Category: Business

Behavior Analytics Firm Interana Raises US$18 Million In Funding Round Led By Vertex Ventures

Interana, the leader in interative behavioral analytics for the digital economy has announced last week that it has raised US$18 million in an oversubscibed funding round led by Vertex Ventures Holdings, a member of Temasek Holdings which focuses on venture capital investment opportunities in the IT and healthcare sector. The round was also participated by Battery Ventures, Data Collective, Allen Company, Fuel Capital and Index Ventures.

The new investments will bring Interana’s total funds raised to US$46.2 million and will be used to support the startup’s next phase of growth, that is to expand its customer base and make behavioral analytics broadly available to digitally transforming businesses. The startup current customer base includes digital leaders like Bing, Tinder, Reddit, Asana and Azure. Additionally, the proceeds will also be used to advance product development.

“Our mission is to put the power of interactive data exploration in the hands of everyone across todays’s digital businesses. The latest round of funding and powerhouse additions to Interana’s board will help make this vision for self-service behavioral analytics a reality,” said Ann Johnson, the CEO and co-founder of Interana.

With this development, the startup based in Redwood City, California also announced that it has appointed In Sik Rhee, a General Parner at Vertex Venture and Max Schireson, an executive-in-residence at Battery Ventures to the Interana Board of Directors.

The executive-in-residence at Battery Venture also made a comment, saying that as digital transformation continues to impact businesses, employees from the C-suite down must be able to explore the digital behavior patterns of people and things to make sound business decisions. In this case, Interana provides the solution of a new, iterative approach with big data sets in today’s highly dynamic business environment.

Interana’s behavioral analytics solution claims to fill a critical gap left by traditional business intelligence and simple clickstream reporting tools that provide simple metrics on the web and mobile services. These describes the limitations in their flexibility and scalability for companies when businesses need to answer more meaningful questions about digital behavior. Solving this, the company makes a software that replays massive volumes of events across large populations of actors that answer behavioral questions on a distributed proprietary back end.

“We’ve been invested in data for a long time. What’s very clear is that the benefits of data are not flowing to the business user, they are trapped with technologists,” said In Sik Rhee, the General Parnter at Vertex Ventures. “Most business users don’t know what information they want initially out of their vast data and often the first ideas are not the best. Figuring out better ways to ask the right questions of their data is an iterative process, and unlike other offerings that tout themselves as self-service but have many hidden intermediaries, Interana provides true self-service analytics, giving users that critical ability to ask questions without a gatekeeper. They are building a sustainable solution to disrupt a congested analytics market.”

For more information, please visit

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

New Chinese Bike-Sharing Startup Ubike Raises US$22 Million To Join Heated Market

After two Chinese bike-sharing startups Ofo and Mobike raised a combined US$230 million in October, a third bike-sharing startup is now joining the bike-sharing bandwagon. Shanghai-based bike maker and bike-sharing app, Ubike has raised RMB150 million (an approximate US$22 billion) in its series A funding round to up its game.

The funding was led by a unit of Shenzhen-listed chemicals and trading firm – Jiangsu Huaxicun Co Ltd. While other companies that have also participated in the round include Black Hole Capital, Yicun Capital and existing investor Zhonglu Capital among others.

With the funds, Ubike plans to improve its bicycles’ design and quality to rival its competitors. The company claims that their bikes will be sturdier and easier to ride as a result of their partnership with Shanghai’s Yongjiu Group, one of China’s known pioneer in bicycle-making.

Besides, additional capitals will also be used to produce more bikes with a targeted goal of 100,000 bikes to be placed in Shanghai and other bigger cities as well. Mobike which was launched in December 2015 has 30,000 bikes in Shanghai while Ofo has 70,000 bikes in its bike-sharing platforms, reports said.

Last September, Ubike has raised up to RMB10 million (approximately US$1.6 million) in an angel round backed by Zhonglu capital. The company is also said to be launching its product officially in Shanghai, this November.

With this, the bike-sharing market in China has now becomes a three-way competition between Ofo, Mobike and Ubike. But nevertheless, with bike-sharing gaining popularity and developing fast in many cities in China, users will definitely benefit from it, particularly the young city dwellers.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

ToneTree Launches Kickstarter For OAK, An Augmented Reality Playground For iPhones

ToneTree is launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for its OAK augmented reality playground system. The ToneTree OAK dock is an Augmented Reality platform that can transform an iPhone into a table top playspace.

To work, the product brings together digital and physical toys to create an AR experience. Using it is simple, just place an iPhone on the OAK Dock, launch the OAK App, pick up an OAK Kit, and play.

