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Monthly Archives: April 2013

M-Files Raises $7.8M Series A For Its Metadata-Powered Enterprise Content Management Solution



Finnish startup M-Files, a provider of a metadata-powered content management solution targeting the enterprise, has closed a €6 million (~$7.8m) series A round led by DFJ Esprit, with participation from Finnish Industry Investment. It says it will use the fresh injection of capital to fuel its growth plans in the U.S., and bolster sales and marketing via partner channels globally.

Described as shunning the outdated folder structure traditionally used by enterprise-wide document management systems, which is said to date back to the ’80s, M-Files’ solution is based on a metadata approach that cares less about where documents/content is stored — on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two — and instead manages information based on what it is. One way to think of its approach, says the company, is the way a user’s iPhone doesn’t surface the device’s file structure but only the content and related metadata, where you’d expect to find it, such as music and the iTunes app (tracks, artists, genre etc.).

Or, as M-Files CEO Miika Mäkitalo says in a statement, “Think Enterprise Document Management 2.0, or the combined power of Dropbox AND Documentum but for enterprise-scale businesses.”

Okay then.

To the end user, files show up on their desktop just like any shared drive. Navigation is via the Windows Explorer UI, while Windows applications are supported using standard “File Open” or “Save” commands. M-Files also integrates with other enterprise systems such as CRM, ERP and Accounting systems, including Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM (online and on-premise), Dynamics GP, AX and NAV, and NetSuite.

Having expanded out of its home base of Tampere, Finland, M-Files already claims a number of enterprise customers in the U.S. such as AstraZeneca, SAS, Pandora, the United Nations, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Charles Schwab, Hecla Mining, and Hill+Knowlton.

Alongside today’s funding, the company is announcing that Jim Geary and Bob Suh, described as “proven technology leaders” (Accenture, Perot Systems, and Pedestal Software), and DFJ Esprit’s Mikko Suonenlahti, have joined M-Files’ Board of Directors.

Fred Wilson: Money Is Information, Like Bits, And We Want To Invest In Ways Of Moving It



Fred Wilson, legendary New York venture capitalist and partner at Union Square Ventures, is the latest VC to highlight his interest in startups that help move money, “an area that is still very much up for grabs,” in his opinion. “Money is information, like bits,” he said today, giving currency a spin that puts it in a continuum with the many blogging and content companies that his firm has invested in over the years. (That list has included Twitter, Tumblr, FeedBurner, del.icio.us and Disqus.)

Speaking on stage today and continuing on the e-commerce theme, Wilson added that he is also interested in more startups focused around marketplaces. Wilson is also an investor and board member at Etsy.

Two days into TC’s conference, bitcoin has been a buzzword that’s already come up more than once among the investors on stage. Yesterday, Chamath Palihapitiya of Social+Capital Partnership called bitcoin “Gold 2.0″ as he described how he invests in bitcoins not just as an investor in startups, but as an individual. Earlier in the day, Chris Dixon at Andreessen Horowitz also said he plans on investing more in bitcoin startups.

Wilson described his interest as about the movement of money. “We’re interested in forms of currency and money,” Wilson said, highlighting in particular the way that there are still a lot of areas where companies can come in to bring down the costs of taking money from one place to the other. “If I’m sending you money, why should that cost me or anyone?” he asked.

Highlighting Dwolla, one company that focuses on this area, Wilson also mentioned that Square, Stripe and Braintree are three other companies he rates highly in this space, but he also said that money is “still very much up for grabs. There is way way more to do.”

On another monetary theme, Wilson today also reiterated his support of companies in his portfolio that were investment targets in pre-revenue phases, but are now moving into stages where they are starting to monetize. One of the big poster boys for this transition has been Foursquare, led by Dennis Crowley, which effectively spearheaded a new space in mobile with check-in services but has more recently been trying to convert that into an actual business, often with some very public attacks about how well that business is proceeding.

“I think Foursquare is doing great,” Wilson said today. “I think Dennis has gotten through the hardest thing you can do in a company, which is to turn a product into a business. That is difficult, and it reminds me of where Twitter was a few years ago. I think he’s gotten behind that now.”

Twitter Ads Are Finally Available To All US Businesses, No Longer Invite Only



After three years of slow roll outs and testing with specific partners, Twitter’s Senior Director of Product for Revenue Kevin Weil just announced the general availability of its advertising options for all US business. Businesses don’t need an invite any more. Weil revealed the move on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, which could ramp up revenues and prep Twitter for a widely anticipated IPO.

