15 August 2016 – VR and Food Delivery Investments, GV People Moves and more

People

Friday was Bill Maris’s last day at GV, the corporate venturing unit he helped to set up for search engine Google in 2009. But it is a new start for David Krane, who is taking the CEO position at GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and who will have a tough act to follow in Maris.

Eze Vidra, who helped GV set up its aborted European branch in 2014, has taken the chief innovation officer role at clinical trial connection platform TrialReach.

Vosik Shamsiev, a venture partner at Japan-based corporate venturing unit TEL Venture Capital since 2014, is leaving to pursue opportunities in Canada.

Citi’s strategic investment subsidiary has hired Travis Skelly from venture capital fund FinTech Collective as a senior vice-president. No announcement as yet on Debby Hopkins’ replacement.

Joydeep Bose joined Cisco from Intel Capital in 2007 and oversaw its corporate venturing activities in the Asia Pacific Japan region. D

Funds

Telstra and Telekom Indonesia form investment pact

Infosys lines up $15m Stellaris commitment

Exits

Wal-Mart has agreed to acquire Jet.com in a $3.3bn cash and share deal said to be the largest ever acquisition of an e-commerce company, and which will be marked down as a big win for investors including Alphabet and Alibaba.

CME Group looks like it’s secured a decent exit from deep learning technology provider Nervana Systems, just over a year after its corporate venturing vehicle, CME Ventures, took part in a $20.5m series B round.

In another sizeable acquisition, Myriad Genetics has agreed to buy precision medicine developer Assurex Health for up to $410m, giving exits to Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Naspers to squeeze out Citrus Pay acquisition

Protagonist Therapeutics has raised $90m in an IPO that gave exits to pharmaceutical firms Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Pharmstandard, which collectively held a 45% stake in the company.

Investments

CVRx, the producer of an implantable treatment for heart failure and resistant hypertension, has sealed $93m in equity funding.

Torax strengthens with $25m

Moderna Therapeutics closed the largest round ever by a VC-stage drug developer in January 2015, and one of the investors in that round, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, has invested another $140m to take its stake in the mRNA therapeutics company to 9%.

Turner has led a $45m round for female-focused digital media company Refinery29 as part of a strategic collaboration that will involve it developing video content for Turner’s TV channels.

The Walt Disney Company had been set to team up with Major League Baseball in a funding round for daily sports betting platform FanDuel last year but pulled out at the last minute. The two have now formed a partnership of a different kind, with Disney agreeing to pay $1bn for a 33% stake in BamTech, the online video streaming platform spun out by MLB. BamTech will also set up a paid video subscription platform for Disney subsidiary ESPN as part of the deal.

Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun cofounder and Google’s angel), and Diane Greene (VMware cofounder and Google board as head of cloud) along with corporates Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers back Xperiel, a US-based provider of a mobile app development tool that works with Internet-connected equipment in sports stadiums and other facilities, $7m round.

Deliveroo raised $100m in November and has added $275m less than a year later with a series E round featuring Nokia Growth Partners.

Healthcare concierge service Accolade has added $70m from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Madrona Venture Group to the $22.5m in series E funding it raised from McKesson Ventures and Independence Health last year, taking its overall financing to almost $150m.

Comcast targets Interactions in $56m round

Axial capitalises on Comcast backing to raise $14m

NextVR closes an $80m series B round at a pre-money valuation of $800m.

Kaltura has been at the online video game longer than NextVR and is gearing up for an IPO, raising $50m from Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing group.

Yunnex, the Chinese developer of an advanced, connected point-of-sales system, has secured $45m in a series B round backed by one of its customers, fast food chain Ajisen Ramen.

Corporates dish up another $30m for iFood


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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01 August 2016 – Asian Funds, MyTaxi hails Hailo, University Record Breaking and more

People

Intel Capital has chosen Christine Herron and Trina Van Pelt to manage its $125m Intel Capital Diversity Fund.

