SparkLabs Global Ventures is a new seed-stage fund founded by entrepreneurs. We are a global fund that believes exceptional entrepreneurs can be found anywhere. All six partners have created new businesses across the globe, and are currently based in London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Singapore and Silicon Valley.
Ventures Fund I
Our First Two Years
SparkLabs Global Ventures is a new seed-stage fund founded by entrepreneurs.
We are a global fund that believes exceptional entrepreneurs can be found
anywhere. All six partners have created new businesses across the globe, and are
currently based in London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Singapore and Silicon Valley.
A New Approach to Seed-Stage Investing
Top 12 Things We Learned So Far
• Team Decisions Are Better Than Any Individual Decisions
• Exceptional Entrepreneurs Can Be Found Anywhere
• We Are Always Fundraising
• Ecommerce Outside of China and the U.S. has Awesome
• Fintech, Cybersecurity, Deep Tech, and Enterprise are Focus
Areas for 2016
• Hardware is Really Hard
Top 12 Things We Learned So Far
• Grit Matters
• Speed Matters
• Integrity Matters
• Money and Time are Constant, Everything Else is Fungible
• Do Not Optimize Your Valuation
• Low or High Burn Rate, Know Your Path
Exceptional Entrepreneurs Can Be Found Anywhere
Since December 2013, we have invested across most sectors besides capital intensive startups (i.e. biotech, pharma,
cleantech), but have concentrated on 6 general areas: FinTech, Mobile App, IoT, Online Gaming, Ecommerce, and
Digital Health sectors.
7 Mobile Applications
7 Online Gaming
7 Internet of Things
5 Digital Health
*One company was counted twice in IoT and Digital Health
Net Jacobsson is a Co-Founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is a former Facebook
executive, entrepreneur and investor with vast international experience from many pioneering
companies. Net started out in Sweden Ericsson Mobile Communications (now SonyEricsson) in 1998
with user interface design but then moved into different start-up product, business development and
marketing roles. In Israel Net led international business for Icq/AOL and then joined Chinese browser
company, Maxthon in 2005 as partner & SVP. Net put Maxthon on the world map and brought in
CRV and Google as investors. Today, Maxthon has over 1 billion downloads. In 2007 Net joined
Facebook as the head of International business development with focus on new user
Frank Meehan is a Co-Founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures and a Partner at SparkLabs,
Asia’s premier accelerator based in Seoul. Frank was selected as part of the 2012 Wired UK Top 100
in tech, and Vanity Fair's The Next Establishment list 2010.
Previously Frank was with Horizons Ventures (HK), representing them on the boards of Spotify,
Siri, Summly, Affectiva, Bitcasa, Fixmo, DoubleTwist, Ginger, Desti and Magisto. He also is
the founder of Kuato Studios, a leading educational games studio, and INQ Mobile which was an early
pioneer in mobile internet, winning Best Handset at Mobile World Congress 2009. Frank started
acquisitions, new markets and early M&A opportunities. In addition Net was responsible for Facebook's mobile business and led a number of deals with
mobile operators and handset manufacturers. Since 2009 Net has been involved an advisor and investor in Crowdstar, OpenFeint (sold to GREE for
$104M), Playhopper (Founder), PixOwl, P1 (Board of Directors), and Deeplink. Net has also served as an advisor to King.com.
with Ericsson in 1994 as a coder and troubleshooter, lived in Singapore and HK, and then joined Hutchison Whampoa in 2001 and was responsible for the
technical integration of the ﬁrst 3G(WCDMA) networks around the world, launched under the Three(3) brand in mu. He then ran the Three Groups’ global
handset business, and developed and launched a range of products (Skypephone and INQ1), which pioneered mobile and internet communications.
Bernard Moon is a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Co-founder & Partner
at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. Previously, he was Co-founder & CEO of Vidquik, a web
conferencing & sales solutions platform. Bernard was a Managing Director at the Lunsford Group, which is
a private investment ﬁrm with holdings in real estate, healthcare and other industries. Bernard was Co-
founder & VP of Business Development of GoingOn Networks, a social media platform for companies, and
also led their product development where BusinessWeek recognized them in their "Best of the
Web" list. Previously, Bernard was a Director at iRG, a leading boutique investment bank in Asia, where he
focused on TMT companies.
John Lee is Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Co-founder & Partner at
SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. John is a co- founder & EVP of Corporate Development and
Strategy of Hostway. Hostway was acquired by Littlejohn & Co in 2014.
He served additional responsibilities as CEO of Hostway Korea and Hostway India, where he is actively
involved today. John and his fellow co- founders bootstrapped Hostway into a top 5 web hosting
company in the world with over 700 employees. Hostway is a multinational web hosting company
He is a frequent guest writer to various technology journals, such as VentureBeat, Mashable, TechCrunch, and ReadWrite, and has been
published in The New York Times,The Washington Post, and other publications.
headquartered in Chicago, and serves more than 600,000 customers worldwide. He is currently responsible for overall corporate strategy, strategic alliances,
and mergers and acquisitions. Previously, he has held positions in every department of the company, including leading global marketing and sales and
overall P&L for North America. John was born and raised in Korea and immigrated to the United States at age 13. He holds a BA in Biology from the
University of Chicago.
