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South Africa’s Vinny Lingham Announces Acquisition of Gyft, His Third Venture, By First Data

gyft_0Mobile gift card provider Gyft, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, recently announced its acquisition by First Data, a payment technology solutions provider. Based in San Francisco, Gyft has been boosted by recent funding and new merchant onboarding, with the expectation that First Data’s network will help it scale far beyond the 200 merchants it currently serves. As Vinny’s third company, this announcement demonstrates the success of Endeavor Entrepreneurs who launch multiple ventures and inspire future generations.

Founded in 2012, Gyft offers consumers a platform to purchase, gift, and redeem gift cards via their mobile devices. Traditional plastic prepaid cards lacked efficiency and face the risk of getting lost. Gyft makes redeeming these cards easier with reminder alerts and a mobile gift card “wallet,” making it cost-efficient for small and medium-sized enterprises to break into the prepaid card market. Widespread adoption of digital wallets has made Gyft an attractive option for many e-commerce giants, including Amazon.

This acquisition reportedly grew out of a partnership between Gyft and Clover, the mobile payments and point-of-sale startup that First Data acquired in 2012 for an estimated $54 million. Considered one the world’s largest card processors, First Data handles over $1 trillion annually across more than 6 million merchants. After a leveraged buyout in 2007 and reported losses following the recent recession, First Data has actively sought to modernize its payment services by acquiring technology companies. The recent Gyft news is part of a broader strategic plan for First Data, which has included acquiring Clover and cardless customer loyalty startup Perka.

Coming off a $6 million round of Series A funding, Gyft’s decision to join the First Data family stems from the company’s mission to become a leader in the digital payments industry. First Data’s backing will allow Gyft the necessary network to onboard more strategic merchants while providing First Data with access to key technologies and brand recognition.

“We started the company with a mission to digitize and transform the plastic gift card space,” said Vinny in a statement. “We don’t see this as an exit. We see this as a continuation of what we’re already doing but with a lot more resources.”

Vinny has been an Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2006 and Gyft is the third venture he has founded. Endeavor has connected him with expert mentors and introduced him to investors through the Endeavor Investor Network, allowing him to become an active role model for entrepreneurs in South Africa, Silicon Valley, and beyond.

Read more about the acquisition in Vinny’s exclusive interview with PandoDaily.

Vinny Lingham

Endeavor Entrepreneur Vinny Lingham

Egypt’s TA Telecom Makes Connection With Endeavor South Africa, Plans Regional Expansion

TATelecomSATo support his expansion in Africa, Endeavor Entrepreneur Amr Shady, co-founder of Egypt’s TA Telecom, recently made an Endeavor connection with the team at Endeavor South Africa. Demonstrating the impact of the organization’s global network, Amr was able to leverage Endeavor’s resources to help him connect with local business leaders and industry experts. In addition, Amr has shown his support for the South Africa office through give-back, fulfilling Endeavor’s  mission to foster an ecosystem of high-impact entrepreneurs.

Selected by Endeavor in 2011, Amr is the co-founder and CEO of TA Telecom, a value-added services (VAS) mobile solutions provider that delivers time- and location-specific content to subscribers. With operations across the Middle East and Africa, TA’s services range from demographically-targeted SMS advertising to custom content delivery platforms. Servicing over 10 million subscribers, TA is working towards international growth with its expansion into South Africa, where the mobile phone market has an estimated 59 million users. 

In June, Amr traveled to Johannesburg to attend the VAS Africa conference, an event dedicated to the development needs of African operators. While there, he was connected to South Africa’s Everlytic, founded by entrepreneurs Sam Hutchinson and Josh Adler, as well as a candidate entrepreneur that provided support for his market entry analysis. In addition, the  Endeavor team connected Amr to a local public relations firm to discuss communications strategies while also helping him arrange opportunities with digital agencies and media. In addition to offering financial support, Amr’s give-back efforts include advising potential candidate entrepreneurs in the telecommunications space in South Africa. With plans to become more engaged in the region, he will also look towards Endeavor to help him source potential members for TA Telecom’s South Africa Advisory Board.

