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A series of interesting and significant events will be opened by the exhibition "RIGA COMM 2017" - Business technology and innovation.
On 9 and 10 of November, the Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre will host, for the sixth time, the only business technology and innovation fair in the Baltics – “RIGA COMM 2017”. Alongside business and IT solutions, technology news and innovative smart devices, “RIGA COMM” will offer various events that provide practical knowledge and inspiration for successful work.
Read more: http://rigacomm.com/en/
Further, The biggest e-Commerce conference in the Baltics :“E-commerce HD2: homo digitalis in high definition” will take place on the 16-17 of November in Riga. Bringing together hundreds of participants each year from Baltic countries, Central, Eastern and Western Europe, the CIS countries, Asia and other regions of the world — including top-level business representatives, as well as other key players in the field of e-Commerce — this event offers a unique discussion platform on topics surrounding e-Commerce, as well as extensive international networking opportunities.
Read more: https://ecom21.com/en
First major event in Latvia dedicated to Bitcoin “The Baltic Honeybadger” conference is about to be held on the 25-26 of November. The main goal is to create an educational and community-driven event with high-profile speakers from all around the world and with different backgrounds – from technical engineers and cybersecurity professionals to business owners and bestselling authors.
Read more: https://bh2017.hodlhodl.com/
“The Digital Freedom Festival” on November 27-28 will be one more influential digital event. Around a thousand participants will discuss the latest trends and discoveries in digital technologies, as well as their impact on startups and corporations, policymaking, and, modern lifestyles. Read more: http://www.digitalfreedomfestival.com/about/what-is-dff/
Now in its third year, the annual event is being held for key global influencers in technology, civil society, democracy promotion, and innovation. It will be held from July 25-29, 2017 on Sir Branson’s private Necker Island. It is not open to the public which, for a summit advocating pro democracy, does give the event an exclusive and isolationist overtone.
Read more: http://bitcoinist.com/bitfury-host-upcoming-blockchain-summit-sir-richard-bransons-private-necker-island/
Встреча будет полезна техническим специалистам и разработчикам блокчейн-решений. Также встреча будет интересна ИТ профессионалам из смежных областей: проектирование ERP систем, автоматизация процессов в государственном управлении, управление цепочкой поставок и создание технологических стартапов.
Exonum – программный фреймворк с открытым кодом, который помогает разработчикам, коммерческим организациям и государствам просто и безопасно воплощать в жизнь идеи блокчейн-проектов. На встрече пройдет презентация фреймворка, показана наглядная демонстрация создания криптовалюты, обсуждены наиболее интересные области применения и уже готовые проекты.
Почти каждый день у нас просят простых житейских советов относительно формирующейся крипто-индустрии, поэтому мы сделали подборку некоторых сервисов, которые могут быть полезны, если вы соберетесь торговать, накапливать или же просто расплачиваться криптовалютами.
Первым делом вам понадобится кошелек, в котором будут храниться ваши средства. Забегая вперед скажем, что несмотря на то, что криптовалюты и, в частности, Bitcoin – инструмент в высшей степени надежный, взломав ваш кошелек, его тоже можно украсть. Поэтому не стоит игнорировать простые правила безопасности. Относиться к своему биткоин-кошельку надо так же, как вы относитесь к своему портмоне в кармане пиджака. Мы рекомендуем работать с лидерами рынка, наиболее капитализированными игроками, способными уделять своей и вашей безопасности должный уровень внимания.
Вот наш список:
Один из популярнейших в мире ресурсов для покупки и продажи биткоинов и других криптовалют. Здесь можно открыть кошелек, а также подсоединить свой банковский счет или платежную карту для обмена цифровой валюты с/на валюту вашей страны.
На сегодняшний день один из самых безопасных биткоин-кошельков в мире с возможностью управления через мобильные устройства. Также ресурс предлагает первую в мире Xapo Debit Card, позволяющую оплачивать в биткоинах ваши ежедневные покупки и снимать наличные в банкоматах.
Этот ресурс, стоящий у истоков Bitcoin истории, называют самым популярным биткоин-кошельком в мире: 100 миллионов+ транзакций, 14 миллионов+ кошельков, 120+ обслуживаемых стран. Также предлагает обзор биткоин блоков и статистику валют.
Настоятельная рекомендация: при регистрации использовать реальные собственные данные. Вводите ту информацию, которую всегда сможете подтвердить документально. В противном случае, если возникнут проблемы, вы можете лишиться доступа к кошельку, а переводы могут быть ограничены.
Российским резидентам функция прямого пополнения этих кошельков пока недоступна, можете закупить криптовалюту, например, на этом ресурсе: https://localbitcoins.net/ Схема действия простая: выбираете способ оплаты, переводите человеку в системе деньги, он переводит вам биткоины на открытый вами кошелек. Этот p2p сервис является крупнейшим по объему торгов и работает во многих странах мира. Кроме того есть большое количество мелких ресурсов – так называемых обменников, например https://www.netex24.net, https://www.nixexchange.com/ и другие.
Каждый из перечисленных выше онлайн кошельков предлагает систему сейфового хранения, однако существуют еще более надежные, с высоким уровнем безопасности кошельки без онлайн-подключения: так называемое «холодное хранение», например, Trezor, KeepKey или Ledger Wallet. Холодное хранение также доступно и в одном из наиболее известных кошельков в мире Coinbase. Изучите информацию о них в интернете и выберете тот, который больше вам подойдет, в случае если ваши аппетиты к крипто-валюте будут исчисляться значимыми суммами. Вы всегда сможете поменять кошелек или использовать одновременно несколько. Биткоины всегда можно перенести на другой кошелек – простым сканированием QR кода другого кошелька.
Адреса кошельков – это комбинация порядка 30 символов. Чтобы кому-то передать биткоины, достаточно ввести адрес и указать сумму. Система взимает небольшую комиссию, не зависящую от суммы транзакции, и человек через несколько минут или часов (это зависит от суммы установленной комиссии за отправку и загруженности сети) получит биткоины. Вообще, транзакции круглосуточные и неограниченные.
Важно учитывать следующее:
– В адресе недопустимы ошибки, иначе биткоины улетят в неизвестном направлении, без возможности возврата.
– Нет необходимости скрывать адрес. Никто не может повлиять на вашу передачу денег на другой кошелек, никто не может украсть у вас эти деньги (если, конечно, нет доступа к уникальному ключу) или заблокировать ваш счет.
– Интересно то, что все транзакции по кошельку есть в открытом доступе: вы перекидываете биткоины и сразу же можете увидеть, что они пришли. В этом главная сила блокчейна – прозрачность транзакций, децентрализация и шифрование.
Если вас интересуют не только биткоины, но и другие криптовалюты, на этом ресурсе проще всего конвертировать: https://shapeshift.io/
Курсы различных криптовалют можно отслеживать здесь: http://coincap.io/
Для тех, кто заинтересован не только в покупке и хранении биткоинов, но и приобретении других криптовалютах (их принято называть альткоинами), а также трейдинге, индустрия предлагает разнообразный набор площадок.
Можно начать с лидера рынка, американской площадки https://poloniex.com/, которая отличается активными торгами, высокой ликвидностью и понятным качественным интерфейсом. На бирже торгуется более 100 валютных пар, но отсутствует возможность конвертации в фиатные валюты. Биржа также предлагает с одной стороны маржинальную торговлю с ограниченным числом валютных пар и возможность сдачи в аренду криптовалют, использующихся в маржинальной торговле.
Также одним из лидеров рынка по объему торгов является биржа https://bittrex.com, которая дополняет Poloniex в наборе валютных пар. На этих двух биржах сконцентрирована торговля почти всеми криптовалютами с капитализацией более 20-50 млн долларов.
Более традиционные биржи такие как Bitfinex, Bitstamp или Kraken имеют более ограниченный набор инструментов для инвестиций в альткоины, но при этом дают возможность торговать фиатными валютными парами и пополнять/выводить средства в фиатных валютах.
Отдельно отметим биржу BTC-e, которая занимает место в пятерке крупнейших по объему торгов. Верификация пользователя на бирже не требуется, достаточно электронной почты. На этой интернет-бирже проводятся торги криптовалют к доллару, евро и российскому рублю.
