Jun'18 June: Half-way – and a summer reading list!  

It’s June! We’re half-way into 2018 – and half-way before 2019. If that sounds like the glass half-empty and half-full comparison, it’s meant to be. We love June. The weather is warmer. The days are longer. The beach! A good time to recharge batteries – and also reflect and take stock. What’s working, how can we improve? (We know, very new agey.)


And speaking of taking stock, let’s talk about GDPR! (You didn’t think we’d be left out of the email barrage, did you?)


If you are getting this newsletter, that means we have your name and email. What do we do with that information? Keep it safe. We do not share your data with advertisers, researchers, or third parties. And we won’t. It’s just not cool.


If you’re cool with that, you don’t have to do anything. But if you’d like to unsubscribe, you can do so at the bottom of this note or by replying to this message.

Zynga acquires Gram Games


Who doesn’t love good news? We did a jig upon hearing that Zynga picked up Istanbul founded Gram Games for $250 million. (Ali is thinking of trying out for the Kirov Ballet.) “We were drawn to the talent of the team,” said Zynga CEO Frank Gibaeu. Moral of the story? Don’t get distracted with news about currency or politics. Keep your eye on the prize.

Turkey’s startup ecosystem: The timeline


Who started what fund or incubator when? Startups Watch has this handy timeline to show you the history of Turkey’s funds, accelerators, and incubators. Impressive.

Move over old economy


We won’t tell you happens in Season 2 of Fauda – or The Americans (but OMG). What we will say is that Netflix is killing it. The company’s stock market value shot up to $153 billion. That, as Reuters reports, beats Disney and makes Netflix the “world’s most valuable entertainment company.” Boom.

So how did they do it?


Netflix started in 1997. And it worked hard to push out its competitors. Remember Blockbuster? This is a good explainer on how Netflix focused on branding and customer service.

PayPal is stepping it up


If there’s anyone taking a lesson from Netflix, it’s PayPal. The digital payments firm bought Swedish based iZettle for $2.2 billion. iZettle sells mobile credit card readers and other payment platforms. CNN reports that the acquisition “significantly expands PayPal’s instore presence, strengthening PayPal’s platform to help millions of small businesses around the world.”

IPO Alert


Dutch payment company Adyen is gearing up for an IPO. Guess where? Euronext Amsterdam. That’s right – not NASDAQ. The Europeans are keeping it close to home. The company didn’t disclose how much it plans to raise or what kind of valuation is expected. It will be big money no doubt.

Golden Apple?


That’s what we’d call a credit card behind Goldman Sachs and Apple. WSJ reports that the two companies are teaming up to launch a credit card. What’s behind the partnership? Slow iPhone sales. Apple’s widening its revenue streams, moving deeper into mobile payments. Apple Pay hasn’t been big. They’re hoping to fix that. As for GS – security trading is no longer where it’s at. The Wall Street giant is hoping consumer banking will drive in the Benjamins.

On mobile payments….


While we’re on the topic of mobile payments (our favorite), Starbucks – a coffee company – is beating Apple, Google, and Samsung in the vertical. 23.4 million user Starbuck’s mobile app to pay for that cuppa joe. Why should you care? Mobile apps aren’t just for tech companies. And it’s not just about tech. Starbucks has mastered customer service. People. Let’s not forget about them.

See the light

Nearly 1 in every 25 people are visually impaired. Moreover, an astonishing 50 million of those impaired use a cane. Our friends at Young Guru Academy have a wonderful solution – let’s support them.

After Hours - Summer Reading List



Bad Blood



Remember Elizabeth Holmes? John Carreyou can’t forget. His book,  Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup is a riveting look at the lies she spun at Thernos.



The Complacent Class



In The Complacent Class: The Self Defeating Quest for the American Dream, economist Tyler Cowen outlines why America is no longer the land of innovation



The Power of Habit 




Why do we do the things we do? Charles Duhigg explains in The Power of Habit – a look at how we get into routines and how we can get out of them.



The Other Side of The World: 


And, of course, if you want to read about the rise of entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley – and how they’re doing it, we can’t recommend Elmira Bayrasli’s From The Other Side of The World: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs, Unlikely Places enough.

Up coming events

  • Money, money, money – that’s what we’re talking at Money 20/20 from June 4-6. Check us out at the Iyzico booth.

  • Stop by ITU on June 5 – Ali will be at ITU Magnet for innogate!

  • Ali surfaces again on June 10 on a panel at the Young Guru Academy. (He’ll be the old guru.)

  • Rounding out the month, on June 20 Ali will deliver a lecture on fundraising at ITU Cekirdek.

"One must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star." Nietzsche


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