A former startup CEO, Herron joined Intel Capital in 2010 after a combined five years as a venture investor at First Round Capital and Omidyar Network.

Funds

Rozenfeld’s new firm targets $30m fund

Alibaba Pictures is set to go into corporate venturing, providing $75m for a $300m fund that will target strategic investments in companies in partnership with asset manager Gopher Asset.

Another Chinese media player, outdoor advertising company Focus Media, is initiating its own strategic investment activities, raising four $75m funds, each of which will be a collaboration with a different investment firm.

Pharmaceutical company Astellas has formed a joint venture called DigiTx Partners with life sciences venture firm MPM Capital in order to invest in digital health technology.

My Home looks to construct $75m fund

Siam Commercial Bank forwards corporate venturing plans

Corporates okay second KK Fund

University

NYU computes AI accelerator

SNÉ attracts $2.5m

New Zealand researches $150m Australian fund

Government

Taiwan upgrades economy with $3.1bn

Big deal: German startups to benefit from $1.1bn

Flanders helps expand IoT fund

Exits

India-based online fashion retailer Jabong was said to be in talks for a $1.2bn acquisition by Amazon less than two years ago, but how times have changed for the e-commerce sector since then. The company, part of Rocket Internet’s Global Fashion Group stable, is set to be acquired by Flipkart for only $70m in a bid to stem GFG’s losses.

Chinese internet, media and electronics group LeEco has grown at an astounding rate over the past two years through some large-sized investments, and now it is looking to expand into the US through the $2bn acquisition of consumer electronics producer Vizio.

Unilever is set to exit social marketing platform Olapic in a $130m acquisition by Monotype.

Platfora gets up for Workday acquisition

MyTaxi gets a friendly Hailo in merger deal

Government

Talend recruits $94.5m for IPO

Investments

Mitsui already holds stakes in numerous Asian healthcare companies, and now it has invested $101m in Columbia Asia, the Asian branch of US-based care provider Columbia Pacific Management.

UBtech interacts with investors for $100m

Hero Sports, the eSports company spun out by Chinese game publisher Hero Entertainment in May, has raised $96m in a round led by outdoor advertising group Focus Media, which invested $45m.

Upthere launched its personal cloud storage service yesterday, at the same time revealing it has raised $77m in a round led by strategic investor Western Digital and venture firm KPCB.

Mobile gaming company Scopely has taken its total funding to just short of $100m in a $55m series B round that included game developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive.

EverFi, the operator of a critical skills and compliance learning platform with more than 14 million users certified, has raised $40m in capital from investors including Advanced Publications.

Wonder Workshop, an Alphabet-backed developer of educational robots that can help teach kids about coding and fundamental computer skills, has secured $20m in a series B round that will enable it to enter Asia.

Government

Byju’s to educate itself with $50m

University

Big deal: Universities keep breaking records


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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25 July 2016 – Last week’s biggest investments, funds, exits and people moves

Covering the week’s venturing news including funding, investments, exits and people moves.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

18 July 2016 – The Power Behind Pokémon Go raises $181m plus more

Investments

Unity, which is the game engine that helped build Pokémon Go, raised $181m in its series C round led by DFJ Growth and including China Investment Corporation – the sovereign wealth fund of the People’s Republic.

A $45m investment for iCarbonX whose shareholders include internet company Tencent, which led a $154m series A round in April 2015.

Naspers led a $30m series C round for online coding school CodeAcademy.

Sapience Therapeutics, a spinout of Columbia University, welcomed Celgene to a $22.5m series A round led by VC firm Eshelmann Ventures.

Funds

IDG Capital Partners, a VC affiliate of media company International Data Group, which closed its latest fund at $1bn.

Mavcap, the Malaysian government-owned venture firm, is looking to raise $250m for three technology funds and is hoping to attract the interest of both domestic and overseas corporates.