Jimmy Kim is Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Co-founder & Partner at
SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. Jimmy is Co-founder and President of N3N, an IoT platform
company and Cisco’s first global IoT investment. They service numerous Fortune 500 companies and
governments, such as Samsung Electronics, POSCO, Port of Singapore, The North Face, and Hyundai
Motors. He previously served as N3N’s CEO. Previously, Jimmy was CEO of Nexonova, a game
development studio of Nexon Corp that specializes in Social Network Games. Prior to Nexonova, Jimmy
served as Executive Vice President of Nexon Corp, and Head of Nexon’s Portal (www.nexon.com, market
cap: $5 billion) and Web Services. Nexon is one of the most successful online gaming providers with
Jay McCarthy is a Co-founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a Partner at SparkLabs, a
startup accelerator in Korea. Jay has more than 22 years’ experience in Asia. Currently, as a Managing
Partner of Paciﬁc Advisers, he has advised, ﬁnanced and invested in a range of deals in Asia across
industries, principally mining & energy, technology, luxury consumer and property. In recent years, Jay has
focused on originating investment mandates for PA to invest its own capital in both publicly listed and
private companies. Such origination leads to co-investment opportunities selectively with the hedge fund
and institutional investor communities.Jay has signiﬁcant experience with structuring deals and working
games such as Maple Story, Dungeon and Fighter, Combat Arms, and Kart Rider. Nexon services over 20 games across 60 countries to an audience
of 300 million. Jimmy was the founding investor and active deal adviser of Studio Ex, an online gaming studio that was acquired by Disney in
with the relevant investor, industry and service (legal and advisory) counterparts. Previously, Jay served as an Executive Director in the Equity Division
at Morgan Stanley and worked in the Tokyo, HK, Beijing and Singapore ofﬁces over a 16- year period. Within this time, Jay served 2 years as Morgan
Stanley’s “secondee” to China International Capital Corporation, their JV Chinese Investment Bank, as the Dealing Director in charge of the Equity
Division in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Eugene Kim is currently a Principal of SparkLabs and manages the day –to-day operations of the
SparkLabs accelerator program. Eugene previously served as a Director of Global Business
Development at Tencent Korea. He was responsible for the sourcing of Korean game titles to China
and Tencent’s global publishing network, headed the global sales of Tencent game titles, and he
managed relationships with Tencent’s global publishing partners. Prior to Tencent, Eugene was Director
of Business Development and Marketing at Podotree, an online educational app developer in
Korea. He was responsible for their marketing and launch effort into the U.S. Previously, he was with
Vertigo Games as the Group Manager of the Overseas Business Group. Eugene led all overseas sales
Rob DeMillo is a Venture Partner at SparkLabs Global, and CTO of StudioNow, a video production
marketplace. Prior to StudioNow, Rob was the CTO of Discovery Digital Networks which he came
through via Discovery's acquisition of Revision3. DeMillo is also the Co-Founder of VidQuik, a
customer relationship management company. In 2013, DeMillo was named to Econtent’s “Fabulous
15: The Top Digital Media Influencers” along with Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg.
DeMillo was the Chief Technology Ofﬁcer & Co-founder of Transpera, where he was responsible for the
technology and operational aspects of the company and serves as the technical liaison to mobile
operators, video content providers and ad agencies globally. Prior to Transpera, DeMillo was the CTO for
and service support, and all business development and game engine licensing activities. Eugene was a Manager and Group Head of the Quality Assurance
and Localization Group for NHN USA. He previously served as Project Manager of the Publishing Group at NHN USA and Assistant Manager of Global Strategy
& Marketing Development at NHN Corporation.
Third Screen Media, a mobile advertising company that was acquired by AOL in 2007. DeMillo also served as SVP of Mobile Technology at VeriSign, following
the acquisition by Verisign of m-Qube where DeMillo was Senior Vice President of Engineering and managed over 1,000 engineers. DeMillo was
also Founder and CEO of MediaRush, an early market leader for media distribution within the home.
