Turkey’s economy dominated global headlines for much of August. The country’s currency, the Turkish Lira, lost value, a lot of value, in the course of two weeks. It, along with Turkey’s economy, had been struggling all year. Inflation has become a beast in Turkey. Trump’s comments about raising steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey didn’t help matters. Still, just as Enis Hull notes, this crisis “presents a unique opportunity.”
It’s August. Everyone is at the beach. So are we. But we can’t stop thinking about e-commerce, innovation, and fintech. That’s what we’re focused on this month, with lots of interesting pieces that look at putting together boards, the prospect for Europe to be THE fintech hub. And, hey, Apple. $1,000,000,000,000. That’s a lot of zeros. How did they do it? Read on.
The World Cup is here! We love this event. And not only because it’s football. Yeah, sure the Olympics is supposed to be the nations of the world competing against one another. But is it really? The strong dominate, the weak lose. What we’re seeing in Russia is nothing less than excellence on display. Mexico beat Germany. France beat Argentina. Italy didn’t even make it into the game. Morocco, Senegal, Panama, and Costa Rica did. Croatia is turning out to be a star. Given an even playing field, everyone has a shot. It’s a lot like entrepreneurship. (C’mon you didn’t think we’d go without a reference to our favorite topic, did you?)
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.)
The flowers are blooming. The trees are turning green. And the reports are flying off the presses. This month, we’re diving into reports! We’re deep into the ones that Tech EU and MENAbytes put out – chock full of good data on the state of startups and investments in Europe and MENA, respectively. AND WE ARE EXCITED. Summer is a good time to recharge – but also get perspective. There is no rest for anyone in the startup world. It’s good to keep thinking about how to push forward – and actually get there. We are eager to adopt a new hobby though. We’re thinking gardening. See more in After Hours.
Ah, spring. Budding leaves. Longer days. Warmer weather. Growth. Yeah, that’s the one we love best. There has been a lot just in the first week. Insider announced an $11 million investment from Sequoia India. HotelRunner has teamed up with Skyscanner Hotels.
We love geeking out at the latest gadgets and innovations. Who doesn’t love the advancements that have come with the smartphone, not to mention what’s to come with virtual reality and artificial intelligence. But tech isn’t just machines. It affects society – how we live, how we consume information, how we interact with one another. We’ve been watching Facebook’s role in Russia’s meddling of the US elections.
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.
Happy New Year!
What are we looking at in 2018? Money. Specifically, how we spend it and move it around. We’ve been big on FinTech for the past few years. With the rise of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, we don’t doubt that there will be big things happening in the intersection of banking, finance, and tech.
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.