Xurpas buys into Quick.ly, its first investment outside Asia

Philippine consumer technology company Xurpas has bought a stake in American startup Quick.ly, marking its first investment outside Asia.

Xurpas today told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it acquired 666,666 series A preferred shares of Quick.ly for US$1.50 apiece, making a total of US$999,999. The deal gives Xurpas 4.5 percent ownership of the soon-to-launch mobile search engine.

Quick.ly was founded earlier this year as a company of Idealab, a Pasadena, California-based creator and operator of technology businesses.

Mobile-first

Quick.ly is the fifth company to join Xurpas’ portfolio following the latter’s IPO in December. Xurpas earlier invested in Singapore-based game development studio Altitude Games and multiplayer games platform MatchMe, a Philippine HR-tech firm, and an Indonesian mobile content provider.

“Expansion has always been one of our company’s priorities. We will continue to do this through the acquisition of new distribution channels and world-class products,” said Xurpas CEO and president Nix Nolledo. “It is the main reason why we decided to raise money through last year’s IPO.”

Xurpas specializes in the creation and development of digital products and services for mobile users. Its portfolio includes online casual games, messaging applications, as well as mobile platform solutions such as call/SMS/data bundles, mobile …read more


This app lets busy parents know what’s going on in their child’s classroom

Helping kids reach their potential in school isn’t solely the role of teachers. It’s a partnership with parents or carers at home. So parents need to be aware of what goes on in the classroom. Yet there’s an obvious communication gap: so-called PTA meetings are few and far between. There are ways to get involved, but it seems almost impossible for some parents caught up between work and chores.

Enter mobile apps like MyChild. MyChild keeps parents in the loop about their children’s performance in school as well as their activities.

“It’s a portal for busy parents,” says its founder and CEO Alan Gosiengfiao.

Parents can view their child’s grades, and keep track of homework and projects pending or submitted on the app. They can also check the schedule of their child’s school activities on a calendar.

The best thing about the app is it allows teachers and parents to chat. This is helpful in instances where teachers want to focus on a particular issue, such as attendance, or parents want to clarify instructions for a homework or a project.

This means parents are able to review information on their child at the touch of a button.

“MyChild lets parents know what’s happening to their …read more


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GTA 5 Physical Sales Pass 5 Million in the UK

Over 5 million physical copies of Grand Theft Auto V have been sold in the UK alone.

The news comes courtesy of Chart-Track, which doesn’t factor digital sales into its calculations when working out the weekly sales chart.

It’s yet another milestone for the game which, at the last count, has managed to ship over 45 million copies to retailers. Grand Theft Auto V launched in early September 2013, and we loved it. It made $800 million in a single day, then $1 billion in three days, before going on to become the best-selling title of 2013 in the United States. It’s since gone on to sell 33 million copies.

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Alibaba Teams Up with Visualead To Combat Counterfeit With ‘New Standard’ Of Visual Codes

Alibaba has teamed up with Israeli-based QR technology company Visualead to release a “new standard” of dotless visual codes for packaging, aiming to crack down on counterfeit products, said Visualead today.

The announcement comes three days after luxury goods company Kering Group submitted its second lawsuit against Alibaba, claiming that the e-commerce giant was not doing enough to stop the sale of counterfeit products on its platform. Visualead currently works with Kering subsidiary Yves Saint Laurent in China, as well as YSL licence-partner L’Oreal.

Visualead-partner brands including L’Oreal and Ferrero Rocher are already being sold in China with the new codes on their packaging as part of Alibaba’s new Blue Star platform, which focuses on product engagement and anti-counterfeiting.

“Each product carries a uniques dotless code, and when consumers see this code they will get immediate feedback on whether the product was fake,” Oded Israeli, VP of Marketing at Visualead, told Technode.

“They are much more visual appealing, they have about 90% of their surface as a graphic or image. More importantly is that they are more secure, so that these codes can not be forged.”

