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Google Ventures leads $250 million investment in mobile app Uber. Values business at $3.5 billion

Google Ventures leads $250 million investment in mobile app Uber. Values business at $3.5 billion | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Google Ventures along with TPG Capital today invested over $250 million in Uber a company which says its mission is to evolve the way the world moves. The investment values Uber at over $3.5...

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Which-50's curator insight, August 24, 2013 5:37 AM

A stunning valuation that puts instagram to shame

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The Dilemma’s Innovator: The Next 10 Years Will Either Happen To Us or Because of Us

The Dilemma’s Innovator: The Next 10 Years Will Either Happen To Us or Because of Us | Private Equity | Scoop.it

I believe that the next 10 years is a decade that must be willed instead of unveiled. I believe that the next 10 years will be fueled by innovation that disrupts thinking, behavior and markets.

As a digital analyst, my work focuses on studying disruptive technology and its impact on business. I also study disruptive technology’s affect on consumer behavior. I live in Silicon Valley but I spend most of my time visiting hubs of innovation around the world. And, I’m happy to see that innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurialism is wildly spreading. While in Paris for Le Web as an example, I spent time with Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate with responsibility for Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation, and the Digital Economy. Her mission is to make France the epicenter for innovation in Europe. Indeed there are now many other champions for innovation globally and specifically in Europe that will give France a good race. But it is this race that is important.

This is a time for global innovation and disruptive ideas, but they need a supporting and nurturing ecosystem.

Every day, I am pitched by startups hoping to change the world and some actually do. Lately however, it seems that many entrepreneurs are confusing creativity with innovation. Now more than ever, I see apps, services, and companies that are uninspired or uninspiring. While this itself is not a problem, the fact that many of these ideas are funded creates a benchmark for mediocrity.

While clever or interesting, more than a fair share of ideas are not original, unusual, experimental or grand enough to will the next 10 years in a direction that fulfills its true potential. In the grand ecosystem of innovation, most ideas are infrequently innovative and as a result, waves of potential disruption are erratic or fleeting. Ideas are a commodity these days. The next 10 years will be defined by those who do more than innovate. The future lies in the hands of those who disrupt markets and industries. But, often innovation and disruption are not linked together.

Our world and the way we live in it is in desperate need of either an upgrade, reboot or complete refresh. This is a time to think bigger. This is a time to not just create but innovate.The future takes architecture and for that we need architects who see the world for what it has the potential to be.

This is a time when anything and everything can be re-imagined. The way things are doesn’t necessarily reflect the way things ought to be. We have an opportunity to change the world and it starts with the way we see it for what it is and what we can make of it.

The Dilemma's InnovatorI think back to Clay Christensen’s landmark book, The Innovator's Dilemma. In it, Christensen shared his framework for helping companies build a process around internal disruption to stay competitive and survive digital Darwinism. Lately, I’ve found myself aligning disruption with problem solving or opportunity creation. The journey to innovation here begins differently than it might if I started simply with a great idea.

I think back to Le Web 2008. It was cold and it snowed, not heavily but enough to disrupt the normal flow of traffic. The city practically shut down. As a result, getting a taxi from Les Docks where the event is hosted back into Paris proper was almost impossible. It was then that the idea for Uber was born as its CEO Travis Kalanick explains. Born out of necessity, Uber would solve a common problem. But it was more than the ability to order a car on demand. Uber’s true value proposition was that it created a platform where available drivers could easily connect with passengers via smart phones integrating payments, ratings, and commerce on one screen.

Uber was innovative indeed. But more so, Uber would go on to disrupt every market it entered. The cold winter day in Paris several years ago would eventually unfold into political battles in cities where governments or regulated unions were threatened by Uber’s digital competition. Could any of those industries have innovated in their own right? Absolutely. But they didn’t and therefore their world is being disrupted as a result. Now Uber’s model will serve as a foundation for additional “on demand” services. Disrupt or be disrupted!

But they’re not alone of course.

Airbnb is transforming the hospitality industry through an integrated platform that connects places and people. Like Uber, Airbnb faces political challenges from the hospitality industry.

Square is helping businesses everywhere receive and manage payments through smart devices bypassing traditional banks and financial services providers.

Instagram changed the way you take and share pictures.

Twitter became not a social network but an information network that reflects the pulse of society.

TOMS and Warby Parker helped you get stylish necessities such as shoes and eye glasses and turned customers into benefactors by donating a product to someone in need for each one sold.

