The Telegraph reported last week that the Chinese venture capital and private equity firm First Eastern Investment Group will invest around $5 million in the London-based startup Tamoco for a 20% stake.
Tamoco uses NFC, Wi-FI and Bluetooth to provide location based marketing services.
Selected from hundreds of startups Tamoco made it to be on the shortlist of startups to be selected for Startupbootcamp’s NFC & Contactless program in 2013 in Amsterdam. However, during the two-day coaching and pitching session before the so-called ‘Final selection days’ Tamoco’s founders decided to revoke their application and withdraw from the program. High profile startups that joined the program were Beestar, TagTagCity and Relayr among others.
Now a year later the startup operates in the UK, US, Scandinavia and soon in China. As a part of the deal and in addition to the capital infusion First Eastern has created a 50:50 joint venture with Tamoco in order to establish a strong foothold for the startup in China.
Besides China, First Eastern is active in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. The region in the world where consumers have more rapidly adopted NFC technology based services such as mobile payments than Europe and the US. Obviously for Tamoco the deal with First Eastern means a great opportunity to enter a very large and welcoming market.
Victor Chu, First Eastern’s chairman said to The Telegraph that ‘in some areas Asia is more advanced [than Europe], certainly in mobile payments.’ “If we are able to bring their technology here, I think there’ll be a huge market out there.”
The VC firm is one of the oldest private equity groups from China and has invested over £100 million in Britain over the last couple of years. Crunchbase list the mobile payments company Monitise as the single investment of the VC firm.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)