Dec'17 Elon Musk, Gala, Turkey, iyzico, Insider and more  

November is an interesting month for Turks. All the talk about Thanksgiving and Turkeys puts our Google alerts in overdrive. This past November, we saw more than just news about birds. Turkish startups merged and were acquired. Elon Musk came to Ankara. And even beyond the Bosphorus, Turkish techies who founded a vision systems company in Silicon Valley, pointed to the talent and potential that lies in this country that is often labeled at the “crossroads of Europe and Asia.” Read on for the details in our all-Turkey edition. Our take away from all of it: Turkey is more than just its politics. What doesn’t make the daily headlines is the young minds, both men and women, who are not only launching, but coming to Turkey to launch companies in FinTech, AdTech, and virtual reality. We’ve got game in Istanbul. 


Correction: Last month we noted that Goldman Sachs was interested in acquiring Goldman Sachs is helping the company look for buyers. We regret the error.

212 Attends Give Back Gala 

212 is proud to support a great cause in the Turkish tech ecosystem at the Give Back Gala event on November 23rd at the Raffles Istanbul. The night was about mentoring the young students in Turkey with their new startups and building a great future for the Turkish ecosystem. 


Mr. Musk Goes to Ankara 


If you haven’t heard, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, visited Turkey last month. He wasn’t playing tourist however. He called on officials in Ankara, including President Erdogan to discuss possible collaboration with Turkey’s national satellite firm.

Online Financing in Turkey Expands 


NN Hayat, which is focused on life insurance and pensions, took an 18 percent stake in, an online loan and payment platform in mid-November.


Finance going digital. We told you so. 

2017 FinTech Innovators: Iyzico


KPMG Innovation 2017 includes 212 portfolio company Iyzico as a leading finch innovator.



Insider listed at Deloitte’s 50 fast startups in Turkey


Deloitte’s list of Turkey’s 50 fastest growing technology startups is out. And 212 portfolio company Insider is on it.



Marketers' Holiday Playbook

Getting customers in and to buy – every marketer’s dilemma. Insider’s eBook, provides facts and stats about consumer trends. It’s got a strategy for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. 

Zynga acquires Istanbul-based Peak Games' Card Game Studio


The leading social game developer, Zynga, announced that it would acquire Istanbul based Peak Games' mobile card games studio for $100 million.


Peak Games is behind Spades Plus, Gin Rummy Plus. It’s a big win for the Turkish startup ecosystem.


Let’s keep playing for the win. 

Holy Holography! CY Vision raises $7 million 


Virtual reality ranks high in the “what’s to come in tech” category. CY Vision, a Silicon Valley based firm that specializes in creating computer images – holographic technology, is on it. The firm just raised $7 million in Series A funding. Vestel Venture led the round, joined by Intel Capital. Why do we care? The founders are Hakan Urey and Orkun Oguz who have been working on display technology for the past 20 years, some of that time in Turkey. 

Vispera raises $1.2 million 


Aytul Ercil is a role model in Turkish technology. A professor in engineering, she successfully founded Vistek, a smart camera based automation system company, in 2006. Today’s she’s on her second company, Vispera, a visual R&D firm that assists retail. It’s just raised $1.2 million from Istanbul-based Logo Ventures. That brings the valuation of the company, which has previously been backed by Keiretsu Forum Turkey, Keiretsu Capital, Galata Business Angels, and Actus, to 12 million USD. 

Hero alert: Iyzico engineer spots Apple bug 


Techcrunch is right – “this is a bad one.” Macs running on the latest version of High Sierra are susceptible to hackers logging on simply by using the word “root.”




Apple is scrambling to fix this. Hat tip to Lemi Orhan Ergin who spotted the bug. He’s our hero of the month. 

After Hours

Our focus is on Turkey – here are a few resources for you to get better caught up with the place, even if you are a Turk yourself: 



He thought that Istanbul was more welcoming than New York or Paris, James Baldwin’s Istanbul



Turkish soaps are all the rage – in the Middle East, in Asia, and even in Latin America. Why



Flashback to the 60s with Mavi Işıklar


It’s New Years time! Our favorite time of the year. Get happy with these 


Gift ideas: Crayon ammo belt (Numan’s pick); Pizza cone making set (on Ali’s wishlist) – and the selfie toaster for all you narcissists out there. 


Cocktail ideas (champs #FTW)

Book to Read...



The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone. 



Up coming events

We’re busy closing out the end of the year. But you can catch Ali at Seed Star World in Kiev on December 7


Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill


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