Feb'18  

It’s not a fad. Blockchain is a revolution. Introduced along with bitcoin, it is a digitized ledger that “links batches of transactions” to blocks. Each block is encrypted. No block can be altered or deleted. That’s the beauty of this technology. And that’s precisely why it’s going to be big. Blockchain isn’t just for cryptocurrency. It can be used to file land ownership, proof of property, birth certificates, passports, and other types of identification. It’s like the Internet in its early days – the potential of it is limitless. We’re seeing entrepreneurs experiment with blockchain across verticals. And we can’t wait to see what comes from it. 

 

Estonia to develop a digital "estcoin" – and become the first to have an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

 

The most digitally savvy country in the West, Estonia announced at the end of 2017 that it would launch the “estcoin” – a digital means of exchange.

 

Kaspar Korjus said in a blog post that the estcoin would be aimed at the Baltic country’s 27,000 e-residents -- foreigners who open a company there via the web -- but would not be a parallel currency to rival the euro.

 

Dealmaking: Worldpay expands payment processing into Turkey with iyzico

 

 

Business is booming in Turkey. That makes Worldpay prime to reap the benefits. The global payment platform has teamed up with iyzico in Turkey to extend its payment services into Turkey. That means that a merchant or business anywhere can accept local credit and debit cards. And we’ve told you how much Turks love their credit cards. Bonus: e-commerce in Turkey is on track to be worth $17 billion by 2021. #damn

 

Why I like Turkish banks 

 

Chris Skinner has been watching the FinTech space since 2005. Turkey caught his eye early on. Why? People he says. “The Turkish talent pool is rich.” It’s the country’s greatest strength. Another reason:

Turkish banks developed their core systems after the Internet boom. They weren’t bogged down by systems installed in the 1970s or 1980s, like most European banks. 

AImotive Raises $38M in Series C Funding 

 

Meanwhile, in Budapest, Almotive is pushing our prediction about self-driving cars forward. The software company that builds artificial intelligence for cars, closed a $38 million Series C round. B Capital Group and Prime Ventures led the round. Cisco Investments, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Robert Bosch enture Capital, Draper Associates, Inventure, and Day One Capital joined in. 

 

Breaking records: MENA 

 

It’s not just us. We’ve been saying that MENA is hot. Last year, the region saw a record year in investments - $560 million into 260 startups. That’s up 65 percent from 2016. Careem led the drive with a $150 million round. 

Mediterra Capital Partners acquires Glasshouse 

 

Istanbul-based Mediterra closed one of the first deals of 2018.

It completed its acquisition of Glasshouse, Turkey’s leading consulting services and data solutions provider. 

 

Waves to launch $30 million fund to back blockchain startups

 

Blockchain is all the rage. And Russia’s Waves is making the most of it. The blockchain company plans to launch a venture capital fund that will back…. Drumroll… blockchain startups! The initial fund will be $30 million. 

 

How do I love thee? Let Insider count the ways…. 

 

Love makes us crazy. Especially when it comes to shopping. Why did you buy that stuffed rabbit for your girlfriend? Insider can tell you. If you’re a digital marketer, get on Insider’s top 5 scenarios to help you win the hearts of your customers on this special day. Hubba, hubba. 

After Hours

The basics: 

 

 

Watch & Read:

Understand the blockchain in two minutes.

 

Banking on bitcoin (on Netflix) – we loved this. 

 

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology

Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott 

 

 

Not blockchain: 

 

Valentine’s Day fun fact: on February 14, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray Applied for patents on the telephone. All the more reason to call your honey….

 

And speaking of your honey… make sure to toast him or her on February 18, which National Wine Day. Pour yourself a Bordeaux, which is what we’re drinking this month. 

Up coming events

Feb 9: Check out Numan and iyzico boss Barbaros Ozbugutu at TUSIAD’s panel “Bu genclikde is var” (sounds like something my mother would say) 


Feb 12 – You can catch Ali at the UK Technology Investment Conference'18. Come and say “Hi.” 


Feb 15 - Workup Mentoring Sessions @ Kolektif House 


Feb 17 – Numan hits Turkey’s capital to attend “Get in the Ring,” at Bilkent Cyberpark. Bring your gloves. 


Grab us at ITU Çekirdek Mentoring Sessions on March 1. 
 

 

The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” ― Colin R. Davis

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