A lot have been going on with 500 Startups in the recent weeks, the company just closed its global funding with $85 million. The company is increasing its global presence with addition of six new partners, each of which will be focusing on a specific area around the globe.
According to venturebeat, ZeptoLab’s former chief revenue officer Diana Moldavsky will focus on Eastern Europe and Tel Aviv, Israel. Binpress cofounder and former chief executive Adam Benayoun will help Moldavsky in the Tel Aviv market. Adam AngelList’s ex-European liaison Philipp Moehring will lead investments in Germany. Former Yandex product manager Erhan Erdogan will run operations in Turkey. Former DeNA venture capitalist James Riney will look at the Japanese ecosystem. And ex-PayPal’er Matt Lerner will not only look at the U.K.’s community but will lead the recently established Distro Dojo.
The company has now invested in more than 1,200 companies , and usually not taking a stake more than 1 or 2 percent. Among the companies that startups has funded are the privately held businesses Credit Karma and Twilio, which were most recently valued by their investors at$3.5 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively.
500 Startups is continuing to cover Asia by tapping DeNA Venture capitalist James Riney to invest a $30 million microfund in Japan.
500 Startups first moved into Asia in 2013 with its $10 million 500 Durians fund for Southeast Asia. And it recently got a $5 million to-up, while 500 Startups also has a $10 million 500 Tuktuks fund for Thailand. That’s in addition to other funds across the world, and the firm’s newest global fund, which just closed at $85 million last week.
Individual investments from the new fund will range from $100,000 to $500,000. Including future follow-on rounds, 500 Startups Japan could invest around $1 million per startup. Markets that it will look at include virtual reality and healthcare. 500 Startups had previously invested in Japan through a joint venture with NTT DoCoMo, which it entered into in 2013.
TechCrunch reported that the firm first moved into Asia in 2013 with its $10 million ‘500 Durians’ fund for Southeast Asia. That recently got a $5 million to-up, while 500 Startups also has a $10 million ‘500 Tuktuks’ fund for Thailand, a $20 million fund for India, a post-accelerator program in Malaysia and it is close to opening a fund in Vietnam. That’s in addition to other funds across the world, and the firm’s newest global fund, which just closed at $85 million last week.
The firm formerly had a joint venture in Japan, which has the world’s third largest economy but less than $1.5 billion in startup investments per year, and a fund was an obvious gap.
500 startups is founded in 2010 by Dave McClure, an outspoken former marketing director and conference organizer for outfits including PayPal, Simply Hired, and O’Reilly Media; and Christine Tsai, a former product marketing manager at Google. 500 startup is is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program focused on consumer and small- and medium-sized internet startups. The company’s areas of interest include financial services and e-commerce; search, social, and mobile platforms; personal and business productivity; education and language; family and healthcare; and web infrastructure. The company admitted a first “class” of twelve startups to its incubator office in Mountain View, California in February, 2011