SMS Contraceptive – deliver condoms in 30 minutes

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SMS Contraceptive

Forget fast pizza deliveries, an Indian startup wants to ensure that you find condoms at any time within 30 minutes.

Delhi-based startup SMS Contraceptive is delivering condoms and contraceptive pills in less than half-an-hour. What’s more, it will hand over your package for free if it fails to deliver on its promise. The startup aims to break the societal barriers people face in India while buying contraceptives.

“Many don’t want to have that awkward conversation with a chemist,” Sirhaan Seth, 18, founder of SMS Contraceptive told Mashable India. “We are currently seeing more queries from youngsters aged between 18 to 25,” Seth added. Read more…

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SMS Contraceptive

Gametime – last-minute, textable tickets to sporting events and concerts

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Gametime Gametime has raised $20 million in venture funding for an app that allows people to find and buy tickets to a nearby concert or sporting event at the last minute, and even up to a half-hour after a game begins.
Evolution Media Partners led Gametime’s Series B round, joined by GV, Stanford’s StartX Fund, Accel Partners, Casey Wasserman and Jeff Mallett.
The funding brings… Read More

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Gametime

Nucleus – the home intercom system

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Nucleus - the home intercom system Nucleus, the home intercom system which started shipping in August, has closed $5.6M in Series A Funding. The round was led by Amazon’s Alexa fund, which invests in promising startups that incorporate Alexa’s technology into their product (Nucleus recently added support for Alexa voice functionality). BoxGroup, Greylock Partners, FF Angel, Foxconn, and SV Angel also participated,… Read More

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Nucleus – the home intercom system

Vroom – make buying a used car as easy as shoe shopping online

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Vroom  Gunning to become the top seller of used cars online, Vroom Inc. has raised $50 million in a Series E round of equity funding, bringing its total capital raised to $218 million to-date.
The market for used cars in the U.S. alone surpasses $400 billion annually. According to the Edmunds.com Used Vehicle Market Report retailers sold 38.3 million used cars in 2015 at an average price of… Read More

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Vroom

StarOfService – service marketplace

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StarOfService French startup StarOfService just raised another $10 million for its European Thumbtack alternative. Andrea Piccioni and Silvio Pagliani, ENERN Investments and Point Nine Capital participated in today’s round, as well as various business angels. When I first covered StarOfService, the company didn’t even try to hide from me that it was a Thumbtack copycat. The main difference is… Read More

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Texbond – producer of specialty polypropylene nonwovens

H.I.G. Europe (“H.I.G.”), the European arm of global private equity firm
H.I.G. Capital, announced today that it has acquired a controlling
interest in Texbond, a producer of specialty polypropylene nonwovens.
Founded in Rovereto (in the Trentino region of northern Italy) in 1988,
Texbond specialises in nonwovens for specialty applications in the
hygienic, medical, construction, automotive, household and agricultural
industries. Terms were not disclosed.
Texbond - producer of specialty polypropylene nonwovens

With its continuous investment in R&D and a constant focus on process
efficiency and innovation, Texbond is currently one of the leading
European producers of artificial fibres with a leading position in the
development and manufacture of specialty products.

The founder and Chairman, Giuseppe Gaspari, and the CEO, Cristina
Parisi, have invested in the transaction alongside H.I.G., providing
management continuity as well as technical and strategic expertise to
support the growth plans.

Raffaele Legnani, Managing Director and head of H.I.G. in Italy,
commented: “We believe that Texbond is a unique player in the
industry which can serve as a platform for a buy and build strategy at a
global level, capitalizing on H.I.G.’s international network and
financial resources to support the development plan. Jonathan Bourget,
senior advisor to H.I.G., with extensive experience in the industry, has
also invested in the transaction and will assist us in scouting and
analysing acquisition opportunities.”

Giuseppe Gaspari, Chairman of Texbond, added: “The partnership
with H.I.G. represents an important milestone for the growth of Texbond
that will allow us to expand our presence in Europe, which is a very
fragmented market, and in the US. We believe that Texbond’s technical
expertise and its highly effective management team, led by the CEO
Cristina Parisi, are an important competitive advantage.”

About Texbond

Founded in Rovereto (in the Trentino region, northern Italy) in 1988 by
Giuseppe Gaspari, Texbond is a leading European producer of specialty
polypropylene nonwovens. Texbond’s products are designed and developed
to meet specific technical client needs and are manufactured with highly
sophisticated lines for specific “niche” applications in a number of
industries, such as hygienic, medical, construction, automotive,
household and agriculture.

About H.I.G. Capital

H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets
investment firm with over €18 billion of equity capital under
management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston,
Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as
well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid,
Milan, Paris and Rio de Janeiro, H.I.G. specializes in providing both
debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a
flexible and operationally focused/value-added approach:

1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalisations
and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming
manufacturing and service businesses.

2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt
financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary
(direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G.
is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of
vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.

3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which
can benefit from improved asset management practices.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than
200 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than
100 companies with combined sales in excess of €22 billion. For more
information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and
affiliates.

Texbond – producer of specialty polypropylene nonwovens
Contacts

H.I.G. Europe
Raffaele Legnani, P +39 02 45 37 5200
Managing
Director
rlegnani@higcapital.com
F
+39 02 45 37 5250
www.higeurope.com

Texbond – producer of specialty polypropylene nonwovens

Paidy – paying online without a credit card

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These are the two main motivations behind creating a cardless payments app in Japan

Paidy

Japanese startup Paidy, ExCo’s online payment service, announced a US$15 million Series B funding round led by SBI Holdings and Eight Roads Ventures Japan on Thursday. Other investors include Itochu and two returning funders: SIG Asia and Arbor Ventures.

