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Lightbox Launches Funds To Invest In Consumer Tech Businesses

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Lightbox Management Limited, advised by the Lightbox India Advisors Private Limited, has launched two funds – Lightbox Ventures I and Lightbox Ventures II - to invest in start-up companies in the consumer technology space in India.

While Lightbox Ventures has acquired equity stakes in six companies - GreenDust, ZoomIn, MapmyIndia, Paymate, FutureBazaar and Kotak Urja, Lightbox Ventures II will be a $ 90 million (approximately Rs 540 crore) fund focused on early stage investments. Lightbox Ventures II has had a first close of US$ 25 million (approximately Rs 150 crore) from a global institutional investor. Lightbox Ventures II will have a concentrated investment portfolio of 8 companies in which it will invest $ 3 to 5 million in Series A funding with an investment horizon of 7-8 years.

Sandeep Murthy, director of Lightbox India Advisors Private Limited, spent the previous 9 years advising Sherpalo on India investments which included investments in InMobi (the largest independent mobile ad network in the world), Cleartrip (#2 travel site in India), Naukri (#1 recruitment site in India) and Greendust (#1 commerce company for refurbished goods). 

The Lightbox team brings together global operational and investment experience in consumer technology. The India based advisory partners include Siddharth Talwar, an angel investor who founded and later sold Evolv to NIIT and Prashant Mehta, former CEO of Komli Media who grew the business 50x and expanded the company into 10 new markets. The US partners include Sunny Rao, currently CEO of ZoomIn who earlier co-founded Half.com which was acquired by eBay for $350 million and Jeremy Wenokur, an angel investor who has spent the past 17 years in the consumer technology space in the US and was Google’s first corporate development person.

Cloudera, MongoDB Join Forces To Power Modern App Development
Cloudera, an enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop and MongoDB, has announced partnership with MongoDB that will transform how organisations approach big data.

Working together, Cloudera and MongoDB will help enterprises define long-term, successful big data strategies and manage modern data. More than a simple technology integration, the partnership brings the two companies’ leadership to bear in enabling enterprises to fundamentally rethink how data can be shared and put to work across the enterprise. The combination of Cloudera Enterprise and MongoDB will enable customers to easily develop, operate and manage big data infrastructure that powers modern applications.

Tricity To Now Experience The Fastest Internet With Airtel 4G
Bharti Airtel Limited, telecommunications company along with Apple has launched 4G on mobile in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Until now, Airtel customers of Tricity were experiencing mobile internet on 2G speeds and longed to do much more with their mobile devices. With the roll out of Airtel 4G services, customers can experience an all new ‘electrifying’ internet browsing experience anytime, anywhere. Customers using Apple iPhone 5s or 5c have to just upgrade their existing SIM to a 4G SIM and select from any 4G plan or pack to start enjoying mobile internet browsing at unbeatable speeds. Customers can walk into any of Airtel’s company operated stores in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula to experience LIVE demos and get started on 4G.

Customers will experience never before capabilities like high definition video streaming with zero buffering, downloading 10 movies in less than 30 minutes, uploading full holiday albums in less than 5 minutes by uploading 2 high quality photos per second and also connecting multiple devices without any experience constraint. While existing and new prepaid customers can start enjoying 4G by selecting any of the affordable 4G packs after upgrading their SIM to a 4G SIM, postpaid customers can further customize their 4G plans by opting for an Airtel myPlan of their choice and then select myPacks or myBoosters with 4G benefits. While data browsing will be on 4G network, voice calls will be routed on 2G seamlessly with the CSFB (circuit switched fall back) technology.

Autodesk Unveils 2015 Design Suites In India To Provide Unsurpassed Value For Subscribers
Autodesk, Inc has announced the release of its Autodesk 2015 Design Suites in India - it offer customers the ability to collaborate, simulate, analyse and more, with just one click from within the suite.

Each Autodesk 2015 Design Suite includes AutoCAD 2015, the advanced version of the software. AutoCAD 2015 comes with a new interface and enhanced productivity tools that will enable customers to experience a new standard in design and documentation.  Additionally, Autodesk Subscription offers customers even more convenient, flexible ways to access necessary tools as per their requirements, to help grow their business.  Autodesk subscription connects customers with software updates, services and support that help get the most out of their investment in Autodesk software now and in the future.

Pradeep Nair, Managing director, Autodesk, India and SAARC said, “The Autodesk portfolio now has something for everyone who is involved in the design and making of products and projects.  Users will notice a significant difference in how much easier it is to get their work done with the Autodesk 2015 Design Suites. And with Autodesk Subscription, users get flexible options to utilize cloud services for design.”