Twitter first announced in April 2010 that it would begin showing ads. Since then it’s revealed promoted tweets and accounts, which let businesses pay to get their tweets seen and their profiles followed. More recently, Twitter announced limited availability of a self-serve tool for buying ads in March 2012, and an Ads API for programmatic buying of huge campaigns in February 2013.

“Until today it’s been invite only. We’ve had brands and agencies and small business using the platform, and today we’re opening Twitter ads to all businesses, every account, every individual. Now every business in the US can us Twitter ads” said Weil. In a bit of a cheeky move, he said on stage that he would tweet this link, giving the first 100 people to click a free Twitter ad credit.

Anyone can now go to Twitter’s self-serve interface to start buying Twitter ads. Along with Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, businesses can use Twitter’s business analytics system to track the impact of their spend.

The announcement means the microblogging platform can start more seriously competing with other social outlets like Facebook and LinkedIn for ad dollars. Some expect Twitter to hit $950 million in revenue in 2014, largely from ads. That could be enough to lure advertisers to invest in the company if it in fact IPOs. Getting its ad business humming on mobile before announcing any move to go public could let Twitter avoid the bashing Facebook’s share price received when it IPO’d. Facebook had mobile ads running for just three months at that time despite users shifting to the small screen in droves.

Jawbone Acquires BodyMedia For Over $100 Million To Give It An Edge In Wearable Health Tracking



It was just about two months ago that Jawbone snapped up mobile health startup Massive Health, and now the company has acquired an even more prominent player in the health monitoring space.

Jawbone has just announced that it will acquire Pittsburgh, PA-based BodyMedia, a maker of wearable health tracking devices —the company wouldn’t comment on how much it paid for BodyMedia, but reliable sources close to the deal said the figure was “north of $100 million”.

Jawbone is a curious company in that it builds products and experiences for two largely unrelated markets: audio and fitness. With this latest acquisition on the books you can’t be blamed for thinking that the company is starting to focus more on one side of its business than the other, but CEO Hosain Rahman maintains that Jawbone isn’t going to become a strictly fitness-focused company.

“Audio will definitely not fall by the wayside,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We love it deeply.”

That may be the case, but he adds that Jawbone sees “a world where everything in your life is going to have a lot of computing power and a lot of sensors.” If sensors are what Jawbone is after, then the BodyMedia deal makes perfect sense. The company was founded in 1999 and quickly became an early pioneer of the wearable health tracker concept — what sets their wares apart from the sort of products that Nike, Fitbit, and yes, Jawbone currently offer is what they’re capable of detecting.

Rather than just relying on an accelerometer to detect and keep track of the wearer’s movement (which really isn’t all that accurate), BodyMedia’s FIT line of fitness gizmos are also capable of monitoring skin temperature and galvanic skin response to get a better understanding of the intensity of your activity. Your Jawbone UP may be able to tell you how many steps you’ve taken in a day, but it can’t tell whether you’ve been leisurely walking down the street or doing wind sprints in the park — a very important distinction to health-conscious users.

But even with all that said, over $100 million is an incredible amount to shell out for a single company, although Jawbone has raised something like $202 million in venture funding from Vinod Khosla, Kleiner Perkins, and Deutsche Telekom since 2006. Naturally, it’s Rahman’s belief that the deal is well worth it, primarily for the patents that Jawbone will have access to — as he puts it, BodyMedia has an “absurdly powerful IP portfolio” of about 87 patents pertaining around multi-sensor body tracking tech, as well as “lots of clinical chops in science and medical communities.”

In a way, it seems as though Jawbone could be trying to legitimize itself as a maker of full-fledged health monitoring devices rather than just quantified self gadgets. Frankly, with BodyMedia’s know-how in the mix, it’s hard to think of these developments and not imagine a revamped version of the Jawbone UP that gets tagged with the same FDA Class II medical device classification that devices like the BodyMedia FIT series have. It doesn’t hurt that the entire 60 person BodyMedia team will be folded into Jawbone, and that current BodyMedia CEO Christine Robins will stay onboard to work with Rahman to lead the newly combined company’s business efforts — Rahman notes that he sees plenty of opportunities with insurance companies and physician’s clinics, and Robins will be able to help run with those.

Leap2 Raises $1.6M For A More Social And Image-Centric Approach To Mobile Search



Search startup Leap2 is announcing that it has raised $1.6 million in new funding. It’s also releasing new versions of its iOS and Android apps.