Like every country, Japan‘s e-commerce landscape is growing, projected to go from US$89 billion in 2015 to US$122 billion in 2018, according to e-commerce portal PFSweb. Paidy is trying to develop a non-credit card payment network for Japanese e-commerce, already reaching 600,000 stores online that allow shoppers to check out with merely a phone number. That includes clients such as Adidas and Dean & Deluca, according to the company. The reasons to go that route have a lot to do with increasing credit card fraud in the country, which amounted to GBP43.1 million in 2014 according to Accenture.

The company is the brainchild of Canadian investment banker Russell Cummer, who has led ExCo since 2008. With attention being paid to their payments app, it seems the company is undergoing a rebranding, though that wasn’t entirely clear. Other investors in the company have included 500 Startups, Juvo Capital, CyberAgent Ventures, Cherubic Ventures and Recruit Strategic Partners.

Also Read: The investor 101 video guide to funding e-payment startups

While fraud might be one motivation, Japanese consumers prefer cash in general. The same Accenture report points out only 60 per cent of payments in Japan are done by card.

“It isn’t because people don’t have a credit card,” Cummer told TechCrunch. “People just don’t use them when shopping online. That’s because the majority of purchases are made on a mobile device, that form factor plus the fact they are probably on the go, means paying without a credit card is easier.”

The payments subsector is getting noticed across Asia. Last week, Bangkok-based Omise raised US$17.5 million in Series B with investors from fintech-awash Singapore and Jakarta. Unlike fintech hubs Singapore and Hong Kong, Japan’s scene is still nascent, having seen only US$44 million in venture investments in the sector in the first three quarters of 2015.

The article Paying online without a credit card? Japanese startup Paidy just raised $15 million to push the effort first appeared on Geektime.

The post Paying online without a credit card? Japanese startup Paidy just raises US$15M to push the effort appeared first on e27.

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Paidy – a non-credit card payment network for Japanese e-commerce, already reaching 600,000 stores online

Paidy – paying online without a credit card

e-Go aeroplanes – ultra-lightweight hi-tech single seater plane

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e-Go aeroplanes - ultra-lightweight hi-tech single seater plane

One of the most novel technology ventures in Cambridge’s distinguished business history is flying high on the wings of goodwill and innovation. e-Go aeroplanes has gone into serial production of its ultra-lightweight, hi-tech single seater plane after a high profile launch at its Conington headquarters north west of Cambridge.

It has designed and is now manufacturing very lightweight, hi-tech aircraft using the new freedoms from regulation offered by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Investors and supporters gathered at a launch event where CEO William Burnett (pictured above) officially became the first buyer of the aircraft. Now the young company is targeting potential customers on both sides of the Atlantic. Cambridge investors have been instrumental in supporting the project to date including lead backer Herman Hauser, the Cambridge Capital Group and The Angel CoFund with British Business Bank backing. SyndicateRoom support resulted in crowdfunding investment.

Business Weekly understands that e-Go aeroplanes will be seeking to raise an additional £1 million growth capital in the not-too-distant future, hopefully from existing investors but if necessary dipping into a pool of new backers who have flagged up their potential interest.

e-Go aeroplanes is promoting a distinct usp in that the aircraft is fun to fly with very low cost of ownership – just £15 per flying hour when the accepted norm is £150 for leisure aircraft.

Previous rounds of funding allowed the company to build a prototype, which first flew in October 2013. Additional funding was raised to complete over 100 test flights and refine the aircraft prior to production.

Under a strict testing regime, the design has been honed to meet industry and self-imposed standards, the latter with an eye on the Light Sports Aircraft category in the US.

Tooling and jigs have been created, and the first production e-Go aeroplanes aircraft is in the hands of William Burnett as the first customer. With Research & Development complete, a significant milestone has been reached.

Following what had been a staged and measurable approach, e-Go aeroplanes will shortly be looking for additional investment to allow it to enter the next phase – full production.

The aircraft is unusual; it is breathtakingly simple in design, meeting an exacting specification in the Single Seat De-Regulated (SSDR) microlight aircraft category that is both exciting and attracting worldwide attention.

The market niche for e-Go aeroplanes, which sits between high-end and budget, is readily identifiable. The aim is not to compete head on with other aircraft that follow the more traditional 2-seat, side-by side design but to be different – to use materials such as pre-impregnated carbon fibre, processes, and technologies that have been well developed and refined in other fields such as automotive and Formula 1 and apply them to aviation.

Powered by a UK manufactured Wankel rotary engine of just 30hp, and using standard un-leaded petrol, the aircraft is economical and can be transported in its own trailer for owners who do not wish to pay for hangarage at a local airfield.

Concentrating initially on the 60,000 pilots licensed to fly in the UK, the aim is to sell aircraft into the US market which has over 10x as many pilots. US certification will also facilitate sales opportunities elsewhere in the world. Significant UK interest has already been shown from individual pilots and those seeking to share an aircraft in a syndicate.

The aircraft is marketed as a ’fun flying machine’, and those pilots who have had the opportunity to fly the prototype truly enjoy the experience and are thrilled by its performance.

The chief test pilot, Keith Dennison, demonstrated the agility and manoeuvrability of the aircraft at the recent launch of the first production aircraft. He said: “‘I have had the pleasure to fly many types of aircraft around the world – but this is really a fun flying machine. It has a fighter-like feel with a turn rate that’s more fun than a fast jet.”

e-Go aeroplanes – ultra-lightweight hi-tech single seater plane

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