Christine Aum is a Senior Associate at SparkLabs Global Ventures. Christine was previously an equity
analyst at Mirae Asset Securities and has experience of analyzing Korea's two biggest industries,
Automobile and IT sectors. She was responsible for forecasting the market and share prices of the
companies that are listed in Korea’s stock market, and published analyst reports, which involves
analyzing data and fundamentals of the relevant industries and companies. She also managed
relationships with IR teams of various companies in Korea and investors in Seoul, Hong Kong, New York
Peter Chang is a Venture Partner and technical adviser at SparkLabs Global Ventures. Peter
Chang is co-founder and CTO of N3N, an interactive software company that mixes passion,
creativity and technology to create new interactive user experience and innovative presentation
solutions. He is currently leading the product development of INNOWATCH which is a C4 level
command and control center solution. Existing customers include G20 Summit Seoul, Nuclear
Summit Seoul, Samsung, Hyundai, Posco, and LG. Peter has broad experiences in business
planning and technology development in telecommunication, IT, CATV, physical security and
Christine graduated from the University of Michigan with BA degree in Economics and Chinese language. Christine loves traveling and collecting new
electronic gadgets. She also enjoys playing games, online shopping, exploring new entertainment (movies/music/games) and reading blogs on new
electronic products in her free time to keep up with new trends in culture and technology.
automobile industries. Previously, he was Co-founder and CTO of HeyAnita Korea, an interactive voice portal service backed by Softbank.
Peter was also co-founder and CTO of ViewPlus, an video-on-demand system for cable and satellite services. Peter received his masters and bachelor
degrees in computer and electrical engineering from POSTECH and Brown University respectively.
John Pleasants is EVP, Media Solutions of America at Samsung Electronics. John Pleasants is a dynamic, high-tech internet executive
that has led public and private companies to implicit market capitalization and investor gains of more than $5 billion over the past 15
years. As a CEO and President, Pleasants has built and run start-ups as well as divisions of worldwide media and Internet conglomerates.
Pleasants served as Co-President of Disney Interactive. Previously, Pleasants served as CEO of Playdom and as President of
Publishing and COO of Electronic Arts.
Greg Badros earned bachelors degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from Duke University. He started graduate school and
earned his masters and doctoral degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. Since then, he
worked at Google for over six years where he was a Sr. Director of Engineering. From mid 2009 to October 2013, Greg worked at Facebook
where he was VP Engineering & Products and led numerous teams including Ads, Search, Photos, Messages, and Data Science. After
his nearly 4.5 years at Facebook, he founded Prepared Mind Innovations and now acts as an advisor to several startup companies.
Seong Ohm is SVP, Merchandise Business Services at Sam`s Club. Prior to this assignment, Seong was responsible for leading the
Entertainment SBU for Walmart US, which includes CE, Media and Wireless and Photo businesses. She led the team to gain market share
in all categories and was awarded the Retailer of the Year for excelling in TVs, Content and Digital. Seong spent 20 months in Japan as
the SVP/GMM of General Merchandise and Consumables business at Walmart Japan/ Seiyu for its 386 stores. Seong was
named 15 Top Innovative Women in Business by Pink Magazine and also top 100 MBAs by the Diversity Magazine.
Jonathan Teo is a Founder and Managing Director at Binary. Previously, Jonathan was a General Partner at General Catalyst Partners
and invested in both new and existing technology businesses. His areas of special interest include: enterprise software/infrastructure
and social media. He currently advises or sits on the boards of Chloe + Isabel, Couchsurﬁng, Nodejitsu, and Snapchat (angel investor)
Jonathan was a Principal at Benchmark Capital where his investments include Twitter and Instagram. Prior to Benchmark, he
served as an Engineering PM in the Search Properties and Enterprise Products groups at Google.
Yoky Matsuoka is the former VP of Technology at Nest. Previously, she joined Google [x] as one of the three founding
members. She was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and later at the University of Washington developing robotic devices for
rehabilitating and assisting the human body and brain. This work led her to the MacArthur Award and being named one of “The
Brilliant Ten” by Popular Science Magazine and one of the “Top 10 Women to Watch in 2010” by Barbie. Recent (2015) honors
include "The Next List" by Wired Magazine and The Excellence in Achievement Award from UC Berkeley.
Brian Behlendorf is a Managing Director at Mithril Capital Management. He has had stints in startups, government, and international
organizations, focusing the positive impact that open technologies can have on society. He was a primary developer of the Apache
Web server, the most popular web server software on the Internet, and started the Apache Software Foundation. Previously, Brian
was the CTO at the World Economic Forum, where he rebooted a 30 year old legacy environment with open software and open thinking.
Brian is on the Boards of Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Benetech, and CollabNet.
Maurice Werdegar joined WTI in 2001 and is currently President and CEO at the oldest & largest venture debt firm in the U.S.
He led investments in companies including Facebook, Palantir, Youku, Quantcast, Invensense, 3PAR, IronPort, CV Ingenuity, PEAK Surgical,
Merced Systems, Oscar Health, StitchFix, PlayStudios, and Volcano Technologies. His background includes positions as a Venture Partner at
Outlook Ventures, an early stage venture ﬁrm, and Chief Investment Ofﬁcer at MetaMarkets, an online mutual fund company. Mr.
Werdegar also founded and served as CEO of Left at Albuquerque, a venture-backed chain of restaurants.
