Teewe-Maker Raises $3 Million Funding, to Enter Smartphone Market With Android-Based OS

Teewe-Maker Raises $3 Million Funding, to Enter Smartphone Market With Android-Based OS

On the event of its latest funding round, Bengaluru-based Mango Man Consumer Electronics, the makers of HDMI media streaming device Teewe has re-branded itself Creo. The re-branding coincides with the launch of its proprietary Android OS on Thursday.

The company launched its website Creosense.com and announced it had raised $3 million (roughly Rs. 20.3 crores) in funds from Sequoia India, Beenext Ventures, and India Quotient.

The startup will be developing a proprietary software OS based on Android, and then launching a smartphone by the first half of 2016, said Sai Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Creo, in a conversation with Gadgets 360. The Android based OS will have access to the Google Play store, and the company plans to license its OS to other OEMs in India and worldwide.

“From a functional aspect our OS aims to deliver features that are not there on any other phone, with a promise of building new features on a regular monthly basis,” he said, adding that the OS will continuously evolve to provide new experiences.

(Also see: 12 Indian Hardware Startups That Are Making an Impact)

The Sequoia-funded startup had launched its first hardware device, Teewe in September 2014, and Teewe 2 in May 2015. Teewe added torrent streaming functionality through an update in late December 2015.

(Also see: Teewe 2 Review: Plug and Play Streaming Media Player)

Earlier this week, Mumbai-based MoFirst, the makers of FirsTouch OS had recently re-branded its regional language smartphone operating system as Indus OS, to go with its fund-raise of $5 million (roughly Rs. 34 crores).


Apple’s Music Memos App Makes It Easier to Jot Down Song Ideas; GarageBand Gets an Update

Apple's Music Memos App Makes It Easier to Jot Down Song Ideas; GarageBand Gets an Update

Apple realises that many people use its Voice Memos app on their iPhone to record ideas for songs, and perhaps that’s why it is now giving these users a standalone app for the task. On Wednesday, the Cupertino-based company released Music Memos. On the sidelines, Apple also updated GarageBandmusic suite.

Apple has had the GarageBand app available for the iPhone and iPad for quite some time. However, many people – who are not actually musicians – find the app too complicated. Apple is cutting a slack for such users with its Music Memos app. Music Memo lets users record in a high-quality, uncompressed format, then file it away with tags and ratings. Once done, you can listen to the track you just made, quickly check the arrangement of different music notes, and automatically stuff in basslines and drums which are automatically moulded in the same rhythm as your original track.

Apple says that Music Memos works best with acoustic guitar or piano-based songs. It is available for iPhone, iPad 3 and above, iPad mini (all generations), and the iPad Pro, running on iOS 9.1 and above. Syncing with iCloud, Music Memos can then be accessed across the Apple ecosystem.


Apple also updated GarageBand to version 2.1 on iOS. The in-house music creation studio is getting two interesting new features – Live Loops and Drummer. Live Loops allows anyone to create electronic music without having to own a beat-making specialised hardware. Apple is also bringing Drummer feature, previously available on GarageBand for OS X to the iOS app.


Housing.com Secures Rs. 100 Crores in Fresh Funding From SoftBank

Housing.com Secures Rs. 100 Crores in Fresh Funding From SoftBank

Japan-based SoftBank has invested an additional Rs. 100 crores in Housing.com to drive the growth of the realty portal.

Announcing the fresh funding, Mumbai-based Housing.com said that “it has secured a fresh round of funding from SoftBank, its largest investor”.

“The new Rs. 100 crores infusion will well-capitalise the company to drive its new strategy and growth plans,” Housing.com said in a statement.

The company did not disclose the SoftBank’s increase in stake after the fresh infusion of Rs. 100 crores.SoftBank had over 30 percent stake in the portal.

Founded in 2012, the portal had raised so far over $100 million (roughly Rs. 680 crores) in capital from leading investors, including SoftBank, Nexus Ventures, Falcon Edge and Helion Ventures.

“Softbank is one of the world’s largest and most successful investors. Their continued support as both investors and advisors to Housing.com is invaluable to us and signifies their long-term commitment to the company,” Housing.com CEO Jason Kothari said.

“We are now well-capitalised to aggressively execute on our focused strategy and growth plans and believe 2016 will be a great year for the company,” he added.

Housing.com has established a focused strategy on buying and selling homes, the largest and most lucrative segment of the real estate market.

With 85 million visits in 2015 and 1.7 million verified listings to date, Housing.com said it is building scalable revenue streams around its world-class product, market leading demand and supply, and is also going deeper in the value chain towards facilitating and fulfilling transactions.

The portal had acquired an online community for real estate (India Real Estate Forum), a popular CRM for developers (HomeBuy360), and a data analytics and due diligence company for real estate (Realty Business Intelligence).

These acquisitions would be leveraged to further the company’s strategy and growth plans, it said.

SoftBank had in 2014 announced plans to invest $10 billion (roughly Rs. 67,995 crores) in India over a decade. It has already put in $627 million (roughly Rs. 4,263 crores) into online marketplace Snapdeal and smaller investments in property site Housing.com.

Last week, SoftBank said the company may scale up its planned investment of $10 billion in the coming years as the telecom and Internet giant sees the “beginning of Big Bang” for the world’s second most populous market.


Hike Messenger Claims Over 100 Million Users

Hike Messenger Claims Over 100 Million Users

Mobile messaging app Hike claimed on Thursday that it has over 100 million users on its platform, with a monthly messaging volume of over 40 billion messages.

The company claimed that Hike has doubled the number of messages in five months, and has added over 30 million users since October 2015.

“Hike has emerged as a true platform over the last year and in 2016 we’re going to double down.” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, CEO and Founder, Hike Messenger. The company hasn’t disclosed any statistics on daily or monthly active users, or which revealed which platform the messenger is most dominant on.

Users are spending over 120 minutes per week on the messaging app, the company claimed, adding that they view 11.2 news stories per day/ The company said that Hike Direct, which launched in October 2015 and lets mobile users interface without the Internet has transferred close to 10 million files.

Hike Messenger had extended its support to eight Indian languages a month ago. Its apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry devices. 90 percent of its users are under the age of 30, and based in India, the company said, adding that the app addresses challenges such as poor connectivity and limited data.

WhatsApp recently said that it apps are being used by nearly billion people in the world. Some of the other Indian apps to claim a user base of over 100 million include mobile commerce player Paytm andNimbuzz.