Over 19 years and 100+ investments (and counting), we have developed unique global expertise, capability and presence - supporting global leaders from Baidu in China, to Virgin Mobile in Latin America
We invest in exceptional entrepreneurs, management teams and companies with the potential to become ‘category leading’ in large or fast growing markets. Our companies typically exhibit high growth rates and often disrupt the markets they are present in. We consider ourselves a bridge between the Old World (US, Europe) and the New World (driven by China, India, Latin America and other emerging markets), helping replicate successful investment themes as well as building new and geographic specific models.
We back exceptional teams in businesses where the application of innovation in technology and/or business model has the potential to create high-growth, category-dominant players. Innovation is not just limited to the emergence of new technology and/or an invention, but also includes improvement in business model and business efficiencies across a broad spectrum of sectors and industries, all with the potential to address a large and valuable target market.
We typically invest in a company’s equity, across various stages of its growth cycle, and repeatedly back entrepreneurs and management teams with a proven track record of success.
Founded in California in 1999 to focus on global venture and growth capital, ePlanet Capital has a successful 19 year track record in investing, with a particular focus on growth investments in emerging and developing markets. We have a core team of 4 managing partners supported by a small team of investment professionals and support staff.
At ePlanet Capital, we believe in investing primarily in the equity of companies and management teams that are positioned for success and embarking on a new phase of growth in the technology sector. As shareholders, we think our strengths are to spot underlying trends, identify inflection points and invest in companies with a dominant market leadership position in their respective defined domains.
We also invest in emerging companies that have high potential to disrupt large markets and become market leaders in a few years. We use our 20 years of investment experience to understand the drivers of success and identify companies, ahead of time, that meet those criteria and that have potential to scale 5x-10x in equity value.
ePlanet Capital Advisors US, Inc, 99 Almaden Blvd. Ste. 600 San Jose, CA 95113, United States of America
Tel/Fax: +1 408 236 6500
ePlanet Capital Ltd, 73 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ
Company reg. no. 04067746
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Tel: +44(0) 20 8334 8802
Fax: +44(0) 20 8334 8100
The first mainland Chinese firm is set to join the cluster of hi-tech companies around the Shoreditch area, with the arrival of China's biggest social gaming company Rekoo.
Beijing-based Rekoo plans to hire 10 people for its new office in London's 'Tech City', with plans to grow to 25 within three years.
The London team will market the companies games to European consumers and also help to localise content.
Rekoo, founded in 2008, was one of the first Chinese firms to develop games for Facebook and is one of the country's biggest mobile gaming firms. The company employs 500 people across Asia and has had more than 15 million daily PC gamers and 10 million daily smart phone gamers.
The expansion plans were announced by Chancellor George Osborne and London Mayor Boris Johnson as part of their trade mission to China.
Johnson said: "As a leading light in China's tech scene, Rekoo's decision is another huge boost for the capital's digital industries.
"Making the most of the great minds, talented workforce, and market opportunities within immediate access of our Tech City makes absolute sense which is why London is fast becoming the digital capital of the world."
The move was brokered by London & Partners, the Mayor's official promotional organisation for London.
Lisa Pan, Vice President of Rekoo, said: “Companies in the UK produce very high quality games, and being in London means we can attract world-class talent and find new business opportunities with UK and European developers.”
One of Rekoo's biggest successes is Find Something, which has been played by 100 million users.
London-based game brands include Mind Candy, the creators of Moshi Monsters, and Candy Crush Saga developer King. The UK is Europe's biggest games software market and the third largest in the world.
Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) has launched virtual telecom services in Malaysia, teaming up with the south east Asian country's No.4 operator U Mobile and stepping up competition in an already crowded market.
Dubai-based VMMEA, part-owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, ePlanet Capital and other investors, is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
These do not own the networks they use to provide communications services but instead lease capacity from conventional operators, usually paying them a percentage of their revenue as well as fees.
VMMEA - holder of MVNO licences in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, South Africa and Oman - will operate under its brand Friendi in Malaysia, which usually targets foreign workers.
"Malaysia has strong cultural, trade and tourism links with the Middle East markets where VMMEA has the bulk of operations," VMMEA chief executive Mikkel Vinter said in a statement.
The company enters a crowded Malaysian telecoms market, which already has four mobile operators and other MVNOs. Mobile penetration was 143 percent at the end of June, according to data from the country's telecom regulator. This is little changed from the end of 2012, indicating stagnating subscriber growth.
Yet the prospects for MVNOs in Malaysia are promising, according to Paul Budde, managing director of Sydney-based telecommunications consultancy BuddeCom.
"There is a supportive regulator, an open market and mainstream operators prepared to work with MVNOs," said Budde. "The prepaid tourist market looks to be promising for MVNOs."
Friendi launched services on U Mobile's network this week. U Mobile has 7 percent market share according to BuddeCom.
Maxis is the market leader with 37 percent, Celcom - a unit of Axiata Group Bhd - has 34 percent and DiGi.Com Bhd 28 percent.
