High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Get RSS Feed

Turkey’s Yemeksepeti Acquired By Delivery Hero for $589 Million; Marks Largest Deal in the Food-Ordering Sector

yemeksepeti_logoTurkey’s Yemeksepeti, a leading Turkish food ordering website founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nevzat Aydın, Melih Ödemiş and Cem Nufusi, has announced that it has been acquired by Delivery Hero in a $589 million deal. This landmark deal marks the largest-ever acquisition in the food-ordering sector and the largest Internet-related deal in Turkey.

This is the first entry into Turkey for Delivery Hero, a billion-dollar takeout food service based in Berlin that continues to scale up its business worldwide. It previously acquired Endeavor Entrepreneur company PedidosYa, a Uruguay-based ordering platform serving Latin America and founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Ariel Burschtin, Álvaro García, and Ruben Sosenke. The cash and shares deal made with Yemeksepeti will also see investor General Atlantic becoming a shareholder in Delivery Hero. 

Delivery Hero made headlines earlier this year when Rocket Internet — another Berlin-based e-commerce company — invested $586 million in the company, which then let it to pick up nine smaller food-ordering startups to consolidate its position as an industry leader. Delivery Hero itself has raised $1.3 billion to date.

Selected by Endeavor in 2007, Yemeksepeti’s founders have received strategic guidance from Endeavor mentors as well as introductions to key investors, having attended and participated in a number of Endeavor events around the world. Endeavor Catalyst participated in Yemeksepeti’s 2012 $44 million funding round led by General Atlantic. As of 2015, Nevzat has also joined the board of Endeavor Turkey, becoming the third entrepreneur to do so locally.

As part of the deal, Yemeksepeti’s management team will stay in place.

“We are very proud to have built a company that has changed the way people think and order food in Turkey,” Nevzat said in a statement. “During our 15-year history we have had many approaches from global and local investors however we were waiting for the right time and the right partner. Today, I am delighted to team up with a company whose global ambitions, corporate culture and way of doing business are so aligned with ours. “

Read more about the news in top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily News.

Greece’s HotelBrain Receives €3 Million Investment to Support Development and Growth Plans

hotelbrainHotelBrain, the Greek hotel management company founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Panos Paleologos, recently reached an agreement with the investment fund SouthBridge Europe. The Luxembourg-based fund will invest €3 million to support the development of HotelBrain’s expansion and sustainability plans.

Founded in 2009 on the island of Santorini, HotelBrain currently manages over 110 hotels at top tourist destinations across Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus and Turkey. Named the “Leading Hotel Management Company” at the World Travel Awards last year, the company is close to reaching an agreement about managing two more hotels in Serbia. With the backing of a major institutional investor, the management of HotelBrain plans to proceed with the implementation of new development projects to strengthen its presence in international markets.

SouthBridge Europe is an independent investment management firm supporting dynamic companies and offering them growth capital. Founded in 2014, it is backed by prime private and institutional investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF) and has €40m in committed capital to make long-term investments. This deal represents SouthBridge Europe’s first investment in Greece.

George Mavridis, SouthBridge Europe’s financial advisor announced, “The deal is a testament of the international investment community’s confidence in the company’s potential, and we hope in the process to move to other investments in Greece via HotelBrain.”

Panos added, “HotelBrain’s agreement with an institutional investor of international validity, confirms our belief that tourism is one of the most developed fields of Greek entrepreneurship and can provide know-how which can be exported.”

Selected into the Endeavor network in 2013, HotelBrain aims to contribute to the improvement of the local tourism industry, setting hotel operating and quality standards for the whole region. Though it started by managing its own leased properties, HotelBrain now offers industry expertise and professional management services to luxury boutique hotels, allowing owners to retain full control of their assets while improving guest experience and boosting revenue by 20% on average. Beyond providing consulting services, the company has built an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, creating a community of hospitality insiders and training the next generation of hotel management talent.

Read more about the news by clicking here.


