Showing posts from May, 2013

Roku raised $60Mil to battle the content gods

Will these guys give NetFlicks a run for their money? Roku is an American, privately held, consumer electronics company that sells home digital media products. The company is based in Saratoga, California. Roku manufactures digital media receivers that allow customers to access internet streamed video or audio services through televisions. This includes fee-based services and services that are available through the receiver free of charge.

Venture Beat - "Roku’s new capital should allow the company to remain competitive while branching out beyond its set-top boxes."

To date they have released three generations of receivers and sold over 5 million units. They just finished a $60Mil Series F (see Roku at Crunchbase).

AirWatch Raises $225 Mil

While AirWatch is not a household name they are becoming one. The fact that they've raised $225 mil for a Series A shows that they know the right people, and rightfully so. AirWatch is a becoming a very beefy company and their market and client base is constantly growing. Originally, AirWatch raised $200 mil in the round, but expanded it to host an additional $25 mil investment from Accel Partners. More for the long stretch - like going public, our hiring more talent. Headquartered in Atlanta, they are also down the street from my office at Perimeter Center.

The mobile industry is exploding and as we all know, soon companies will be buying mobile device management (MDM) software for corporate devices. That's where AirWatch comes in - they lead the group. The hope is that when enterprises buy MDM software they will buy AirWatch's. In other words, AirWatch and its shareholders are counting on being the one everyone buys from - a Microsoft for the mobile industry if you will. 

Wearable Technology Is Exploding

Credit Suisse released a gargantuan of a report on wearable technology recently and the ripple has spread quite far. 

I wonder what's ahead...let's all remember the true original when it comes to wearable computers - the calculator watch.

FROM FORTUNE -- Computers one wears, rather than carries in a briefcase, backpack or pocket, are at an "inflection point" -- a market poised to explode from $3 billion to $5 billion today to as much as $30 billion to $50 billion in three to five years. The theory is that smartphones are going to be the hub connecting a proliferation of small, wireless devices that will become increasingly popular as software improves, component prices fall and new business uses emerge.

"Bottom line," writes Ray, "the authors think wearables are 'a mega trend' and that 'your clients need to care' because the gizmos may have 'a significant and pervasive impact on the economy,' change how we all interact with techno…

The Future of ATM Machines

Sfm brochure from chaganomics

Is this the future of ATM machines? 

Regardless, it is a running investment opportunity. This product is called a Self-Service Financial Machine (SFM). It combines frequently sought after services for the 68 million+ unbanked and under banked population, namely check cashing, cash withdrawal, money orders, bill payment, cellular refill minutes, prepaid debit cards, and transfer of money…all in one kiosk (above). At the time, no other product combines all these features into one self-service station. 

It makes you wonder if it's even needed, but according to some convincing stats - cash is still king, therefore meriting something like this for the scores of unbanked. Cash is used for about 65% of global payment transactions, a total of 360 billion cash transactions each year. And according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, cash dominates consumer retail payments: The total value of cash payments is nearly four times higher than the value of…