Building a better search experience than the existing players is a pretty tall order. In Leap2′s case, it sounds like the focus really is on the experience, incorporating more images and social updates into a unified search result.

Mixing different media into one list of links may not sound particularly new, but founder and CEO Mike Farmer told me via email that Leap2′s goal is to give you “the whole answer,” so there’s one result with all the content you’re looking for, and you don’t have to visit a number of different sites to piece things together.

For example, Farmer said that if you wanted to search for a list of brunch spots on Sunday morning, Google will give you “a hodgepodge list of results,” so you’ll end up “clicking back and forth” between restaurant websites, Twitter, Yelp and Google Images. He added:

Now let’s imagine you run the same search through Leap2. Rather than a returning a simple list of links, Leap2 pulls in content from all over the web, providing you with visually engaging, organic results relevant to your query. Using the same set of keywords, your results are now a combination of websites, social conversations and images. Instead of clicking back and forth through a list, you now have one-stop access to scroll through much more dynamic results.

The new round was led by Dundee Venture Capital, with participation from OpenAir Equity, Linseed Capital, and Wichita Technology Corporation. Leap2 had previously raised $280,000 in seed funding.

As for the new apps, they tweak the existing experience in a number of ways, most notably by adding a new Leap2 Live homescreen, which displays trending topics and articles. I played with the app a little this morning, and while I’m still getting used to the functionality, I’m definitely impressed with the design, particularly the way it packs a lot of information into the small screen.

Leap2 plans to launch a web version soon, too.

Mobly, Rocket Internet's Home Furnishings Site In Brazil, Raises Up To $20M From LatAm Media Giant Cisneros Group



Rocket Internet, the Samwer brothers’ Berlin-based incubator that runs a vast global empire of e-commerce startups, is picking up a new, sizeable investor in Brazil. The Cisneros Group, the Latin American media powerhouse that owns TV, digital, and other assets, is investing up to $20 million in Mobly, a Brazil-based home furnishings site. Victor Kong, chief digital officer of the Cisneros Group and head of its Cisneros Interactive division, says that the first $10 million is coming now, with the company reserving the right to bump that up to $20 million within the year, with the door also open for investing in other Rocket Internet operations along the way.

The Cisneros Group becomes the fourth investor in Mobly, which has also had investment from the Samwers, along with regular Rocket Internet investors Kinnevik and JP Morgan. This latest round of investment will see Moby expanding from Brazil to other countries in the region, leveraging the Cisneros TV and advertising networks to help promote it. It looks like before now there was around $25 million invested in the site, and it has a pre-money valuation of $108 million.

“This acquisition is part of our commitment to diversify and strengthen our network of digital businesses in the areas of e-commerce and digital advertising,” Adriana Cisneros de Griffin, cheif strategy office and vice chairperson of Cisneros, noted in a statement. “Mobly is ready to break into the traditional market sales of furniture and home decor and extend its dominance in Latin America because it has the best selection of high quality goods and customer service and delivery that is known for its excellence.”

This is Cisneros’ first investment not just in a Rocket Internet company, but in a home furnishings site. It’s a lateral move for a company better known as the largest privately-held media company in Latin America, which includes TV assets and RedMas, an online ad network that is Yahoo’s partner in the region. Kong says this is because of a new strategy on the part of the company, spearheaded by Cisneros scion Adriana.

“Adriana is a third-generation Cisneros taking control of the company and I can see her pushing the company forward more here,” says Kong. Other non-media assets include Tropicalia, an eco-friendly real estate operation in the Dominican Republic, where Adriana is CEO. Cisneros’ other e-commerce investments include daily deals site Cuponidad, Latin American-focused crowdfunding site Idea.me.

Kong notes that when a media company in today’s world is thinking about the move to digital and how that will affect its future, e-commerce inevitably will come into the equation. That’s something that others like Conde Nast have also been exploring with their e-commerce investments.

“Adriana’s big question is, what is this company going to look like in 10 years? We all know what is happening with the move to tablets and phones, so we need to be more innovative and move into new spaces,” Kong says.

While the idea of a media company becoming a furniture site investor seems like a leap in one regard, in another it’s actually a no-brainer investment.

Like other countries in the BRIC bloc, Brazil is seeing a rapid growth of its middle class, and a big boom in e-commerce. Brazil, says Kong, accounts for 65% of all e-commerce in the region. Sales in the country grew by 20% in 2012, with home decorating the fastest-growing category.