“SparkLabs team was extremely value-add - they provided strategic advice, brokered relationships, and was 100%
committed to supporting us in building our company. They opened more doors for us than any other investor. SparkLabs
is an extension of your team. I would work with them in a heartbeat.” - Somrat Niyogi, Co-founder & CEO of Stitch
(acquired by SugarCRM)
“YJ and I, along with the entire team at KnowRe are ecstatic to be a part of the SparkLabs family, beginning from our
days in the accelerator. As an investor and mentor, SparkLabs brings a partnership that truly embodies the
characteristics of a family - being involved, bringing to bear ALL of one's resources, a genuine concern for someone
that goes far beyond self-interest. This type of partnership invariably leads to a deep trust. As entrepreneurs turned
investors, SparkLabs has a distinct understanding of both tectonic shifts in industry and the needs of, say a junior
marketing employee. This unique vertical acumen is extremely valuable and a critical component to growth.” -
David Joo, Co-founder & Co-CEO of KnowRe
“Love working with these guys. Gives ‘sweat capital’ an entirely new meaning, going to all lengths around the world to
get us what we need.” - Akash Nigam, Co-founder & CEO of Blend
“SparkLabs is an amazing team of investors. The partners are experienced operators from around the globe who have
helped us with not only key business issues, but also bouncing new ideas. Everyone is intelligent and charismatic, so
it's easy to see why the fund has such an expansive network of founders, senior executives, and advisors who are
always there to help. If you're a founder who cares about scale, international expansion, or just adding an awesome
extension to your team - SparkLabs is your fund.” - Cathy Han, Co-founder & CEO of 42 (YC W14)
“SparkLabs has been an amazing partner for us - they set the bar high, but have helped us every step of the way. Not only
has the SparkLabs team provided market-vetted advice and feedback, but they’ve been out front in making key
introductions and resources. Iodine is proud to be part of the SparkLabs clan.” - Thomas Goetz, Co-founder & CEO of
“The partners at SparkLabs are amazing people and have been a motivating force since the early days of Petnet. They
are forward thinking in the way they think about the internet of things and how it will shape they way people shop for
consumables. They have an expansive global network of executives, advisors, and investors who are ready to help in
any form necessary. SparkLabs is an essential team member for companies who are looking to expand their brand
globally.” - Carlos Herrera, Co-founder & CEO of Petnet
“Sufﬁce it to say that SparkLabs has played a signiﬁcant role in the Squirrel story! Heck, they were even involved before
we became known as Squirrel! SparkLabs has taken on the role of investor, mentor, facilitator, talent source, sounding
board and all-round supporter of everything Squirrel as of day 1. Their commitment to our success has come through in
every interaction with the outspoken Frank Meehan and team at SparkLabs, and they've been a great partner on our
amazing journey so far. I look forward to continuing to see that partnership ﬂourish as they help us work towards making
ﬁnancial freedom a reality in the UK and beyond!” - Mutaz Qubbaj, Co-founder & CEO of Squirrel
“The partners at SparkLabs are connected. Globally. They have unmatched entrepreneurial hustle and are raising the bar
for value-add from an investor.” - Scott Saunders, Co-founder & CEO of Payoff
“MangoPlate exists today due to the amazing advice and guidance we received from SparkLabs Global Ventures. They are
entrepreneurs themselves so they provide extremely practical and realistic guidance. We fully trust that they will always
provide guidance from the entrepreneurial perspective, thus we continue to seek their advice regarding all aspects of
MangoPlate from vision, HR, operations and to funding. Their team has been nothing short of amazing for MangoPlate and
we are so blessed to be a part of the SparkLabs family.” - Joon Oh, Co-founder & Co-CEO of MangoPlate
“Code Kingdoms is delighted to part of the SparkLabs family. The partners understand entrepreneurs because they are
entrepreneurs themselves - the guidance and support provide is always insightful, relevant and timely. Having SparkLabs
as an investor has been a signiﬁcant contributor to the growth of our company and also provided immense learning
opportunities from fellow portfolio companies and wider network.” - Ross Targett, Co-founder & CEO of Code
“The team at SparkLabs have struck a read chord with everyone here at Soundwave due to the fact that, ﬁrst and foremost,
they are all entrepreneurs. We've really enjoyed tapping into their experience as we navigate our way through building
and scaling Soundwave. It's reassuring to know that they are always on the other end of the phone, email, sms, IM or
Skype!” - Brendan O’Driscoll, Co-founder & CEO of Soundwave (acquired by Spotify)
“SparkLabs' passion for Memebox inspired us to go global and expand to Silicon Valley. Their support was felt every step
of the way as we launched the Silicon Valley ofﬁce and graduated from Y Combinator. Since their involvement we've
successfully closed both a Series A and B funding round, within a year. It has been a rewarding experience having
SparkLabs Global Ventures as our investor and partner as we continue to share our products with the global audience.” -
Dino Ha, Co-founder & Co-CEO of Memebox (YC W14)
Project Management Platform Social
Portfolio Companies: Sector
Portfolio Companies: Country
• Sector: HR / Social Enterprise
• Location: New York City, NY & Lagos, Nigeria
• Major product: Online platform
• Co-investors: Steve Case, Rothenberg Ventures,
Omidyar Network, Founder Collective
Andela is a global talent accelerator that produces world-class developers and connects them with top
employers. Andela finds the brightest young people in Africa and gives them the training and
mentorship needed to thrive as full-time, remote developers for companies around the world.
