Alibaba Group's New Stake In Sina Weibo May Help Its Nascent Smartphone OS Gain Traction Against Android & iOS
Pouring $586 million in Sina Weibo gives Alibaba Group several perks, including an inroad into social media and access to the microblogging platform’s data. Not only that, but its new 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo may also give Alibaba Group a leg-up as it seeks to promote its own smartphone operating system Alibaba Mobile OS (AMOS) as a rival to Android. As the Wall Street Journal writes, Alibaba Group’s investment in Sina Weibo means that it now has access to data generated by the platform’s 46.2 million daily users. This is on top of the 500 million registered users on Taobao, one of Alibaba Group’s e-commerce sites. “If you are a big Internet company and you are ambitious enough in the mobile space, you have to do more than apps. Otherwise, you are just a small species in an ecosystem controlled by others,” Alibaba chief strategy officer Zeng Ming told WSJ. Zeng said that Alibaba Group’s target for AMOS is to power 10 percent of all smartphones shipped in China, an ambitious ...
Game Show Warriors Combines Manga Comic And Casual Game
Inzen Studio, a small game startup in Singapore has just released an ambitious project called Game Show Warriors. The launch kicks off with the release of an iOS game called Amazing Studly Strikes, but the studio has quietly released the first two episodes of a Web comic, and episode three just dropped to accompany the release of the mobile game. The game app will also include the Web comic, according to Inzen’s co-founder, Gerald Tock. Inzen was started in October last year, and is made of six developers, with the founders and writers in Singapore, and relies on some development work from China. Its Web comic was created by artists in Uruguay. The comic and its first game center on a character they created, G-man Studly. The game appears to be a tapping frenzy, with waves of enemies attacking G-man Studly from different corners of the screen, requiring you to tap on them furiously as your character scales a skyscraper. Tock said the team is hoping to make the rest of its project happen. ...
Somo, Developer Of The Summly iOS App, Secures New Investment From MMC Ventures
Somo, the UK's largest independent mobile marketing agency, has secured a second investment round led by MMC Ventures and participated in by existing investors. While we normally don't bother with investments where terms are undisclosed, it's worth noting that Somo, while it's a large independent mobile agency, is also rapidly developing a reputation as a 'product Lab' than simply pure agency. Somo has developed Apptimiser, a mobile advertising network tracking technology and App Planner, a media planning tool that associates app store ranking with download numbers. Most famously (at least of late) Somo developed the front end iOS interface for Summly, the startup app recently acquired by Yahoo for $30 million.
Converser Launches To Power In-App Customer Communications After Raising $1.2 Seed Round
Another Irish startup has thrown its wares into the in-app messaging ring. After working with and developing its product alongside a number of enterprise customers, Dublin-based Converser opens up to mobile developers today with an in-app communication platform that can be incorporated into iOS/Android apps to provide two-way communication with users -- real-time chat, marketing messages, polls, feedback, and click-to-call -- supported by what’s being described as a “self-learning” CRM system, and analytics. The company is also announcing that it recently closed a seed round of $1.2 million led by Lough Shore Investments and Enterprise Equity, with support from Enterprise Ireland.
Hot Gaming Startup Supercell Is Closing A Round Above $100M At Valuation Around $800M
Supercell is a very quiet, humble mobile gaming company out of the very quiet and humble city of Helsinki, Finland. Unlike their brasher, Angry Birds-making brethren a 15-minute drive away in Espoo, they don’t like to talk much about anything beyond making games and about the company culture they’re deliberately cultivating. All of this belies what has become a phenomenal business over the last nine months — one that makes around $1.3 million per day off two iOS games called Clash of Clans and Hay Day. After about three months of considering whether to do a huge secondary round with the help of boutique investment bank Code Advisors, we’ve heard they sold somewhere between 16 and 20 percent of the company’s common shares in a deal that would value the company at around $800 million. We’re still trying to figure out the exact amount. It’s somewhere between $100 and 150 million, but closer to the lower end of the range. We heard they got close, but didn’t quite get to a $1 ...