Bitcoin is disrupting currencies. Per David Meyer it is to state-issued currencies – often referred to as fiat money – as P2P file-sharing is to traditional broadcast media. It’s all about decentralization.

Innovative.

Disruptive.

Companies such as these are more than great ideas. They solve problems that fundamentally change behavior. They introduce a deviation in our current path to lead us in a new direction. Each were born by the dilemma's innovator.

Changing the Design of Our Thinking to Change the Outcome of Ideation

Imagine what the next 10 years could look like if we didn’t just pursue ideas but instead relentlessly ventured to solve problems or create opportunities. The difference between innovation and disruption is the affect on behavior and the impact on existing markets.


Not only are companies finding new ways to have a positive impact on society, they’re creating ecosystems that bring together disparate functions into a holistic and enjoyable experience. Sometimes these ideas are inspired because of the pain that’s felt in the absence of a solution. Sometimes a vision of possibility is what drives someone to create something new. Imagine if the next 10 years was built upon a foundation of both. It’s part design thinking and part systems thinking.

Without deviating too much from the main subject, and whatever your stance is on it as a philosophy, the basis of design thinking simply describes an object or an end result. Design thinking is about improving the future and it represents the foundation for becoming the dilemma’s innovator. As Fast Company describes, design in its most effective form is a process, an action, a verb not a noun. It’s a methodology that solves problems or creates opportunities and consists of four key elements.

Define the problem.Create and consider many options that attempt to solve that problem and/or create new opportunities in the process.Refine selected directions without worrying about the “idea killers” who dominate critical thinking by devaluing or disregarding early ideas. Great ideas and bad ideas sound equally ridiculous early on.Select your idea/s. Test and learn. Repeat.

Design thinking is often linked to extraordinary ideas that might not have otherwise arisen. At its core is something that I believe also serves as a pillar of innovation and that is both empathy and context. Empathy for a problem or opportunity is where innovation becomes personal. Context serves as the setting and allows for us to understand the emotion in order to assess and address it. It’s this type of thinking that can lead to innovation that fuels disruption.

Innovation starts with why.

Why do we do things this way?

Why can’t we do something?

Why doesn’t this exist yet?

Why isn’t this something we can do today?

When you set out to answer these questions you cannot help but feel the empathy in context that adds a sense of meaning and urgency to “why.” Design thinking can also be simplified to these four pillars…

1) Empathy (the why)

2) Context (the connected world in which you are building something)

3) Creativity (in your approach to problem-solving)

4) Rationality (logic in testing the reasons and feasibility behind what you have created)

Why Ask Why

Simon Sinek wrote the book on the importance of asking and answering why. He believes all great leaders share that they start with why in their approach to leadership. In an inspiringTEDTalk, Sinek shares an example of why Apple is different than every other technology company it competes against. To illustrate this example, he refers to his Golden Circle which demonstrates the relationships between Why, How and What.

 

In his presentation, Sinek states that every company on the planet knows WHAT they do. Some companies know HOW they do WHAT they do. Very few though can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do

With Apple, the “What” is that it “makes great computers.” The “how” is that they’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

He then asks the audience, “Would you like to buy one?” The answer of course is no. His point is though that the what and how are generic or unbranded without the why. When you start with “why” however, you see the difference.

Sinek explains the why. “At Apple, in everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. We just happen to make great computers.”

All he did was reverse the order of what and how Apple sells to start with why.

If you start with why, before how and what of your product or service, then you can build something bigger than what you may have originally set out to create or discover something altogether new to pursue.

To influence the next 10 years takes ideas and execution of course. But the next 10 years require a imaginative and productive approach to problem solving and creativity that rethink the very things we take for granted today or under estimate in our ability to affect.

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: manipulate it or inspire it. Innovation begins with an idea on how to improve something that may or may not be broken. It’s driven by a higher purpose. It starts with vision. And it’s empathy that will ultimately provoke the core of your vision as an innovator.

The next 10 years will either happen to us or because of us. I believe in the latter.


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Linda Holroyd's curator insight, December 13, 2013 1:12 PM

First the why, then the how, then the what

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China’s Yongche gets $60 million funding in battle against Uber and taxi app rivals

China’s Yongche gets $60 million funding in battle against Uber and taxi app rivals | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Online car rental and ride-booking service Yongche has yet more venture capital money to aid in its expansion across China. Today the company, which is now operating in 49 cities across the country, announced $60 million in series C funding.

