Kuala Lampur-based Frontier Digital Ventures has expanded its footprint to Mozambique, making an investment in that country’s leading property portal, PropertyMaputo.com – moreover, an investment in yet another “frontier” digital market.
The amount of the investment wasn’t disclosed.
“Mozambique’s rapid strides over the past two decades in both political and economic arenas, has seen the country emerge as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” Frontier Digital Ventures said in a news release, noting an average growth of 7 percent GDP. “With a population of 26 million people, the country is widely regarded as one of the highest growth potential telecom markets in Africa with an existing 1.5 million Internet users and 13 million mobile users.”
Propertymaputo was founded by South African Bryan Wester and has focused on the English language market in Mozambique. The website is now undergoing transformational change as it extends its focus to cover the local language Portuguese language market with a revamp of its design and functionality,
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Bryan and the team at PropertyMaputo,” said Frontier CEO Shaun Di Gregorio. “The business has a great platform in place and is moving in the right direction in what we see as a truly dynamic market in Africa. The combination of our experience and funding along with Bryan and the teams passion and commitment we think makes for a great opportunity to build a market leading business in Mozambique.”
Di Gregorio founded Frontier Digital Ventures in May 2014 to seek out “disruptive” digital businesses in North, East and West Africa as well as Central America, South Asia and the Middle East. Prior to that, he served at CEO of Asia’s IProperty Group and is formerly GM of Australia’s REA Group Ltd. He is currently a non-executive director of ICar Asia.
Greeks can no longer use PayPal to transfer money, financial news site Quartz reported today.
Financial controls in place to stanch the flow of money bleeding from Greece have crippled the service, which relies on banks and credit cards to transfer funds.
Quartz also reported that bitcoin moneychangers are doing a brisk business amid Greece’s current debt crisis.
It’s been a while since we reported that Navent, a leading real estate and jobs classifieds operating in 10 Latin American countries, was about to launch an app for IT experts. Just a few weeks after the project was announced as a top secret initiative, the company funded by Riverwood Capital and Tiger Global finally released a final version of the app.
It’s called Ubit Propuestas IT and it’s already available on GooglePlay.
Navent said the app has a “Tinder-like” approach, in the sense that both job seekers and recruiters need to agree they like each other in order to have a “match”. In the free app, IT professionals can indicate how much they want or they could accept for a job position. Then the app finds the job proposals that could match the users’ preferences, but it’s the user who says if he/she will accept the proposal or not by pressing the “Like” button.
The tool also offers recruiters and job seekers the possibility of having a chat inside of the app since there was a “match.”
“Our innovation came after we detected a need in both candidate and IT recruiters sides. The companies explain to us the time and the money they invest to reach IT professionals. On the IT professionals perspective, they tell us how invasive it is to be contacted by a company so many times,” Federico Villa, Country Manager at Bumeran.com Argentina, said.
The app was developed by UniversoBit, a Navent’s leading jobs portal in Argentina focused on the IT segment. UniversoBit.com is part of Navent’s growing technology assets in LatAm. It was acquired by the company in 2008.
Bellow, a few screenshots (in Spanish) of the app, which will also be available on Apple Store in the coming weeks.
DHI Group (formerly known as Dice Holding) extended its service into Europe with the rebranding of European tech career site The IT Job Board to Dice.
Dice is America’s leading digital career resource for technology and engineering professionals. The move follows the company’s acquisition of the IT Job Board in July 2013 from international staffing specialist SThree.
The IT Job Board is a highly respected, tech industry career site covering the U.K., German and Benelux markets. Shravan Goli, Dice president said, “Extending our services into Europe will better position us to grow relationships with our global clients, develop international clientele and in an increasingly more competitive U.S. market, offer international talent solutions to our U.S. clients.”
The rebranding of The IT Job Board to Dice enables customers and professionals to use Dice’s data-driven technologies, providing enhanced services, insights and reach to European customers and professionals.
The company will roll out its newly launched Dice #141 across the U.K. and Europe. The service allows companies to reach relevant technology talent on Twitter.
Dice will also roll out its version of Open Web, a big data recruiting service that sources public information from more than 130 professional and social media sites, and creates professional profiles of individuals that are optimised for recruiters and hiring managers. Open Web holds over 13 million profiles of European professionals.
“We look forward to joining The IT Job Board under the Dice brand name,” said Jamie Bowler, Marketing Director, The IT Job Board. “We believe the enhanced services, insights and reach we will now be able to deliver to both customers and professionals under the Dice name will allow us to better serve and grow with our customer base, while continuing to help professionals through the arc of their career.”
The rebranding of The IT Job Board is the first step in the Dice / The IT Job Board integration project.
DHI Group is a leading provider of specialized websites and services for professionals in technology, security clearance, financial services, energy, healthcare and hospitality. It serves multiple markets primarily located throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Auto Trader, the U.K.’s largest digital automotive marketplace, appointed Jill Easterbrook as an independent non-executive director from July 1, 2015. Easterbrook will chair the remuneration committee, and will join the audit and nomination committees.
Easterbrook is currently a member of the executive committee at Tesco PLC. She joined Tesco in 2001 and has held a variety of strategic and operational leadership roles. She has run a number of multichannel businesses within Tesco and is currently group business transformation director.