Verdane Capital IX, backed by private and public pension funds, university endowments, private foundations, insurance companies and family offices, hit its hard cap of $349m and will put that money into SMEs in Northern Europe.

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, which is reaching full deployment of its current fund Infuse Ventures, backed by International Finance Corporation, BP, the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and its Technology Development Board. To make sure it’ll still have resources available to invest, the institute is now preparing the launch of a $150m vehicle, dubbed Bharat Innovations Fund, which will focus on the areas of healthcare, agriculture and energy.

Exits

Line’s $1.14bn IPO.

Yatra, an India-based online travel booking platform that went public through a reverse merger with US-listed shell company Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation in a deal that values it at just $208m.

ZTO Express, a logistics service based in China, is aiming for a US flotation this autumn that could bring in between $1bn and $2bn.

Talend, backed by France’s public investment bank BPIfrance, setting the range for its IPO at $15 to $17 per American Depositary Share.

People

Catherine Dupéré, previously of BDC Capital, joining Isomer Capital.

Richard Holliday meanwhile has joined Oxford spinout Bodle Technologies.

University Ventures with its announcement that it would be hiring Troy Williams and Prateek Aneja while promoting Aanand Radia. Williams will join Radia as MD, joining from publishing house Macmillan Publishers. Aneja will take on the role of vice-president, joining from Wells Fargo Securities.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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11 July 2016 – Microsoft Venturing Fund, Exits for Multiple Companies and Investment News plus more

People

Rich Miner helped to launch Google Ventures in 2009 as general partner but seven years later, he’s dropped down to a venture partner position so he can concentrate on a secretive edtech project within the Google organisation.

Microsoft Ventures continues to build up its team, the latest recruit being Matthew Goldstein who comes from VC firm Trinity Ventures where he was principal

Funds

Microsoft expands its corporate venturing activities by forming a $92m fund to invest in Brazil-based agribusiness technology startups.

Kellogg is just one of the packaged food producers to launch corporate venturing units in the past year, and we spoke to its vice-president of investor relations Simon Burton about the formation of its new Eighteen94 Capital subsidiary and where the funding will go.

Hanmi hands over $8.7m to corporate venturing unit

University

Four universities partner Mercia

MIP reinvestment from Mercia

Government

IPO for Draper Esprit

Exits

Recruit Holdings has bought classified job listings platform and search engine Simply Hired for an undisclosed amount.

Two of conglomerate Legend Holdings’ investment affiliates – Legend Capital and Hony Capital – helped invest $15m in Chinese tyre manufacturer Shandong Linglong Tyre Co in 2010, and they’ve now exited in a $390m IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Genomic medicine developer Syros Pharmaceuticals floated in the US last week, and since then its shares have risen in price by almost 50%, from the IPO price of $12.50 to $18 as of close of trading yesterday.

Another gene therapy developer, GenSight Biologics, had less luck when it tried for an IPO in the US market last year, cancelling an offering set to raise up to $70m. The Novartis-backed company has now set its sights on more modest goals, and will aim to raise $44m in an IPO in its home country of France, with its existing backers set to buy almost $19m of shares in the offering.

China-based Android app store Wandoujia was valued at $1bn in early 2014, not long before Alibaba reportedly offered to buy it for $1.5bn. Two years on, the e-commerce firm looks to have netted a bargain by agreeing to acquire Wandoujia for a reported $200m in a deal that will boost its internet services business.

Speaking of valuation drops, India-based fashion e-commerce platform Jabong is in talks with a range of prospective buyers over an acquisition that will allow co-founder Rocket Internet to exit.

Cybersecurity spinout Quadmetrics acquired by Fico

Vyclone, a Los Angeles-based social video creation and collaboration app, is shutting down.

Investments

Installment buying platform Qufenqi has changed its name to Qudian and raised $449m on the way to an IPO, just over three years after it was founded.

e-Shang raises $300M Corporate Minority round

Autonomous car startup Zoox has just raised $200m in funding, according to Business Insider, despite operating in super-stealth mode.