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10 Tips For Marketing iOS Apps

10 Tips For Marketing iOS Apps | Private Equity | Scoop.it

If you've just finished developing an app, let?s talk about the next steps to take in marketing your application in order to get sales in the App Store.

 

1. Have an app worth talking about
This point cannot be stressed enough. If your app doesn’t have a clear use case or doesn’t get people excited about using it you might as well stop here. You’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Sure, some good marketing could get you some sales, but it isn’t worth the effort. Go back and invest a lot of time and energy into creating a great product and then revisit these steps.

 

2. Learn to communicate the value
Mike Lee talks about the idea of creating the marketing video for your app first, before you even start developing it. The reason he gives is that if you can’t clearly communicate the value of your application in 45 seconds, should you even be making the application?

 

 

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Long-term returns in private equity are still strong

Long-term returns in private equity are still strong | Private Equity | Scoop.it
New research shows valuations of private equity deals remain more attractive than most listed asset classes (RT @Mkessome: Long-term returns in private equity are still strong http://t.co/MYYQcrIWYj...

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Buyout groups find new appetite for techs - FT.com

Buyout groups find new appetite for techs - FT.com | Private Equity | Scoop.it

The total amount invested by private equity groups in UK technology companies increased year on year for only the second time since 2007 as the prospects for deals in the sector showed signs of improving.


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Google, KKR invest $400 million in six U.S. solar power plants

Google, KKR invest $400 million in six U.S. solar power plants | Private Equity | Scoop.it

14 November 2013, Reuters -- "Technology giant Google Inc and private equity firm KKR & Co LP are investing $400 million in six solar power plants in California and Arizona.


In a statement, the companies said the plants are being built and sold by Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco developer of utility-scale solar projects that is owned by Japan's Sharp Corp.

 

The deal is valued at $400 million, according to a Google spokeswoman. That includes equity investments and debt financing from Google and KKR.

 

The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York January 8, 2013. CredutL Reuters, Andrew Kelly

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Equity Crowdfunding Investments - A Good Investment?

Equity Crowdfunding Investments - A Good Investment? | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Equity crowdfunding Investments are similar to venture capital and private equity investing. Is Equity Crowdfunding investments a good investment for you?

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Deutsche Bank focuses on Emerging Markets

Deutsche Bank focuses on Emerging Markets | Private Equity | Scoop.it
International banking finance and capital markets news, analysis. FX, asset management, investment banking, M&A, private banking, debt and equity markets.

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How Private Equity Funds Raise Capital and Source Deals with Social Media

How Private Equity Funds Raise Capital and Source Deals with Social Media | Private Equity | Scoop.it

I’m giving a talk next month on “How Private Equity Funds Raise Capital and Source Deals with Social Media” at Terrapinn’s Private Equity Latin America & Real Estate Latin America conference in Miami.


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Blackstone Leads the Rebound in Private Equity - Bloomberg

Blackstone Leads the Rebound in Private Equity - Bloomberg | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Blackstone Leads the Rebound in Private Equity
Bloomberg
VIDEO TEXT. Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) – Bloomberg's Julie Hyman discusses Blackstone's stock ending a six-year drought and the comeback of private equity in 2013.

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Deloitte: Lloyd’s market M&A looks set to continue as focus turns to private equity

Deloitte believes M&A activity in the Lloyd’s insurance market will continue and the focus will turn to private equity-owned businesses looking for an exit.

 

Will Geer, insurance director at Deloitte, said: “Four Lloyd’s M&A deals completed in 2012 with an aggregate deal value of approximately £450m. At present, about £3bn of premiums in the market is under private equity ownership, with many investments being more than five years old. A continued uptick in valuations across the market may present a window of opportunity for these investors to exit".


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Seven Value Creation Lessons from Private Equity

Seven Value Creation Lessons from Private Equity | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Although public companies do not enjoy certain liberties that highly concentrated private ownership affords, their boards and executives can learn from the best practices of private equity firms, adapting them to the realities and constraints of...

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Uber's Fundraising Sparks Speculation About Its Value

Uber's Fundraising Sparks Speculation About Its Value | Private Equity | Scoop.it

Uber's CEO stays vague in response to rumors that the on-demand car service is raising at a valuation above Airbnb's $2.5 billion Now that Uber is officially fundraising, the rumor mill is churning again.


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Uber Isn't a Car Service. It's the Future of Logistics

Uber Isn't a Car Service. It's the Future of Logistics | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Uber's long-term prospects dwarf cool cars and an easy-to-use app. That's the model every company should have in mind.