A site like Mobly, with its emphasis on cost-friendly home furnishings, plays right into that. The site was founded 18 months ago and in 2012, its total revenue was $89.5 million. Now, it sees over $8 million dollars in sales each month, with that number growing rapidly, Kong notes. Like other e-commerce sites, Mobly’s strength comes in the ability to offer consumers a large range of stock, with more than 45,000 SKUs, according to Kong, on offer at any time. Unlike some of Rocket’s other investments into new markets, this one is led by a local team rather than transplants from the Samwers’ German HQ. The three Brazilian co-founders, Victor Noda, Marcelo Marques and Mario Fernandes, as also all co-presidents.

“This is our biggest move into ecommerce so far, but hopefully there will be more to come,” Kong says. He says that Brazil, being the largest e-commerce market in the region, will remain a key focus. As for what may come next for Cisneros, other Rocket holdings in Brazil include sporting goods site Kanui, private shopping club for home goods Westwing, fashion site Dafiti, and discount site CupoNation, among several others.

On Track For $250M In 2013 Sales, Fab Pivots Again, Buys Custom Furniture Shop Massivkonzept And Opens Retail Storefront



Design-focused retail site Fab has announced its new pivot, along with an acquisition and much more.

As we reported last week, Fab now has 12 million users and is continuing to grow at a fast clip after its initial pivot. Last year, the company saw $150 million in revenue, and revealed in February that sales were up by nearly 300% in January 2013 over January 2012. International is also a huge potential growth area for the company.

Fab has 1 million members in the UK, which is generating nearly 40% of its sales in Europe and is its fastest growing market outside the U.S. The company has sold more than 7 million items, with one product sold every seven seconds. Mobile is also a huge growth area, with one-third of sales being placed via mobile.

According to the company, Fab will double revenue in 2013. Interestingly, Fab says that most of its revenue is not derived from flash sales, which was the initial model Fab adopted after its pivot in 2011. As we wrote in this profile of the company, Fab infamously pivoted from Fabulis, which was a social network for the gay community, into a flash sales site. Fab says that two-third of sales are currently not from the flash-sales on the site.

This second pivot is less dramatic but definitely meaningful. Fab is now branding itself as a design store, and now has a unified technology experience across its iPad, iPhone and web apps. The company is revealing a complete redesign which makes it more of an integrated e-commerce site. You can now access design pages by room, type of furniture, color, designer and more.

Another twist in the pivot: Fab is partnering with designers to manufacture and sell home furnishings exclusively through Fab. Fab is also producing and manufacturing its own line of products and home goods. Additionally, Fab has acquired German custom furniture store Massivkonzept, which the company says is profitable and has a $10 million revenue run rate. The idea behind Massivkonzept is that it allows you to essentially design your own furniture online. You configure shelving, table, and seating systems online and choose the dimensions, color, and materials on your designs. The company turns this into actual, well-designed furniture.

Lastly, Fab, like Warby Parker and other e-commerce sites; now has a brick and mortar presence with a new retail store in Hamburg, Germany. Fab will test physical retail environments and different types of retail formats in Hamburg and in other markets. Germany isn’t a huge surprise for the first in-store presence; 60% of European revenue comes from Germany and Austria.

Clearly this is a big part of co-founder Jason Goldberg’s vision for how Fab will compete in e-commerce in a post Amazon world Fab sells products that aren’t listed on Amazon, and with this pivot, the company continues to focus its retail efforts away from Amazon’s core business. In fact, 90% of Fab’s products sold cannot be found on any other major website.

So how is Fab funding this expansion? We’re hearing the company is raising more than $100 million in funding at a $1 billion valuation. The company previously raised $171 million from Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, SoftTech VC, Menlo Ventures, Baroda Ventures, Ashton Kutcher, Guy Oseary, Thrive Capital, Kevin Rose, SV Angel, The Washington Post and others.

Facebook's Graph Search Supremo Lars Rasmussen On Relocating To London, Building A New Team, And The Challenges Of Natural Language



Lars Rasmussen — one half of the dream team that led in the creation of Facebook’s new Graph Search and run its development — is leaving Menlo Park and setting up shop in Facebook’s office in London. Graph Search, or at least the engineering part that he oversees, is coming with him. I took the opportunity of a quick reconnaissance mission he made to the city this week to ask Rasmussen about why he’s coming to the UK, what is on the road map for Graph Search, internationally and otherwise, and what challenges lie ahead.