Существует немало интересных сервисов для аналитики криптовалют, в нашем обзоре мы хотим представить вам подборку некоторых из них.
http://mapofcoins.com/bitcoin – красивая инфографика по истории криптовалют и протоколов. Есть структурированная выжимка по каждой технологии. Помогает разобрать во всем многообразии технологий и альткоинов.
https://coinmarketcap.com – отличный сайт для оценки основной информации по рынку, где можно найти данные по всем блокчейн активам (839 в данный момент). Есть API.
• Интересные выборки: общая капитализация криптоэкономики, доля биткоина по отношению к остальным крипотовалютам, список новых коинов на биржах, рейтинги Biggest Gainers и Biggest Loosers.
• Исторические снэпшоты основной таблицы.
https://icostats.com – ресурс, позволяющий отслеживать итоги капитализации прошедших ICO в динамике.
https://www.cryptocompare.com – очень много метаданных по всем криптовалютам. Бесплатное API c уникальными данными. Рейтинги кошельков, бирж, пластиковых карт, майнинг пулов.
https://www.coingecko.com/en – уникальность этого сервиса в том, что здесь можно анализировать активность сообщества в соц. сетях и на Github. Все в удобной единой таблице с рейтингом.
• Аналитика активности по криптовалютным сообществам в Reddit: количество комментариев, среднее число пользователей онлайн, среднее число горячих постов за час, число подписчиков в Twitter и Facebook.
• Данные по репозиториям на Github: коммиты, количество заданных вопросов, закрытых вопросов, количество форков, наблюдателей, активных участников, общее количество нововведений за четыре недели.
• Статистика по запросам в Bing.
https://www.tradingview.com ¬– технический анализ в один клик.
• Все необходимые индикаторы для профессиональных трейдеров
• Возможность разбивать график на любые таймфреймы
• Система уведомлений
• Система шаринга идей с другими пользователям
https://cryptowat.ch – агрегатор бирж. Удобно смотреть real-time данные: цену, объемы, order book, список совершенных сделок. Coinigy.com – более крутой инструмент, но он полностью платный (хотя предлагается триал).
• Через API есть доступ к историческим данным OHLC по разным биржам
• Поддерживаются только некоторые валютные пары (самые популярные)
• Инструменты для графического анализа
• В платной версии можно создать аккаунт и торговать на многих биржах из одного терминала
https://coin.dance – отличная разнообразная статистика и инфографика по Bitcoin в разных разрезах.
• Политика в Bicoin: легальный статус в странах, внутренняя политика Segwit vs BU
• Объемы торгов по разным странам, в том числе на Localbitcoins
• Google Trends – запросы по разным странам
• Аналитика аудитории: по полу, возрасту, интересам
• Статистика по майнинг пулам
• Исчерпывающая статистика по блокам и нодам
https://blockchair.com – мощный поиск по блокчейну биткоина. Позволяет искать по всем данным в блоке, которые только возможны.
Для тех, кто планирует инвестировать в индекс криптовалют, есть возможность присмотреться к фондам, инвестирующим в топ-20 или 30 криптовалют пропорционально их рыночной капитализации и постоянно ребалансирующим портфель. Одним из первых таких фондов стал ICONOMI, можно отметить Satoshi.Fund и многие другие фонды, которые все чаще появляются в последние полгода.
Более опытные инвесторы, желающие следить за новыми размещениями криптовалют (ICO – initial coin offering), а также изучать отчеты по уже вышедшим валютам, могут воспользоваться ресурсом icorating.com, который один из первых взял на себя функции рейтингового агентства и проводит due diligence новых размещений, предлагая инвесторам свои отчеты по новым валютам.
Или с биржевой площадки https://cex.io, на которой агрегировано много аналитики и даны котировки аналогичных площадок, таких как bitfinex.com или BTC-E. Но если у вас нет опыта торгов, то стоит углубиться в теорию и опыт профессионалов, прежде чем переходить к практике.
Приложение http://blockfolio.com/ поможет следить за портфелем криптовалют.
Важно помнить главное правило блокчейна: кто контролирует кошелек, тот и владеет его содержимым. Все, как в обычной жизни с наличными деньгами. Поэтому повторим: стоит осмотрительно выбирать ресурс, на котором вы открываете кошелек для криптовалют и внимательно относиться к правилам по безопасности! Удачи ;)
Alexey Solovyov, who had been managing the venture fund Prostor Capital for more than five years, joined iTech Capital team as a Partner and Managing Director. His responsibilities will include supervising and managing the Moscow office operations, as well as managing the new private-public fund Skolkovo IT Fund. A part of Prostor Capital GP staff will also join iTech team, and the fund will be managed by iTech Capital.
Comments from Alexey Solovyov: "At the initial stage, I face an ambitious task to further strengthen the best team on the venture investment market and adjust all the corporate processes to the level of world standards. The global goal of the Fund’s entire team and, first of all, of its Partners is to build a successful international investment business."
Comments from Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner of iTech Capital: "iTech Capital has huge plans. In addition to exits from the first Fund companies and launching the second one, we intend to expand and diversify our business. On the basis of iTech, we are creating a global private asset management company. To meet the challenge, you need an ace-high team and a reliable partner who will take on some of the highest-level management tasks. Alexey is one of the most competent and recognizable managers on our market, and I am confident that our partnership will allow us to realize the ambitious plans iTech faces."
About Alexey Solovyov and Prostor Capital Fund
Alexey Solovyov was the head of Prostor Capital from the moment of its foundation in 2011, and earlier, for two years, he had been working at ru-Net, Leonid Boguslavsky’s investment company. Alexey's previous professional experience related to business development, M&A, strategic development and marketing in the largest IT companies – IBS and Optima. He graduated with a degree in Computer Sciences from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, and in 2019 will get an EMBA degree from the Chicago Booth School of Business.
Prostor Capital was founded in 2011 with its size of US $20M and the current portfolio of 7 companies. In 2016, the Fund made the first exit by selling UMI.ru project to 1C Company. Recently, there has been the second exit, when the Fund’s portfolio company Dulton Media was bought by one of the largest players of the Russian Internet and media market, Rambler & Co Holding.
Last month, GAIN Capital Holdings made an announcement about the activation of a new product for its US clients – this culminated in a newly launched deal with TradingView to provide its customers with access to the widely acclaimed advanced web-based charting solution.
Whereas the previous agreement with Forex.com and TradingView as relegated to charts, the expanded deal will see a much broader focus on trading resources, including access to TradingView’s trading terminal, its charting library, and web-based front end platform, among others.
Read more: https://www.financemagnates.com/forex/technology/tradingview-expands-partnership-gain-capital-integrating-terminal/
The Singapore market data includes chart data, fundamental data, hotlists and the Stock Screener. TradingView gives free access to live SGX Index and FX Futures quotes. The free market data on stocks, derivatives and commodities is delayed by 15 minutes. The TradingView users with any type of upgraded plan can purchase real-time data.
The company has an ever expanding list of markets data – paid and free, with the latest addition being intraday data from Canadian markets.
Read more: https://smnweekly.com/2017/05/19/tradingview-adds-singapore-stock-exchange-intraday-data-new-forex-cross-rate-widget/
Following the project initiation, on Feb. 7th, 2017, in Tbilisi, the government of Georgia signed an agreement to use the Bitcoin Blockchain to verify property transactions.
And on 19th of April 2017, Valery Vavilov, CEO of BitFury during his speech at the Russian Internet Forum in Moscow, said, that since the launch in February 2017, when his company along with the government of the Republic of Georgia implemented the property registration on Blockchain had registered more than 100,000 documents.
Earlier this year, Tomicah Tillemann, Trust Accelerator co-founder and New America director of the Bretton Woods II program, commented about Georgia’s decision to use the public Bitcoin Blockchain:
“If you think about this happening at a time when a lot of people are struggling to separate what’s real from what’s fake, this is a powerful tool to prove what’s real. Especially when you’re dealing with something as fundamental as your home or property, it’s important to have that added layer of security that’s provided by Blockchain validation.”
Vavilov also said, that there is going to be more services to follow. Since Blockchain implementation, there is no possibility to manipulate the property registration data.
It is not only a government implementation deal for BitFury, on April 13, the Bitfury Group has announced its partnership with the government of Ukraine, to bring a variety of Blockchain solutions to the electronic services of the latter.
Bitfury, a blockchain company with offices in the United States and overseas, will provide the services to Ukraine, CEO Valery Vavilov said in an interview on Wednesday. Ukraine's blockchain initiative underscores a growing trend among governments that have adopted the technology to increase efficiencies and improve transparency.