Panos Paleologos speaking to reporters in Athens

Egypt’s TA Telecom Wins Red Herring Top 100 Europe Award Recognizing Technology Innovation

tatelecomEgypt’s TA Telecom, founded by entrepreneur Amr Shady, was honored with the Red Herring Top 100 Award, which acknowledges startups, scaleups and entrepreneurs that are transforming industries. Competing with hundreds of innovative companies, TA Telecom is the only African-headquartered tech company to be honored this year for its work.

Red Herring is a global media company which unites top technology innovators, venture investors and stakeholders through an innovation magazine, an online daily technology news service, technology newsletters and major events for leaders around the globe. Award winners are selected based on their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition, and financial health. The Red Herring editorial team selects and evaluates companies on 20 main quantitative and qualitative criteria including disruptive impact, market footprint, financial performance, technology innovation, social value, and more.

“This award is a validation of our success, and the judges’ trust in our vision, potential and capabilities,” Amr said. “African companies are carving out their success on the global tech scene.”

Selected by Endeavor in 2011, TA started as 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 also working towards international growth with an expansion into South Africa supported by Endeavor. Since joining the 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 also played a key role in selecting new generations of entrepreneurs in the pipeline.

Learn more about the news on TA Telecom’s site by clicking here.

Endeavor Insight Report on Kenya’s “Critical 5 Percent” Highlights the Importance of Scaleup Firms

endeavor_insightEndeavor Insight’s “The Critical 5 Percent” report, released with support from SAP, examines the contributions of scaleup companies towards job creation and economic growth in Kenya. The report is part of a series conducted by Endeavor Insight that focuses on scaleup ecosystems worldwide and their significance in transforming emerging  and growth markets.

Scaleup companies, defined as companies more than three years old with a minimum of 20% average annual growth, are becoming a critical component of economic and social development in Kenya. The report found that Kenya needs to create more than 3.9 million new jobs for young people by 2020. Over 1.5 million people are currently unemployed in Kenya, and over a third of them are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Kenya’s workforce is projected to grow by 3.4 million people by 2020, due primarily to new young adults entering the job market. High-growth entrepreneurs have the potential to be major job engines in the country. According to the findings, scaleup entrepreneurs represent only five percent of Kenyan firms, but created over 70 percent of the total new jobs.

With the demand for new jobs continuing to climb, high-impact companies are critical to creating an environment for continued growth, addressing the challenge of unemployment by driving innovation, strengthening value chains, and paving the way for long-term expansion. As the largest job creators in emerging economies like Kenya, scaleups need access to the sort of services Endeavor works to provide, promoting the right mix of talent, funding and networks to accelerate high-impact entrepreneurship that can transform the region.

“Despite recent political challenges, Kenya continues to experience strong growth, due to its broad-based economy, strategic location and above all, its youthful population. But without creating more jobs for its young people, Kenya will have challenges living up to its potential,” commented Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa. “Small businesses can significantly help to reduce youth unemployment in this important market. As this announcement underscores, SAP is committed to finding innovative ways to solve critical social and business issues in Africa and provide today’s young people – and tomorrow’s leaders — with access to the tools they need to succeed in the digital and networked economy.”

Read the full report below and learn more about SAP’s efforts to drive innovation in the region by clicking here. The report also received coverage in national Kenyan newspaper The Standard.

Mexico’s salaUno and Chile’s TriCiclos Named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of 2015

schwab foundationThe  Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is an annual list of the top innovators driving global, regional and industry agendas to improve the state of their communities. The 2015 list of 31 entrepreneurs includes Endeavor Entrepreneurs Javier Okhuysen and Carlos Orellana, co-founders of salaUno, and Gonzalo Muñoz, co-founder of TriCiclos. This honor demonstrates the impact of Endeavor Entrepreneurs in the social sector and the increasing global recognition of entrepreneurs working to transform under-served communities.