Since joining the Endeavor network, Amr has been an active promoter of the organization’s work, serving as a mentor and board member for Endeavor Egypt. As a panelist at International Selection Panels, he has played a key role in selecting new generations of entrepreneurs in the pipeline. Endeavor continues to help Amr connect with top entrepreneurs and investors around the world, and recently featured him as a keynote at the 2014 GigaOm Structure Data event in New York.

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Amr Shady speaking at the VAS Africa event

Brazil’s Bebê Store Announces Acquisition of Competitor Baby.com.br; Receives Investment From Endeavor Catalyst

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Bebê Store, a leading online baby goods retailer in Brazil co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Leonardo Simão, recently announced the acquisition of Baby.com.br, one of its main competitors in the region. In addition, the company successfully raised a $12.3 million round of financing earlier this year led by venture capital firms Atomico and W7, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.

Founded in 2009, Bebê Store was a first-mover in its sector, offering parents a unique online shopping experience by guaranteeing a wide selection of high quality products and personalized customer service. The company has expanded to separate sites for lines of baby products, toys and goods for mothers, projecting  close to $42.5 million in revenue for 2014. Baby.com.br is a major player in Brazil’s e-commerce industry, having attracted over $50 million in investment capital. The acquisition will help Bebê Store strengthen its presence as the leading online retailer of child care products in Latin America, bolstered by Baby.com.br’s existing customer base and product lines.

This merger represents an important milestone in Brazil’s fast-growing e-commerce sector. The rapid rise of  the tech and online retail industries in Brazil has been one of the biggest factors in driving the country’s economic resurgence over the past decade. Research shows that nearly 50 million people in the country are active Internet consumers, demonstrating major potential for growth as the nation’s e-commerce market is expected to become the world’s fourth largest by 2016.

With this new round of financing, Bebê Store has raised nearly $30.5 million led primarily by the London-based Atomico. About two-thirds of the $12.3 million is venture capital and one-third is a bridge loan, with Brazil-based W7 Venture Capital also adding on to its earlier investment. Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor’s passive co-investment vehicle, also supported this recent round.

Since his selection by Endeavor in 2013, Leonardo has been an active member of the network, receiving custom mentoring on expansion strategies and investor introductions through the Endeavor Investor Network.

Read coverage of the news in The New York Times’ Dealbook and learn more about the company’s financing round by clicking here

Argentina’s Globant Raises $59 Million on NYSE; Second-Ever U.S. IPO for an Endeavor Company

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Argentina’s Globant, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Martin Migoya, Guibert Englebienne, Néstor Nocetti and Martin Umaran, had its U.S. IPO on July 18th, raising nearly $59 million. The Buenos Aires-based software development giant has become one of Endeavor’s top success stories by demonstrating the high-impact potential of entrepreneurs in emerging markets. In addition, as Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment, this IPO marks a major milestone for Endeavor’s innovative co-investment initiative.

Founded in 2003, Globant was envisioned from the start as a business that could generate world-class career opportunities for IT professionals while showcasing Latin American talent. Globant has become one of the fastest growing software solutions companies in Latin America, providing clients worldwide with solutions that are design-minded, scalable and efficient. The entrepreneurs have put Argentina on the radar of the global marketplace for offshore IT services, with a portfolio of clients that include Google, LinkedIn, Sabre and Electronic Arts.

The entrepreneurs were selected into the Endeavor network in 2005 with just 120 employees, and have now grown to employ over 3,000 people across 15 countries with the help of Endeavor’s mentorship, strategic guidance and investor connections. In 2008, Globant acquired Openware, an Argentine tech venture founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Federico Seineldin, marking the first-ever merger between two Endeavor companies. In the same year, Endeavor helped Globant close its first round of venture capital financing led primarily by U.S.-based investors.

When Endeavor Catalyst was formed in 2012, the donor fund co-invested nearly $2 million in Globant as its inaugural investment. Endeavor Board Member and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman subsequently joined Globant’s Board of Advisors, cementing the company’s reputation as a world-class technology firm. In addition, Globant’s most recent financing round in 2013 saw a 20% acquisition by multinational advertising company WPP. The returns from the Endeavor Catalyst investment will ultimately go towards supporting Endeavor’s operations as well as the fund’s work with future entrepreneurs.

