Mobli Receives $60M in Funding from América Móvil

November 6, 2013 11:18 by Clayton Reeves in Telecom, Venture Capital  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
It's getting crowded in the mobile video and picture sharing space.  As reported in TechCrunch, Mobli, an Israel based picture/video sharing service and competitor to apps like Instagram, received a $60 million investment from América Móvil. América Móvil, if you remember, is the Latin American telecom giant led by billionaire Carlos Slim. The strategic investment will provide Mobli with access to América Móvil's millions of mobile users. In addition, the funds will allow Mobli to introduce a new "visual search engine." “Mobli has developed a remarkable technology and this strategic alliance will allow América Móvil to bring value added experiences for its users throughout the Americas,” Carlos Slim recently said. This isn't the first high profile backing Mobli has received - celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Serena Williams have already invested in the company, which is now valued at around $1 billion. Read more from TechCrunch here. Snapshot of mobli milestones: Source: CrunchBase

VC Valuation and Trends: Seed Series Rise, Most Other Rounds Fall

November 6, 2013 10:19 by Clayton Reeves in   //  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
As reported by Pitchbook, the median pre-money valuation financings in 3Q 2013 fell across the board. The exceptions were Series Seed and Series C, both of which increased to new record highs. Valuatons have been trending higher for the last several years, but it had historically been most pronounced in later stage rounds (Series D or later). However, as we discussed several weeks ago, seed valuations are now skyrocketing, as well as Series C. As you can see above, the deal volume and capital invested has been relatively stable since mid-2012 after a volatile period from 2011 through first half of 2012. Read the entire report here.

Are Mega Deals Paving the Way for the Middle Market?

August 8, 2013 12:35 by Clayton Reeves in Capital Markets, M&A  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)
Last week we wrote an article about a slew of deals announced in a 24 hour period.  We wondered if this may be a good sign for the rest of the market as a whole, in terms of increased deal volume in the future.  The Washington Post agrees with this sentiment, saying that the increase in mega mergers is a reflection of growing confidence in the economy.  As we said, the number of deals is down YoY compared to 2012, but the dollar amounts have increased.  Deals in dollar terms for 2013 have grown to $607 billion, compared to $486 billion during the same period in 2012.  This seemingly good news conflicts with some negative news around corporate margin widening slowing down, which would seemingly indicate at least a lull in growth for the future.  Of course, cheap corporate loans and the availability of dry powder for many companies and private equity firms means there are still plenty of willing buyers to be had, no matter what corporate margins are doing. In the end, deals create more deals.  The larger market players seem to be realizing that all this cash sitting around isn't earning them much of a return, and are acting towards putting it to good use.  The middle market might be the next area that we see deal volume pick up in. Click here to read the entire article.

Chinese Investment in the U.S. Continues to Grow

July 10, 2013 09:32 by Clayton Reeves in Agriculture, Capital Markets, M&A  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
Despite political, regulatory, cultural and geographic obstacles to Chinese firms investing in the U.S., they continue to do so at a growing rate. Chinese figures show that their investment in the U.S. grew to $9.3 billion in 2012 from $1.88 billion in 2007. U.S. figures were even more extreme, concluding that the cumulative investment jumped from $3.4 billion to $22.8 billion in the same period.  The recently proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International for $4.7 billion would represent the largest ever acquisition of a U.S. firm by a Chinese entity. Additionally, this acquisition could represent a threat to the U.S. food supply, which has generally been more protected through regulatory issues due to national interests. With many of the food related issues that Chinese firms have faced, either in the pet or human food arena, there is concern from regulators about the acquisition of Smithfield. Regardless of how the Smithfield acquisition turns out, one fact remains: the Chinese are interested in purchasing U.S. companies moving forward and have the dry powder to do so.  It will be interesting to see how this changes the M&A landscape moving forward. Click here to read the article this post references in the China Daily.

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