Ukraine's blockchain initiative underscores a growing trend among governments that have adopted the technology to increase efficiencies and improve transparency.
Read more: http://whtc.com/news/articles/2017/apr/13/ukraine-to-launch-big-blockhain-deal-with-tech-firm-bitfur...
Clickky already operates 5 offices in 4 countries and employs more than 90 professionals worldwide. Clickky offers both self-serve and managed solutions for app developers, mobile ad networks and agencies, SSPs, DSPs and media buyers. The Beijing office will take central role in Clickky’s activities on the Asia-Pacific market.
The office will be headed by Ray Zhou, Business Developer with extensive experience in the Greater China area. Before joining Clickky, he has been successfully leading a business development team at ironSource, working both on demand and supply side. Ray will put his experience in user acquisition and monetization management for expanding Clickky’s presence in the APAC region.
“Clickky’s new office opening is the logical continuation of the company’s own growth strategy,” says Vadim Rogovskiy, founder and CEO at Clickky. “At first, we plan to pay more attention to promoting our API AdExchange and monetization SDK for mobile publishers. We are open to growing opportunities and happy to expand our influence and capabilities in China, leveraging the potential of the market and providing smart solutions for publishers and advertisers alike.”
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3301920#ixzz4dwk8a7D6
This year MBC will host speakers from Shazam, Looksery, Unity, Avazu and Mail.ru. The list is constantly growing.
More than 1000 participants, and not one random person: CEO, top managers, app developers, owners of advertising networks and agencies, investors and mobile evangelists.
With the ‘relaxed networking’, Mobile Beach Conference helps developing partner relations. At least that is what the last year participants say from their own experience.
This year the conference will open the exhibition zone for the first time. And it means that there will be a special area where you can get acquainted with the mobile technology innovations and receive consultation from specialists.
From more than 100 participants we will choose 10 brightest mobile startups. Right before your eyes they will battle for the victory. Sorry, but the winner takes it all. ;) Startups will be showcased in a special area — the Startup Alley, where you can discuss all the mobile news over a cup of smoothie. Mobile
Here we can put +2. We have added 2 more nominations to the last year list of 3. As it has been before, the conference will be a platform for awarding the winners, chosen by the internet vote.
The price degree will increase starting April 1. Make sure you join before it gets hot. Promo-code for our subscribers: iTechMBC2017 (10% discount).
“We are proud to be joining forces with such a dynamic and forward-looking company like BestSign,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO and founder of The Bitfury Group. “With The Bitfury Group’s full-service blockchain offerings and commitment to expansion of blockchain technology, BestSign will be able to offer its clients additional peace of mind knowing that they have access to the most secure and advanced technology in the world.”
“As a leader in electronic signature cloud platforms in China currently, Shanghangqian (BestSign) has reached a deal with The Bitfury Group, the world’s leading blockchain technology company, to jointly develop electronic contract products based on the underlying technology for blockchain,” said Miss Joy Wan, CEO of BestSign. “This deal can not only facilitate the real use of blockchain technology in the electronic contract sector, advance the application of blockchain technologies such as distributed ledger and smart contract, but also better help our clients by providing them with better products to enable safer contract signature and storage through blockchain technology.”
It hasn’t been that long since TradingView introduced an upgrade of its proprietary trading platform, and the data-driven social network has done it again. The company has just informed its users that it has added a new exchange to its stock screener which expands the product suite to cover a total of seventeen exchanges across eleven countries, according to a TradingView update.
The latest batch of changes allows market participants to garner information and screening stocks from Switzerland’s principal exchange, the SIX Swiss Exchange. According to the web based charting provider, registered users will have access to the SIX data delayed by 15 minutes but with an option to upgrade their subscription to include real-time data. In addition, users will be able to scan the Swiss Market with its Stock Screener and also have access to hotlists such as top gainers, losers, most active and more.
The President of Retail at GAIN Capital, Samantha Roady, comments: “TradingView provides one of the most powerful web-based charting platforms available today. In keeping with our commitment to provide the best trading tools to our customers, we are thrilled to be working with the TradingView team to offer their advanced charting to our FOREX.com customers.”
TradingView’s charting solution has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to the smooth HTML5 charts that encompass a number of asset classes. Before GAIN Capital started providing the tool to its clients, TradingView has already been delivering its services to customers of FXCM and OANDA. More:
Figure out more: http://www.econotimes.com/New-America%C2%A0Bitfury-Group%C2%A0and%C2%A0NDI-announce-blockchain-initiative-for-social-good%C2%A0-224440
The Index is calculated for different countries, two OSes (iOS, Android), non-incent traffic and multiple app categories. The analysis shows market statistics and exactly how much advertisers are ready to pay for their installs. This includes the average CPI by country, by verticals within different countries and by OS (iOS and Android).
More figures here: http://www.pressreleaserocket.net/ecwid-is-first-smb-e-commerce-platform-to-provide-both-fully-automated-and-logic-based-sales-tax-and-vat-calculation/451834/
More figures here: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitfury-announces-blockchain-land-titling-project-with-the-republic-of-georgia-and-economist-hernando-de-soto-1461769012
More figures here: http://cointelegraph.com/news/bitfury-explains-how-to-securely-store-and-transfer-digital-assets-on-the-bitcoin-blockchain
More figures here: http://clickky.biz/content/blog/clickky-results-2015
Clickky AdExchange is the largest automated mobile ad platform for advertising offers in Eastern Europe.
Leveraging the Clickky API, the platform enables quick and easy ad campaign exchange between mobile publishers, advertisers, ad networks and affiliates.
Clickky AdExchange provides:
Many Bitcoin newcomers view the network as yet another electronic system for instant payments, like PayPal or Visa. Right here we have a very substantial difference in opinion. Bitcoin was never designed to confirm instant payments and believing that is its function is a mistake.
As Nick Szabo, the renowned author of smart contracts wrote: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nick-szabo-if-banks-want-benefits-blockchains-they-must-go-permissionless-1518874v
“Visa and PayPal already exist, and within national borders they do what they do quite well. It’s silly to try to turn Bitcoin into yet another Visa and PayPal.”
I believe, based on the way the system was designed and developed by Satoshi, that it would be disingenuous to expect instant transaction confirmation from the Bitcoin network — it is simply not wired that way. No increase of the block size limit could help make instant Bitcoin transaction confirmation a reality.
Does this mean that Bitcoin cannot be used for instant payments? Not at all. You simply need an additional system operating on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain (with the Blockchain acting as a settlement layer). These systems already exist in custodial wallet services and Bitcoin exchanges. But the larger point is that the potential of Bitcoin is so much greater and transformative than simply hoping it can compete with PayPal.
While the Bitcoin network dramatically lowers the cost of transactions, the reality is that the Bitcoin Blockchain is not free to use. The Blockchain is secured with an enormous amount of computing power, and transaction fees are an important incentive to keep contributing that power.
As the Bitcoin network continues to evolve, transaction fees need to grow in order to maintain a high level of security within and for the network. As BitFury has outlined in our white paper on Bitcoin security incentives http://bitfury.com/content/4-white-papers-research/bitfury-incentive_mechanisms_for_securing_the_bitcoin_blockchain-1.pdf, the transaction fee market is currently actively developing. The percentage of transactions satisfying a market-based fee margin has grown from 22% in March 2015 to nearly 40% in October 2015.
Just like with instant payments, expensive on-chain Bitcoin transactions do not mean that one cannot use Bitcoin for cheap value transfer. Overlay networks, such as Lightning and sidechains, can successfully deal with this challenge while in-service ledgers already do.
There is no observable evidence that Bitcoin transaction processing is presently clogged. Key statistics gathered by Statoshi http://statoshi.info/ for the past few months show the pool of unconfirmed transactions has held relatively steady at about 10,000 transactions — a significant decrease from over 75,000 unconfirmed transactions during “the stress test” performed in September 2015. Most of these transactions, according to CoinTape http://www.cointape.com/ pay zero or near-zero transaction fees.
For Bitcoin wallets with proper fee estimation logic, the clogging challenge simply does not exist. According to web-based fee estimation services, such as CoinTape, as of January, 2016, the optimal transaction fee for an average transaction is less than 0.1 USD — quite small for most use cases. The issue we do face is with “free riders” — applications with a business model relying on non-existent Bitcoin transaction fees.
