General Catalyst Partners
US pay-TV service HBO says it will offer a stand-alone streaming service in 2015, Re/code reports. At an investor presentation hosted by HBO parent company Time Warner, HBO chief executive officer Richard Plepler told the audience the company will be launching a digital version of its service that won’t require a pay-TV subscription next year. The company has been under pressure from investors to extract more value from HBO. Thismoment raises $17.6 million Thismoment, a startup that helps businesses collect user-generate content for their own marketing efforts, has raised $17.6 million ($AU20.1 million) in Series D funding. The startup automatically gathers content, usually photos and videos, from across social platforms when it’s been posted with a given hashtag. Brainly raises $9 million Polish education startup Brainly has closed a $US9 million ($A10.3 million) funding round, led by General Catalyst Partners, Point Nine Capital and Runa Capital, Tech Eu reports. The startup offers a social learning network that allows students to help each other with school work. The capital will be used to accelerate Brainly’s expansion in the United States, where it launched operations earlier this year. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 173.45 to 16,141.74. The Australian dollar is currently trading at US88 cents.
Leading US investor Jonathan Teo will visit Melbourne next month to meet local start-ups and entrepreneurs and speak at an event hosted by investor group Investors’ Org. Adrian Stone, chairman of Investors’ Org, which organised Teo’s visit, said in a statement the group was “super excited” that Teo was visiting and checking out Melbourne’s start-up sector. “In recent years Melbourne has been home to a number of very successful start-ups, including 99designs, Kaggle and Catch of the Day, and RetailMeNot,” Stone says. RetailMeNot recently listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US. Teo is the managing director of venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners and was involved with Twitter, which is estimated to be worth around $11 billion, Instagram, which was sold to Facebook for $1 billion and Snapchat, a photo-sharing platform valued at $800 million. While in Melbourne, Teo is also due to meet government innovation officials. Teo has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Sydney University, a Masters from Stanford University in the US and managed several engineering teams at Google. His profile on the General Catalyst Partners website says his areas of investment interest are consumer internet services and infrastructure. In a recent interview with Forbes, Teo said while he didn’t know what the next big thing in consumer applications would be, he has been focusing his efforts “on culture and its enablement in the digital realm”. “My job is not to read the future, but to see the needs of people all around the world (thus all the international interest) and find the common threads of need and desire that can be expressed through product,” he told Forbes.
A number of new start-ups have likened themselves to US-based company Airbnb, the leader in travel rentals, which has booked more than 10 million nights of accommodation worldwide.
Early Twitter investor Mike Maples has joined US venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners in backing Sydney-based tech start-up Bigcommerce, which has secured $20 million in funding.
With Australian venture capitalists unwilling, or unable, to back new ventures, Aussie start-ups are increasingly heading to the departure lounge in an attempt to secure funding.
Auction site eBay has acquired New York-based recommendation service Hunch, in a deal believed to be worth $80 million, as recommendation websites continue to grow in popularity.