WuXi PharmaTech is among the investors to have put up $150m of series A funding for CStone Pharmaceuticals, a China-based startup looking to develop treatments for oncology, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, haematology and autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on immuno-oncology.

Media operator Network18 first invested in Bigtree Entertainment, the owner of cinema and live entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow, in 2007 and it has returned to once again take part in its latest funding, an $81m round that values the company at more than $440m.

SoftBank-backed budget hotel room booking platform Oyo Rooms is set to raise $61m from existing investors at a $460m pre-money valuation as part of an expansion drive that will involve it growing its presence in areas like bed and breakfasts and homestays.

SmartNews, a Japan-based mobile news aggregation app, has raised $38 million in Series D funding. Development Bank of Japan led the round, and was joined by SMBC Venture Capital and Japan Co-Invest.

University

Cyber threat detection and defense software provider Darktrace has secured $65m at a $400m valuation, four times that at which it last raised funding, in July 2015.

Government

Temasek Holdings investment in internet of things


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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04 July 2016 – Crispr investment, Siemens fund and more Intel Capital people moves plus more

News and Deals

Corporate

On GlobalCorporateVenturing.com, the week’s biggest news was the downfall of Zenefits, a US-based HR software provider that closed a $500m series C round backed by Comcast in May 2015. Not only has the company struggled to deliver on the predicted revenue, but it’s also run into serious regulatory issues.

Zenefits might not be in quite as bad a shape as Theranos, the biotech company whose technology was uncovered to be scientifically unworkable by Wall Street Journal several weeks ago, but I doubt that is of much comfort to any of the investors or the management.

Crispr Technologies has extended its series B round to $140m following a $38m investment.

Thrive Market, an organic produce subscription service, secured $110m in capital to boost its marketing efforts and expand the own-brand product range.

Government

Modern Meadow’s $40m series B round could be a game-changer for a very big industry: the company, now backed by Singaporean government investment firm Temasek, is creating leather in the lab using the building blocks of skin.

University

Allecra Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company has attracted $24m in a series B round featuring EMBL Ventures, the investment vehicle of research institute European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Funds

Corporate and Government

Partech Ventures has closed its growth-stage fund at $440m with limited partners including BPIfrance, the public investment bank of France, as well as Renault, Carrefour, Ingenico, AG2R La Mondiale and CNP Assurances.

Siemens, which already operates a corporate venturing subsidiary and has popped up on our radar regularly, now has launched another unit, named Next47

University

Tsinghua Holdings, an investment firm solely backed by Tsinghua University, has revealed that it plans on providing $7.6bn to research efforts over the next five years.

Exits

Line, the Naver-owned messaging service, has set its IPO range between $26.50 and $31.50 and could potentially raise $1.1bn at a $6.6bn valuation.

Syros Pharmaceuticals floated below its range and brought in $50m.

Sungevity, which has attracted more than $210m in funding in about a decade, and is now merging with listed special purpose vehicle Easterly Acquisition Corporation. The deal gives an exit to GE, Lowe’s and Solon.

People

Intel Capital is still seeing a lot of change following Wendell Brooks taking over leadership. Ameet Bhansali, Anthony Lin, Trina Van Pelt and Bob Nunn have all been promoted to managing director positions, and are joined by Marcin Hejka, Ken Elefant and Ramamurthy Sivakumar who will also take crucial roles.

Comcast Ventures has lost Gavin Teo to B Capital, the VC affiliate of Boston Consulting Group. Teo had joined Comcast Ventures in 2012.

NTT Docomo Ventures has brought on board Takayuki Inagawa as a replacement for Nobuyuki Akimoto. Inagawa took over as head of the unit on Friday.