The codes will eventually be used across several of Alibaba’s platforms, targeting O2O services with secure scanner technology …read more


[Founder Interview] Teambition Wants Companies To Work Better By Getting Rid Of Email

Enterprise communication is a hot topic in China market right now. Companies including Mingdao, Fxiaoke and WeChat are all rolling out solutions designed to help office communicate better. Teambition is a promising player also trying to edge into the growing field to completely replace business email for the inward facing company communications.

Teambition is a software as a service (SaaS) platform that provides products and services to foster team collaboration and project management, attempting to be a mix of Silicon Valley’s Slack, Trello and Dropbox. Available on the web, Android, and iOS, the service is designed for different industries including TMT, education, advertising, manufacturing and administration.

The company received Pre-A investment from Gobi Partners and was selected as Red Herring Top 100 Asia winner in 2013. Last year, the company was inducted by Microsoft Ventures Accelerator and has secured US$5 million of Series A funding led by IDG, followed by Vangoo Capital Partners.

The company is comparatively young. CEO Junyuan Qi is 24 years old and 53 members of the company are in their mid twenties. In TechNode’s interview with CEO Junyuan Qi, he shared the philosophy behind Teambition.

What is the motivation behind Teambiton?

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TechCrunch Shanghai 2015 Speaker Lineup: Chinese Geeks Behind Cutting-Edge VR & 3D Interaction Technologies

Virtual reality and 3D interaction are among the most exciting fields in tech right now. TechCrunch Shanghai is honored to invite two experts in this arena to share their insights on the future of these fields.

Dr. Fei Yue, Co-founder & CTO of uSens

FeiyueDr. Fei Yue is the co-founder and CTO of Silicon Valley-headquartered startup uSens Inc. Fei has 12 years of experience as a lead scientist and is an advanced expert in human-computer interaction and computer vision. He has contributed to many important products at Nokia, Motorola, Panasonic and Amazon. Prior to that, Fei founded Infinite 3D, a startup innovating virtual reality 3D user interface, where he developed Cube software system in 2004. The system transforms Windows 2D interface into Virtual 360 degree 3D User Interfaces. Fei earned his B.S. degree in Physics from Fudan University and his M.S. and Ph.D in space physics from Rice University.

Founded in 2013 in San Jose, California uSens’ technologies include gesture recognition, head-tracking and 3D HCI (Human Computer Interaction) system design. Currently, the company is working on the next generation of VR + AR headsets. The company’s latest product Impression Pi, a completely wireless VR + AR …read more


10 Startups From Technode Taiwan Demo Day

Following our Demo Day hosted by TechNode Taiwan, ten startups from Taiwan, Brazil and New Zealand, each presenting 3-minute elevator pitch to the panel of judges. After much deliberation, the judges announced the top three startups: The first, second and third prize went to Syngency, Loopd and FIISER respectively. Winners will be given a free booth with a value over 12000 RMB in the upcoming TechCrunch Shanghai exhibit from June 8 – 9.
Here they come:
Syngency (New Zealand)

Syngency empowers modeling agencies with feature-rich booking features and website management software, as well as convenient online and mobile tools and integration with cloud-based accounting. Agents can easily keep track of bookings and models can receive up-to-date booking and job information. The company has customers in English speaking markets, and is looking to expand into Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.

Loopd

Networking handful of unconnected people can’t guarantee that you achieve your goal attendance for an event. Loopd enables attendees to exchange contact information, collect marketing materials and check-in to the speaker sessions. Using physical analytics marketers are then able to build a more sophisticated understanding of their most valuable business relationships.

FIISER

FIISER is a web and app search engine for …read more


Blizzard on the Art of Hearthstone Boss Design

Hearthstone’s latest adventure, Blackrock Mountain, took PVE content to new heights with a series of distinct and interesting boss battles. I caught up with Team 5 senior game designers Ben Brode and Mike Donais to chat through some of the cooler designs – how they tie into WoW, what the team was hoping to achieve and how they changed during the design process.

IGN: Were there any particularly important lessons from Curse of Naxxramas that informed what you wanted to do with Blackrock Mountain?

Maexxna’s hero power…

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