Javier Okhuysen and Carlos Orellana founded the Mexico-based salaUno to help prevent avoidable blindness in Mexico through its private vision centers and clinics. Taking advantage of economies of scale, innovative surgical techniques, and a vertically-integrated supply chain, salaUno provides high quality, low-cost cataract surgery and eye care services to low-income Mexicans. Within a year of launching, salaUno successfully opened a clinic in Mexico City and completed more than 2,100 cataract surgeries. Selected into the network in 2012, the entrepreneurs have received a range of mentoring and advisory services through Endeavor, enabling them to grow the business on a national scale.

By providing Clean Points (CPs) – recycling stations where individuals can deposit recyclable consumer materials – and managing waste management logistics efficiently, Chile’s TriCiclos is one of the most reputable post-consumer recycling companies in the region and one of the few capable of tracking and monetizing compliance. CPs – 40-foot metal containers capable of receiving, processing and compacting up to 25 different types of materials – are placed in companies’ parking lots or municipal areas. They are forty times cheaper and 20% more efficient than other recycling platforms in Chile because of the sophisticated pre-processor unit. Notably, TriCiclos is the only company in Latin America that is classified as a “B-Corp” and can certify that over 90% of materials put into its social clean points will actually be recycled. Since his selection in 2014, co-founder and CEO Gonzalo Muñoz has received local mentoring services to help him develop and refine his business model.

Other Endeavor Entrepreneurs who have been honored by the Foundation in past years include Javier Lozano of Mexico’s Clinicas del Azucar, Patrick Struebi of Mexico’s Fairtrasa, Mois Cherem of Mexico’s ENOVA, Felipe Vergara of Colombia’s Lumni, and Bedriye Hülya of Turkey’s B-Fit. View the full list of 2015 Awardees by clicking here.

Miami’s Kairos Acquires Emotion Analysis Firm IMRSV, Expands Product Offerings

Kairos_logo (1)The Miami-based facial recognition software company Kairos, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Brian Brackeen, announced that it has acquired the emotion analysis company IMRSV for $2.7 million. A New York-based startup, IMRSV will be folded into Kairos’ business structure and support the company’s efforts to expand its offerings.

Founded in 2010,  IMRSV’s software allowed creators to measure accurately how people respond when they look at products, watch movies and ads on their phone, tablet or TV. Using computer vision for real-world, real-time data analysis, IMRSV’s Cara product turns any webcam into an intelligent sensor enabling new methods of interacting with objects and real world spaces. With this acquisition, Kairos – a former client of IMRSV – becomes the only facial biometrics company in the world offering both facial recognition and emotion analysis tools for developers.

Founded in 2012, Kairos’ facial recognition API captures the depths and contours of a 2D facial image through 85 points of interest and renders the image as a 3D model to ensure 99% identification accuracy. The system delivers fraud management and work automation solutions to clients through facial recognition, one-to-many identification, anti-spoofing, mood detection, gender analysis, security and compliance, mobile authentication and more. Brian was selected into the network in 2014 and has since received custom advisory services from Endeavor as well as introductions to top investors through the Endeavor Investor Network.

“Now we’ll have one API and code base to work with,” Brackeen said of the acquisition. “But more importantly, the larger sciences of computer vision and machine learning build on each other. This allows the improvement of both our facial recognition and emotion analysis because the synergies between the two are very strong.”

Another reason for the acquisition was the company’s developer focus. As part of the announcement, the company has also introduced new APIs and an SDK for facial recognition, emotion analysis and crowd analytics. Being able to combine emotion analysis and facial recognition means there are fewer APIs for developers to deal with, allowing them to incorporate Kairos’ technology more quickly.

Learn more about the news in Forbes or on Kairos’ blog.

Endeavor Staff Convene at the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan

newsletterbanner.news postAt the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan, Endeavor staff members from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, Uruguay, and the U.S. were present. Held from March 16th – 19th, the annual Congress convenes industry leaders, top entrepreneurs, executives and policymakers in one of the largest entrepreneurship-focused gatherings of the year.

