Emerging venture markets receive investment boost

(MENAFN – Khaleej Times) Emerging venture markets (EVMs) are gaining momentum as startup ecosystems. The EVMs continue to receive traction from investments and this is evident as seen with Turkish startups who have seen continued growth over the years even as more capital was invested in fewer startup deals in first-half of 2020.

More venture capital inflows but in fewer deals were witnessed in first half of 2020 as investment touched $80 million invested in Turkey-based startups, already 80 per cent of total 2019 funding, while investment deals were down by 51 per cent to 29 from first half in 2019.

The top five disclosed funding rounds in first half 2020 accounted for more than 84 per cent of total funding in the first six months in Turkey’s startup ecosystem compared to 49 per cent across Mena, according to first half 2020 Turkey Venture Investment launched by Magnitt on Monday.

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OnePlus co-founder reportedly leaving phone maker for own venture

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OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei


Josh Miller/CNET

The co-founder of Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has seemingly left the company, according to a report Monday. Carl Pei was absent from an internal memo listing OnePlus’ leadership, Android Police reported citing a screenshot by a Reddit user who suggested that Pei had either stepped down or was removed from the position.

The reported departure comes just ahead of the OnePlus 8T event, which is scheduled for Wednesday. Pei’s is departing OnePlus to start his own venture, according to TechCrunch, although no details about that venture were immediately available.

OnePlus didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2019, OnePlus ranked eighth in the US market with just 0.6% market share, according to Counterpoint Research, but its phone sales more than tripled last year

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Venture Funders Flock to Religious Apps as Churches Go Online

(Bloomberg) —

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Covid-19 has upended the traditional Sunday service, taking sermons from the pulpit to the screen. It’s sparking a long overdue digital awakening for churches across the country and investors are taking notice.

The pandemic has given more people a reason to seek solace in God and faith-based communities at the same time that houses of worship were forced to close their doors. Pastors have resorted to streaming on YouTube or Facebook Live in a bid to keep congregations engaged. Membership in spiritual apps has surged. The top Christian meditation apps raked in 2.3 million downloads in the U.S. from March to August, up 325% from the same period a year earlier, according to mobile data and analytics company App Annie.

Traditionally secular venture capitalists have largely shied away from religion. In Silicon Valley, “no one wanted to touch religion five years ago” says Peter Pham, co-founder

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4 Tests For Launching A Venture In The Pandemic

Times of rapid and dramatic change can shift the tectonic plates of opportunity. The current pandemic is such a time — meaning that leaders should looking for suddenly-surfaced opportunities around which to  build a new business.

How can you decide which of these new opportunities is the right one for you? I offer students In my Foundations of Entrepreneurial Management course at Babson College a way to think about this question. The most important principle to keep in mind is that most startup ideas people pitch to me don’t work because the founders are trying to solve the wrong problem.

Here are the four tests potential founders should apply to make sure their new venture idea is solving the right problem:

1. Compelling evidence of ‘customer pain.’

I have interviewed hundreds of company founders over the last 10 years and I’ve found that the most common reason they started their

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Offset Wants To Help Artists Thrive Using Tech With Latest Venture

(AllHipHop News) 

Offset is working with bosses at gaming and events company Axis Replay to develop new ways for artists to connect with fans.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, live shows remain off the cards, with acts heading online for livestream concerts to keep fans entertained during the crisis.

The format has become the new normal for stars and their followers worldwide and, speaking to Forbes, Offset, real name Kiari Kendrell Cephus, insists he’s determined to push the concept to the next level with his latest venture.

“Fans and artists have been very patient during this long break,” he explained. “As we are all figuring out ways to get back into a normal way of life, we deserve to experience those great live moments we love.