Bitcoin miners and transaction processors such as BitFury, are likely the biggest supporters of the Bitcoin ecosystem and any suggestion otherwise is simply ridiculous. Bitcoin miners invest enormous amounts of money and efforts into developing and maintaining bitcoin mining hardware. As the Scaling Bitcoin conferences have shown, miners are generally in support of cautious increases of the block size limit — just not abrupt increases — because such sudden change could undermine the foundation of the Bitcoin network. BitFury has detailed these points in our white paper http://bitfury.com/content/4-white-papers-research/block-size-1.1.1.pdf
Most existing mining pools are public. This means that they consist of tens of thousands of independent users who are free to join or leave the pool at any time. Private mining pools are frequently operated by firms that publicly sell mining equipment, including BitFury (https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitfury-to-mass-produce-new-nm-chip-and-sell-to-public-1452010171).
Even if there were merely ten entities controlling Bitcoin mining (which there are not), this would still not be a threat. There are many Bitcoin nodes not controlled by miners, which would act as a barrier against rogue miners’ misbehavior. However, a rapidly rising block size could put most of these nodes out of work because they would simply have to switch off due to a lack appropriate hardware to perform transaction processing), paving the road to the real centralization (see [The Decentralist Perspective] https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/decentralist-perspective-bitcoin-might-need-small-blocks-1442090446).
The pipe dream of some in the Bitcoin community is to govern the system by having ordinary users vote for changes by adopting the corresponding full node software. This approach is not only impractical, it is also not desirable. Most ordinary Bitcoin users do not own a full node and ironically, if they did, it is quite possible they could not afford its maintenance after a hypothetical abrupt block size increase. Users of Bitcoin should most certainly have a say in the direction of this technology, but in order to appropriately and continuously secure the Blockchain, it is responsible for all of us who are knowledgeable about the science to take a leadership role where and when it is necessary.
Bitcoin XT was considered by some a remedy for perceived problems with the Bitcoin ecosystem. However, upon closer inspection, XT leaves at least some of these challenges, and the reality is that XT would not have made transaction confirmation immediate and would not have reduced the risk of double-spending for unconfirmed transactions.
· XT would not have eliminated transaction fees — it would have merely delayed the development of the fee market. (The perspective of having no fees forever is much worse; as the block reward steadily diminishes, the security of the network would eventually take a nosedive.)
· XT would have done nothing about the “mining centralization” problem. In fact, it would have made things worse by pushing small mining pools out of business.
· XT would not have helped decentralization and would have made things worse by elevating the requirements to maintain a full Bitcoin node.
· XT code updates would not have differed from Bitcoin Core in the expressive means of its users — all voting rounds would still need to be introduced into the code by developers.
Bitcoin XT and its predecessor — Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) 101 — were not supported by the Bitcoin community simply because they contained too many controversial features in the areas where each mistake could cost the most in terms of Bitcoin value. These proposals were hard forks, meaning that their implementation could break Bitcoin as a system for value transfer (http://wallstreettechnologist.com/2015/08/19/bitcoin-xt-vs-core-blocksize-limit-the-schism-that-divides-us-all).
I believe in Bitcoin. I believe in the Blockchain. I know that the vast potential is just being realized. We wish Mr. Hearn all the best as he commences his work with our friends at R3CEV. It is important that we respect various input but simultaneously resist the temptation to give Mr. Hearn’s voice too much weight.
Bitcoin is not an instant payment network and not a fancy replacement for PayPal or Visa. It is first and foremost a decentralized system, which sacrifices speed in favor of security. A key feature provided by decentralization is permissionless entry for users and developers — and it is thanks to this component that Bitcoin has grown into much more than a currency and has become a platform for Blockchain innovations.
Most importantly, Bitcoin is a new world created for anyone — especially for someone like me — who didn’t grow up in a world where “trusted emissary” was a reality and the idea of “asset security” was something other people in other parts of the world enjoyed.
I believe in Bitcoin because I believe in democracy and I believe in open societies. And as Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of Government, except for all the others.” Open source projects are not perfect, but they unite the best and most innovative thinkers, and I am honored to be a part of this mission.
To make omnichannel inventory management a breeze, be sure to hook up your Square account to Ecwid in Square App Marketplace. Read more at https://squareup.com/townsquare/managing-omnichannel-inventory-take-out-of-stock-out-of-your-vocabulary/
With the variety of applications now being built, it is difficult to imagine it simply fading away anytime soon.
But the big question remains: Which use case will first bring about bitcoin’s wider acknowledgement?
With this in the background, here are the five companies that I believe will have a considerable impact on the industry this coming year.
One of the more well-funded startups, Blockstream is nonetheless a self-described ‘stealth bitcoin company’ working on accelerating the development of cryptocurrency, open asset and smart contact technology.
The company has been busy in the background, launching a beta of its banner sidechains project and announcing its first commercial product, Liquid, which is aimed at speeding up transfer times between bitcoin exchanges, in 2015.
One of the projects that Blockstream has decided to explore further is the Lightning Network – a proposal that would move smaller bitcoin transactions off the blockchain so they could occur more quickly with reduced fees. It nonetheless recreates the trustless nature of the current network design.
The Lightning Network has the ability to reduce the total number of transactions that need to be settled on the bitcoin blockchain, and thus removes their affect on the necessary total size of blocks.
The network faces technical challenges before it can go live, though, such as the integration of various changes to Bitcoin Core. I believe we will see most of these issues resolved and that Blockstream, or perhaps even a different party, will launch its version of Lightning during 2016.
This will greatly relieve the current buildup of pressure surrounding the block size discussion, and add to the robustness of the bitcoin network.
tØ is a blockchain-based trading platform created by online retail giant Overstock, first announced in August. Part of the firm’s larger Medici arm, tØ aims to revolutionise securities by making trade and settlement occur simultaneously using blockchain technology.
While the SEC did recently approve Overstock’s plan to issue stock via blockchain technology, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said in a recent article by Motherboard that it might not use the bitcoin blockchain as part of its efforts.
"Maybe we're not going to use the bitcoin blockchain ... Maybe there's another blockchain we want to integrate with, with higher throughput," he told the news source.
This comment is in reference to the bitcoin block size, as a limited number of transactions also results in a limited number of instant settlements the company can offer.
Continuing with my belief that the block size issue will be addressed during 2016 in some way, I also believe tØ will utilise the bitcoin blockchain as opposed to a private blockchain due to bitcoin’s decentralised, secure and relatively trustless nature.
If this comes about, this would be the first major security settlement product released that utilises bitcoin, and a key milestone in bitcoin’s history.
OpenBazaar is currently working on one of the most compelling consumer applications for bitcoin out there with the development of a decentralised marketplace.
If successful, OpenBazaar would essentially serve as an open-source competitor to eBay that has reduced fees for all parties due to its decentralised nature.
OpenBazaar faces what I believe to be relatively trivial challenges in launching, including the development of a robust reputation system and the classic chicken-and-egg problem of acquiring volume in a new marketplace.
However, with its recent venture capital fundraise of $1m in June 2015, I believe we will see the highly anticipated launch and expansion of OpenBazaar during 2016.
Zapchain is a social media platform powered by bitcoin and is one of my personal favourite companies.
The startup’s integration of on-chain bitcoin micropayments for tipping is a truly revolutionary idea that fosters high-quality user engagement and content creation amongst various self-created communities.
Zapchain’s biggest hurdle lies in its ability to continue its growth, while avoiding spam users.
From what I have seen of Zapchain, though, its ability to curb spammers has proved effective and the platform is currently more popular than ever.
During 2016, I predict Zapchain will continue its growth in non-bitcoin related communities and also become recognised as a top bitcoin news platform. Zapchain embodies the spirit of bitcoin, and also provides a key alternative to some controversially moderated bitcoin communities.
The best-funded bitcoin mining company with over $60m raised so far, BitFury announced on 16th December that it will bring a new ASIC chip to market in Q1 2016.
The launch of its new data centre in Georgia could double the total bitcoin network hashing rate, leading some to worry about the integrity of bitcoin’s mining decentralisation.
I believe this risk is perhaps overstated and that the major net effect of BitFury's innovations will be increased (and possibly almost doubled) security for the network.
Furthermore, affecting the integrity of bitcoin’s decentralised nature would act against BitFury’s best interests as a bitcoin company.