Andela has been recognized by Inc. magazine as “10 Tech Companies Shaking Up Their Industries”
and VentureBeat’s list of “14 startups that will change our everyday life”.
Andela raised seed funding from Steve Case, Omidyar Network, Founder Collective, Rothenberg Ventures,
Learn Capital, Melo7 Tech Partners and Chris Hughes.
Iodine is helping people ﬁnd the best medicine, faster. Driven by data and design, Iodine has developed an
innovative consumer-centric model for optimizing people’s therapeutic choices. Our database of more than
100,000 patient experiences with medications gives people clear guidance on what to expect from a
treatment, and our Start app helps people with depression decide if their medicine is working for them.The
company has worked closely with the FDA since 2013.
Iodine addresses a massive need among Internet users: 23% are searching for drug
information, and half of these are unsatisfied by what they find. We believe that too much
information offered to patients today is generic, anecdotal, and out-of-date. We believe that data science can
create better information that will improve adherence, enhance behavior, and make people more conﬁdent
about their health.
Iodine raised a seed round from SVAngel, Maveron, Felicis Ventures, Box Group, and others.
• Sector: Healthcare
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: Clinical data
• Co-investors: SVAngel, Maveron, Felicis Ventures,
Box Group, and Jeremy Stoppelman
• Sector: Online gaming
• Location: Seoul, Korea
• Major product: Online game
• Co-investors: Former Nexon executives
CEO & Founder
CwaveSoft was founded by former Senior Director of Nexon, the largest online gaming company in Korea.
They are developing an AOS game called Hyper Universe, and closed a publishing deal with Nexon.
The founder was Head of Live Operations and Development for Nexon’s Maplestory, which has
amassed over 39 million online users. In 2013, Maplestory generated $326 million in
revenues and in 2014 generated over $250 million in revenues. It has consistently been in the top
10 worldwide in terms of revenues for a single online game.Afterwards, Eun-Do became Head of Live Game
Operations across all of Nexon’s games in Korea.
CwaveSoft raised seed capital from SparkLabs Global Ventures and former Nexon executives.
Lifesum is a Stockholm-based digital health startup that offers its users a ﬂexible platform to support and
encourage a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Lifesum wants to make people healthier and happier by helping users
to forge good habits on their journey towards a better lifestyle, as well as an improved overall quality of life.
Having already achieved over 12 million members across Europe and elsewhere, the Lifesum app is available
on Android and iOS, and can be tailored by individual users and adapted to speciﬁc goals and aims, offering
personal guidance based on personal data.
Recognized among the best apps in the App Store 3 years in a row (2013-2015), top ten in free and
paid among Health & Fitness apps in the U.S., and featured in Apple’s keynote talk on their healthkit
launch. Lifesum was also a launch partner for Google Fit and Google Now, and was the most
downloaded app in November 2015 on Samsung Gear S2 watch.
Lifesum raised $6.7 million of funding from Bauer Media and SparkLabs Global Ventures.
• Sector: Mobile Application
• Location: Stockholm, Sweden
• Major product: Health & Fitness App
• Co-investors: Bauer Media
Petnet’s ﬁrst product, the SmartFeeder programs itself around your life and the wellness of your pet.
SmartFeeder assesses the dietary requirements of your pet, creates a custom feeding regimen
to meet those requirements, alerts you when your pet has been fed and even reminds you to
purchase more food when you run low. From your smartphone, tablet or computer, you and all your
pet’s caregivers can monitor and/or adjust feeding schedules, compare your pet’s diet to other similar pets,
order food, and more.
In 2013, spending in the U.S. hit an estimated $55.53 billion for pet care, with most of that amount, or
$21.26 billion, going toward food.
Petnet raised a seed round from Grishin Robotics, Kima Ventures, and SparkLabs Global Ventures. Petnet
received initial funding while participating in Bolt, a seed-stage fund and incubator in Boston for hardware
• Sector: Internet of Things / Hardware
• Location: Los Angeles, CA
• Major product: Smart Feeder
• Co-investors: Grishin Robotics, Kima Ventures, Bolt
• Sector: Healthcare service
• Location: Seoul, Korea, New York City, NY and
• Major product: Weight management solution
• Co-investors: Softbank Ventures Korea, Samsung
Genoplan provides a genetic-code-based solution which helps people manage their weight. Their solution
analyzes a person’s unique genetic characteristics and provides personalized weight management solution.
