Author: yiyun

India-based SaaS firm, CloudCherry raises US$6 million In Series A Round Funding

After raising US$1 million in their seed funding round, CloudCherry, an enterprise startup based in Chennai, India has raised to new heights as they recently closed their Series A funding with a six-fold increase of US$6 million.

The funding was led by prominent venture capitals – Vertex Ventures and Cisco Investments plus existing investor IDG Ventures, which now only holds a minority stake in the corporation. This amount by far has made a record for the highest 2016 Series A funding raised by a SaaS startup.

Understanding that a quick, genuine response can always be a game changer to secure a happy customer, CloudCherry was established to help companies by providing a way to act fast on customer feedback.

Thus, CloudCherry set out to provide a platform for companies where companies can apply key metrics to gauge customer experience, capture customer feedback as well as get notified about customer insights in real-time to intervene and fix issues.

The startup enterprise currently works with companies in sectors of banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), hospitality, healthcare, retail, manufacturing as well as e-commerce whereby their clients include brand names such as World of Titan, HDFC Bank, Caratlane and Central Voonik.

According to Deal Street Asia, CEO and co-founder of CloudCherry, Vinod Muthukrishnan said that “With this funding and their support, we are many steps closer to making our presence globally and becoming the name synonymous with Customer Experience.”

In a separate statement, the CloudCherry co-founder has also expressed his ambitions for the company, as they are looking to expand their business outside of India, targeting the markets of United States, Southeast Asia, and West Asia.

About CloudCherry:
Founded in 2013, CloudCherry is a SaaS firm formed with the coming together of a group of management gurus, business leaders and experts in mobility, analytics and technology sectors. The company based in Chennai, India specializes in customer analytics technology whereby it collaborates with brands to provide real-time analytics of the company’s products as well as to help them track, measure and improve user satisfaction.

Apple Acquires First Indian Startup, Tuplejump

Tuplejump, a Hyderabad-based startup with the vision to simplify data engineering recently became the third machine learning expertise acquired by Apple.

Founded in 2013, Tuplejump was helping major companies to stock, process and visualize their data using its unique in-house software, with most operations from both India and United States. But what caught Apple’s eye was Tuplejump’s on-going project called “FiloDB”.

Turns out FiloDB is an open source project working to enable the automation of data pattern recognition without being explicitly programmed. More specifically, the project aims to build a program that can efficiently apply machine learning concepts and analytics to the massive amount of complex data as they streamed in.

After the acquisition, Rohit Rai and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu, two of the three co-founders moved to work with Apple in May while the third co-founder Deepak Alur left to join Anaplan, a planning and performance management platform for businesses.

According to Business Insider, the purchase price was not disclosed though it is said to be lower than Apple’s last machine learning purchase, Seattle-based Turi Inc. which was purchased at the price of US$200 million earlier August this year.

Collin Johnson, a spokesperson for Apple, made their usual standard non-denial statement when questioned by TechCrunch regarding the acquisition saying that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Nevertheless, Apple currently has their sights set on artificial intelligence, looking to expand into the machine learning industry. As along with Tuplejump, the iPhone maker has to date acquired three machine learning startups including Turi, a company that builds end-to-end intelligent applications in Python and Emotient, a company that uses artificial intelligence to recognize, analyze and respond to facial expressions.

Singapore Roti-Making Machine, Rotimatic Materializes After 8 Years And US$14.5 Million

After the easy-bake oven, consumer electronics has advanced by leaps and bounds with the introduction of Rotimatic – the world’s first robot that bakes fresh homemade roti, a flatbread that makes up the staple food diet of the Indian culture.

Entering into this new age of cooking, this idea formed and expanded when Pranoti Nagarkar Israni, a mechanical engineer and her husband Rishi Israni, a computer science graduate spent S$20,000 to create the Rotimatic prototype which won the Singapore Start-Up Competition in 2009 alongside with financial support from investors in their startup, Zimplistic.

Revealed by Tech in Asia, the Singapore-based startup company, Zimplistic since then has raised a staggering amount of US$11.5 million from NSI Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC) in their series B investment round held last July 2015.