Graph Search has yet to launch in any other language other than English, and Facebook’s international user base is growing faster than its U.S. audience. But neither of these are the motivations for his move.

Rasmussen is coming for personal reasons: his girlfriend lives in Athens, and he’s tired of the commute from California to see her. So, because he has no intention of leaving Facebook, he’s decided to move as close as he can to Athens while continuing to work for the social network. And Graph Search, his baby, is coming with him.

How long does he intend to stay? “It’s a one-way ticket,” he told TechCrunch today. It’s also about coming full-circle. Years ago, Rasmussen studied for his PhD in Edinburgh, Scotland and only moved to California to follow his advisor when he migrated west. From there, Rasmussen ended up at Google, where he worked on Google Maps and Google Wave, before in 2010 leaving for Facebook.

For now, where Rasmussen goes, Graph Search engineering goes. So this week, he’s in town not only to find a place to live, but also to lay the groundwork to hire a new team of developers to work on Facebook’s new search efforts from here.

He says he’s put out an offer to the Menlo Park team for any of them to come join him in London. The rest will stay in California and keep working under Tom Stocky, the other Graph Search supremo. “So far no one has put their hand up high to move here but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard a hint or two that some folks are interested,” he said. Rasmussen is moving over permanently in August.

Third pillar, but a moveable one

For a product that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg referred to as the company’s “third pillar” after News Feed and Timeline, Rasmussen’s move and what it will mean for Graph Search sound pretty freeform at the moment.

It’s not exactly clear what part of Graph Search’s development will end up with Rasmussen in London, and what will remain in Menlo Park, nor how the two teams will work together with thousands of miles between them. (Note: from personal experience, it’s possible.) It’s likely that all this will only get decided after they figure out what talent can be recruited — classic Facebook, as one person described it to me.

Rasmussen also says that he can’t say for sure whether Graph Search’s international push will definitely be a part of his work in London because taking it international will not be a quick task.

“When it comes to internationalizing graph search, we may do it here but we may do it elsewhere,” he said. “We’ll only do it when we feel the product is mature and makes sense. We’re still in the beta stages with a million or few million users. Graph Search is a long term investment we realize we have years of work ahead of us.”

He notes that although “internationalizing is the best path forward”, it will only come when the team has “hit the nail on the head with a good search product.”

“We are not talking weeks or a few months, though. It will take longer,” he added.

Natural language, and acqui-hires

One of the big things with Graph Search, as engineer Xiao Li and research scientist Maxime Boucher point out in an essay published yesterday, is that it is built on a natural language interface. But that will pose a challenge when Graph Search goes to other languages.

“I hope that the model that we started creating for English will work roughly speaking for all of our markets, but it’s not something that we have looked too deeply at,” he said. “Graph Search has a natual langauge component, so it will be an extra challenge to internationalize it. It was a challenge we expected because we want to have people ask natural questions, but we realize that it means that it would be a challenge to make new languages. That’s a reason for the long delay.” He added that even though a minority of Faceboook’s users speak English it’s still the single language in which Facebook has the most users.

While Facebook has been pretty good at internationalizing its products, doing so with a product like Graph Search, based on users inputting search commands in their own words, is unchartered territory. Rasmussen said that Facebook may end up having to buy their way into it, as others like Google and Yahoo have been doing.

“It’s possibly an area where we wil have to acquire,” he said. “It is something we’ve invested in in general, but we haven’t quite built the tools out for this thing. So possibly, if the right startup and talent came along, this is definitely something that we would consider. We’ve had some very successful acquisitions of small startups that have brought tremendous talent to the company.”

As for hiring in London, Rasmussen’s looking forward to it and how it could impact Graph Search. “I think there is obviously lots of Euroepan talent speaking different languages so it might come in handy, but again it’s not the primary reason. We are doing research on Graph Search here on par with what Menlo Park is doing.”

Intel Capital, Samsung Ventures, And Telefonica Digital Become Expect Labs' Newest Strategic Investors



Expect Labs has already received funding from the likes of Google Ventures and Greylock Partners, but the San Francisco-based startup (and TechCrunch Disrupt alum) announced this morning that Intel Capital, Samsung Ventures, and Telefonica Digital have made their own strategic investments in the company.

In case you haven’t been keeping tabs on Expect Labs, well, you should be. It was founded by Tim Tuttle and Moninder Jheeta in 2011, and since then the team has been tackling a hefty problem — they want to be able to listen to and analyze your conversations as they happen, and surface relevant information right at the moment you need it without you having to search for it.