Since Genoplan uses saliva to analyze genetic characteristics, its process is simpler, quicker and cheaper than
existing solutions in the market. Genoplan also guarantees high accuracy by using equipment from Roche
Diagnostics, one of the world's top medical device makers in this space.
Genoplan graduated from Sparklabs accelerator program’s 5th class and recently raised $5 million
from Softbank Ventures Korea, Samsung Ventures, and SparkLabs Global.
Founded in 2009, Payoff is a technology-enabled, consumer-focused ﬁnancial services company. Payoff builds
transparent and empowering ﬁnancial products with the customer’s best interest in mind. Payoff is backed by
top tier venture capital ﬁrms and some of the most prominent individuals in ﬁnancial services.
Payoff wants to build a global consumer ﬁnancial services brand, starting with a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) loan
product designed to pay off higher interest rate credit card debt. Payoff enhances people’s intrinsic motivation
to achieve ﬁnancial goals through rewards and by illustrating the connection between short-term ﬁnancial
behaviors and long-term goals.They want to help more people sleep better with funded savings and lighter
Payoff raised funding from Mohamed El-Erian (former PIMCO CEO), FirstMark,Anthemis Group, Great Oaks
Venture Capital, Brandon Beck (Founder & CEO of RIOT Games), Deborah Kerr (Former CTO, FICO), and others.
Payoff’s board members include Arianna Huffington, Arkadi Kuhlmann (former CEO of ING
Direct), and Joe Saunders (former CEO of Visa).
• Sector: FinTech
• Location: Costa Mesa, CA
• Major product: Peer-to-Peer lending platform
• Co-investors: Mohamed El-Erian (former PIMCO CEO),
FirstMark Capital,Anthemis Group
KnowRe is an education technology company with an innovative cloud-based adaptive learning program for
middle and high school math. KnowRe assesses a student’s strengths and weaknesses, algorithmically creates
a personalized curriculum targeting that individual’s gaps in learning, and engages students through
gamiﬁed learning and beautiful graphics.Through its Teacher Dashboard, KnowRe provides teachers with data
on each student’s progress and highlights where an individual, or the entire class, may be struggling.
KnowRe’s vision is to provide the most effective education by systematizing the world’s knowledge and
personalizing the learning experience for students around the world.
KnowRe was named winner of “Best Instructional App” in the NYC Schools 2013 Gap App
Challenge and was Grand Prize winner of Google’s Global K-Startup. It was also listed in Fast Company's
Most Innovative Companies 2014 series as one of "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative
Companies in Education.”
KnowRe’s Series A round was $6.8 million led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, with participation from KTB
Network Partners Fund, Partners Investment, and SparkLabs Global Ventures.
• Sector: Education Tech
• Location: New York City & Seoul
• Major product: Adaptive learning platform
• Co-investors: SoftBank Ventures
Based in San Francisco, California, Blend is reinventing the way that people group chat. By taking a “Gen Z and
millennial” approach through an emphasis on content sharing, speed, and design, Blend improves every
aspect of group messaging as we currently know it.Additionally, the app offers an intimate experience for
veriﬁed users (celebrities, brands, etc) allowing them to create “public groups” to engage with their entire
Since its latest release in October, the platform has attracted audiences around the world, including young
celebrities and award-winning artists such as Shawn Mendes and the pop duo/Vine stars Jack &
Jack.The company has raised capital from top-tier investors and expanded to close to 20 employees, with a
predominant focus on engineering. Blend is used globally and is localized in over 30 different
• Sector: Mobile App, Social Network
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: Consumer photo sharing app
• Co-investors: NEA, Maveron, Foundation, Box
Group, Lerer Hippeau, CAA
The Woo is an action sports motion sensor designed to capture and visualize users’ kiteboarding
experience. Users can attach the sensor to their board and start tracking their jump height,
airtime, and landing G-force.
Founded by three passionate European kite boarders,WOO is redeﬁning the way action sports is played,
viewed and consumed with the ﬁrst-ever onboard motion sensor device + app experience.Woo Sports build
the technology to allow action sports athletes to measure their performance, share the results with their
friends, and compete against their peers and the best in the world in a fun and engaging way.
• Sector: Internet of Things / Hardware
• Location: Boston, MA
• Major product: Action sports motion sensor
• Co-investors: Techstars Boston
Squirrel is employer benefit and a financial wellbeing platform that empowers employees to
regain control of their financial lives. They work in partnership with public and private sector institutions
to offer practical and intuitive income-backed tools for budgeting, saving and ﬁnancial planning.
Squirrel works in 4 ways: improve ﬁnancial resilience by enabling and encouraging customers to build an
emergency buffer and save for long-term ﬁnancial goals directly from payroll; make budgeting more effective
by settling monthly bill payments directly from payroll; help our clients budget more effectively, we stagger
disposable income into manageable installments over the course of the month; cater for emergencies by
occasionally allowing early access to accrued income, providing an affordable alternative to expensive short-
term credit such as overdrafts and payday loans.