BitFury CEO, Valery Vavilov, has also reflected this sentiment, suggesting his company intends to act in the interests of the network as a whole.
In 2015, through Aviasales partners sold airline tickets in the amount of about US$ 243 million. To compare: in 2014, according to Forbes' estimates, the same amount was paid in total to 25 highest-paid heads of the largest Russian companies ($ 242 million). This amount was also asked by The US White House to reserve in the US Budget for 2016 to fund cybersecurity measures.
This will help advertisers to choose the most interesting options and add them to their project. A distinctive feature is the ability to pick the choice of words that occur simultaneously at several competitors.
The global network of miners computes about 700 quadrillion hashes, or 700 petahashes, per second. Valery Vavilov, the CEO of bitcoin mining technology company BitFury, predicted in an email to Fast Company the network will soon enter the "exahash era," computing more than one quintillion hashes every second, thanks in part to new speedier mining chips it’s set to release early next year.
While BitFury conducts its own mining operations on a grand scale—the company just opened a massive new data center in Tbilisi, Georgia, last week that Vavilov says will on its own ultimately transform 40 megawatts of power into between 400 and 650 petahash—it also offers its chips for sale to other miners.
At present, bitcoin’s trading roughly 35% higher against the dollar than at this point last year, at roughly $435 per bitcoin, though that’s still far from its peak just over two years ago, when it briefly traded for more than $1,200 per coin.
BitFury Group, the leading Bitcoin Blockchain infrastructure provider and transaction processing company in the world today announced mass-production of its full-custom design 16nm Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Chip, which will bring unmatched energy efficiency to the Bitcoin network.
After rigorous testing, the new BitFury Chip has demonstrated outstanding computing capabilities. The design target was 40 gigahash per second with power efficiency of 0.06 joules per gigahash. On average, the measured power efficiency of tested engineering samples of the new BitFury Chip ranges from 0.055 joules per gigahash to 0.07 joules per gigahash, thus making the BitFury 16nm ASIC Chip the industry leader in energy efficiency. In addition to its outstanding power efficiency, BitFury’s 16nm ASIC Chip can run with as low as 0.35V power supply voltage.
The static part of the Chip can be functional at as low as 0.28V power supply voltage. This level of productivity was previously unattainable with existing silicon devices and existing silicon design methodologies, with transistors working in active mode, not slow sub-threshold. J / Gh metric in working modes starting from 55 Gh/s up to 180 Gh/s follows an almost linear relationship of 0.0011, while at 40 – 55 Gh/s measured slope converges to plateau.
Valery Vavilov, CEO of BitFury, said: “We are very excited to launch mass production of our super 16nm ASIC Chip. The final results of our hard work have fully met our expectations. We understand that it will be nearly impossible for any older technology to compete with the performance of our new 16nm technology. As a responsible player in the Bitcoin community, we will be working with integration partners and resellers to make our unique technology widely available ensuring that the network remains decentralized and we move into the exahash era together. BitFury warmly welcomes all companies interested in joining our integration and reseller program.”
Jim Lai, President of GUC, said: “We have worked closely with BitFury’s experienced IC designers and we are glad to assist BitFury to achieve this outstanding result. GUC is proud that the BitFury-GUC partnership resulted in the first 16nm full custom tape-out for both parties.”
Alex Telnov says: “It is a great challenge and promising opportunity for me to show good results at a high competitive VC industry. My main tasks will be further development and capitalization growth of portfolio companies as well as exit strategy execution.“ Alex joined iTech team in 2012, and since then he successfully managed a number of investment deals including such companies as Clickky, BitFury and TradingView. About iTech Capital Founded in 2010, iTech Capital is a venture capital firm focused on growth investments in digital economy businesses. iTech’s pioneer fund, iTech Fund I, LP (“Fund I”) was established in 2011 and is comprised of equity injections in IT companies in in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and USA.
iTech are raising capital for iTech Fund II, a fund that will invest in core ICT segments such as AdTech, FinTech, SAAS, Online Travel and Big Data. New LPs in Fund II will have the opportunity to invest at favorable terms. A particularly attractive attribute of iTech is their ultra-transparent internal portal that allows LPs to access all data regarding portfolio companies, co-investment opportunities and even trade portfolio positions in a secondary market within the LP network. The team at iTech is anchored by Managing Partner Gleb Davidyuk, a seasoned professional in the private equity and venture capital industries who has worked for a range of well-established groups including Quadriga Capital, Mint Capital and Alfa Capital Partners since 1995. "We are delighted to collaborate with iTech due to their robust reputation in delivering remarkable results for their investors. iTech's team of investment professionals are thorough and knowledgeable, with over 50 years of cumulative investment experience and are passionate about creating success," said Omar Al-Gharabally, President of Greenstone Equity Partners. "Owing to the Middle Eastern investor mentality, venture capital investment has become more and more mainstream over the last decade and with this relationship we are confident that we are introducing solid investment opportunities to investors across the region." "The MENA region has important sources of capital flows and wealth accumulation, and with increased liquidity, local and international investors consider venture capital and all of its sub-sets to be a core part of their investment portfolios," said Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner of iTech. "With Greenstone Equity Partners' thorough market knowledge and strong relationships, we believe that we can establish a strong footprint in this region and develop new long-term relationships," he added.
Clickky offers a new technology solution - an Automated mobile ad platform Clickky Mobile AdExchangeTM.
The platform enables quick and easy offers exchange between developers, ad networks, agencies and affili- ates through API.
AdExchangeTM is the biggest platform for mobile adver- tising offers in Eastern Europe.
Advantages of Clickky Mobile AdExchangeTM:
• fast integration;
• no technical restrictions;
• Platform works with traffic and offers from all over the world;
• customize ads for an application access to 5000+ offers.
All players of the mobile advertising market can take the full advantage of the new solution.
App developers will get access to 5000+ campaigns at once. Server to Server Integration with Clickky Mobile AdExchangeTM enables to choose the format of advertis- ing and gives an opportunity to fully manage advertising сampaigns. A very important feature that will appeal to developers is the ability to customize the advertising - the creation of ads in a convenient format for a particu- lar application.
Mobile Advertising Networks and agencies gain access to hundreds of traffic sources for campaigns through the export of all offers to the Clickky server.
Also, Ad Networks will be able to maximize their service by add- ing 5000+ offers to their database.
Affiliates will gain access to 5000+ campaigns that allows to find offers that are most suitable for their traffic.
Thanks to Clickky technical support service you can easily inte- grate with Clickky Mobile AdExchangeTM.
Clickky Mobile AdExchangeTM is already working with partners from 30 countries on all continents. At the moment, we provide more than 5,000 active offers, and their number is constantly growing.
“Clickky Mobile AdExchangeTM is a fresh approach to work pro- cess in mobile advertising and the fastest-growing Ad Exchange at the moment,” commented CRO Clickky Valentin Bondarchuk. “In the nearest future we plan to become the largest platform for mobile advertising offers not only in Eastern Europe but also in the world.”
The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Russia, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region. Read more: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/cc100/2015/nominate_russia.html
16 July 2015, London – iTech Capital, a Europe-based private equity (PE) fund with a focus on the global digital market, has invested US$3 million in TradingView, a growing social FinTech platform that unites traders and investors from around the world.
iTech Capital, who will take a minority stake in TradingView, led the Series A round, which amounted to US$3.6 million alongside other seed investors and angels. TradingView provides a next-gen online platform where thousands of amateur and professional investors and traders share insights and ideas in real-time, free of charge. The site currently features over 500,000 monthly active users from 100 countries, and since launching in 2012, has experienced 10 percent month-on-month organic growth in unique users.
iTech Capital’s Managing Partner, Gleb Davidyuk and Portfolio Manager, Alex Telnov will both join the TradingView Board as executive directors. Along with the management team, their focus will be to identify and execute on future growth opportunities, enhance marketing efforts and build a corporate culture.
In addition to its burgeoning trading community, TradingView produces powerful financial charts with data that are used by over 4,000 financial portals and websites such as Investopedia, InstaForex, DailyFX and more. As a result, five and a half million monthly unique visitors are engaged with the TradingView brand through partner platforms. This round of investment will allow TradingView to develop and launch new services, including localisation, as well as expanding their sales and marketing efforts to enhance customer acquisition activities and implement new data feeds.
Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner of iTech Capital, said:
“TradingView is a unique player in the FinTech sector with a powerful mix of user generated charts and investment insights from its community, which helps its large user base to make informative investment decisions. Since its inception, the business model has successfully demonstrated continuous monthly growth in user acquisition and revenues. With the capital and experience provided by iTech Capital, we believe that TradingView can capitalise on the significant opportunity.”
Stan Bokov, co-founder and COO of TradingView, said:
“TradingView is doing in the financial industry what the first iPhone did to old phones. If you are a trader or investor, you’ll just ‘get it’. It’s a completely new way to visualise financial data and analyse it. It doesn’t matter if you are on a phone, tablet, PC, Mac or any other device - it’ll just work.
The platform reinvents investors’ user experience and co-operation - you are never alone with the markets. The additional funding from iTech Capital and their expertise on our Board will help us with business development, marketing and further expansion into new markets.”
Pocket Gamer Connects is one of the leading events in the mobile world, calling together up to 1,500 of the global mobile games industry’s top professionals. This year San Francisco hosted PGC for the first time, and the event has satisfied all expectations.
SAN FRANCISCO–June 9, 2015– BitFury Group, the leading Bitcoin Blockchain infrastructure provider and transaction processing company, today announced it has secured $20 million in funding. Investors participating in the round include DRW Venture Capital, iTech Capital and the Georgian Co-Investment Fund.
Don Wilson, Founder of DRW Venture Capital, commented on the deal: “DRW's investment in BitFury is an acknowledgment of the impressive work Valery Vavilov and the team has done to become a leader in the business of securing the blockchain. By supporting BitFury’s efforts in this regard, and by providing liquidity in bitcoin via its wholly owned subsidiary, Cumberland, DRW aims to facilitate the widespread adoption of the distributed ledger technology.”
Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner of iTech Capital, added: “We are pleased with our investment in BitFury, which has solidified its market-leading position by providing its cutting edge technologies to support Bitcoin Blockchain infrastructure. We are confident there are many growth opportunities with Bitcoin technologies and we believe that Bitfury is well-positioned for further expansion.“
The proceeds will support BitFury’s accelerating growth and its technology and business expansion. The company has recently rolled out its market-leading, energy-efficient 28 nm chip, as well as acquired Allied Control, an award-winning immersion cooling technology startup. In addition, BitFury announced plans to expand further in the Republic of Georgia by building a Techno Park to host its new 100 MW data center.
Valery Vavilov, CEO of BitFury said: “Today, we are excited to announce we have secured a funding round of $20 million. The success of yet another funding round validates our business strategy and brings us closer to our ambitious goals.”
According to the independent market analysis [by Organofcorti] BitFury has recently tripled its market share and has been continuously adding significant amounts of computing power to the Bitcoin network. According to the same source, BitFury now processes more blocks than all of the private entities combined.
iTech Capital, a Europe-based Venture Capital fund with a focus on the global digital market, today announces a US$2 million investment for a minority stake in Clickky, a global mobile app marketing platform.
Clickky is a one-stop mobile app marketing platform which uses in-house proprietary technology to offer user acquisition, traffic monetisation and performance analysis. The platform boasts its own affiliate and offerwall advertising network with more than 10,000 traffic partners, DMP and media-buying technologies. Clickky runs campaigns for clients on multiple traffic sources to reach the whole mobile ecosystem, using in-house targeting and optimisation capabilities.
The investment by iTech Capital will support Clickky in its expansion into the United States, South-East Asia and emerging markets, as well as the launch of new analytics and media buying features and products. Clickky also aims to launch and expand globally its new project, mobile advertising sales agency, MobiLimes, to give app developers and brands the ability to reach their goals by using Clickky’s technology and MobiLimes experienced account and media planning teams. Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner of iTech Capital will be joining the Clickky Board of Directors.
Vadim Rogovskiy, founder and CEO of Clickky, said: “With the help of additional resources provided by iTech Capital, we will be able to speed up and improve the implementation of our product and marketing plans as the market for mobile advertising shifts so quickly that we need to be able to adapt accordingly and move fast.”
With offices in Berlin, Moscow and Odessa, Clickky is rapidly growing, having enjoyed a 2014 two-fold revenue increase in the fast expanding mobile app market. Its clients include retail and online brands (Alibaba), marketing platforms (Glispa, MobPartner) digital agencies and advertising networks (InMobi), mobile app and game developers (Wooga, Plarium).
Clickky pioneered the market by being the first platform to provide clients with a Cost per Engagement (CPE) for non-incentivised users, optimising their campaigns to reach relevant audiences in real time.
Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner of iTech Capital, said: “The mobile advertising market is rapidly expanding and in 2016, revenues are set to exceed US$100 billion. Clickky is has a huge amount of potential in this industry thanks to a talented management team, as well as a very solid reputation with their customers and peers.”
“Clickky’s team has an impressive amount of technical expertise, showcased in the innovation they are able provide clients in targeting high quality traffic. Along with their continued investment into marketing and their global push, iTech Capital is confident Clickky will continue to grow and become a market leader in the near future.”
Subscription costs is RUR 169 per month, and the application is now available in iTunes. Subscription allows to check possible changes in ticket prices 4 times a day and receive notifications.
The service became the first paid upgrade for Aviasales mobile application. In addition, it is possible to use the notification system as an advertising platform to gain additional income, for example, by adding the list of extra services associated directly with the flights or with some specific destination
Janis Dzenis, the PR-manager in Aviasales, said:
“You need to understand that it’s not an easy task to find a cheap business class ticket. The search history is enough to track prices for economy class tickets. For business class tickets, we have developed a special robot, that checks four times a day the tickets you’re interested in. If the price changes, you will be told”.
However, it’s too early to estimate the expected income from this service immediately after the launch. For Aviasales it’s the first attempt of monetizing mobile apps.
Petr Polyakov takes up duties as Investment Director at iTech Capital and he will responsible for ad tech sector strategy in iTech portfolio including such projects as SeoPult, RealWeb and iContext.
Prior to joining iTech he spent 7 years in Corporate Finance department of Deloitte in Moscow and Alma-Ata focusing on transactions in TMT industry. In 2013-2014 Petr led Deloitte transaction support practice in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. In 2003-2007 Petr worked in Renova, one of the largest Russian private investment groups. Petr graduated from the Moscow State University with Degree in Economics. He also holds CFA charter.
From January, 13 the mobile application is available for smartphones on iOS and Android.
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Aviasales is a leading travel search engine for flights and hotel bookings in Russia. According to the Federal Agency of Air Transport, the Russian passenger air travel market grew by 14.2% in 2013 to more than 84.5 million fliers. Some RUB 240 billion worth of online tickets and hotel reservations were sold, and the sector’s growth is estimated at 40%, according to Data Insight.
SeoPult, Russia’s leading automated search engine marketing platform, has announced its acquisition of uLogin – a service that allows web user authentication through social network accounts. The company was valued at millions of dollars .
Launched in 2011, the uLogin project allows website owners to easily integrate social network authorization in their sites and attract additional visitors from popular social networks and portals.<br>
With the acquisition of uLogin, SeoPult can further improve behavior management technology developed for promoting websites in search engines. The technology is based on large volumes of information on web users and their interests. <br>
uLogin has been implanted into SeoPult and is now a single user data management center with UpToLike DMP, bridging gaps and providing SeoPult customers a higher return on their advertising. An audience of 21 million people and 80 million page hits are processed daily.
uLogin will remain an independent product and will continue to be developed under its own brand. “We see this as a promising deal for both parties and the market in general,” SeoPult CEO Alexey Shtarev says. “We have the expertise and technology, while uLogin can offer Big Data, highly demanded in search engine marketing. We are interested in finding and acquiring IT projects that will help SeoPult group grow and meet the most versatile demands of the online market. In turn, we can provide these services with all the assets we have at our disposal, which translates into bigger revenue and greater profitability for them.”
Founded in 2008, SeoPult Group is the largest high-tech project in the market for automated search engine and contextual advertising management solutions. The service is used by more than 400,000 websites, most of which are owned by small and medium businesses. In 2012, SeoPult raised $10 million from the iTech Capital investment fund.The company’s revenue for 2013-2014 financial year exceeded 2 billon RUR, up 19% on last year.
SeoPult aspires to give advertisers the most efficient tools by constantly improving its own services and acquiring those with similar strategies. Among the holding’s latest acquisitions is UpToLike – a social activity start-up used by more than 110,000 Russian sites.