VMMEA owns a controlling stake in Friendi Malaysia, with state investment fund Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Sdn Bhd a minority stakeholder.
Vinter declined to provide further details, but a September report from Business Monitor International (BMI) said VMMEA owns a 65 percent stake in the MVNO, with 30 percent held by Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor and the remainder by Samena Telecom.
Read original article on Reuters
The Virgin entrepreneur's attack follows a change in Mexican law earlier this year designed to loosen America Movil's stranglehold on the country's telecoms market.
Sir Richard has already introduced the Virgin Mobile brand to Latin America via a company formed in 2010 and backed by investors including Juan Villalonga, the former chief executive of Telefonica, ePlanetCapital and Sir Brian Souter, his partner in Virgin Rail Group. So far Virgin Mobile Latin America has mobile networks in Chile and Colombia.
Tackling Mr Slim, the world's richest man, on his own territory is a challenge on a different scale, however. America Movil's Mexican network, Telcel, serves more than two thirds of the country's 100 million mobile users.
In common with its operations in Britain, the United States and eight other countries around the world, Virgin Mobile Mexico will trade as a virtual mobile network. Rather than take on the massive capital costs of building masts, it will buy airtime wholesale from America Movil's rivals and use the Virgin brand to differentiate itself in the market.
Virgin Mobile plans to enter the fray next year.
Read more - the original & full article in The Telegraph
The ePlanet Fund II SaaS company eCommera, has this year made it to a solid 64 of 100 fastet growing technology companies in the UK , up from number 91 in the 2012 Rank.
Retailers including Brooks Brothers, Hamleys and Jaeger use eCommera to help run their online shops. Revenues were £26.3m to March 2013.
The Ruels of Engagement. The 13th Tech Track 100 league table ranks Britian's fastest-growing private technology, telecoms and digital media companies by their average annual sales growth over their latest three years.
Criteria. The Tech Track 100 adopts the London Stock Exchange's Techmark definition of technology company, which requires operations in sectors such as software, telecoms and biotechnology. Total sales had to exceed £250,000 in the base year and not show a drop from the penultimate to the latest year where total sales had to exceed £5m. For full criteria, including exclusions, see the website at www.fasttrack.co.uk.
'Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) is one of three companies to win a virtual telecom licence in Saudi Arabia, the industry regulator said on Sunday, in the latest step to liberalise the kingdom's communications sector.
Five companies had bid for the Saudi mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences. MVNOs not own the networks they use to provide communications services but instead lease capacity from conventional operators, usually paying them a percentage of their revenue as well as fees.
VMMEA, part-owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, will launch an MVNO on former monopoly Saudi Telecom Co's network, the Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said in statement on its website.
Jawraa Lebara has joined with second-biggest operator Etihad Etisalat (Mobily), while Dubai-based retailer Axiom Telecom will team up with Zain Saudi.
Local companies FastNet and Safari were the losing bidders.
"The aim of these licences is to improve the level of telecommunications services and information technology ... and to contribute to lower their prices, improve customer care, increase job opportunities for citizens and to stimulate competition," CITC said in the statement.
Saudi will become the second of the six Gulf Cooperation Council members after Oman to allow MVNOs.
Such virtual networks are widespread in Europe and other developed markets, but Gulf regulators have been reluctant to open their markets to more competition because most of the region's 15 mobile operators are ultimately government-controlled and are often a key source of state revenue.
The CITC did not state when the MVNOs would launch services, only that the winners now had 90 days to provide the necessary documents to move to the next phase of obtaining their licences.
VMMEA has MVNOs in Jordan, South Africa and Oman. London-based Lebara Group has operations in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Australia, according to its website. (Reporting by Matt Smith; Editing by Greg Mahlich)'
Read full article on Reuters.com
Mindray Medical International Limited (NYSE: MR), today announced a definitive agreement to acquire ZONARE Medical Systems, Inc. (ZONARE), an ultrasound technology leader in the high-end radiology segment for US$105 million. Mindray's management expects the deal to strengthen its high-end ultrasound R&D and U.S. sales capabilities, furthering the company's goal of becoming a leading provider of high-quality imaging products to markets worldwide.
Total 2012 revenues for ZONARE were approximately US$64 million. Mindray expects the deal to be slightly dilutive to its full-year 2013 and 2014 earnings.
Founded in 1999, ZONARE is based in Mountain View, California, U.S. Over the past decade, ZONARE has become one of the leading ultrasound brands in high-end radiology segment globally. Its world-class R&D team, comprising several leading ultrasound experts, developed the company's revolutionary ZONE-SonographyTM technology to deliver superior image quality. Moreover, ZONARE has a direct sales team mainly covering developed markets including the US, Canada, Scandinavia and Germany.
“We are very excited about this transaction. We evaluated many different acquisition targets and determined that ZONARE's proven business model, along with its technology and sales channel assets, fits very well with our selection criteria,” said Mr. Minghe Cheng, Mindray's co-Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction will create significant synergies by combining ZONARE's strong innovative R&D capability and direct sales and service network in the high-end ultrasound market with Mindray's efficient engineering and production platforms. We expect customers to benefit from the combined company's expanded portfolio and improved ability to develop more innovative and customized products.”