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Globant’s Nestor Nocetti, Guibert Englebienne, Martin Migoya, and Martin Umaran

With annual revenue growth of over 30% in the past two years, including total revenues of $158 million last year, the IPO highlights Globant’s upward trajectory as the global demand for solutions in mobile, social, big data and cloud computing skyrockets. Globant’s success has demonstrated the importance of supporting entrepreneurs by creating an ecosystem of inspiration, mentorship and investment.

Since joining the network, the Globant team has been highly engaged with Endeavor’s work in Latin America and globally, serving as mentors, ISP panelists and donors. The founders have also attended and spoken at a number of Endeavor-hosted events, including both regional and global galas, retreats and summits. Martín and Guibert also serve as board members in Argentina, with Guibert recently named chairman of the local board. The story of the Globant founders is a testament to Endeavor’s model and the multiplier effect of entrepreneurship as the team becomes role models and investors for future generations of ventures.

“The trust that Endeavor puts in Globant was first shown in 2005 when they selected us as Endeavor Entrepreneurs. That was a key milestone in our history, since they enabled us to learn from some of the most talented and experienced professionals in the world,” said CEO Martín Migoya in a statement. “Endeavor reinforces a great partnership that will help us to take our company to the next level, creating more jobs for talent across the world, more opportunities for our ‘Globers’, and delivering the best software products for our customers.”

Globant is the second Endeavor Entrepreneur company to have an IPO in the U.S.  MercadoLibre, founded by Marcos GalperinNicolas Szekasy and Hernan Kazah, was also an Argentine venture that successfully went public in 2007 on the NASDAQ market.

Learn more about the IPO news in the company’s press release by clicking here.

Greece’s Kerstin Trikalitis, Co-Founder of Out There Media, Joins Jury at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival

cannes lionsEndeavor Entrepreneur Kerstin Trikalitis, co-founder of Greece’s Out There Media, was recently named to the jury in the “Mobile” category at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival, a premiere international awards event for professionals in the creative communications industry. Often considered the largest worldwide gathering of designers, digital innovators and marketers, the festival recognizes the best in creativity and innovation in global media. Kerstin’s honor demonstrates a growing interest in the potential of high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets like Greece.

As part of the Mobile Lions jury, Kerstin worked with 14 global judges representing top names in branding and media to review over 1,000 entries in the category. The submissions encompassed creative works  activated by a mobile device, app or mobile web and were judged based on creativity, execution, relevance and results. Now into its 61st year, the Cannes Festival convened over 12,000 delegates from more than 90 countries to network and celebrate the best in brand communications. The week-long agenda consisted of 60+ world-class seminars which put 500+ speakers on the global stage, as well as more intimate and targeted learning through forums and workshops. This year, over 37,000 entries from 97 countries competed for awards.

Mobile Lions Jury-Cannes 2014

The Mobile Lions Jury in Cannes

Being honored as a jury member demonstrates Kerstin and her team’s success as emerging market entrepreneurs. When she founded OTM with fellow Endeavor Entrepreneur Daphne Loukas in 2007, the pair anticipated the boom in mobile advertising in regions that depend on non-traditional devices for digital connectivity. With offices across Europe, Asia and North America, OTM works with brands and advertisers, SMEs and e-commerce companies to enable them to maximize awareness and loyalty among their consumers through innovate mobile and digital campaigns. The company has formed partnership agreements with over 40 mobile carriers across Europe and Asia, reaching approximately 500 million subscribers via its multi-channel advertising marketplace called Mobucks. Since their selection into the network in 2013, the OTM team has worked with Endeavor to gain insights on fundraising and have participated in a number of Endeavor Investor Network events.

“It has been an amazing experience to be part of the Mobile Jury for Cannes Lions this year as one of the 15 jurors from across the globe! We have seen the most ground-breaking work that the world has to offer in ‘Mobile’ up to this day,” said Kerstin. “I am very honored to have been part of the experience and am convinced that Mobile will become an ever more integral part of any brand communications strategy in the years to come. Lastly, I encourage all of us Endeavor Entrepreneurs that work in advertising technologies to submit our best practices for Cannes Lions 2015!”

