The Global14 Community


Twitter’s Acquisition Of ZipDial Proves There’s Tech Innovation In Emerging Markets

Twitter’s acquisition of India-based mobile marketing startup ZipDial is not only a smart move to boost monetization of its international user base, but it highlights that there are innovative tech companies hiding in plain sight in emerging markets.

ZipDial began in response to the phenomenon of missed calls, which developed into an alert system of their own in India. With many phone owners on pre-pay tariffs and keen to avoid charges for mobile data or SMS/calling, drop-calling a friend when you get home from an evening out, for example, became a way to let them know you arrived safely without incurring costs.

ZipDial smartly tapped into that opportunity to give advertisers a convenient medium to reach consumers on any kind of mobile phone. That same model worked well for advertisers on Twitter and also Facebook, both of which had partnered with the Indian company. (Rumor has it Facebook was also bidding to buy it.)

What is most interesting about ZipDial is that its product is unique, it could only have been thought up in an emerging market. In that way it is not wholly dissimilar to WhatsApp — the red hot messaging app that was unknown to many in Silicon Valley until Facebook bought it last year, despite having hundreds of millions of active users across the world. (Yes, WhatsApp was founded in the U.S. but CEO Jan Koum is not American and has a different mindset to the ‘Silicon Valley Set’.)

Twitter has paid much less than the $17 billion that Facebook forked out for WhatsApp — our sources suggest ZipDial may have been sold for $40-$50 million — but the deal highlights that emerging markets can’t be wholly dependent on Silicon Valley, even though it is the global home of startups that has birthed huge tech firms.

Screenshot 2015-01-21 11.56.09

The increased internationalization of the world — ZipDial co-founder and CEO Valerie Wagoner is a U.S. expat — combined with a rise in developer talent overseas (thanks to increased access to information online) and the growth of VCs investing overseas, means most of the ingredients that drive Silicon Valley can be found all over the world.

When you consider that top programmers and thinkers are in emerging markets, with VC firms like 500 Startups (a ZipDial investor) providing money and knowhow, it stands to reason that this is just the beginning for emerging market innovation.

As for ZipDial and Twitter: the deal could turn out to be a relative bargain for the U.S. company. ZipDial had already begun its expansion to Southeast Asia, and the company has hinted that it has new products and services coming soon.

India is a vast market for social networks — Facebook has over 100 million active users there, for example — but it could be that the ZipDial platform is introduced in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Latin America. Regardless of whether it takes off in any of those places, $50 million is a shrewd investment to grow Twitter’s visibility in India and get an engineering office in the country.

Jay Z Isn’t Buying Hot 97 According To The Station’s Parent Company

Not that this rumor was ever confirmed to begin with.


by  6h ago
It doesn’t look like Funkmaster Flex has to worry about losing his job while he’s out here mercilessly insulting Jay Z — but he probably knew that all along. 

The Hot 97 DJ has been throwing darts at Hov for a few days, but the storyline really picked up thanks to rumors that the Brooklyn-bred mogul was planning to buy the radio station, which could signal trouble for Flex.

According to an unconfirmed report from MediaTakeOut, Jay planned to do this with the help of a team of investors that included Carmelo Anthony. Hot 97 morning show host Ebro Darden also had fun with the reports on-air and on Instagram, playing as if the rumors were true.

But a rep for Hot 97′s parent company, Emmis Communications put those rumors to rest, telling HipHopWired simply, “That story is false.”

Guess that means Flex is free to continue on his current anti-Hov tirade. During his first bomb-filled rant, he called Jay’s Life+Times website “trash” and accused him of stealing the idea for his Funk Flex app to launch his own Samsung app.

Then, things just got completely out of hand when Funk snapped over an ALL CAPS text that Jay allegedly sent him in response to the ranting.

New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs

The New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs under-inflated by 2 pounds of air (PSI) as required by NFL regulations, according to league sources either involved or familiar with the investigation of Sunday’s AFC championship game when the Patriots beat the Colts45-7 to advance to their sixth Super Bowl.

“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.

Troy Vincent, the league’s senior executive vice president of football operations, said earlier Tuesday that the NFL expected to wrap up its investigation in “two or three days.”

Yet to be determined is what, if any, penalties may be imposed upon Patriots. One source described the league as “disappointed … angry … distraught,” after spending considerable time on the findings earlier Tuesday.

Part of the investigation that still needs further vetting is how the 11 footballs became under-inflated. The game balls provided to each team for preparation were required to be inspected and approved by referee Walt Anderson two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff before they were returned to each team. No alteration of footballs is allowed once they are approved, under league rules and regulations.

The balls are required be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces.

“We have been in complete cooperation with the league and will continue to do so,” said Patriots spokesman Stacey James.

AOL sets dates for Mike Epps, Nicole Richie series

Mike Epps and Nicole Richie lead the way for AOL‘s 2015 slate of original programming.

The Internet media company has announced the premiere dates for the first shows from its 2015 programming slate, including That’s Racist With Mike Epps and the return of #Candidly Nicole.

Nicole Richie, reality TV show star and daughter of singer Lionel Richie, returns for the second half of Season 2 of the unscripted series #Candidly Nicole. The show, which also airs on VH1, is loosely based on the daily musings from Richie’s popular Twitter feed. The final 10 episodes of the second season will be released in three groups beginning on Feb,12, and will feature guest appearances from Lionel, comedian Paul Scheer and Rashida Jones.

RELATED: Web to Watch picks

In That’s Racist With Mike Epps, comedian and actor Mike Epps takes a humorous approach to a serious subject — racist stereotypes. The 10-episode series follows Epps as he interviews people on the street, educators and fellow comedians in an attempt to figure out the backstories behind racist jokes. The first five episodes of the series will be available Jan. 26 and the remaining episodes will be released March 2.

AOL will also release the documentary series Inspired. Produced by NewForm, the digital venture founded by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the series features celebrities recounting the moments that defined their lives. Guests on the show include Olympic skier Bode Miller, The X-Files creator Chris Carter and Whiplash writer/director Damien Chazelle. Inspired will be released in two batches with the first set of five episodes to debut Jan. 28.

These shows come as part of AOL’s continuing efforts to ramp up short-form, celebrity focused original programming. AOL’s first TV-length series, Connected, an adaptation of an Israeli reality show in which six cast members record their lives using a handheld camera, is set to debut on the platform in March.

Lil Wayne (@LilTunechi) Feat SNL – Admit It


[audio:|titles= Admit It Ft SNL]

Lil Wayne decides to unleash another new joint called Admit It featuring SNL. This track is featured on Lil Wayne recent mixtape titled Sorry 4 The Wait 2.

Skip to toolbar