Column by Gleb Davidyuk for Forbes.ru http://www.forbes.ru/finansy-column/investitsii/271771-turizm-v-internete-stoit-li-investirovat-v-servisy-dlya-puteshestv
At iTech Alexander is responsible for sourcing new deals and overseeing companies from existing portfolio. Alexander is a graduate of London Business School. He worked for more than 4 years at KPMG, and then later at several investment funds.
San Diego, CA (May 28, 2014) – Ecwid, the only e-commerce solution that lets retailers add an online store to any web platform and to multiple online sites simultaneously, announces it has closed its Series B investment, which will be used to accelerate its rapid growth which has surpassed 500,000 registered merchants worldwide.
The $5 million funding was led by iTech Capital with participation from Runa Capital, which provided Ecwid’s Series A funding. Ecwid will utilize the Series B funds to extend its mobile and social commerce product leadership, further expand its global distribution partner network and grow its sales and marketing teams. Ecwid also will help small- to medium-sized (SMB) merchants get online and synchronize their offline and online commerce by tightly integrating e-commerce with their point-of-sale systems.
Ecwid, used by SMB merchants in 175 countries and in 45 languages, stands apart from other e-commerce solutions because it 1) plugs seamlessly into any web presence, 2) enables retailers to add robust e-commerce without limiting their choice of web platform or forcing them to abandon their current website, and 3) lets merchants operate multiple online stores on multiple sites simultaneously from a single control panel. With Ecwid, merchants are not locked into a single website and can easily create stores on any CMS (e.g., WordPress, Joomla, Drupal), sitebuilder (e.g., Yola, Wix, 1&1, Go Daddy), social media or blog.
Ecwid is Facebook’s most popular store builder app, with over 300,000 monthly active users. In addition, Ecwid features mobile responsive design, so stores adapt dynamically to any customer device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, game console, smart TV) regardless of screen size.
“Ecwid is popular because it is a true sell-anywhere storefront with universal integration on any online platform. This is a reason it has had stellar growth and profitability with a first round funding of just $1.5 million,” says Gleb Davidyuk, managing partner of iTech Capital. “Ecwid’s market of small business merchants also is where the e-commerce growth of the next decade will be found. There are millions of sites built with Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and Yola that now can embed a full-featured store in minutes. This is a great business opportunity, a great management team and much potential growth for our shareholders.”
Mr. Davidyuk has now joined the Ecwid, Inc. board of directors.
“Ecwid goes along with the software ecosystem, rather than fights against it, and can be used by merchants without IT support,” comments Dmitry Chikhachev, Runa Capital managing partner. “Ecwid’s architecture also is so advanced and ‘light’ it pioneered social commerce, a first step in the distributed commerce trend: where multiple, synchronized online and offline storefronts are possible for merchants of any size.”
“My quest to democratize e-commerce started in 2000 when I founded X-Cart, the first PHP e-commerce platform. Online store builders have not changed much since then, using the same ‘dedicated e-commerce site’ approach,” comments Ruslan Fazlyev, founder and CEO of Ecwid. “But Ecwid was engineered to be a game changer, making it possible to add a full-featured store to any existing web site, while preserving its design. It is exciting to see this vision come to fruition, and with strong partners like iTech and Runa, we look forward to accelerating our growth and continuing to improve our product.”
"Ecwid began as a way to let merchants sell from any website they prefer, without having to abandon their investment in an existing site or be locked into a dedicated e-commerce website. We used our first funding round to deliver this choice and flexibility to small businesses, and also to bring them rich functionality for mobile and social commerce,” said Jim O’Hara, president of Ecwid. “This new round of funding allows us to help merchants converge their offline and online sales through our POS and mobile POS integration, so they can sell their products anywhere at any time, offline or online and from any device. We also will extend the rapid growth of our network of site-builder, CMS, hosting and payments partners globally."
About Ecwid: Ecwid is a full-featured, cloud-based e-commerce platform that allows SMBs to create professional online stores and embed them into any existing web, mobile, or social site in minutes, and operate multiple online stores with point-of-sale integration simultaneously. Ecwid, available directly or through trusted partners, has 500,000 registered merchants in 175 countries, and is available in 45 languages. A free plan is available. The Ecwid Facebook app is the leading shopping cart application on Facebook, used by more than 300,000 monthly active users. For more info, visit http://www.ecwid.com/.
MFMSolutions is one of the largest players in the Russian bulk SMS market as a software developer, systems integrator and a telecom operator with about a 40% market share. The company develops and implements remote customer service functions using mobile technologies, including an in-depth analysis of business processes and integration with IT infrastructure.
The company’s key technology is a high-performance platform for managing and monitoring large-scale targeted text messaging campaigns. The platform has a capacity of up to 10,000 messages per second. The platform uses the company’s own SMS centers located with Russia’s mobile operators to deliver messages to any mobile subscriber in Russia or abroad.
Bulk SMS campaigns are commonly used for informational purposes: notifications for bank transactions or online purchases, messages from loyalty systems, etc. MFMSolutions’ customers include the largest Russian and foreign banks, insurance companies, money transfer providers, retailers and online shops, government agencies – anyone who needs to deliver information to their customers quickly. The company delivers about 2 billion messages every month.
“The company is in a unique niche, as its strategy is geared around developing complex analytical products for banks and other players in the financial sector as well as expanding the current product portfolio which, among other things, includes activating alternative delivery channels,” says Ilya Balandin, iTech Capital’s investment manager.
The bulk SMS market in Russia is up to 5 billion messages per month and continues growing as remote banking services become more commonplace.
“MFMSolutions is one of the few companies that fully meets its customer obligations, regardless of snowballing tariffs of mobile operators. To date we have invested heavily in expanding the platform’s capacity and will actively continue to launch new projects throughout the year,” said company founder Pavel Sorokin.
iTech Capital’s Managing Partner Gleb Davidyuk and Investment Manager Ilya Balandin have become members of the Board of Directors. The money will be spent on developing the service, expanding the team and promoting key products.
Aviasales is a leading travel search engine for flights and hotel bookings in Russia. The service helps users compare airfares and hotel options from dozens of travel sites. Then they are redirected to the airline or OTA website to pay for the booking.
Every month Aviasales receives more than 4 million unique visitors who make over 500,000 search queries for tickets every day, comparing prices of more than 100 ticket agencies and over 60 carriers - both regular operators (Emirates, Air France/KLM) and lowcosters (Ryanair, easyJet). Developing a mobile version of the service is an important part of Aviasales’ strategy. About 27% of queries are made from smartphones and tablets, while the average bill for such orders is almost 10% greater than for web customers. Over 1.5 million devices use the Aviasales app, in addition to Alcatel, Qumo, Texet and other phones where the app is pre-installed.
“Aviasales is a very popular service that lets people compare flights and hotel offers quickly and easily from various sources, including airline and hotel sites,” comments iTech Capital’s Investment Manager Ilya Balandin. “By investing in Aviasales, we expect synergy with our other online marketing and booking assets to improve growth.”
The funds invested will be spent on developing the firm’s key products: the Aviasales Russian search engine and its international counterpart, JetRadar, a Thai version of which was launched recently, as well as the Hotellook hospitality project and Travelpayouts affiliate network.
“Partnering with iTech Capital will allow us to keep up the growth pace on a highly competitive market. At the moment Aviasales is growing by more than 100% a year. It is a major Russian search service in the travel sector, successfully competing with foreign projects,” says Konstantin Kalinov, founder of the service.
The company employs about 80 members of staff. Aviasales’ HQ is on the Island of Phuket (Thailand). International expansion is a priority for the company, which already works on 13 foreign markets under the brand name JetRadar. More than 1 billion fliers use JetRadar every year. JetRadar exerts the most active presence in the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.
According to the Federal Agency of Air Transport, the Russian passenger air travel market grew by 14.2% in 2013 to more than 84.5 million fliers. Some RUB 240 billion worth of online tickets and hotel reservations were sold, and the sector’s growth is estimated at 40% (Data Insight).
IATA’s forecast for 2014 is also positive. Last December the Association increased its original forecast of carrier profits by 9%, which means better revenues for all market participants. Search engines are a vital part of the ticket sales industry. In 2013, large companies such as Amadeus, Sabre and others offered IT solutions for meta projects - a clear confirmation of the importance of Aviasales and similar products for the global distribution of air tickets.
iTech Capital invested US$ 10 mln in Ticketland which is on track to become the largest event ticketing company in Eastern Europe.