Mindray plans to maintain ZONARE's brand and existing operations under its current management team led by Mr. Timothy A. Marcotte, ZONARE's President and Chief Executive Officer.
“The deal will create a global ultrasound company that is better positioned to serve the healthcare market on a worldwide basis,” commented Mr. Marcotte. “We expect our customers to continue to benefit from the high level of innovation, quality and services provided by the ZONARE brand. Moreover, as a member of the growing Mindray organization, we look forward to developing even more exciting products and technologies in the future by leveraging our combined strengths.”
Polaris Wireless, a global leader in high-accuracy, software-based wireless location solutions, announced that the company closed on a recapitalization of existing equity interests on April 25, 2013. As part of the recapitalization, Polaris Wireless completed a Series C financing with $10 million. ePlanet Fund I exited its position in Polaris as part of this process achieving a 11x return.
“We look forward to an exciting new growth chapter for our company with Industry Ventures by our side,” said Manlio Allegra, Polaris Wireless CEO and Co-founder.
Polaris Wireless has emerged as a leader in the wireless location services market, with a record increase in revenue and profitability in 2011 and 2012, driven by aggressive growth for its location solutions across the globe. Twenty-four U.S. wireless carriers, six managed services partners, and fifteen international deployments now rely on Polaris Wireless location solutions to enable emergency call applications, lawful and mass location surveillance, and other location-based services.
About Polaris Wireless
Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., Polaris Wireless is the global leader in providing high- accuracy, software-based wireless location solutions to wireless operators, law enforcement/ government agencies and location-based application companies.
For more information about Polaris Wireless, please visit www.polariswireless.com
Jawbone, a leader and innovator in products and services for the way we live, today announced that it is acquiring BodyMedia® to further its leadership and accelerate its innovation in wearable health technology and personal data analysis.
“There's an enormous appetite for personal data and self-discovery among consumers that will only continue to grow,” said Hosain Rahman, Jawbone CEO and founder. “Together, BodyMedia and Jawbone have almost three decades worth of deep tech, science and intellectual property around sophisticated sensors on the body, and nearly 300 issued and pending patents around wearable technology. We look forward to pushing new boundaries, creating new markets, and showing people what's truly possible with wearable computing.”
BodyMedia has been a pioneer in wearable body monitors, with over 14 years of medical and consumer expertise in the category and 87 patents issued. The company has amassed one of the largest living databases of raw and real-world human sensor data from its patented multi-sensor body monitors with over 500 trillion sensor points collected and analyzed over the company's history.
BodyMedia also has the only platform of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device and that is clinically proven to enhance users' weight loss.
“Jawbone's deep expertise with consumer technology, design, and building products that fit seamlessly into people's lives is the best way to carry forward many of the innovations that BodyMedia has developed over the past 14 years,” said Christine Robins, CEO of BodyMedia. “We are eager to pair our depth of insight and IP with Jawbone's expertise so that together, we can make an even bigger impact on people's health and help them achieve their goals.”
BodyMedia employees will join Jawbone's existing team.
March 2013, ePlanet Capital has in March 2013 sold its Fund II stake in iKang Guobin Healthcare Group to Goldman Sachs and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).
iKang is one of China's biggest healthcare companies. By the end of March the company has built 40 physical check centers in 12 major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. More than 500 medical centers and hospitals are cooperating with the group to provide a full range of healthcare service, including cancer screening and private healthcare service.
GIC, the Singaporee Sovereign Fund, is one of the largest investment management organizations in the world, investing well over US$100 billion in multiple asset classes in more than 40 countries.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm.
Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) will invest $50 million in ePanet Capital portfolio company Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA), the fastest growing regional mobile telecommunications group headquartered in Dubai.
VMMEA is the undisputed leader in the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) sector of the mobile telecommunications industry in the MEA region, and the exclusive regional arm of global leader Virgin Mobile. GIC is a leading financial institution equally and wholly owned by the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Following the conclusion of the transaction, GIC joins a group of prominent global and regional shareholders, including the Virgin Group, ePlanet Capital, Dolphin International, NTEC and Millennium Private Equity.
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin, commented “ Virgin Mobile is the leading MVNO operator in the Middle East and Africa with operations in Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. We intend to create a large regional mobile telecom player reaching more than 10 million customers. The investment by GIC is an important show of support by an important institutional investor for our ambitious plans."
ePlanet Capital Chairman and founder Asad Jamal said, 'We are delighted that GIC, a reputable and prolific investor in the private sector in the Gulf region, is now a partner. This is a further endorsement of VMMEA as the leading virtual mobile network operator in the Middle East and Africa. ePlanet Capital, one of the first institutional investors in VMMEA, has a long and established relationship with its founders and management team, and has seen the company grow from strength to strength through its partnership with Virgin. This latest investment positions VMMEA to become a dominant regional player and we look forward to this next phase in the company's growth'
“GIC supports the growth of companies that have innovative and pan-regional business models” said Ibrahim Al-Qadhi, Chief Executive Officer at GIC. ” VMMEA has such a model and targets a niche market in telecommunications in the GCC. This is an important sector for the region and VMMEA is the perfect partner for existing mobile operators.”