“Music is a universal language. It allows us to connect with one another on a happier level. Right now, we can all use

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Dr. Sabah al-Binali Joins OurCrowd as UAE-Based Venture Partner & Head of Gulf Region

Israel’s most active venture investor to increase tech investment and deal flow in the region

OurCrowd, the world’s largest global venture investing platform and Israel’s most active venture investor, today announced the appointment of Dr. Sabah al-Binali as UAE-based venture partner and head of the Gulf region.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201005005723/en/

Dr. Sabah al-Binali, Emirati investor and seasoned executive, has been appointed as UAE-based venture partner and head of the Gulf region for Jerusalem-based OurCrowd. (Photo: OurCrowd)

Dr. al-Binali will oversee the development of OurCrowd’s business in the region. OurCrowd plans to meet the growing demand for meaningful ties with Israel expressed by the investment and entrepreneurial communities in the UAE and neighboring states following the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Dr. al-Binali is a seasoned financial services executive with 22 years of experience in investments and an entrepreneurial leader with a

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Macquarie, Siemens units create U.S. distributed energy joint venture

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past the logo of Australia’s biggest investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd which adorns a wall on the outside of their Sydney office headquarters in central Sydney, Australia, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Units of Macquarie Group MQG.AX and Siemens AG SIEGn.DE are forming a venture named Calibrant Energy, that will invest in the emerging energy-as-a-service (EaaS) sector in the United States, according to a joint statement on Monday.

Electricity generation is forecast to increasingly move away from traditional structures involving large fossil fuel-burning power plants, towards localized systems using renewable energy and battery storage, known as distributed energy.

For entities embracing this model, they can choose to ‘outsource’ their power systems to a specialist entity, in the same way firms hire technology platforms rather than develop their own systems – so-called software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Set up by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, and

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Horizon Technology Finance Provides $15 Million Venture Loan Facility to Topia, a leader in Global Talent Mobility

FARMINGTON, Conn., Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (NASDAQ: HRZN) (“Horizon”), a leading specialty finance company that provides capital in the form of secured loans to venture capital backed companies in the technology, life science, healthcare information and services, and sustainability industries, announced today it has provided a $15 million venture loan facility to Topia Mobility Inc. (“Topia”) to further accelerate Topia’s market expansion.          

“Topia’s customers include major multi-national enterprises across multiple industries, which speaks to its clear success, as well as its ability to continue leading the way with new solutions for today’s remote and distributed workforces,” said Gerald A. Michaud, President of Horizon. “We are excited to support Topia’s growth objectives as it continues to innovate and to provide unique and powerful solutions for mobility, payroll and compliance needs.”

Topia’s vision is to transform and enhance the way companies manage their global workforce.

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ALTO Real Estate Funds is Expanding Its Acquisitions Team to Support Its Efforts to Venture Into Industrial Real Estate

Appoints industrial Real Estate professional Andre Ciani as Director of Acquisitions.

ALTO Real Estate Funds is welcoming Andre Ciani, to ALTO’s team as Director of Acquisitions. Prior to ALTO, Mr. Ciani worked for 8 years at Berkeley Partners, a San Francisco-based Real Estate private equity firm that focuses on acquiring and managing industrial assets across the United States. While at Berkeley, Mr. Ciani helped the company increase its AUM from $50M to $1B, developing extensive experience in acquisitions, financing, asset management, leasing, and dispositions. Mr. Ciani holds a BA in Economics Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University. Andre’s strong track record coupled with an extensive understanding of the US Real Estate industrial market and deep industry relationships will help steer ALTO’s Acquisition portfolio towards acquiring industrial properties in addition to open-air shopping centers. Mr. Ciani will be based in Miami, FL.

Andre Ciani will join the team together

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GSD Venture Studios Gary Fowler Launches New Accelerator GSD Labs

Press release content from Accesswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / October 5, 2020 / Startups face a number of difficulties when trying to raise capital and expand globally. GSD Venture Studios travels the world inviting resilient teams to establish partnerships to ensure organizations grow the right way. Unlike traditional investors, they take senior operational (often co-founder) roles in these companies, capitalizing on their trusted reputation, experiences and network to drive explosive growth.

International companies typically feel locked into just one country when attempting to expand. GSD has helped many international startups with innovative products and services establish a footprint in Silicon Valley and beyond. And now they are thrilled to be announcing the launch of their premier accelerator called GSD Labs, which will focus exclusively on helping technology startups enter the US. They have designed

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