 

Uruguay’s PedidosYa Acquired By Delivery Hero, Expands Network to 20 Countries

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Uruguay’s PedidosYa, an online solution for food delivery in Latin America, recently announced a majority acquisition by Germany-based Delivery Hero. Founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Ariel Burschtin, Álvaro García, and Ruben Sosenke in 2009, PedidosYa currently operates a network of 12,000 partner restaurants within nine countries in Latin America, with plans to launch in three more countries. The acquisition highlights the importance of e-commerce platforms in the region’s consumer service industry as well as a growing global interest in Latin American markets.

Predicting the rise of e-commerce services and noting the absence of food delivery solutions in the region, the trio launched their app in their native Montevideo, Uruguay with the hopes of creating an innovate  service platform for Latin Americans. Restaurants, enticed by the company’s streamlined order processing and new sales channel, rapidly signed up  for PedidosYa. The company has now grown to 150 employees across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, México, Perú, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The app has reported over two million downloads and receives nearly 200,000 orders per month.

Looking to gain a foothold in the region’s markets, Delivery Hero bought out existing investors in PedidosYa, backed by a recent round of funding led by Luxor Capital Group. A global leader in online food ordering with more than 60,000 partner restaurants worldwide, Delivery Hero currently operates in 12 countries across Europe and Asia with over 800 employees. For less than a year, the two companies have operated in a confidential partnership, a cooperation which has proven beneficial, more than doubling PedidosYa’s volume of orders. PedidosYa will remain an independent brand, and the acquisition is expected to increase Delivery Hero’s representation to 20 countries spanning four continents.

Latin American companies mostly limit themselves to their national markets. We belong to a new generation of entrepreneurs who focus on international expansion,” said Ariel in a statement. “In this sense we fit perfectly to Delivery Hero and are pleased to be part of the global leader.”

Since their selection at the 41st Endeavor ISP, Ariel, Alvaro and Ruben have received strategic mentorship support from Endeavor. The team has also participated in Endeavor’s eMBA program and in Endeavor Investor Network events.

Read the full press release of the announcement here.

Argentina’s Onapsis Raises Nearly $10 Million; Endeavor Catalyst Participates in Funding Round

OnapsisOnapsis Inc., founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mariano Nuñez Di Croce and Victor Montero, recently announced that it has secured a $9.58 million Series B financing round led by Boston-based VC firm .406 Ventures and supported by Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors. A leading business security solutions provider to technology firms like SAP and Oracle, Onapsis plans to leverage the funds to enhance its product offerings, promote international sales and adapt to growing client demand.

Founded in Buenos Aires and now headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Onapsis offers protection for business-critical applications that manage highly-sensitive information ranging from supply chain logistics to business intelligence. Over 100 global brands and government organizations leverage Onapsis’ products to protect against espionage, sabotage, and financial fraud attacks and to streamline compliance with regulatory requirements. The new round will also allow the company to develop its research and engineering teams as it looks to advance operations across Europe and Latin America. Onapsis previously raised $3 million in funding and currently employs over 50 people.

Since joining the Endeavor network in 2011, Mariano and Victor have received tailored mentorship and strategic advising through Endeavor’s global network. In addition, the team has made a number of investor connections with the help of the Endeavor Investor Network while regularly participating in global tours and conferences.

“We are delighted to count on the support of Endeavor and our existing investors, which have been instrumental in helping us scale our business to support the fast-growing demand for our security solutions,” said Mariano in a statement.

Read the press release here and see media coverage of the news in VentureBeat.

About Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor-Catalyst-LogoEndeavor Catalyst is a passive co-investment vehicle that allows Endeavor Global to invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs in a neutral, unbiased way. The main goal of this program is to use the returns of the investment to support Endeavor’s operations. The fund also contributes to Endeavor’s mission as it promotes a stronger interest in emerging market investment opportunities. Launched in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has made 14 investments to date spanning five markets (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Turkey).

For more information on the fund’s activities, please contact Endeavor Catalyst Managing Director Allen Taylor at allen.taylor@endeavor.org.

Endeavor Uruguay Spotlights Entrepreneur’s Multiplier Effect, Featured in El País

EndeavorUruguayEndeavor Uruguay recently published a map of Endeavor’s Multiplier Effect in the country, highlighting the local entrepreneurship ecosystem and the contributions of Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Published as part of Uruguay’s 2013 Impact Report, the map focuses on the impact of Endeavor Entrepreneur Gabriel Colla, founder of IT services firm Infocorpand the employees, investments, and ventures he has inspired throughout Uruguay. Endeavor has also mapped the Multiplier Effect in affiliate countries including Argentina, Colombia, Turkey, and Chile.