Having started her career at Marks & Spencer, she also spent time as a management consultant with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. “I am delighted to be joining Auto Trader at what is a very exciting time as a newly listed company. I look forward to working with the executives and fellow board members as we take the company into the next phase of its journey.”
Commenting on the appointment chairman Ed Williams said: “I am delighted to welcome Jill to the board. She brings with her a wealth of retail and marketing experience which will be a valuable addition to our board.”
Real estate site Idealista launched a new “economy for beginners” channel – a series of video tutorials which explains complex economic and financial concepts in a simple, easy-to-understand and compact way, with the help of illustrations. The short videos (about one minute each) are published monthly…
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On June 30 French auto information company L’Argus signed a contract with Axel Springer and Mondadori, which made it the owner of France’s Autoreflex.com, L’Argus reported (in French here).
The site was about to be liquidated by the previous owners, when L’Argus came up with an offer (we reported about it here and here). The deal made L’Argus owner of the platform, its listings, call-tracing and email-alert system, and a service of building websites for auto professionals.
“The acquisition of the commercial portfolio of AutoReflex brings to our group a new brand that is popular among professionals, as well as increased visibility, and a significant field sales reinforcement,” said Jean-Pierre Gauthier, director general of Groupe L’Argus.
Currently, there is a 25-percent overlap in the client basis of L’Argus and AutoReflex. With the ads of AutoReflex to be published at L’Argus starting from July 1, AutoReflex customers will benefit from additional audience of over one million unique visitors per month, said Gauthier.
Following the acquisition, Groupe L’Argus, which operates sites such as 321auto.com, Largus.fr and now AutoReflex.com, claimed it now is No. 3 on the French auto market, following LeBonCoin’s auto segment and LaCentrale.fr.
The company recently also acquired a site for new autos called Neowebcar.com.
Esteon.nl launched a smart rental search site with a functionality similar to Tinder’s dating app, where not the visitor, but Esteon looks for an ideal house or room for rent.
Senior housing, expat rentals, rooms and houses for rent – those are the options that the new site offers. It uses a proprietary algorithm to find options, and the user can like or dislike it, and explain the reasons for the latter. The search algorithm is then fine-tuned taking the feedback into consideration.
“It is not the quality of the current housing stock that has to improve, but the quality of the matches sent to users,” said the site’s founder Gijs-Jan Witkamp.
The site, currently available in the Netherlands’ twenty-eight cities, was launched in 2012.
This is called “biting the hand that feeds you.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation will be getting $1 million in donations from Craigslist Inc., whose founder Craig Newmark sits on its advisory board — but the organization has posted a slap at Craigslist on its website.
“We’re … sorry to see Craigslist succeed at blocking new and innovative uses of their data,” Mitch Stoltz of the EFF wrote on the organization’s website. “Innovation doesn’t happen under one roof alone, and the right to innovate using lawful site scraping and non-copyrightable facts shouldn’t depend on the outcome of a legal war of attrition.”
3Taps, which lost a lawsuit over copyright and intellectual property infringement filed by Craigslist, agreed in a settlement last week to pay Craigslist Inc. $1 million to be donated to the EFF. But the foundation noted that the money would be donated in installments over 10 years, rather than as a lump sum.
“While we’re pleased to receive a donation that will help us continue our mission of defending civil liberties online, we’re disappointed that the court won’t be affirming PadMapper and 3Taps’ right to use data from Craigslist postings — data that can’t be copyrighted — to create innovative new tools. …
“EFF saw a lot of problems with Craigslist’s legal claims: claiming copyright in users’ posts, attempts to transfer users’ copyrights to themselves, and the claim that “scraping” or copying data from the site could be a CFAA violation.
“We told the court that when a website makes data available to the public, copying it isn’t ‘unauthorized access’ under the CFAA.”
PadMapper, which used data captured by 3Taps to populate its apartment listings, published a blog post noting that it will no longer use Craigslist data.
“However, PadMapper is not going anywhere, and we’re excited about what we have in store,” founder Eric DeMenthon wrote.
“PadMapper has over 100 sources of listing data, and over 700,000 non-Craigslist listings on our map at any given time, representing many millions of apartment units. PadMapper will continue to help our many millions of users find a place to live every month.”
DeMenthon pointed out that listing apartments on PadMapper is free for owners and property managers, and said the company plans to update its Android and iOS apps, and PadMapper.com, in the next few months.
He thanked 3Taps and 3Taps owner Greg Kidd for supporting PadMapper during the three-year legal battle with Craigslist, along with Focal Law, the EFF, “and the thousands of you who wrote letters of support.”
(Earlier coverage is here, with lots of links to our background and reporting since the case started.)
PayPal has acquired Xoom Inc., a money-transfer service provider with a footprint in China and Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, for about $890 million, or $25 a share for the publicly traded company (Nasdaq:XOOM).
Interesting timing, given that EBay and PayPal are splitting later this month into two companies.
The transaction is 32 percent over Xoom’s three-month volume-weighted average price. The deal was approved by the boards of all three companies. Trading of Xoom shares were suspended.
Xoom will continue to operate as a separate company within PayPal.
Here’s the release.