The main planning event for Global Entrepreneurship Network, an Endeavor partner, this year’s GEC was also co-hosted by the Milan-based META Group and the Kauffman Foundation. With 4,000 participants from more than 150 countries, the four days highlighted themes ranging from scaling businesses to building urban ecosystems and featured an agenda of dozens of events. Taking the form of pitch competitions, keynotes speeches and panel discussions, these events brought a focus to all aspects of the entrepreneurship spectrum. Notable speakers this year included Maria Contreras-Sweet (Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration), Oscar Farinetti (Co-founder of Eataly), Felipe Hoffa (Developer Advocate at Google), and Andrea Illy (CEO of illyCaffe).

From the Endeavor network, select staff members also had the opportunity to speak during the Congress, demonstrating the organization’s growing role in the global entrepreneurship landscape. Endeavor has been an active supporter of the GEC since it launched in 2009, co-hosting the 2013 GEC in Rio de Janeiro which also featured staff, mentors and entrepreneurs. To learn more about this year’s conference, including summaries of the events and video highlights, click here.

See below for photo highlights of the Congress.

Endeavor Awarded the 2015 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership

In recognition of Endeavor’s work providing support and mentorship to over a thousand high-impact entrepreneurs in more than 20 markets around the world, the organization has been named the recipient of the 10th Annual Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership. The Kravis Prize is among the world’s most prestigious awards for nonprofit leadership, akin to a Nobel geared specifically to this sector.

Endeavor will receive the Kravis Prize and $250,000 award on April 23, 2015 at Claremont McKenna College as part of a special celebration of the Prize’s 10th Anniversary and of the 20th Anniversary of the College’s Kravis Leadership Institute. The ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of best-in-class nonprofits and enables winners to share their best practices with others.

“Endeavor exemplifies the Prize’s philosophy about entrepreneurship, social good, and venture philanthropy. Endeavor’s leadership has had a profound impact on everyday people,” said Marie-Josée Kravis, an economist who is chair of the Kravis Prize Selection Committee. “We are grateful for its remarkable work to change lives all over the world, creating invaluable jobs and resources.”

“Endeavor is a perfect example of a nonprofit that has significant influence on the ground and great success creating a sustainable ecosystem for future impact,” said Henry R. Kravis, an alumnus and trustee of the College who is co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., and founder of the Kravis Prize. “We applaud Endeavor’s impressive accomplishments developing high-impact companies and entrepreneurs, and work to transform the economic landscapes of underdeveloped countries.”

Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership conducts a rigorous due diligence and selection process to choose an annual recipient. The Prize impacts the nonprofit sector overall by lauding strong performances and sharing recipients’ best practices with others. The Prize is administered by Claremont McKenna College.

Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs build more than 600 companies in 22 countries. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have collectively created more than 400,000 jobs, generating close to $7 billionin revenue.

The organization’s mission is to lead the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Endeavor helps them overcome barriers to growth by providing the key ingredients to success: mentorship; networks; strategic advice; talent; skills; access to smart capital; and inspiration from the world’s top financial institutions and consulting firms. Guided by Endeavor, these entrepreneurs generate sustainable economic growth and jobs, become self-made role models, and help nurture a culture of entrepreneurship which spurs investment and encourages people to think big. The entrepreneurs in return are required to help other local companies grow by reinvesting in their community, becoming mentors and donating their time and resources.

“We’re honored and grateful to receive the Kravis Prize,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “This is a testament to the amazing work of our board members, staff and mentors in 22 countries who have helped thousands of entrepreneurs to think big, achieve their dreams, and pay it forward in their communities.”

The Endeavor model of creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that generates jobs and encourages social change is embedded in Claremont McKenna College’s DNA, and embodied by the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI). Students in the academic center learn about leadership development through the lens of social entrepreneurship and are provided with unique opportunities to develop as outstanding real world leaders in the public, private, and social sectors.

“As the host of the Kravis Prize, as the hub of emerging Kravis Prize network of leaders in global social innovation, and as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, we are thrilled to welcome Endeavor to the Claremont McKenna College family,” said CMC President Hiram Chodosh.