Mikkel Vinter, CEO and Founder of VMMEA, added “We are honoured by the trust shown in Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa by an esteemed financial institution like GIC. The Management of VMMEA look forward to working closely with GIC in rolling out the Virgin Mobile brand across the Middle East & Africa.
“We believe that the next phase of liberalization in the telecom sector supports the growth of MVNOs and we are thrilled to make this strategic investment in VMMEA. The company has a great track record of partnering with regional telecom operators to deliver value to mobile subscribers. We look forward to working with the management team in VMMEA to support the further expansion of its existing operations as well as entering new markets across the region.” said Mohamed Eissa, Head of Technology & Telecom Investments at GIC.
VMMEA is building its successful regional roll-out based on the MVNO model, one of the fastest growing business models in the mobile telecom sector globally. ePlanet Capital identified the high potential of MVNOs in emerging markets and was one of the first institutional investors in the company (Friendi Mobile at the time) in February 2008. Five years later the company has proven to be one of the most successful investments in ePlanet's portfolio.
NYSE listed Covidien, a leading manufacturer of medical devices and supplies, diagnostic imaging agent and pharmaceuticals, has in February 2013 purchased Nfocus – the neurovascular specialty company focused on treatment of hemorrhagic stroke - one of ePlanet Fund I invetsments.
Nfocus Neuromedical, Inc. designs, develops, and markets endovascular neurosurgery solutions to cure intracranial aneurysms. The company offers revolutionary systems to treat neurovascular disease, including brain aneurysms. The company was formerly known as CardioVasc, Inc. and changed its name to Nfocus Neuromedical, Inc. in April 2007. The company was incorporated in 1997 and is based in Palo Alto, California.
Covidien is a $12 billion leading manufacturer of medical devices and supplies, diagnostic imaging agents and pharmaceuticals with 51 manufacturing facilities located in 18 countries. Covidien is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with key brands including Kendall, Mallinckrodt, Nellcor, Puritan-Bennett and Valleylab.
Japanese agrochemical and R&D company SDS Biotech K.K. has bought a majority stake in Chennai-based Sree Ramcides Chemicals for about INR1bn ($34m) generating a healthy return on investment for global growth investor ePlanet Capital.
SDS Biotech bought a 65 per cent stake in the company as part of the deal – 36 per cent of which was owned by ePlanet, which acquired its interest back in 2008 for around $4.5 million.
Sree Ramcides focuses on the manufacture of crop protection and crop health products. The company has three manufacturing facilities at Pudukkottai, Ambattur and Jammu.
SDS Biotech is a subsidiary of Tokyo-listed Idemitsu Kosan, which has a market capitalisation of $3bn.
Private equity firm Fidelity Growth Partners India, a unit of Fidelity Worldwide Investment, has invested around $75 million in Chennai-based Trivitron Healthcare Pvt., a medical equipment-maker and devices distributor, according to a press release on Wednesday.
Fidelity's investment would provide a partial exit to venture capital firms ePlanet Capital (formerly ePlanet Ventures), and Hong Kong-based Headland Capital Partners, who have been invested in Trivitron since 2007, according to the press release.
Part of the money will be used by Trivitron to expand its distribution operations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and to increase its stake in Mumbai-based Kiran Medical Systems Ltd., which makes protective equipment against medical radiation, among other products, according to the statement.
Trivitron, founded in 1997, expects gross revenue before exceptional items to cross $129.9 million for the financial year through March 2013.
Kotak Mahindra Capital Co., the investment banking unit of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., advised Trivitron while Indian law firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. was the Indian company's legal counsel.
Virgin Mobile Latin America Inc. (“VMLA”) today announced the closing of a debt funding agreement with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to fund Virgin Mobile Chile.
This strategic $11 million debt facility made available to Virgin Mobile Chile by IFC provides the Company the capital to speed its entry into the Chilean mobile market.
Virgin Mobile Chile is the first company in Latin America for Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. In Chile the Company has quickly acquired over 60,000 customers since its launch less than four months ago, appealing to youthful Chileans with its strong no contract voice and data packs, superior customer service, and through its fun and irreverent brand image. The rate of growth in Chile continues to increase as mobile consumers become aware of the new products and services offered by Virgin Mobile.
Guillermo Mulville, Principal Investment Officer in IFC's Telecom, Media and Technology Group, said, “Broadening access to affordable mobile telecommunications services remains a crucial part of enhancing economic development and improving lives across Latin America. Virgin Mobile has a successful track record around the world and we fully expect that their early mover advantage and global expertise positions them to be one the leading virtual operators in Latin America”.
