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Dianrong, 16 December 2015

China is known as a difficult place for U.S. technology companies. Local market quirks have led Uber and LinkedIn LNKD +0.02% to operate differently here, while censorship rules have forced the likes of Google GOOGL -1.49%, Facebook FB -1.30% andTwitter TWTR -4.48% out of the country. But that didn’t stop Lending Club’s American co-founder Soul Htite from going to China. As the pull of the Chinese market became greater, Htite left the U.S. peer-to-peer lending site after its board didn’t fully support branching out to the country. He went ahead and in 2012 launched Chinese online lending site Dianrong with former lawyer and fund manager Kevin Guo, a long-time friend who is “instrumental” in convincing him of moving to China, Htite says.

Now with three million registered users, Dianrong has brokered about 7 billion yuan ($1.08 billion) in loans so far this year, a 16.7% increase compared with last year, according to Htite. It accepts investments as little as 100 yuan($15.48) and promises an annual return from 4.5% to 10%, according to its website. Htite says he wants Dianrong to broker about 30 billion yuan ($4.6 billion) in loans in about a year.

Read more at:
Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/ywang/2015/12/16/from-lending-club-to-china-soul-htite-builds-top-chinese-p2p-lending-site-dianrong/#7cf5787c72ea


Ipsy, 28 September 2015

Online make-up subscription delivery service ipsy launched in 2012 has brought investors 32x return on investment. The figures demonstrated by ipsy today are impressive: The start-up built a large user base of 1.5 million subscribers, giving the company an annual revenue of more than $150 million; A milestone of 1 million of “glam bags” was achieved in April 2015; ipsy founder Michelle Phan videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 1 billion times. Victoria Palatnik: “We have been supporting this project since the seed stage, for more than 2 years we’ve been engaged in its development as investors and curators. At the first meeting with ipsy we were inspired by the team and by how simple and clear business model they proposed. Motivation, certainty, a clear strategy - it wasn’t a question, we believed in them.”

It was clear, even at the seed stage, that ipsy has the potential to bring more than double or triple return of invested funds. According to the forecasts the project was to become a million dollar company in 5 years after launch. Today ipsy is worth $600 million and the investment returns in 32x amount.

"The current ipsy success depended on a number of factors. Michelle [ipsy founder] has a reason saying that the important role was played by the YouTube promotion. From the perspective of venture business, the crucial contribution to the today's startup success was made by the sufficient funding at an early stage. Your investment can grow 32x rather than 2 or 3 times only when you take on serious risks and invest in the seed round,” Victoria adds.

Investment in US startups is not Massa Innovations’ common practice; ipsy is one of the very few American startups in its portfolio. Companies’ interests are focused on Israeli and Asian markets. When it comes to Silicon Valley, the selection process is the following: 2-3 times a year managing partners examine up to 30 US startups, meet each team in person, and only a few receive funding.


Ipsy, 14 September 2015

Online make-up subscription delivery service ipsy has announced that it has raised $100m in Series B funding from TPG Growth and Sherpa Capital. The company, which was established in 2012, sends its subscribers a monthly “Glambag” of personalized sample products. The subscribers each pay $10 a month, and delivery is free. It isn’t the only subscription service that targets the beauty industry, but it appears to at least have struck a chord and built a large user base of 1.5 million subscribers, giving the company an annual revenue of more than $150 million. ipsy says it has been profitable for more than three years. part of the company’s large presence can be traced to its popularity on YouTube and other social channels — where the company is very active. It posts its makeup tutorial videos on YouTube, for example. And as is the case with many startups, having that focus baked into the company’s DNA is important to driving success. In this case at least, Founder Michelle Phan has seen a lot of success on YouTube — her videos have been viewed more than 1 billion times, and she also a 2015 People’s Choice Webby Award for the best how-to DIY channel.

Read more at:
TechCrunch http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/14/makeup-subscription-delivery-service-ipsy-raises-100m/#.urdzfh:nwtZ


Dianrong, 11 September 2015

Dianrong.com has recently announced the receipt of US$207 million in funding. The company’s latest round of financing was co-led by Standard Chartered Bank (2888.HK) and China Fintech Fund (CFF), and followed by Bohai Leasing (000415.SZ) and other financial institutions. Going forward, Dianrong.com and Standard Charter will be full-fledged partners in a number of areas and regions to jointly explore the best solutions to financial development and create the “Bank of Tomorrow.”

Dianrong is one of the leading P2P lending platforms in China, especially known for its technological capability. Its founder and CEO Soul Htite is the cofounder and former CTO of Lending Club, the leading P2P lending platform in the world. Prior to this funding round, Dianrong received investment from Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited (0086.HK) in October, 2014. Standard Chartered spent two years looking for an outstanding internet finance company and eventually chose Dianrong after conducting in-depth due diligence on a few leading companies in the sector.

Read more at:
PRNewswire http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dianrong-completes-c-round-funding-of-us207-million-investment-led-by-standard-chartered-bank-to-jointly-create-bank-of-tomorrow-300141506.html


Dianrong, 20 August 2015

Standard Chartered and others have invested $207 million in peer-to-peer lender Dianrong.com, the Chinese company said on its website on Thursday. The consortium of investors in the platform which matches small businesses and savers, was jointly led by the private equity arm of the British bank and China Fintech Fund. China A-share listed Bohai Leasing participated in the financing.

Dianrong.com was founded by Lending Club former employee Soul Htite and lawyer Guo Huhang with $2.5 million dollars in seed capital in 2012. Dianrong.com completed its Series B funding round in January when New York-based Tiger Global Management invested an undisclosed amount. Tiger Global has also invested in Alibaba and JD.com

Read more at:
FinanceAsia http://www.financeasia.com/News/401042,stanchart-invests-in-china8217s-dianrongcom.aspx


Ipsy, 15 April 2015

Ispy, the Internet makeup guru’s service, which mails pouches of beauty samples to $10-a-month subscribers, will ship a milestone 1 million of the “glam bags” in April. Ipsy’s milestone translates to a revenue rate of $120 million in annual sales. It also means that Ipsy, which routinely puts aspiring customers on a wait list, gained 300,000 members in the last six months. It took the company about three years to reach 700,000 subscribers in October. Ipsy launched in late 2011. “Our mission was to build a new beauty business, where there’s not a one-size-fits-all beauty look,” Phan said. “We didn’t do any traditional marketing or PR — it’s all been word of mouth.”

Read more at:
CNET http://www.cnet.com/news/youtube-star-michelle-phan-ipsy-startup-to-hit-1m-paid-members/


AdzCentral, 27 January 2015

AdzCentral, Better Digital and Asia Digital Ventures on Tuesday announced that all three companies have merged to form CtrlShift, a programmatic ad platform. The new company will be headquartered in Singapore. AdzCentral is a programmatic media trading platform, Better Digital is a digital ad firm and Asia Digital Ventures is an ad tech distribution company. Per a release, the new company has partnered with LinkedIn, Spotify, MSN, ESPN and other publishers for supply. CtrlShift has also partnered with Sizmek, Lotame, comScore, Phunware and AppNexus for data, verification and technology.

Read more at:
MediaPost http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/242472/three-asian-ad-tech-firms-merge-as-ctrlshift.html