Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cashing out of Private Equity!!

Tech solutions are helping early unicorn investors cash out

If you were lucky enough to be an early investor in a startup unicorn like Airbnb (valued at $30 billion) or Uber ($60 billion-plus): Congrats, drinks are on you. For life. 

But like many of your fellow investors, you're probably ready to get at least some of your cash back, and that's a challenge these days. Thanks to the current IPO drought—there have been just three IPOs on U.S. soil so far this year—many investors (and founders) lack the means to sell their shares without calling a banker. 

Nasdaq's trading platform for private companies aims to solve that problem. Called Nasdaq Private Market, the platform has seen a brisk increase in trading volumes in 2016, logging $544 million in trades during the first six months of the year. Nearly half of that volume involved preferred stock, an indicator of investor activity. 

If IPO activity doesn't pick up soon, those numbers are likely to climb even higher.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Instagram Story

ASX 200 on March to 6000?

View from my Broker 

 The ASX 200 is pushing its way through 5400 as expected, but following our break we see a more substantial rally into year-end developing. Short-term we see risks of a small pullback, however by year-end we see 6000 being hit.

•How? A major revival in the resources sector (which is currently underway)  AND banks rebounding. With my long-held bullish view on bonds changing, so too is my bearish view on banks.

•I am not long-term bullish on our local bank stocks – rather a 6 to 9 month view. The underlying issues regarding property values, over supply, bad debts remain, but for the near-term they have played out. As a result a substantial rebound can occur and together with gains in resources and industrials the ASX 200 can hit 6000.

•The ASX 200 has made literally zero progress since the beginning of 2010 and is due for a substantial rally.  When looking at the weekly chart top left, the current base formation is now of 12 month duration. There were only two other similar set-ups since the GFC – 2009 and 2013 – both led to 700+ point rallies.

•From 5400 that suggests 6100 – but on the conservative side we will target 6000

•This is a very strong view we hold for the local market and not just a mere passing observation. We will be using dips over the coming weeks to build our prop book positions to benefit from  what we expect to be a very strong trend.

•While we haven’t checked as of yet, we suspect that fund managers are still relatively underweight local equities with Brexit creating an element of fear and the sharp rebound following gave little opportunity for investors to get set.

•5350/5300 is as far as any pullback is likely to reach.  

If you are interested , contact me and I will refer you to an awesome financial planner!!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pulsate startup raising $1.2m from Paypal and others

From TechCrunch via linkedin - Posted  by  

Pulsate, a startup with a platform to deliver content for brands based on a user’s location and preferences, has raised $1.2 million in funding from PayPal and Dunnhumby (the customer science company). The money will be used to expand the platform and service customers.

Menlo Park-based Pulsate is a so-called “end-to-end context marketing” platform. Brands use it to surface the right kind of content into their apps and also leverage location.

Founder and CEO, Patrick Leddy says Pulsate integrates with new or existing apps, then its SDK collects information on the way users behave inside the app. It also collects social data, geofences and data on Beacons the app sees to deliver this relevant content. “Location alone is a weak context, for interactions to make sense you need to segment against behavioural data, interests, past purchases and that’s just the beginning. Think of Beacons as the cherry on top of a layered contextual cake,” he told us.

Competitors to Pulsate include Gimbal, Urban Airship and Estimote, among others.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

US vice president Joe Biden says Australia can become the innovation hub of the southern hemisphere

Article by Denham Sandler - Startupsmart 

US vice president Joe Biden says Australia can become the innovation hub of the southern hemisphere with a “little bit of help and a little bit of luck”.

Speaking at the US-Australia Business Roundtable in Sydney, Biden discussed how America can help the Australian startup ecosystem grow, the need to embrace failure and the importance of immigration, as the ABC reports.

“We want to see Australia continue to grow and to be a regional hub and a regional leader,” Biden said.

“It is overwhelmingly in our interests for you to become the innovation hub of the southern hemisphere and it’s overwhelmingly in our interests for you to continue to grow in ways that are totally within your wheelhouse, with a little bit of help and a little bit of luck.”

Biden 1

BlueChilli co-founder Sebastian Eckersley-Maslin also spoke on the panel and says Biden showed a real interest in the local startup and innovation sectors.

“He seemed genuinely interested in how America could support Australia in growing our economic future,” Eckersley-Maslin tells StartupSmart.

“The current administration is pushing really hard to build strong ties with their allies, and having Australia as a successful country in this area helps America.

“He showed a genuine interest in supporting Australia.”

Biden said that an embrace of failure is crucial to building a successful ecosystem.

“You’ve got to be willing to risk failure – that’s part of the spirit of all of you guys,” he said.

He also discussed how important migrants were in the development of Silicon Valley.

“We got to cherry pick the best of every single culture in the world,” Biden said.

“Ride through Silicon Valley folks – not everybody looks like me and thank god for them. It’s a polygon of the best minds in the world.”

This is a crucial area that Australia needs to improve on through better visas and helping companies establish a presence in the US, Eckersley-Maslin says.

“They have a strong culture of immigration and that’s very similar to us,” he says.

“The best people come to America for the best opportunities, and Australia can do the same.”

For the BlueChilli founder, it was heartening to see a politician of Biden’s stature promoting his country’s startups and exploring at a local ecosystem.

“The key takeaway was that American politicians do an incredibly good job of selling opportunities,” Eckersley-Maslin says.

“We need to embrace how to sell ourselves – as a country, community and as individual startups.”