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The 20 Best iOS And Android Apps Of 2012 | TechCrunch

The 20 Best iOS And Android Apps Of 2012  | TechCrunch | Private Equity | Scoop.it

"The apps we selected were either released or significantly updated between January 1 and December 21 of this year. Titles that debuted on iOS or Android in 2012 that were previously available on another platform are eligible for inclusion. All of our selections were sourced, ranked and finalized by Appolicious advisors and members of our community. In all, about a dozen members of the Appolicious editorial team offered their favorites. We also surveyed the most active and influential users of Appolicious sites and applications. We did not account for the number of app downloads or overall popularity. Our qualitative assessment is based primarily on the production value, utility and creativity baked into each cited application. Here goes."


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Shifting Towards Collaborative Consumption - Valuation App

Shifting Towards Collaborative Consumption - Valuation App | Private Equity | Scoop.it

Sharing allows us a deeper insight into the human spirit, which is a fact collaborative consumption thrives on. The term is used to describe a prevalent economic model that involves sharing, bartering, trading, renting etc. as opposed to ownership.


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Financial Modeling and Valuation: A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity | by Paul Pignataro | ISBN: 9781118558768 | Discounted Cash Flow Analysis. Precedent Transactions Analysis

Financial Modeling and Valuation: A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity | by  Paul Pignataro | ISBN: 9781118558768 | Discounted Cash Flow Analysis. Precedent Transactions Analysis | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Built around a full-length case study of Wal-Mart, this essential guide shows you how to perform an in-depth analysis of that company's financial standing, walking you through all the steps of developing a sophisticated financial model as done by...

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Ed tech firm Logical Choice chooses mobile, raises $5M

Ed tech firm Logical Choice chooses mobile, raises $5M | Private Equity | Scoop.it
An Atlanta-based education technology firm has raised $5 million in private equity as the company pivots into the fast growing mobile market.
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Centerview makes a big bet on mid-market tech investing

Centerview makes a big bet on mid-market tech investing | Private Equity | Scoop.it
With $500 million in hand, the private equity firm dives into the technology industry.

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UK: Hi-tech way ahead for region in 2013 | Manchester Evening News

UK: Hi-tech way ahead for region in 2013 | Manchester Evening News | Private Equity | Scoop.it

Technology firms with the ability to meet shifting customer demands are well-placed for success in 2013, say north west business leaders.

 

The pace of change in a range of industries means that companies which are fleet-of-foot will reap the most benefit, say experts.

 

John Hughes, a transaction services partner at the Manchester office of accountancy giant KPMG, said technology companies which adapt to changing customer needs are set to be among the region's winners over the next 12 months.

 

Industries such as oil and gas and car production will continue to do well, and technology companies which serve them will benefit, as long as they are able to keep pace with change in those sectors, he said.

 

“If you look at the number of private equity investments over the last 10 years, the biggest growth has been in the technology space,” said Mr Hughes.

 

“Technology is becoming the new manufacturing.”

 

Mr Hughes also predicts progress for the region's life sciences sector, as people are living longer, creating increased demand for medicines and other new products.

 

Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at Manchester think tank New Economy, said Greater Manchester is well-established as the main centre outside London for the creative and digital sector, as well as professional and business services, while retaining its place as a centre for advanced manufacturing.

 

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Dealmakers Predict 2014 Will Be a Great Year for Middle-Market M&A

Dealmakers Predict 2014 Will Be a Great Year for Middle-Market M&A | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Dealmakers Predict 2014 Will Be a Great Year for Middle-Market M&A
Strategic buyers, as well as private equity inves…http://t.co/uymvUfwXAR

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Predictions for 2014 From Joseph Harned | Capitalist Exploits - Frontier Markets Investing, Private Equity and IPO's

Predictions for 2014 From Joseph Harned | Capitalist Exploits - Frontier Markets Investing, Private Equity and IPO's | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Joseph Harned was formerly COO and CFO, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D

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Bain & Company: Global Private Equity Report 2012

Lots of good information, insights, and lessons learned from the Bain & Company's Global Private Equity Report 2012


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Getting to know private equity sources

Getting to know private equity sources | Private Equity | Scoop.it
Like many information-intensive industries, the private equity industry offers a range of sources, with a range of price tags -- from free to costly. This is a short version of a longer FreePint Subscription article on the same topic.

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