“IFC's confidence in our VMLA leadership team and the Chilean market strategy is an excellent endorsement for our pan-regional business plan”, commented Pete Macnee, VMLA President and CEO. “We are working toward our second launch in Colombia later this year and look to extend our relationship with IFC as we build our business”.
VLMA and IFC are currently in talks about partnering to enhance the mobile market in a number of Latin American countries including Brazil and Colombia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. IFC helps developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, IFC's investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Virgin Group and FRiENDi GROUP today announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement for the Middle East and Africa. Virgin, a leading international investor and one of the worlds most recognized and respected brands, is the majority shareholder in Virgin Mobile South Africa. FRiENDi GROUP is the leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) group in the Middle East. Subject to local authority clearances, the two groups will merge their regional telecom operations to create a combined entity to be called “Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa” (VMMEA), which will develop and operate mobile telecommunications businesses across the region.
The combined group will manage the current operations of Virgin Mobile in South Africa and FRiENDi GROUP in Oman, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, creating a sizeable regional mobile telecom player with more than 1 million customers. Virgin and FRiENDi GROUP have complementary brands across their respective demographic targets and both are focusing on providing great customer service and value for money.
In addition the new group has ambitious plans to further strengthen its regional leadership position by launching in more markets across the Middle East and Africa, and is targeting a regional customer base of over 5 million subscribers by 2015 across both the Virgin Mobile and FRiENDi mobile brands.
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman and Founder of Virgin, commented “We are delighted to have agreed this strategic partnership with FRiENDi GROUP to create Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, and together we will create the undisputed regional leader in the MVNO space. Virgin and FRiENDi GROUP bring complementary skills and assets to the new venture and I have great confidence in its future success”.
Expanding on ePlanet Capital's focus on emerging market MVNO opportunities, Asad Jamal, ePlanet Capital Chairman and VMMEA and VMLA Board member said: “ We are delighted to see two of our portfolio companies enter into strategic partnerships with the Virgin Group, which we hold to be the world's leading MVNO. Several years back, we identified three trends that drew our attention to the emerging market MVNO investment opportunity. The first was an explosion in the number of cost-conscious pre-paid mobile customers across the emerging markets. The second was the proliferation of MVNOs in the developed world and the near absence of MVNOs in the emerging markets. As recently as last year, we estimate there were nearly eight hundred MVNOs in developed markets, and only fifty in the emerging markets. And third, we noticed that unprecedented deregulation across emerging markets was allowing for the establishment of MVNOs in all key emerging markets, including the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. With our track record of migrating new technologies and innovative business models from developed to emerging markets we saw an opportunity to establish a first mover position by pioneering investment in emerging market MVNOs. We believe our two strategic partnerships with the Virgin Group confirm this investment strategy and we look forward to both VMMEA and VMLA achieving their growth objectives in the company years.“
Mikkel Vinter, CEO and Founder of FRiENDi GROUP, commented “The Virgin Mobile brand is one of the most successful and revered MVNO brands globally, and the Virgin Group has an excellent track record of operating successful MVNO businesses in other parts of the world, so I am excited about working closely with Virgin Group on rolling out new MVNO operations across Africa and the Middle East”.
Upon completion of the deal being announced today, Virgin Group will become the largest individual shareholder of the combined group holding a significant minority stake. VMMEA will be led by FRiENDi GROUP CEO & Founder Mikkel Vinter, and will be headquartered in Dubai, UAE.
Asad Jamal is Founder and Chairman of ePlanet Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Since late-1990’s, ePlanet pioneered migration of technology venture capital to global emerging markets in Asia, Europe, Middle-East, and Latin America. Asad was ranked among the “Top 20” venture capitalists worldwide by Forbes Midas List for 2007, 2008 and 2009, and received the “Pioneer of Global Venture Capital” accolade by Forbes in 2007.
ePlanet has invested in over hundred companies in Technology, Media, & Telecom sectors including wireless telecommunications, computing software, consumer internet, enterprise software, and digital media. A number of ePlanet’s investments have become category-leading companies, including Baidu, (China’s No.1 Internet search & AI company), Skype, (the global No.1 VOIP company), Focus Media, (China’s leading digital-media company), Virgin Mobile Middle-East & Africa, (the No.1 MVNO in MENA), Virgin Mobile Latin America, (the leading MVNO in Latin America), amongst others. The aggregate market value of ePlanet’s successful exits is in excess of $100 Billion.
Asad founded Good Planet, a non-profit global foundation, to support educational projects and relieve world poverty. Good Planet works with the UN Education Envoy in supporting achievement of Millennium Development Goals in Education, particularly in underdeveloped countries in Africa and Asia. He also sponsored Singularity University in Silicon Valley, which seeks to utilize exponential technologies to solve the world’s pressing challenges. He graduated with a B.Sc. (Honors) from the London School of Economics, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Dennis joined ePlanet in 2003 and is based in London. He has 15 years investment experience in venture & growth investing.