“We are extremely grateful to Henry and Marie-Josée for the opportunity to support the Kravis Prize winners in this vitally important global social innovation movement, and Endeavor is an inspiring exemplar for our leading CMC social innovators.”

Read the press release of the announcement by clicking here. Learn more about the Kravis Prize and the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College by clicking here.

Endeavor Named Most Impactful Company in Latin America by LATAM Founders Network


The LATAM Founders Network (LFN), a network for CEOs, partners and founders focused on the investment and technology space in Latin America, recently named Endeavor as the “Most Impactful” organization in the region. With a membership of more than 550 vetted leaders, the LFN Awards recipients were nominated and chosen by top entrepreneurs and founders working in and around Latin America.

LFN’s Second Annual Awards Gala was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil and brought together more than 200 leaders of the investment and technology sector to acknowledge and honor the companies that are true game changers in the region. The Gala provided the ultimate opportunity for effective networking with top CEO’s, founders, investors and media both in the region and abroad.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Martin Umaran, co-founder of Argentina’s Globant, presented the opening address and shared the inspiration behind the company’s mission and culture of 3,000+ employees worldwide. Last year, Globant became one  of the first Latin American technology companies to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor was subsequently recognized as the organization that has made the most impact in the region, with country offices in seven Latin American countries leading the movement for high-impact entrepreneurship. Having selected and supported over 500 entrepreneurs from the region who have gone on to build innovative companies and mentor future founders, Endeavor has transformed the idea of entrepreneurship in many of these markets.

Previous winners of the LFN Awards have seen continued success,  with many of the entrepreneurs raising significant additional rounds of funding and expanding their businesses into other key regions and countries. In addition to Endeavor’s recognition, Endeavor Entrepreneur company Kaszek Ventures (founded by Hernán Kazah and Nicolas Szekasy) was selected as the “Best Investor” in the region. The Brazil-based Printi, a promotional printing company founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Florian Hagenbuch, won in the “Best B2B Business” category, with Florian also winning “Entrepreneur of the Year”.

Read more about the awards and nominees this year by clicking here.

Mexico’s Yogome Announces R&D Partnership with Yale University to Explore Educational Gaming


yogomeYogome, the leading developer of highly engaging, educational mobile games for children in elementary school, has announced a two-year, research and development partnership with the play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab at Yale University, a video game and mobile game research initiative. Yale’s p2P Lab builds collaborations with researchers, educators, and game developers to create and rigorously test innovative, effective, and targeted game interventions focused on behavior change and education for youth.

Researchers in the p2P Lab will work with Yogome, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Manolo Diaz, to assess and further develop math and other subject games, including science, programming, and sustainability. The partnership also entails a randomized controlled trial with children aged 5-11, parent focus groups, and data analysis intended to optimize and measure the educational efficacy of the mobile games.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Yogome,” said Dr. Lynn Fiellin, founder and director of the p2P Lab and associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “Not only do we want to measure their learning impact, we also want to explore if children’s attitudes towards learning are positively affected when combined with appropriate engaging content.”

“Partnering with one of the world’s leading researchuniversities, and especially with Dr. Fiellin and her team, is an amazing opportunity for us,” said Manolo Diaz, Yogome’s co-founder and CEO. “Whereas many game developers claim to be educational, we will have the scientific resources to validate the impact of playing our games, which we believe is what parents want to see.”

Yogome’s mobile games, which have been downloaded over 10 million times in 150 countries, are played by over half a million children every day. The games are based on the Common Core framework and adhere strictly to child privacy standards.

Since joining Endeavor in 2013, Manolo has been an active member  of the network, receiving key introductions to investors through the Endeavor Investor Network and tailored mentorship services from local and global business leaders.

For more details about the play2PREVENT Lab and Yogome, visit play2PREVENT.org and Yogome.com. Read additional coverage of the announcement in The New York Times’ Bits Blog.

Contact us

Press center


Newsletter Sign Up