OAK comes with a variety of kits that allows users to immerse themselves in AR experiences, whether it is flying through space, playing music or even to create a personal application. To date, there are four available OAK kits which are the Rockstar Kit, Explorer Kit, Gamer Kit and Developer Kit.

The Rockstar Kit allows the user to break into a jam session anywhere by simply placing the included pads down in front of OAK and play the instrument. While the Gamer Kit transforms the table into a battlefield as users can see their AR trading cards come to life as they place them in front of the OAK deck.

On the other hand, the Explorer Kit allows the user to drive their own toy spaceship to dodge asteroids and battle enemies as they explore the deep space. While the Developer Kit lets users create their own augmented reality apps.

Similar to the Osmo apps on the iPad, OAK uses patented computer vision technology to see and understand the space in front of your iPhone. The items included in the kits are called totems which are simple pads, cards, and plastic toys that OAK uses to control the virtual world. To detect movements, OAK also includes a laser in its base that detects when the user is interacting with totems.

Based in California, ToneTree is founded by Brian Cook, CEO; Ronald Sardarian, CTO; and Max Escaler, CMO from three different countries who roomed together at Rensselær Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Their idea – OAK came to life through an art project whereby the original idea was to turn the walls and floors of a building into an augmented reality musical instrument.

The team went through an accelerator program led by Intel Education. OAK will ship in August 2017.

For more information, please visit the OAK project at Kickstarter.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Gfresh Secures US$20 Million From Riverhill Fund And Legend Capital To Import Seafood In China

After Australian dairy and Maine Lobsters, China’s appetite for foreign food will likely take a turn to seafood as Chinese investors, Alibaba’s investment arm – Riverhill Fund and PC maker Lenovo Group’s investment arm – Legend Capital has placed US$20 million funds into Gfresh, an online seafood e-commerce website for trading and selling seafood to buyers in China.

The company founded in 2014, offers logistics and final delivery services for seafood from providers in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe and Southeast Asia. To date, the distribution of Gfresh’s online marketplace can reach Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

The announcement was made today at the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Qingdao, China at a special conference which is limited to industry players and trade media. Additionally, it is also revealed that Alibaba’s Simon Xie, one of the most important co-founders of the Chinese e-commerce company will become a director at Gfresh.

With this funds, Gfresh can further pursue their goal to expand their market and become the leader in the online business-to-business marketplace for global seafood. The company plans to embark on a cooperative relationship with You Shi Guan Jia, an online-to-offline distribution business that was similarly invested by Legend Capital.

Besides, the seafood e-commerce platform has also plan to use the funds to pursue product initiatives for its online seafood marketplace, expand them to new markets and upgrade its logistics supply chain service. In its recent advocate, Gfresh has recently committed to an agreement with Tmall and He Ma fresh produce, to improve supply channels.

For more information, please visit

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Malaysian Fruiti King Raises MYR 5 Million In Funds Via

Fruiti King, a natural and nutritional fruity icy treat was able to raise MYR 5 million in, ASEAN’s first Equity Crowdfunding Platform licensed by Securities Malaysia. The amount is roughly translated to US$1.19 million.

This is the second round of funding for the local fruit icy treats company after it has raised MYR 1.5 million (approximately US$ 357,250) earlier in 2016 from Netrove Ventures Group, a regional venture capital firm.

“The local ice cream hero will utilize this fund for its overseas expansion in markets that have shown a keen interest in importing and distributing its products, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and more.” Bryan Chung, the COO of said in a statement yesterday.

The story goes, as the startup was founded when Gideon Leong tasted a popsicle made in Ipoh. Surprised by the popsicle’s fruity flavor and unique texture, Gideon decided to bring the product to the market that holds no competition.

Mr. Cool popsicles were launched. And since then, the product has been well-received and even further enhanced with the growing health-conscious consumer behavior which brought endless potential to the product.

Fruiti King, on the other hand, was the brainchild created when Gideon met Mr. Teh Kim Seng, the Chairman of Netrove Ventures Group. It was a decision to move the business forward and unlike Mr. Cool who focused on selling popsicles to the mass market Fruiti King was going to tackle the gelato and ice-cream market.

Even its name bore its intended meaning, as “Fruiti” with an Italian flare denotes the emphasis on fruit as a key ingredient in their products and “King” is used to describe the taste of their products as being the pinnacle of its class.

To do so, the company makes its ice cream utilizing the special fruit preservation technique used in their popsicles that will retain the original taste, texture and nutritional value of the fruit in its icy form. To date, the flavors available are Jackfruit, Mango, and Durian which includes Musang King and D24.

Following the funding, Gideon Leong commented saying that “It was indeed a pleasant surprise as I didn’t expect to raise this amount through crowdfunding but I am glad that I did this. The team is thankful for the vote of confidence in our startup by the crowd.”

For more information, please visit

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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