Dennis has been involved in over twenty of ePlanet's investments, including top performers such as: Skype (sold to eBay), End2End (sold to Mach), First Hop (sold to Airwide Solutions) and HPL (sold to Dow). Currently, Mr. Atkinson represents ePlanet’s interest on the boards of Order Dynamics, Virgin MEA (formerly ‘FRiENDi Group’), Greetz, Median Technologies SA and Palringo.
Prior to joining ePlanet, Dennis was a Principal at Softbank Europe Ventures, where he specialized in Internet, software and data-communications investments and sourced deals throughout Europe. Prior to joining Softbank, Dennis was Global Product Manager for Reuters Business Information (now Thompson Reuters), designing and developing IP based information systems. While also at Reuters, Dennis evaluated acquisition and new-venture opportunities in the technology and telecoms sectors in Europe, working closely with Reuters research groups in London and California, on next generation IP based information products. Dennis has also spent time consulting to Pond Venture Partners in London and San Jose.
Dennis holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a First Class Honors B.S. Degree in Physics from Exeter University.
Jerry joined ePlanet in September 2002 and is based in Beijing. He focuses on deal sourcing, portfolio management, customer introductions, and developing exit strategies.
Jerry has led all investments in Korea including Point-I (IPO 2006), Siliconfile (IPO 2008), Moreens (IPO 2009), Cellumed (IPO 2010), Nexteye (IPO 2011) and Silicon Mitus. He has also been involved in ePlanet China investments including Baidu, Focus Media, Longcheer, Spreadtrum and Kong Zhong.
Jerry started his career in 1991 as a semiconductor designer at Samsung Electronics, where he developed semiconductors for consumer electronics and built an extensive expertise in electronic components and modules, flat screen displays, consumer electronics, embedded software and various electronic hardware systems. In 2000, leveraging his experience in Samsung Electronics, Mr. Cho went on to the Venture Capital Industry by joining a local VC firm, where he led several investments into consumer electronics firms.
Jerry holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and a B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering from Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea.
Amira joined ePlanet in 2009 and is located in the Silicon Valley office. She also holds the position of Chief Financial Officer and is a non-voting member of the Investment Committee.
Amira's prior experience includes seven years at Deloitte Tax LLP, where she focused on private equity entities, working with many investment firms in the venture capital space, as well as many of their portfolio companies. She began her career with eight years at Arthur Andersen in the tax advisory group, with a dual focus in corporate tax and high net worth family groups.
Amira holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Davis and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.
Rupam joined ePlanet in 2006 and primarily covers sourcing, evaluation, execution and management of investments in the U.S., Latin America and India. He represents ePlanet on the Board of Virgin Mobile Latin America, Virgin Mobile Central and Eastern Europe and Naseeb Networks. Rupam also manages ePlanet’s relationships with the Singularity University and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Previously, he worked at Dresdner Kleinwort in New York as an investment banker, focusing on mergers and acquisitions in the medical technology, automotive, aerospace and defense sectors. Prior to that, Rupam worked at Robert Bosch in Germany as a consultant for the development of energy efficient automobiles and also at the Technical University of Munich for the development of battery efficient cell phones.
Rupam is also affiliated with think tanks such as the TechCast project, where he is part of the global Expert Panel and The Communities of the Future, where he is part of the Young Professionals Network.
Rupam holds a joint MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University, an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, where he was awarded the Director’s Silver Medal for graduating at the top of his program. Rupam is also a CFA, CAIA and FRM Charterholder.
Cynthia joined ePlanet in 2004, focusing on the high growth technology sector, with a geographic emphasis on China. Her transaction experience includes mobile internet, healthcare and education. She has worked closely with about fifteen ePlanet portfolio companies and currently serves on the boards of Kaitone, Fangtek, Gmedia and Penstar, as well as at Hisoft and iKang before their IPO and M&A exits.
Prior to joining ePlanet, Cynthia worked at China Galaxy Securities Ltd as an analyst, focusing on IPOs, convertible bond issues and M&A transactions. Prior to this Cynthia worked as Business Development Manager for the Beijing office of the Netron Group, a telecommunications service provider to companies such as Nokia, Ericsson and Vodafone and also as Business Development Assistant for the China National Computer Software & Technology Corporation.
Cynthia received an International MBA from the joint degree program of Tsinghua University (Beijing) and the MIT Sloan School of Management, as well as a BA in Finance from the University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Beijing.
Yi joined ePlanet in 2011 and is responsible for deal sourcing and transaction execution mainly in the TMT and Internet sectors, primarily in China. He led ePlanet’s investment in Rekoo and currently sits on its board.
Prior to joining ePlanet, Yi was Executive Director at Mingly Growth China, manager of both U.S. dollar and Chinese Renminbi funds investing in growth stage Chinese enterprises, where he led deal sourcing, due diligence, term negotiation and portfolio management in the healthcare sector, while also actively involved in Green Tech sector investments. Previously, he had co-founded Eastwin Life Science, a leading Chinese company distributing life science research and clinical diagnosis equipment in mainland China and Hong Kong. In 2008, the company was selected as “one of the most promising companies in healthcare sector”. Yi also has a background in management consultancy with McKinsey & Co., where he worked with mobile carriers and telecom equipment manufacturers.
