI Digital (another Rocket vehicle). Paymill says it will be using the money to further expand its footprint in Europe and elsewhere, as well as further develop its technology. ...
Facebook’s EMEA Head Joanna Shields Is Leaving To Become CEO Of London’s Tech City ‘Silicon Valley’ Effort
Surprising news for a Saturday evening in London, and another post-IPO executive departure for Facebook, this time on the international front. Joanna Shields, the vice president and managing director of Facebook's Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, is leaving to become the chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation, a David Cameron/Conservative government initiative to develop a technology hub in the East End of London to rival that of Silicon Valley and other major tech centers.
Long Live The (Hybrid) Mobile Web: HTML5 Specialist Netbiscuits Raises $27M Led By Stripes Group
Netbiscuits, the mobile development platform that has worked with the likes of eBay, Google, Coca-Cola and 15,000 other developers on their mobile web services, is ramping up its game as smartphone usage continues to accelerate worldwide. The company today is announcing that it has raised $27 million in a Series C round. This also marks the first time that Netbiscuits, which says it hosts over 110,000 mobile web apps and sites, has disclosed the value of a raise since first opening for business in 2000. This latest investment was led by new investor Stripes Group, and also had participation from existing investors T-Venture (Deutsche Telekom’s VC arm) and Creathor. Co-founder and CEO Michael Neidhoefer tells TechCrunch that the investment is a sign of the “tipping point” that we are now seeing in mobile web usage, and how companies like his are taking investment now to meet that opportunity: “Mobile phones are in many places outselling PCs,” he notes. But with the market still ...
Huawei, Chinese Telecom Company, Finds Warmer Welcome in Europe
Britain is allowing Huawei to expand its already sizable operations with a $2 billion investment, a reception that vastly differs from the suspicion that has met the company in Washington.