Top Uruguayan newspaper El Pais interviewed Gabriel as a result of the map, spotlighting his work as an Endeavor Entrepreneur and mentor. His Multiplier Effect  the companies, entrepreneurs, partners and employees he and Infocorp have influenced over the years  reaches over 30 of the region’s top tech and startup ventures, with many outside of the Endeavor network. In the article, Gabriel discusses the mutually beneficial relationships between mentors and entrepreneurs that encourage collaboration, knowledge-sharing and community building in ecosystems that need it the most. Read the full article in Spanish by clicking here.

Since his selection as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2002, Gabriel has become an Endeavor success story, leveraging the mentorship and advisory services provided to him to grow Infocorp from a small software training company into a global technology solutions firm with clients in over a dozen countries. As an active Endeavor mentor, Gabriel now provides guidance and recommendations to potential entrepreneurs in the pipeline.

View Gabriel’s Multiplier Effect in the 2013 Endeavor Uruguay Impact Report below, or by clicking here.

Indonesia’s Kebab Turki Baba Rafi Expands to Brunei and Singapore

logo_Kebab-TurkiKebab Turki Baba Rafifounded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Hendy Setiono, recently announced that it has expanded its chain of fast food outlets to Brunei and Singapore. As part of a global expansion effort to enter 10 new countries by the end of the year, this announcement demonstrates a critical step towards achieving that goal. The steady success of Baba Rafi illustrates the impact that scaleup entrepreneurs can have on regional economies and job growth given access to the right mix of mentorship and professional development opportunities. 

Having reached a cooperation agreement with five other countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, the Netherlands, China and Sri Lanka, the opportunities in Brunei and Singapore cement the chain’s international reach. As two of the key markets in Southeast Asia, the strategic positions and economic impact of these countries ensures that Baba Rafi is well on its way to becoming a globally recognized brand.

What began in 2003 as a street cart operated by Hendy, Baba Rafi is now one of the world’s largest kebab food chains with more than 1,100 franchised or company-owned outlets. The “Baba Rafi Academy”, an educational platform for employees, was also started as a means to inspire social and environmental responsibility in future generations of business leaders. Since joining the Endeavor network in 2013, Hendy has received strategic mentoring from a local board of  advisors along with ongoing support from the team at Endeavor Indonesia. In addition, Hendy’s high-impact success has allowed him the opportunity to become an Endeavor mentor for potential entrepreneurs looking to join the network.

Read more about the announcement from Endeavor Indonesia by clicking here

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Hendy Setiono during a panel interview at the 51st ISP

Mexico’s Naranya Labs Partners with NXTP Labs to Form New Latin America-Focused Seed Fund

naranyaMexico-based seed fund and accelerator Naranya Labs, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Arturo Galvan, recently announced a partnership with accelerator NXTP Labs to form a new early-stage capital fund that will invest at least $8 million in Mexico’s startup ecosystem. Both firms are aiming to broaden their reach across Latin America and this new fund, supported by a grant from Mexico’s National Entrepreneur Institute, serves as a critical step. The $8 million is expected to be used to invest in 48 startups in the country while also covering follow-on investments over a period of four years. Currently, the fund’s portfolio includes more than 150 companies and aims to support up to 300 startups across the region.

With a $50 million investment target,  the fund’s fundraising stage is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The collaboration will also ensure that the firms will have full coverage in key Latin American markets including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.

“The support of the Mexican government is essential to promote the talent of innovative Mexican startups throughout the region. It sets an example to be followed by other countries in Latin America,” said Arturo in a statement.

Since his selection by Endeavor in 2011, Arturo and his team have been active members of the network. Arturo has served as both an ISP panelist and recommended potential entrepreneurs into the Endeavor pipeline. In addition, Naranya has participated in top Investor Network events and received custom advisory sessions with global mentors.

Read more about the partnership announcement in NXTP Labs’ press release, The Next Web, and The Miami Herald.

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