Yi holds a PhD in Microbiology from Columbia University, an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in Biochemistry from Peking University Beijing, China.
Xiaozhi joined ePlanet in 2011 and is responsible for deal sourcing, evaluation, research and execution.
Previously, Xiaozhi was an investment manager at Kailong (Beijing) Fund, focusing on discovery and assessment of investment opportunities. She also worked as a consultant for BDA China Limited, where she was actively involved in consulting projects for private equity firms and hedge funds. She also has a background in market research and analysis from the Marketing Department in China Unicom Beijing.
Xiaozhi holds a BS and an MSc in Administration and Management from Tsinghua University.
Hemant joined ePlanet in 2011 and is responsible for origination and execution of investments, as well as managing existing portfolio companies in India, Europe and the Middle East/Africa.
Previously, Hemant worked in the investment team for AMP Capital Investors in Mumbai, a global investment manager, where he was responsible for the analysis and evaluation of all aspects of private equity investments. Prior to this, Hemant worked in the Project Finance and Principal Investments team of Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), where he evaluated and managed Principal Equity and Leveraged Finance transactions in the Energy and Transport sectors.
Hemant holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, with a Major in Finance, as well as a Bachelors degree in Information Technology from B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bangalore, India.
Virgin Mobile Central and Eastern Europe (VMCEE) was founded in 2011, in order to develop exciting Virgin Mobile businesses across the CEE region. Its ambition is to become the leading virtual network operator (MVNO) in this high growth potential area; by innovating to make things better for consumers, by delivering superior service and by bringing the Virgin brand to life, with passion, attitude and creative flair.
FRiENDi mobile is an innovative telecommunications company that offers mobile services across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which is a proven business model that brings significant benefits to end-users, telecom operator partners and the general societies of the markets where FRiENDi mobile operates. FRiENDi mobile is headquartered in Dubai Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, and has established a number of local operating companies and Joint Ventures across the MENA region with more to come in the near future.
This business has now been rebranded Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa
ePlanet invested in Skype in the Series B financing round in February 2004. ePlanet was the largest institutional investor in that round. On September 12, 2005, Skype announced that it had agreed to be acquired by EBay for cash and stock of up to $4.1 billion. Skype is the developer of a unique peer-to-peer Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) program that enables Internet telephony. Skype provides free and simple software that enables users to make free calls anywhere in the world. Skype, created by the developers of KaZaa, uses innovative P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect users with other Skype users. Skype is quick and easy to install, has excellent sound quality, uses sophisticated end-to-end encryption, and does not require any router or firewall reconfiguration.
ePlanet invested in Baidu already in September 2000, and helped the company grow to eventually list on NASDAQ (BIDU) in August 2005. The success story has continued since then. Baidu's flagship product, the Baidu Chinese Search Engine, is the fastest, largest, most relevant search engine with the freshest crawls in China. The company also assists Chinese websites with the enhancement of delivery times through the enablement of content caching and intelligent routing. The company also developed China's leading pay-for-placement service, whereby introductions are made between the users of Baidu's affiliate partners' sites and businesses that pay for priority placement in search results.
In August 2009, ePlanet made an investment in Silicon Mitus, a Korea based fabless company specializing in power management ICs. In the face of a global energy crisis, PMIC has emerged as one of the most critical components in today's electronics, incorporated into products such as LCD TVs, notebooks and mobile phones. PMIC enables low power, freedom of design, longer battery life and cost reduction in today's electronics. PMIC is getting technologically much harder to design because of tighter energy requirements. SiliconMitus is winning design-ins, whilst many of its competitors are struggling to meet their targets.
Moreens was listed on KOSDAQ in September 2009, and provided an excellent return to ePlanet's Fund I investors. Moreens, based in Ilsan, South Korea, is a developer of film and plastic touch screens intended for use in multi-media handheld devices such as cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, web pads, etc. Moreens' unique patented plastic panel and sputtering technologies make possible a unique advanced touch screen that combines the best physical and material characteristics of glass and plastic. Moreens' touch screen has been rigorously validated by several of the world's leading touch screen makers.
OrderDynamics (previously eCommera) is a leading cloud software and big data company that believes the order is the moment of truth – when profits can be made or lost. With more than 80 clients in 33 countries, they help the world’s leading retailers activate commerce from first interaction to final fulfillment with their Dynamic Action, Commerce Platform and Order Management solutions and services. They empower agile and intelligent commerce experiences so that their clients, including Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, Speedo, Laura Canada, T.M. Lewin and Asda Direct, win at that very moment of truth.
OrderDynamics is headquartered in London, with offices in Silicon Valley, Toronto, France, India and Bulgaria.
