givin // Social Impact Startup

Social enterprises (SE) are spreading around the globe rapidly. A remarkable example for them in Turkey is a beautiful new-born ‘givin’ which combines growing online shopping with social impact trends. Through givin mobile app, users can sell any unused items and donate the proceedings to NGO projects that they choose, very easily.

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Newsletter : Jun ’17

Moore’s Law holds that the number of transistors per square inch would double every 12 months. Today, an integrated circuit holds more computing power than NASA did when it launched a man on the moon. Tech trends are advancing at a similar pace. Since the start of the year we’ve been watching FinTech and it is certainly getting interesting. So is the tech scene in Eastern Europe. This month we continue to follow trends in FinTech, but also have several interesting pieces that shed light on tech in Eastern Europe. Fasten your seatbelts friends. The ride is just getting started…..

You can continue to read it here.

Why they exited?

The exit. It’s become the startup north star, even before the startup has gone from idea to operation. What is it? What does it involve? In this month’s 212 Deep Dive, we talked to a few founders to find out.

What is it?

To start, it’s important to note that “the exit” is a financial goal post. Not all entrepreneurs start companies with the idea of selling it to another or even going public. As Yemeksepeti co-founder, Melih Odemis, notes, it depends on the entrepreneur.

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Tahterevalli bize ortaklık hakkında ne öğretebilir

Efendim, ben küçükken oldukça ‘gürbüz’ bir çocuktum. Hatta annemler övünerek (…) anlatır; çarşı pazarda benimle gezerken, insanlar durdurup hangi pehlivanın oğlu olduğumu sorarlarmış. O derece bir irilik.

Çocukluğumdan hatırladığım tahterevalli sahneleri var. Hepiniz binmişsinizdir; iki çocuk karşı karşıya geçer, yukarı aşağı iner çıkarlar.

Benim bindiğim durumlarda bu olmazdı; zira ben ağır olduğum için bir süre sonra aşağıda oturuyor olurdum. Üşenip bacaklarımla yerden yaylanmayı bıraktığım için diğer çocuk yukarıda kalır etrafa aval aval bakar durur, kimi zaman çırpınır, aşağı gelebilmek için debelenir, çoğu zaman da mızmızlanıp ağlardı.

 

Geçenlerde bir dostumla sohbet ediyorduk. Melek yatırımları hakkında konuşurken, bir yatırımı hakkında sorular sordum kendisine. O şirketi hatırlamadığını söyledi. Melek yatırımcı grubu kanalıyla yatırım yaptığı şirkette o kadar düşük bir yüzdeye sahip ki unutmuş bile ortak olduğunu…

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Newsletter : May ’17

It’s May. In addition to shedding the winter slumber (and pounds – no more baklava), we’re shedding old mindsets. Souq and Careem have helped. The headline deals that both companies have made earlier this year are injecting tremendous excitement into the MENA startup ecosystem. We’re also keeping our eyes on all things fintech, which continues to be a rapidly changing landscape. As we start to countdown to our timeout on the beach, we’re ever more eager to see what the summer holds for MENA – and the Balkans, which we take a look at this month.

You can continue to read it here.

Warning To Digital Entrepreneurs: Regulated Industries Can Bite…

by Fevzi M. TOKSOY, PhD EU Law, Partner at ACTECON

The suspension of Booking.com’s services in Turkey has been seen as an attack on individuals’ online freedom and digital entrepreneurship as a whole. Such claims seem to be inaccurate because undertakings, irrespective of their legal form, location and mode of operation (digital/ ‘traditional’), are equally subject to, among others, (i) competition law; (ii) the respective regulatory framework, and (iii) rules on (un)fair competition. If an undertaking is found to be in violation of any of these, then naturally respective measures shall be taken by the state to deal with the consequences of the infringement. The case of Booking.com should be seen from this perspective. Access to the website has been restricted temporarily by the Turkish court on the grounds of unfair competition, and technically, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) has implemented the order of the court. At the same time, these decisions are part of an increasing pattern whereby conflicts between regulated business and digital networking platforms in many different industries are playing out in the legal and regulatory arenas. Booking.com is a typical example. Others include Uber, Airbnb, and PayPal. Let’s examine the Booking.com situation.

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Looking Back – Part II : Resilience & Culture

Reflections of a Turkish VC, seven years on

In my last post, I reflected on trust and the pioneers of the Turkish startup ecosystem. Here are a few more “lessons” I’ve taken away in my seven years as a Turkish VC.

Resilience. When the unexpected is the norm, resilience becomes second nature. Silicon Valley may brag about innovation and failure, but Turks and those of us in the MENA region own resilience and the “pivot.”

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Newsletter : April ’17

We’re a quarter of the way through 2017. And while all seems topsy-turvy (Trump), things continue to push forward in the startup world, particularly in MENA. We’ve been eyeing the takeover of Souq.com, the growth of new funds, and rising stars, such as Trendyol founder and CEO Demet Mutlu. She was named one of Europe’s most inspiring entrepreneurs. We agree.

You can continue to read it here.

Looking back – Part I: Trust & Pioneering

Seven years ago, I boarded a plane at JFK bound for Istanbul. In 2010, in the wake of the global financial crisis, moving to Turkey didn’t seem like the wisest decision. Emerging markets, most pundits predicted, would shrink.

Imagine, then, trying to start a venture capital fund. I left many people wincing. “Numan will be back,” a few friends in New York said.

Seven years on, we’re going strong. A few weeks ago, I paused to trace that journey. I re-read some of the things that I’ve shared on this blog. Here are a few points that leapt out at me; points that made all the difference on that journey.

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