Friday, July 15, 2016

Poland to receive e6b over next 4 years for startups

The entrepreneurs polish summit was a great gathering of 2000+ Polish entrepreneurs, business leaders and government ministers. The Polish start-up ecosystem is receiving €6 billion in innovation capital from the EU over the next four years. It will be interesting to see how they balance the equilibrium between talent and technology.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Melbourne startup LiveHire successfully completes $40 million IPO -raising $10m

DENHAM SADLER  |  startup smart 

Melbourne HR tech startup LiveHire has raised $10 million through an IPO that valued the company at $40 million.

Founders  Michael Haywood And Antonluigi Gozzi says it’s a company-wide rule to not check how the startup is faring in the public market.

“We have a rule that people in the business can’t talk about the share price,” Gozzi tells StartupSmart.

We’re here to build a global tech company.”

According to its prospectus, LiveHire had revenue of $135,570 for the year ending December 31, 2015, and a net loss during this time of more than $2.1 million.
But after completing four private funding rounds, Haywood says the time was right to take the company public, despite the low revenue.

About listing , Haywood says 
“All investors in Australia who want to participate in an Australian tech company now can make up their mind if they want to participate.”

The cash injection from the IPO will be used to accelerate LiveHire’s growth strategy in Australia and look to expand internationally, as well as developing sales and business development capabilities and investing in the company’s technology.

Airwallex - a fin tech startup from Melbourne - raises $4.5m from Chinese investors

From Denham Sadler - Startup Smart A Melbourne-based fintech startup has secured a $4.5 million ($US3 million) funding round led by a large Chinese venture capital firm.

Cross-border transactions platform Airwallex was led by Gobi Partners and also had the backing of Gravity VC and some big name angel investors.

Airwallex is a platform allowing SMEs to access interbank mid-market exchange rates when making cross-border transactions, and uses algorithms, big data analytics and quantitative models to work around market volatility.

The platform allows SMEs and sole traders to issue and pay invoices in their chosen currency at the mid-market foreign exchange rate, with co-founder and CEO Jack Zhang saying Airwallex can secure up to a 50% better rate.

The startup, which is based in Melbourne and has offices in China, is currently in beta mode but is set to be officially launched in the coming weeks

Zhang, who formerly worked at NAB, says he originally planned to also visit Silicon Valley to seek funding, but quickly secured the cash in Asia.

Zhang says there’s currently a gap in the market, and SMEs are shut out from the foreign exchange rates enjoyed by bigger corporations.

“The major companies are the banks and a few big companies – PayPal is the big payments company but they’re not really focusing on cross-border transactions,” he says.

“We saw the market opportunity here. There’s nothing out there that helps SMEs when they’re trying to expand globally. They reach a bottleneck in Australia, want to sell in China and gets complicated with payments.

“We’re adding core value to solving that issue.”

The beta phase proved useful to validate the platform and gain useful insights into what the market is crying out for, Zhang says.

“We’ve been talking to a lot of users and gathering feedback, and we’ve done a lot of things to improve the product,” he says.

“The feedback has been good. There’s a genuine requirement from the consumer market – they need something like us to solve that issue.”

For Gobi Partners managing partner Michael Zhu, the decision to invest in the Melbourne fintech came down to the team behind it and the market it is targeting.

“The Airwallex team has more than a decade of experience in the banking and foreign exchange sector across Australia, China and Hong Kong,” Zhu says.

“They’ve built an impressive platform and I believe they have the potential to truly disrupt the current cross-border payment ecosystem.”

There is 1 certainty

Commentary inspired by Geoffrey Garrett - Dean at Wharton School

There is 1 certainty - 
Uncertainty fucks with our sharemarkets

There is another certainty - is that there are sharemarket cycles! 

There is a contagion of Brexit aftershocks. The more uncertainty and the longer the uncertainty -  Investors hold cash and wait - markets go down

The contagion of the thought of an Australian hung parliament - 
Investors hold cash and wait - markets go down

The resignation of the Cameron and Boris Johnson standing down as candidate - Investors hold cash and wait - markets go down

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, made the extraordinary statement that the UK is suffering from “economic post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Is same when Paul Keating  said
"Australia is a banana republic"

When our own leaders criticises our country - what do our citizens think? 

A country needs a strong leader

- A leader we can trust and be proud of
- A leader that has a solid vision and can handle the shit  that is flung - brexit, crashes, wars, ideologies 

 the pain uncertainty inflicts can be immense.

However - is this a good time to buy?

Economics Is about risk and return 
- Higher risk - higher return 

When the Japanese invasion threatened Sydney Harbour in the Second World War  - savvy investors bought up Sydney Harbourside land - and are now one of the richest landowners in Sydney.

If the fundamentals solid and the opportunity still exists - buy low and sell high! 

Or follow a rising tide or sell in a down turn? 

In the crash of 2008 - 
Banks called in loans - 
- businesses were acquired for cents in the dollar
- People who bought cheap assets ( USA property) did well 

It was a call for change - 

What was the aftermath of 2008 - Washington and the world reacted quickly and decisively to end the uncertainty. The US bailed out the banks. Central banks cut interest rates to zero. The G20 and Australia committed to massive fiscal stimulus. 

Those who won were those who 
- had a clear vision
- Had ++ knowledge 
- had the balls to take action 
- acquired distressed assets

Is this the end - or is this just a low phase in a cycle? 

My view - is to take the advice of my late grandfather - buy low and sell high !