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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

New Endeavor Insight Report Analyzes the Source of Silicon Valley’s Development

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Endeavor Insight, supported by Omidyar Network, has released a new report that analyzes the development of the world’s most well-known entrepreneurship hub. The report, entitled “How Did Silicon Valley Become Silicon Valley,” includes new data that is being shared publicly for the first time. Endeavor has conducted similar research on entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world, including in Argentina, Colombia, Turkey, and Chile.

The story of the Valley’s early years can provide lessons to leaders in cities and regions across the world. It illustrates the impact that successful entrepreneurs can generate in their communities if they foster spinout firms, mentor other founders, and act as early-stage investors. More information on the lessons that other cities can use, and on the region’s growth and impact, can be found in the full report.

To download a PDF version of the report click here and read coverage of its release in TechCrunch here. The report can also be viewed online using ISSUU below.

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.

Globant

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.

Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg Featured On Fox Business’ After The Bell

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Fox Business’ After The Bell recently interviewed Endeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg, highlighting the work of the organization and its impact in emerging markets. In the interview, Rottenberg discusses Endeavor’s mission to help entrepreneurs break through barriers to success by creating networks of support in the markets that need it the most.

Watch the full interview by clicking here or below.

Overcoming the barriers to entrepreneurship

Endeavor Entrepreneur Companies Featured in The Economist Ranking of Top Internet Companies

The_Economist_LogoThe Economist recently charted the top three internet and technology companies in 50 countries based on data from the World Startup Report. The ranking demonstrates the number of emerging markets with growing tech scenes that are succeeding outside of the U.S. Six Endeavor Entrepreneur companies were featured in the chart as well as ventures founded by Endeavor Board Members, illustrating the global impact of the organization’s network. 

The ranking includes South Africa’s Yola (founded by Vinny Lingham), Argentina’s MercadoLibre (founded by Nicolas Szekasy, Hernán Kazah and Marcos Galperin), Turkey’s Yemeksepeti (founded by Melih ÖdemişNevzat Aydın, and Cem Nufusi), Colombia’s Bunny Inc. (founded by Alex Torrenegra and Tania Zapata) and PayU LatAm (founded by Martin Schrimpff and José Fernando Vélez)  and Chile’s Clandescuento (founded by Felipe Henríquez, Oskar Hjertonsson and Daniel Undurraga).

View the complete graphic by clicking here.

Endeavor Expands Presence in Europe with the Launch of Endeavor Spain

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Madrid, Spain – July 14, 2014 – Earlier this year, Endeavor announced that it has expanded its European presence with the launch of Endeavor Spain, marking the organization’s second affiliate in Europe.  Supported by some of Spain’s most influential entrepreneurs and business leaders, Endeavor’s launch has the potential to transform the Spanish economy and create much-needed jobs in a nation unsettled by rising unemployment. Endeavor first expanded in the region in 2012 with the formation of Endeavor Greece.

Between 2008 and 2013, Spain’s GDP saw minimal or negative growth year-over-year according to data from the The World Bank. Youth unemployment rates reached nearly 56% in 2013, making it the second most challenging economy for new graduates in the European Union, after Greece. With an increasing number of young people entering the workforce with few traditional job prospects, entrepreneurship has been on the rise  an estimated half of Spain’s entrepreneurs are currently between the ages of 18 and 34. Spurred in part by necessity, the rate of new startups in the region has increased over 8% and registrations of self-employed individuals increased by over 20,000 in the beginning of 2013. At the same time, however, only 5% of these startup companies reported employing 10 or more people, demonstrating the lack of proper resources and support for entrepreneurial growth. This is where Endeavor sees the potential for its model to transform the economy and foster an ecosystem of entrepreneurs whose businesses are able to move beyond the startup stage to become high-impact, pioneering ventures.

Given access to the right mix of mentors, business networks, capital and strategic advice, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have the potential to attract top talent and investments to the regions that need it the most.  With a favorable environment for entrepreneurial growth, Spain has the necessary infrastructure to build a support network for businesses that can not only boost the economy, but also create a key market for jobs. In addition, an ecosystem of successful entrepreneurs will serve as vital role models and investors for future generations, creating a solid foundation for economic recovery and empowerment for years to come.

“We are excited to help unlock the potential of Spain’s growing pool of entrepreneurs,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “We know from our work in Greece and other challenged markets that entrepreneurship thrives in down economies, and Spain right now is primed for a major boom.”

Founded in 1997, Endeavor selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to scale from promising SMEs into companies that create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and generate significant revenues. Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic mentoring advice, access to key networks and other tools and talent programs that can catapult them to success.

In the past 16 years Endeavor has selected 917 entrepreneurs from over 20 countries around the world in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. In 2012, these entrepreneurs generated US $6.0BN in revenue and had created 250,000 jobs.

All of Endeavor’s global affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of business leaders, each of whom believes strongly in the ability of high-impact entrepreneurship to transform economies. The Endeavor Spain founding board includes: Jaime Carvajal Urquijo, Special Partner & former Managing Director of Advent International; Jose Maria Alvarez Pallete, CEO & COO of Telefonica S.A.; Angel Cano Fernandez, President of BBVA; Sabina Fluxà, Executive Vice President & CEO of Grupo Iberostar; Javier Monzon, Chairman & CEO of Indra; Javier Perez Dolset, Chairman & CEO of Zed; Jose Luis Perelli, Audit Managing Partner, Audit Services of Ernst & Young Spain; and Francisco José Riberas Mera, Chairman & CEO of Corporacion Gestamp. Alvaro Lopez-Jorrin, Corporate Law Partner of Garrigues, will serve as secretary of the board.

The Board of Endeavor Spain truly looks forward to being able to make a significant and lasting impact in the creation of a consolidated entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain,” said Board Chairman Jaime Carvajal.

The board has selected Adrian Garcia-Aranyos as Managing Director to oversee the successful launch of Endeavor Spain. Mr. Garcia-Aranyos served previously as Vice President of Media Relations for Latin America at J.P. Morgan Chase and as the Americas Marketing Director and Latin America co-head for The Economist Group. As MD of Endeavor Spain, he will lead the day-to-day operations of the office in Madrid and will be involved in screening local entrepreneurs for selection into the network.

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!”

 

Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg Discusses Her Entrepreneurial Journey in Business Insider

BusinessInsiderEndeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg was recently interviewed by OneWire‘s Skiddy von Stade about the Endeavor story and her own entrepreneurial path. The interview was featured in Business Insider, highlighting Linda’s journey from law school to Latin America and, ultimately, to co-founding the world’s leading supporter of high-impact entrepreneurs in growing economies.

Watch the two-part interview by clicking here and here, or below.

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.

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