But moving to realize the Rotimatic faced various challenges as Pranoti Nagarkar Israni explained the difficulties behind converting the four physical moves of making the roti – measuring, kneading, flattening, and roasting to be fully automatic as well as compact and affordable.

“The perfect roti has three layers, and it needs to puff up so the hot air can cook it from the inside,” said co-founder Pranoti Nagarkar Israni in an interview with Mashable. ”It is then do you realize how complex humans are when you try to replicate that with a machine.”

Though it took them 8 years and US$14.5 million, but Rotimatic was finally brought to reality and ready for shipment to the Singaporeans and United State citizens that have pre-ordered the product in 2014. With the pre-orders numbering more than 8000 orders at the retail price of US$999 per unit, Zimplistic has already bagged US$ 5 million worth of sales.

Making one roti every two minutes, Rotimatic has thus revolutionised the way the Indian cuisine can be made. With the machine, people can skip the hard work behind the process of making roti as users now only have to add in the ingredients and push a few buttons selecting the preferred thickness, softness as well as quantities to enjoy a delicious meal of roti.

About Rotimatic:
Rotimatic is the world’s first robot that makes fresh homemade rotis and wraps. The idea dates back to 2008 as co-founder Pranoti Nagarkar Israni found making roti, from the process of kneading the dough to cooking it at the hot stove, to be tedious and time-consuming. As a solution, she created this fully-automated roti-maker that can now cook up to 20 rotis in one round using less than 30 minutes which only requires the easy steps of adding wheat flour, water, and oil and pushing a few buttons.

Singapore To Be World’s Largest Fintech Hub, Marvelstone Group Announced

Singapore’s ambition to be a ‘Smart Nation’ is moving forward as MarvelStone, an Asian private investment group has announced on Tuesday that it will open the world’s largest fintech hub in Singapore next November.

The facility will be known as Lattice80, spanning over 30,000 square feet and to be located in Singapore’s Central Business District, an area that is notably close to the city-state’s key financial institutions, stock exchange, and regulators.

Joe Seunghyun Cho, Chairman of Marvelstone in Crowdfund Insider said, “We think Singapore is the right place for a global fintech hub for a number of reasons. Singapore, being a traditional financial and trading hub, has the legal infrastructure and access to global investors that budding fintech companies would look for.”

Reportedly to be an independent non-profit initiative, one of Lattice80 objective is to establish a global fintech connection. Besides, the project is also aimed to promote local fintech innovations through providing innovation support schemes to existing company and financial institutions.

While for fintech startups prototype, programs such as workspace, events, and educational programs is provided to help develop and expand their business models oversea. These projects are moving smoothly as Marvelstone works closely with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Gina Heng, the CEO of Marvelstone furthermore added, “The time is right for innovation, and people are more receptive to the use of technology in financial services. Lattice80 aims to support the fintech ecosystem in Asia and bridge global players to the region.”

Besides MAS, the Marvelstone Group also seeks to bring partners onboard as well, voicing out their intentions to collaborate with other regional Fintech hubs like London’s Level 39, Australia’s Stone and Chalk as well as Israel’s The Floor to create a global ecosystem for fintech innovation.

FountainVest Sees Fund Three Close with $2.1 Billion (U.S.)

FountainVest Partners announces the successful completion of its third fund (FountainVest China Capital) with a total capital commitment of $2.1 Billion (U.S.). Due to the oversubscription, the fund attracted exceptional support from current investors along with new institutional investors which included insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, and pension plans from Europe, the Middle East, North America, Asia, and Europe.

FountainVest believes in China’s vast opportunities within the private sector as the industry consolidate, mergers and acquisitions will fuel the fire and new national leader will rise. With an increasingly complex environment, valuable opportunities rise via expertise and enhancement.

FountainVest was founded in 2007, a firm dedicated to investment and partnership with private enterprise in China – leaders bent on China’s transformation into a consumption economy. In its last round of funding, FountainVest raised $1.35 billion (U.S.) while its original funding campaign closed just shy of $1 billion (U.S.).

April 2016, saw FountainVest partner with Focus Media in the launch of a $400 million (U.S.) investment in sports companies in China and overseas. The firm’s previous investments have included IMAX China, O2O, Fangdd.com, Xingren, and Shanghai Kehua.

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