Squirrel was a participant in the inaugural Barclays Accelerator batch in London.
• Sector: FinTech
• Location: London, UK
• Major product: Financial wellbeing platform
• Co-investors: Barclays Accelerator/TechStars, Kima
• Sector: Mobile gaming
• Location: Los Angeles, CA
• Major product: Tree Story,Towering Oceans, Pop Runner
• Co-investors: Al Ahli Holdings
Zig Zag Zoom (Z3) is a mobile game publisher built on the principle that people want to Have Fun and Do
Good. Z3’s mission is to be a world-leading network for mobile games that Entertains, Connects, and
Empowers millions of daily users to support the causes they care about, simply by playing fun mobile games.
ZigZagZoom(Z3) was founded by a team of former senior Disney executives Tom Kang, David Moon and John
Pleasants. Z3 partnered with China’s largest independent mobile gaming platform iDreamSky, Z3 has decades
of combined game development and publishing experience, as well as exceptional access to the Chinese
market.Along with a slate of games releasing in 2015, Z3 is launching mobiliz3, a proprietary platform
that empowers gamers to give to their favorite causes while playing their favorite games.
Co-Founder & COO
Darcy Troy Pollack
Co-Founder & CEO
Pay By Group is an online checkout option that integrates on e-commerce sites to let friends and
family split the cost of a shared purchase so no one has to front the money. Collecting money from
friends and family is a barrier to commerce, especially because 56% of Americans do not even have $1,000 in
Pay By Group removes this friction from commerce and increases conversions for merchants as a result.Their
clients include some of the biggest brands in travel and retail e-commerce.
Pay By Group is backed by venture ﬁrms such as 500 Startups and Great Oaks Capital, as well as
notable angels from PayPal, Google Checkout, Facebook, Home Depot, and Square.
• Sector: FinTech
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: Group payment platform
• Co-investors: 500Startups, Kima Ventures
Code Kingdoms is an online platform for kids to learn to code.We believe that kids should be given the
opportunity to learn one of the essential creative skills for the 21st century - code literacy.
They should have the chance to be creative with code and use it to build things they love.We built our code
editor so that kids can ‘mod’ existing games, like MinecraftⓇ, build their own and program the BBC micro:bit
using the best technology available.
Our team of developers and teachers have seen success in schools with our first prototype game: 75,000
students and 1500 teachers have used Code Kingdoms. In partnership with the BBC, we will extend
our reach in schools in early 2016. One million 11-12 year olds in the UK will receive a small
programmable computer, the BBC micro:bit, which can be coded using our code editor. We have
also launched CK for Modding which allows players to create their own MinecraftⓇ mods with code.
• Sector: Education Tech
• Location: London, UK
• Major product: Gamiﬁed learning platform
• Co-investors: Initial Capital, Charles Mindenhall,
42 is a data analytics platform made for retailers. Our end-to-end web software consolidates, normalizes, and
analyzes data.We give everyone from merchants to planners access to unprecedented insights through our
dashboard. 42 uses data mining and machine learning to generate insights that help retailers
grow revenue, reduce markdowns, and optimize store operations.
42 launched on stage at New York Fashion Week 2013 and TechCrunch Disrupt.
• Sector: B2B, Retail Analytics
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: Web-based analytics platform
• Co-investors: Y Combinator, 500Startups
Flow State Media
• Sector: Online/Mobile Gaming
• Location: Burlingame, CA
• Major product: Letter UP
• Co-investors: F50, SparkLabs (accelerator)
Flow State Media is a mobile gaming company composed of alumni from Zynga, MIT, SGN,Activision and
Gameloft. Their hit word game "Letter UP" was the #1 Word Game in 13 countries just 5 days after
launch. They were also featured as a Best New Game by Apple.
Focused on creating highly polished, live multiplayer and asynchronous gaming experiences, Flow State
Media is leveraging its proprietary technology to launch two new titles in 2016,Word Smart™ and Zodiac
Brawlers. Word Smart™ is already a Top 25 Grossing Word Game in the US, UK and Canada.
The team has over 100 years combined experience and worked on massive titles such as Call of Duty, Zynga
Poker, FarmVille and Panda Pop.
• Sector: Security
• Location: Malmö, Sweden
• Major product: Security Software
• Co-investors: Fredrik Nylander, Hampus Jakobsson
Castle is the easiest way to protect your users in web and mobile apps. By analyzing device,
location and usage patterns we make sure the behavior is consistent for each user.
Every user that comes to the site is scored according to Castle’s machine learning algorithms which look at
unique device characteristics, keystrokes, site browsing history, and hundreds of other properties.The
developer can then choose what to do with the information, whether they’d like to send a notiﬁcation to the
user, or immediately lock the account and force a password reset. Or if they want Castle to do all of that
automatically for them.
