The value-based investment model has worked out quite well for Warren Buffet
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Prosus Ventures leads $13 million investment in Pakistan’s ride-hailing giant Bykea – TechCrunch
Bykea, which leads the ride-hailing market in Pakistan, has raised $13 million in a new financing round as the five-year-old startup looks to deepen its penetration in the South Asian country and become a “super app.”
The startup’s new financing round, a Series B, was led by storied investment firm Prosus Ventures . It’s the first time Prosus Ventures has invested in a Pakistani startup. Bykea’s existing investors Middle East Venture Partners and Sarmayacar also invested in the round, which brings its total to-date raise to $22 million.
Bykea leads the two-wheeler ride-hailing market in Pakistan and also operates logistics delivery business and financial services business. The startup has partnered with banks to allow customers to pay phone bills and get cash delivered to them, Muneeb Maayr, founder and chief executive of Bykea, told TechCrunch in an interview.
Fahd Beg, Chief Investment Officer at Prosus, said firms like Bykea are helping transform big societal needs like transportation, logistics and payments through a technology-enabled platform in Pakistan. “Bykea has already seen impressive traction in the country and with our investment will be able to execute further on their vision to become Pakistan’s ‘super app,’” he said in a statement.
Bykea works with over 30,000 drivers who operate in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore. (Two-wheelers are more popular in Pakistan. There are about 17 million two-wheeler vehicles on the road in the country today, compared to fewer than 4 million cars.)
The new investment comes at a time when Bykea restores the losses incurred by the coronavirus outbreak. Like several nations, Pakistan enforced a months-long lockdown to curtail the spread of the virus in March.
As with most other startups in travel business globally, this meant bad news for Bykea. Maayr said the startup did not eliminate jobs and instead cut several other expenses to navigate through the tough time.
One of those cuts was curtailing the startup’s reliance on Google Maps. Maayr said during the lockdown time Bykea built its own mapping navigation system with the help of its drivers. The startup, which was paying Google about $60,000 a month for using Maps, now pays less than a tenth of it, he said.
Starting August, the startup’s operations have largely recovered and it is looking to further expand its financial services business, said Maayr, who previously worked for Rocket Internet, helping the giant run fashion e-commerce platform Daraz in the country.
The startup has been able to out compete firms like Careem and Uber in Pakistan by offering localized solutions. It remains one of the few internet businesses in the country that supports Urdu language in its app, for instance.
“Our brand is now widely used as a verb for bike taxi and 30 minute deliveries, and the fresh capital allows us to expand our network to solidify our leading position,” he said.
I asked Maayr what he thinks of the opportunities in the three-wheelers category. Auto-rickshaws are some of the most popular mode of transportation in South Asian nations. Maayr said on-boarding those drivers and figuring out unit-economics that works for all the stakeholders remains a challenge in all South Asian nations, so the startup is still figuring it out.
Would he want to take Bykea to neighboring nations? Not anytime soon. Maayr said the opportunity within Pakistan and Bykea’s traction in the nation have convinced him to win the entire local market first.
Application Relationship Management Company Expands Global Footprint with Strategic Investment Partner – GlobeNewswire
LOS ALTOS, Calif., Sept. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — vArmour, the leading provider of Application Relationship Management, today announced that SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and ventures unit of international banking group, Standard Chartered, is investing in vArmour as a strategic partner to support the technology company’s growth on a global scale.
The onset of a global pandemic has brought new challenges, as businesses are forced to address budget restrictions and get more value out of their existing infrastructure to maximize the services they already have, and get more value out of their cloud environments. A global workforce adds a new layer of complexity to an already complicated environment of legacy and new infrastructure, resulting in applications and data spanning across hybrid environments which are difficult to track and secure.
vArmour allows businesses to control operational and cyber risk across any platform enterprise-wide. As businesses continue to tackle the challenges of digital transformation, this deepened visibility into every environment means businesses can map relationships across their entire dynamic enterprise in one view.
Standard Chartered’s cybersecurity team is deploying vArmour to improve its security across critical applications. “One of the biggest priorities in banking today is the protection of applications and data against cybersecurity threats,” said Alex Manson, Global Head of SC Ventures. “vArmour’s approach to managing the relationships between applications across banks’ infrastructure is critical to the management of cyber risks in today’s cloud-first digital world. Our investment in vArmour will enable us to participate in their growth as we support their expansion in markets across the globe.”
“Businesses are looking for a simplified way to understand the relationships between their applications on both a small and large scale,” said Tim Eades, CEO at vArmour. “With vArmour, businesses can visualize and control every relationship, and every application, in every environment in order to reduce operational risk, increase application resiliency, and secure hybrid clouds.”
For more information on vArmour, please visit www.vArmour.com
vArmour is the leading provider of Application Relationship Management. Enterprises around the world rely on vArmour to control operational risk, increase application resiliency and secure hybrid clouds — all while leveraging the technology they already own without adding costly new agents or infrastructure. Based in Los Altos, CA, the company was founded in 2011 and is backed by top investors including Highland Capital Partners, AllegisCyber, Redline Capital, Citi Ventures, and Telstra. Learn more at www.varmour.com.
About Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered is a leading international banking group, with a presence in 60 of the world’s most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.
Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.
Mariah Gauthier, Highwire PR
BC Launches InBC: $500M Investment Fund For Businesses – Strategy – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts
BC Launches InBC: $500M Investment Fund For Businesses
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The BC Government has launched InBC, a
new $500M investment fund designed to support high growth potential
businesses and drive economic growth in every region of the
province. Although details of the new investment program are yet to
be released, we understand that InBC plans to invest in small and
medium-sized B.C. companies in an effort to support growth that
will allow them to reach their highest potential while remaining in
This new initiative aligns with the Government’s goal to
create well-paying jobs across the province through a “double
bottom line” approach, delivering commercial returns and
achieving priorities that reflect the values and needs of British
Columbians. It also follows the BC Government’s recent
introduction of Benefit Companies which seeks to balance
commercial opportunities with public benefits by conveying special
status to businesses that promote positive social goals.
InBC’s investment decisions will be made by an independent
Chief Investment Officer and a team of professionals. These
decisions will be guided by the BC Economic Plan: A Framework for Improving
British Columbians’ Standard of Living, and the CleanBC strategy. InBC will be overseen by a
Board of Directors and will be required to submit annual reports
pursuant to the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. The
audit of the financial statements will be overseen by the Auditor
General of B.C.
InBC is still in development and it is expected that its
investment strategy and criteria will be published during spring
2021. Further details will be provided as they become
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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