Granted, some of these new strategic partners are more surprising than others. Our own Jordan Crook sat down with Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani back in March, who revealed that the chipmaker’s venture arm had indeed invested in Expect Labs and strongly hinted that Intel would lean on the startup’s Anticipatory Computing Engine to bring what Intel refers to as “sophisticated voice control” to ultrabooks. Tuttle naturally wouldn’t confirm whether ultrabooks in particular would soon benefit from Expect Labs tech, but noted that Intel is “trying to develop more expertise in software” and realizes that voice, touch, and gestures will become dominant modes of interaction with new devices.

At first glance, Samsung’s interest in Expect Labs and its thoughtful approach to surfacing information seems like a no-brainer. As seen in blockbuster devices like the Galaxy S4, the Korean electronics giant has sought to stay at the front of the smartphone pack by packing its smartphones full of first-party software like the S Voice assistant. That sort of approach hasn’t always been very well-received, but baking the ability to chew on conversations and spit out information on subjects users have just spoken about into yet another Samsung app would be a very savvy move for a company that’s continually looking to push the envelope on software. It’s not just smartphones that will benefit either — Tuttle specifically calls out smart TVs as a potential recipient of Expect Labs tech.

Telefonica seems like a much more interesting case — it’s the fifth largest mobile network operator in the world with roughly 315 million customers across Europe and the Americas. To date Expect Labs has shown off the proactive power of its Anticipatory Computing Engine in app form, but that sort of approach simply wouldn’t work for many of Telefonica’s subscribers since a considerable chunk of them in developing and mature markets don’t own smartphones.

That’s not a problem, according to Tuttle. In fact, he views his sort of voice-centric tech as a “godsend” for telecoms like Telefonica. He envisioned a phone conversation (that could happen “very soon”) with someone about meeting at restaurant down the street — once the call is done, the phone can display a link to a map for the restaurant right within the dialer.

This buy-in from some very prominent partners speaks to the stickiness of Expect Labs’ vision of the future of computing. According to co-founder and CEO Tim Tuttle, we’re poised to see a dramatic shift in what sorts of devices we interact with and how we interact with them.

“We’re heading quickly toward this world where all of the devices around you will be listening to you,” Tuttle explained. That’s not to say that traditional modes of technological interaction is bound for extinction — Tuttle concedes that the keyboard and mouse aren’t going anywhere any time soon, but information won’t just be accessible from select locations.

“The issue is the places where computing devices show up in our lives aren’t just on our desks, they’ll be all over the place,” Tuttle said. “In all these cases you’re going to want to access your information without going to your desk.”

Now that Expect Labs has some additional capital to work with, Tuttle wants to expand the team (which currently consists of 12 people). Tuttle and rest of Expect Labs have made some astonishing progress over the past few months, but they’ve had to shift their priorities around too. Consider the fan-favorite MindMeld iPad app that Expect Labs showed off at Disrupt SF 2012: it’s still around, but the public launch the startup has been talking up for so long is no longer something they’re trying to do immediately.

LinkedIn Reaches 1M Users In Singapore, Or 20% Of The Country's Population



LinkedIn has acquired one million users in Singapore, or 20 percent of its 5 million population, since the service’s launch there in 2011, the professional networking site announced today. This milestone means that about 70 percent of Singapore’s labor force and students now have accounts on the Web site, according to the company.

Singapore is the home of the company’s Asia-Pacific HQ and its fourth market in Southeast Asia to surpass the one million milestone, after Malaysia (about one million), Indonesia and the Philippines (1.5 million each). Other Asia Pacific countries with more than one million LinkedIn members are Australia (4 million), India (19 million) and China (3 million).

The site’s rapid growth in Singapore is not surprising because the country is an important business and financial hub. Its expanding user base in the rest of Southeast Asia also underscores that region’s potential as an emerging market for tech and online services. Indonesia in particular sees high usage of social networking services–according to research from Brand24.co.id, Indonesians contribute 2.4 percent of tweets, while Jakarta ranked second in terms of the world’s top cities on Facebook. According to Mary Meeker, Indonesia saw a 58 percent increase in Internet users in 2012, superseded by only China and India.

The top five industries represented among LinkedIn’s Singaporean members are IT, banking, financial services, oil and energy, and education management, while the top five international companies followed are Standard Chartered Bank, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Solutions for Emerging Asia, and IBM.

LinkedIn says that globally it attracts more than two new members every second and has more than 200 million members worldwide.

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