Co-founder & CEO
Co-founder & CTO
MinoGames produced MinoMonsters and Mino Monsters2, which are social games where players collect,
train and battle pet monsters. They are currently available on iOS and Android.
MinoMonsters has 7 million downloads and $10 million in revenue to date. MinoMonsters2
launched in November 2015 and hit $1.7 million in revenues during its first month.
MinoMonsters raised seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz,Y Combinator, SVAngel, and Michael Birch.
• Sector: Mobile Gaming
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: MinoMonsters
• Co-investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Birch,
Y Combinator, SVAngel,
• Sector: Mobile Platform, Healthcare
• Location: Singapore
• Major product: Doctor matching platform
• Co-investors: Vectr Ventures, 500 Startups
DocDoc was founded to transform the healthcare experience enabling improved accessibility and promoting
informed patients within Asia Paciﬁc's difﬁcult to navigate healthcare markets. It provides a free service
that enables patients to find a doctor or dentist, to credibly research and understand their
clinical interests and specialties, assess their academic credentials and achievements, and book
an appointment via any internet-connected device.
DocDoc simpliﬁes the doctor discovery process by providing a medically trained concierge to help their
patients ﬁnd the right medical care. It is not enough to ﬁnd a good doctor. DocDoc seeks to help their patients
ﬁnd the right continuum of care.
DocDoc raised $8.6 million in Series A Funding from Raymond Choong Yee How and SparkLabs Global
Sutro is a water testing and data analytics company. Sutro’s ﬁrst product, the Sutro Pool, is a sensor-
driven, connected, learning device to right-size your water chemistry. It automates testing -
keeping you and your family safe, and saving you time and money.
The Sutro monitors pH, chlorine levels, cyanuric acid, calcium hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), and
temperature.There are 14 million residential swimming pools and spas in the US and the chemical market
alone is $13.3 billion.
• Sector: Internet of Things, Hardware, Blue Tech
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: Sutro Pool
• Co-investors: Bolt,Amazon Alexa Fund, IncWell
Co-Founder & CEO
Co-Founder and CTO
Launched in 2012, Memebox is an e-commerce beauty retailer launched in Seoul, Korea, and now
headquartered in San Francisco, California. They seek to provide the best beauty experience by creating high-
quality and effective services and products catered to all types of women, in collaboration with the hottest
beauty icons who share their beauty tips and tricks using our products.
Originally founded as a beauty subscription box company, Memebox evolved to be Korea’s ﬁrst Fast Beauty
Brand which utilizes technology and e-commerce platform data analytics to disrupt the traditional beauty
Memebox raised $800,000 from SparkLabs Global Ventures, Y Combinator and others. After graduating
SparkLabs’ accelerator’s 1st class in Korea, Memebox became the first Korean company to be accepted
into Y Combinator’s accelerator. Recently closed their Series A and Series B rounds totaling $29 million
with Formation 8, Goodwater Capital, Pejman Mar Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and others.
• Sector: E-commerce, Beauty
• Location: San Francisco & Seoul, Korea
• Major product: Subscription box & e-commerce
• Co-investors: Y Combinator, Formation 8, Goodwater
Stitch helps salespeople close more deals and be more responsive.They are building the best mobile-ﬁrst,
sales productivity platform.Their ﬁrst product is a mobile email application for salespeople.With Stitch,
salespeople can communicate faster by having the right information, insights, and tools at their ﬁngertips.
Stitch lets its users track email opens and link clicks sent from their mobile email.They will know and can
follow up immediately with the right information.The app indexes all ﬁles and attachments. Users can send
ﬁles from Dropbox, Google Drive, Hightail, and Box, and can easily access ﬁles they’ve recently sent or
Located in San Francisco, CA, Stitch was founded in 2013 by Somrat Niyogi, Wiebke Poerschke, and Jason
McDowall - all formerly at Salesforce.com.
ACQUIRED. Stitch was acquired by SugarCRM in March 2015.
• Sector: Mobile App, Sales Enablement
• Location: San Francisco, CA
• Major product: Mobile email for salespeople
• Co-investors: Google Ventures, SoftTech, Freestyle
Capital, Foundation Capital,Tekton
Founded in June 2013, Soundwave is a music discovery app that shows you what music people are listening
to and where in real-time. Soundwave aims to connect music lovers worldwide to discover, share, discuss and
track their music consumption across Android and iOS devices. The Soundwave music map is an innovative
feature that allows a user to pick a destination and see in real-time the music that is being consumed in that
area by other Soundwave users.
Soundwave’s seed round included SparkLabs Global Ventures, Mark Cuban, ACT Venture
Capital, Enterprise Ireland, Matthew Le Merle, and Trevor Bowen, one of the people behind U2 s
management company Principle Management.
ACQUIRED. Soundwave was acquired by Spotify in January 2016.
• Sector: Mobile App, Online Music
• Location: Dublin, Ireland
• Major product: Music discovery application
• Co-investors: Mark Cuban, ACTVentures