Palringo, a UK based company, provides an operator-independent service that combines the presence & real-time chat functionality of Instant Messaging (IM) applications with the many-to-many voice capabilities of “Push-to-Talk” systems and the convenience of SMS texting, all on mobile. It is a disruptive service that leap-frogs trend towards mobile IM and lays foundation for mobile VoIP. The Skype-like model of offering services directly, independent of service provider and underlying carrier network, circumvents carrier bottleneck.
ePlanet invested in Focus Media in April 2004, and Focus Media listed on NASDAQ (FMCN) in July 2005. Focus Media is the leading digital outdoor media advertising company in China, operating the largest nationwide network of LCD-TV Screens in thousands of high-end apartments, office buildings, shopping centers, and other commercial venues throughout China. Through the use of proprietary synchronization and broadband technologies, the company is able to deliver uniform, networked, high-reach, and highly-targeted advertisements countrywide at an extremely competitive CPM (cost per thousand exposures).
iKang is a first mover in China's private healthcare management market, providing one-stop full-service healthcare management services. Its services include physical check-up and patient consultation, doctor referral and appointment reservation, disease screening, and personal health profile and management. Using an unique online/offline model, iKang has the potential to rapidly grow into a category dominant leader.
Newgen Knowledge Works Private Limited ('Newgen') based in Chennai, India is one of India's fastest growing E-publishing companies offering end-to-end services to the global publishing industry. Its service offerings include pre-press / composition, editing, project management and data conversion. Newgen focuses on providing high-end services for the scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing sector. Its customers include leading international publishers in the academic and scientific domain like Aspen Publishing Group, Oxford University Press (OUP), Cambridge University Press, Taylor & Francis etc. More than 90% of its operations are based out of India and the balance 10% through subsidiaries in the U.K and the U.S. Newgen has 615 employees spread across India, U.S. and U.K.
Based in the US and operating in Latin America, Tribe Mobile is the first pan-regional mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in Latin America. Tribe Mobile has made substantial progress since our initial funding in November 2010. The Company recently closed a pan Latin America partnership with Virgin Mobile. Tribe will act as the sole vehicle for all of Virgin's MVNO activities in Latin America. The mobile offering will be called Virgin Movil. Tribe Mobile has an experienced and proven management team with experience in the Latin American mobile market comprised of ex-senior executives of BellSouth and Millicom. The Company is associated, via common shareholders and directors, with Friendi Group. Tribe Mobile is leveraging the operating and technical knowledge of Friendi Group to accelerate its entry into Latin America.
This business has now been rebranded at Virgin Mobile Latin America
Naseeb Networks Inc. provides leading community, communications and e-commerce services to underserved Internet markets. The Company currently enjoys a leadership position in its target markets including online recruitment (www.rozee.pk), social networking/matromonial (www.naseeb.com) and classifieds related services for Pakistan and its associated diaspora community. The Company is Pakistan's largest e-merchant with over 300 online credit card transaction per day.
HiSoft Technology International Ltd, a Chinese technology-outsourcing provider, listed its shares on NASDAQ on June 30,2010. ePlanet Ventures first invested in HiSoft Technology Partners in July 2006 and has invested a total of $9.3m.
The company, which offers both information technology and research and development services, is ranked as China‘s second tech resources provider by revenue, with a focus on Japanese and U.S. clients. Its top clients in 2009 were subsidiaries of General Electric, Microsoft, Nomura Research Institute Ltd and UBS AG.
Net revenue rose 42 percent to $30.54 million in the three months that ended March 31. Net profit attributable to common shareholders surged more than 150 percent to $2.97 million. Underwriters on the offering were led by Deutsche Bank Securities, UBS Investment Bank and Citi. The shares are trading under the symbol "HSFT".
Asad Jamal, Chairman and CEO of ePlanet Ventures said: “As the pioneer of global venture capital investing, with a strong focus on emerging markets, ePlanet is delighted to see HiSoft achieve its fundraising goals through a listing on the NASDAQ. More than ever, ePlanet is committed to early stage investing in world class technology companies such as HiSoft to help them achieve their growth aspirations.”
End2End, named as one of the top 100 emerging technology companies in Europe by Tornado-Insider, is a Mobile Application Infrastructure Provider operating a carrier-grade network of data-centers from which it delivers managed mobile data services, technology hosting and outsourcing services to the leading mobile operators, portals, and application providers in Europe. End2End acts as a distribution channel for application and content providers by hosting and aggregating best-of-breed applications and content, which are delivered with associated middleware solutions, as well as infrastructure services such as user provisioning, mediation and billing.
High Power Lithium, HPL, is a Switzerland-based developer of value-added technologies for next-generation, high-power lithium-ion batteries. HPL is developing novel nano-structured-electrode materials, as well as compatible electrolytes, that will enable higher powered lithium-ion batteries with improved performance and safety characteristics for applications in numerous markets. The principal advantage of nano-structured, as opposed to conventional, metal-oxide electrodes is their extreme surface roughness, since an increase in surface roughness should greatly increase the rate of insertion of lithium ions (the major limiting step in charging and discharging conventional lithium-ion batteries).