The group includes three major market players in Russia: United Art Tickets – major provider of tickets for concerts, theatre, shows and sports, a supplier of ERP and e-ticket platforms for venues; MDTZK (Moscow Theatre and Shows Ticket Offices Direction) – the oldest and the largest ticket retail chain in Moscow with 130 outlets; and Arena Group – a sport ticketing processing supplier. The joint company employees number more than 400 people.
More than 2 million tickets for more than 40 000 events are marketed annually via Ticketland outlets and internet platforms. The Russian market of sport and entertainment event ticketing (excluding cinema) is growing more than 20% annually (CAGR) and exceeds US$ 1 billion. Ticketland, whose turnover exceeds US$ 120 million in 2013, occupies significant shares of both segments: more than 50 percent of theatre ticketing market available for ticketing agents in Moscow, and 13 to 28 percent of other segments of the event ticketing market. Company sales channels include 130 retail box offices (owned and partners), web site (booking), call center and e-ticket. Ticketland revenue model includes service charge 10% from customers purchasing tickets.
Electronic ticket implementation is a key part of Ticketland’s strategy. Current share of e-tickets in the company turnover amounts to 15%.
Vitaly Vinogradov, CEO of Ticketland says: “With the new investor we are aiming to enhance our online sales channel and to raise electronic ticket share up to 50 percent”. The company plans to implement new online services and marketing initiatives based on Big Data technology (user behavior models research) that provides for a very attractive value added marketing channel for event organizers.
The company has already implemented e-ticket platforms at 120 venues in Moscow that makes the service available via www.ticketland.ru to purchase tickets for more than a half of all the events taking place in the city’s theatres and concert halls. Besides that, more than 90 venues use the ERP platform provided by Ticketland that enables to significantly increase their capacity utilization rate. In the sport segment, the company’s processing platform is used by more than 35 leading Russian sport clubs.
iTech Capital earlier invested in major online marketing services providers operating in Russia, CIS, Europe and Southeastern Asia: SeoPult, iContext, Garpun and others.
The fund’s Managing Partner Gleb Davidyuk says: “Ticketland is a good consolidation of the strongest tech and retail players in a field of ticketing. As a value added investor we are happy to provide the company with new opportunities for their growth via marketing synergy with key online marketing players in the fund’s portfolio.”
The ad tech leader now holds a 65% share of the Russian digital automated search engine marketing sector with 72,000 active advertisers.
The Pult Group’s platform enables businesses to build effective online marketing channels to attract consumers to their websites by automating SEO, paid search and contextual advertising campaigns.
The Pult Group’s key service SeoPult has recorded a 42% rise in the number of active accounts off the back of several new product launches this year. These include, Webartex, a new generation text exchange which is integrated into the SeoPult platform. Webartex has gained 18,300 users and more than 2,000 websites within its first month. In October, The Pult Group also announced the launch of new mobile advertising network AdCamp which is on track to become one of the largest mobile advertising networks in Russia.
Nick Davidov, Director of iTech Capital and Managing Director of The Pult Group, comments: "The Pult Group is at the forefront of the Russian online advertising boom. Thanks to a huge range of products and a very strong track record, The Pult Group has captured a huge share of the online automated advertising market in Russia. Our products make life easier for owners and managers of SMEs and have become an essential part of their digital strategies.
“The online advertising space will continue to grow rapidly for the rest of the decade and The Pult Group is well placed to grow rapidly alongside it.”
iTech Capital is a PE & VC fund investing in the Russian digital and online sector. Its investments include automated search engine marketing service SeoPult, online marketing agency iContext and ad management platform Garpun.
According to the latest market research by TNS, the Russian online audience has reached 67.7 million users. Estimates suggest that the Russian internet market is expected to grow by around 15%-20% year-on-year up until 2018.
Launched in 2012, The Pult Group unites marketing platforms SeoPult (launched in 2008), Trustlink, WebArtex, Adcamp, digital advertising agency Click.ru and Cybermarketing the largest digital marketing university The Pult Group has rapidly grown to become Russia’s leading automated search engine marketing company.
In 2012 the Pult Group started international expansion and is now present throughout Europe and South East Asia.
The Pult Group is comprised of eleven platforms and products which together hold a 65% share of the Russian digital advertising automation for the SME market.
iConText is an independent provider of search engine marketing services with a focus on PPC campaigns. Founded in 2002, the company grew into a leading market player with the staff of over online marketing professionals, whose 650 clients include top multinational and local agencies and advertisers: Ozon.ru, UniCredit bank, AVITO.ru and others. iContext is a parent company of online agency Registratura.ru, Internet marketing agency Webprofiters, search engine optimization agency iSeo and social media marketing agency Sociorama. Besides that, iConText is the exclusive Russian reseller of the world-leading technology Efficient Frontier, acquired by Adobe. iContext plans to develop new online marketing services and technologies.
It is the third iTech Capital’s investment in online advertising and search engine marketing segment – earlier the fund invested in online marketing platforms SeoPult (US$ 10 mln) and Garpun (US$ 3,5 mln). In the future the fund considers opportunity to create a media group based on the resources of its portfolio companies. iTech Capital investment director Nick Davydov says that the consolidation within the fund’s portfolio opens up new business opportunities to the companies, each being a leader in its marketing niche.
“The most important trends in online marketing are technological advancement and increase of advertising campaigns complexity, which leads to higher demand for professional solutions for large accounts, flexible usage of technologies and multichannel strategies management. All those are the core competencies of iContext thanks to their 11-year experience and the team expertise,” comments Nick Davydov.
“It is crucial to us that our partner understands the market and shares our values and strategic vision”, says Maria Chernitskaya, CEO and co-owner of iContext. “Throughout the past years iContext carries out the strategy of a group development to provide our clients with complex internet marketing solutions. We believe that cooperation with other companies within iTech Capital portfolio will enhance the potential of our companies’ growth”.
The article is available in Russian: http://www.forbes.ru/svoi-biznes/istorii-uspeha/240589-kak-zarabotat-na-sozdanii-konkurenta-pochty-rossii
Russian ad tech startup Garpun which developed a box solution to provide digital agencies and corporate advertisers with a full set of tools for professional online ad management, has raised $3,5 million in its first round of funding. The round was led by Moscow-based iTech Capital PE & VC fund. The funds will be used to accelerate product development and to add features for additional online marketing channels including RTB. Nikolay Davidov, iTech Capital Investment Director joined Garpun BoD.
Garpun helps managing paid search advertising campaigns across Google Adwords as well as key Russian-specific online properties: Yandex.Direct, Yandex.Market, Begun and Vk.com. The platform is based on 15 years’ experience and know-how of Russian top-5 online agency RealWeb. Garpun software is already used for more than 10 thousands of ad campaigns, which contain more than 4 million keywords, and bids are refreshed more than 1 million per day.
Garpun’s customers are large and medium businesses that spend at least $20,000 per month on paid search campaigns across major search engines in Russia. The founders aim for a significant share of Russian online advertising market and global expansion in the short run. Russia is one of the world’s fastest growing market and has a huge demand for professional online ad management tools. According to the Russian communication agencies association AKAR, online ad market has grown by 35% in 2012.
Vasily Lazuka, Garpun founder and RealWeb CEO: “Many online agencies in Russia use their internal tools to manage certain functions within online ad campaigns, but Garpun is the only existing complex solution familiar with local features of Russian online market. We have extensive plans on further development of Garpun’s features. The funds and expertise provided by iTech Capital will allow us to enhance online ad management experience for our customers in Russia and expand further globally.”
Nikolay Davidov, iTech Capital Investment Director:” This investment is the second step ofour strategy in the field of online marketing technologies. Garpun technology is far beyond anything available on Russian market and offers its partners toincrease marketing efficiency and cut expenses significantly.”
Google platform partnerships director in Russia and Eastern Europe Vsevolod Leonov states that intelligent ad automation technologies have immense potential: “Russian Internet is one of the priority markets for us at Google, which will continue to develop in the near future. Companies which are able to provide the best technology will become key market players”.
In 2012 iTech Capital placed $10 million in another online marketing platform SeoPult, a company offering Internet marketing tools to small online businesses, to assist its s expansion in Europe and Southeast Asia.