Edelweiss Acquires Forefront Capital Management
Edelweiss Financial Services, one of India’s leading diversified financial services company, has announced the acquisition of Mumbai based Forefront Capital Management, a asset management company that spans the alternative as well as the traditional investment space. Forefront will now be part of the Edelweiss Group and this will further strengthen and diversify Edelweiss’s presence in the asset management space.

Rujan Panjwani, Executive Director, Edelweiss Group said, “The Asset Management space is slated to grow rapidly with increasing economic prosperity and the move from savings to investment. Forefront’s high quality management, innovative and multilayered product portfolio, and deeply ingrained ‘process driven’ investment philosophy is synergistic to Edelweiss’s existing asset management business. With this, we will widen and deepen our presence in the Asset Management space and provide additional innovative investment solutions to our clients”

Suntory Holdings Completes Acquisition Of Beam Inc
Suntory Holdings Limited (Suntory) and Beam Inc has announced that Suntory completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Beam for $83.50 per share on 30 April.

As a result of the transaction, Beam has been renamed Beam Suntory Inc (Beam Suntory).  The new company intends to integrate the Spirits business of Suntory Liquors Limited before the end of this year. The transaction creates a company with the strong number three position in the global premium spirits market.  Beam Suntory will be headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois and led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Shattock, who has been CEO of Beam since 2009.

Looking ahead, Beam Suntory aims to achieve growth in markets worldwide, including the United States, the world’s largest spirits market, by leveraging its combined portfolio of leading brands, and its strengthened global distribution network.

“By combining the world leader in Bourbon and Japan’s leading spirits company, we have created a stronger global business with an even better premium portfolio,” said Matt Shattock, Chairman & CEO of Beam Suntory.  The company’s portfolio is led by its flagship brands Jim Beam and Yamazaki, as well as world renown premium brands including Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Hakushu, Hibiki, Kakubin, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Canadian Club, Courvoisier, Sauza, Pinnacle and Midori.

Mobile Engagement At Airports In India; Mumbai Tops The List
Big data company AdNear’s latest behavioural insights show interesting user trends across six key airports in India; Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad airports. This study was conducted using AdNear’s unique audience location technology.

Data compiled from 650,000 India-based mobile users over three months showed that mobile users in Mumbai are more active on their devices compared to their counterparts. Compared to the average time spent on mobile of 1.61 hours per user across requests, Mumbai travellers were 14 per cent more engaged, followed by Kolkata travellers at eight per cent. Bangalore travellers came up least engaged at 18 per cent less than the average.

Professionals were found to spend the most time on their phones at airports with an average of 2.2 hours, followed by Homemakers at an average of two hours.

AdNear’s findings also revealed that Thursday was not only the most preferred day of travel for Homemakers & Students, but also saw the highest mobile engagement across all audience segments.

Evening flights were most popular for travellers across all six airports, with 27.8 per cent of travellers tracked in airports between 7pm to midnight, while 26 per cent of travellers were present between 3pm to 7pm. Early morning flights were least popular, with only 8.7 per cent of travellers present during that time period.

Flipkart Establishes Premium Presence On Opera Mini
Flipkart.com, an e-commerce marketplace is from a Speed Dial entry on the Opera Mini mobile web browser. Millions of Opera Mini users can now shop at Flipkart.com, with just one click on the customized Flipkart thumbnail on their mobile browser.

“In addition to migrating to smartphones, The browsing behavior of Opera Mini users has undergone a change in the last few years. From visiting mostly download portals, we have seen an increase in traffic towards shopping and news related websites,” says Sunil Kamath, Vice President for South Asia, Opera Software.  “The mobile phone doubles as a shopping destination where users compare and make purchases online. Flipkart.com is already the most popular e-commerce website visited by Opera Mini users, and we are glad to bring it closer to users through Speed Dial,” he adds.

Says Ravi Vora, Sr. VP - Marketing, Flipkart, “Mobile commerce is an important area of focus for us. One in every three new customers who visit Flipkart.com come from mobile devices. This trend will continue to grow, and we expect the bulk of purchases to come from mobile in the coming years. We find that mobile browsers make it easy for new visitors to discover Flipkart. And, with the availability of options like cash-on-delivery, Flipkart has made shopping from mobile phones extremely convenient. With prominent placement on Opera Mini, we can now reach out to millions of their users who actively surf from their mobiles.”