Paul Harvey, head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Europe, Middle East and Africa technology investment banking unit, has moved on to Octo Telematics to establish a corporate venturing division. Harvey will serve as executive chairman.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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27 June 2016 – Blade Therapeutics, Kellogg, and IPOs for Twilio and Selecta Biosciences and more

Deals

Corporate

While not technically new, we have more information on the massive $7.3bn round for Didi Chuxing that we talked about on last Monday’s podcast. Poly Group, a Chinese state-owned real estate and trading business, contributed a whopping $400m in return for a 1.45% stake.

HR Bio Holdings, a joint venture between pharmaceutical company Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine and an unnamed blue chip investment firm, injected $100m to launch a US-based cancer therapy startup named Hengrui Therapeutics.

Xinmei Mutual Insurance Association attracted $150m from a consortium featuring Ant Financial.

University

Johns Hopkins spinout Blade Therapeutics raises $45m in its series B round.

Funds

University and Government

University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin have set up a $68m fund in partnership with Atlantic Bridge that was also backed by the European Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland, the development agency of the Irish government, as well as banks AIB and Bank of Ireland.

Corporate

Kellogg – yes, the makers of the breakfast cereals – is venturing into the CVC sphere with a $100m unit that will seek out opportunities in the food industry.

Shenzhen Hepalink, a Chinese pharmaceutical firm, invested $60m in the latest fund raised by TPG Biotech. The commitment follows the company’s decision to back the previous fund 18 months ago with $22m. TPG Biotech has invested in more than 50 companies since 2002.

Exits

Twilio, a business communication platform that was actually expected to delay its flotation and wait out the UK referendum results, but ended up not doing that. Instead, it upsized its IPO, raising $150m.

Selecta Biosciences, a synthetic vaccine particle developer, also got in on the IPO game ahead of the referendum, pricing its flotation at $70m and providing an exit to Sanofi-Genzyme Bioventures.

People

EDFI, the Association of European Development Finance Institutions, has appointed two new people.

Dartmouth College meanwhile is losing two staff members, Tillmann Gerngross and Trip Davis – the two who helped establish the university’s tech transfer office, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, in 2013.

Softbank’s COO and president Nikesh Arora has left.

Lockheed Martin Ventures, the newly established CVC unit of the aerospace and security company, has brought Christoper Moran on board as executive director and general manager.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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20 June 2016 – Post-lean interview with Frode Odegard, Didi Chuxing, FII, Rgenix, Imperial Innovations and more

Didi Chuxing, the ride-sharing app developer that’s been causing a headache to Uber, has raised the largest venture round of all time with $7.3bn in combined equity and debt financing.

Verto Analytics in a $16.1m series B round from Finnish Industry Investment and also featured EQT Ventures, a private equity firm that closed a government-backed fund earlier this month, Conor Venture Partners, Open Ocean Capital and Vision+.

The university world saw a $33m series B round for Rockefeller University spinout Rgenix, co-led by Novo and Sofinnova Partners.

Exits

Imperial Innovations, the commercialisation firm spun out of Imperial College London, exited Alkion Biopharma, selling its stake to chemical producer Evonik Industries.

DraftKings and FanDuel are considering a merger. Of course FanDuel is a spinout of Edinburgh University.

Funds

Gilde Healthcare, an investment firm focused on, surprisingly, the healthcare sector, has closed its $280m Gilde Healthcare IV fund with Philips as a cornerstone investor.

High-Tech Gründerfonds’ $338m fund, which so far is yet to attract any external commitments, made the headlines.

Monash and Melbourne Universities meanwhile have joined forces with the state of Victoria to launch a $59m biomedical research enterprise called M2 Venture Catalyst.

People

BPIfrance, the public investment bank of France, has promoted Florent Debienne to managing director. He had previously been investment director since November 2013.

Mony Hassid, managing director of Qualcomm Ventures in Israel, meanwhile has left that job to be a general manager at Microsoft Ventures also in Israel.

Deborah Hopkins, Citi’s chief innovation officer and CEO of Citi Ventures, its corporate venturing unit, will retire at the end of the year. She took home a GCV Award in January at our Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit in California and will leave big shoes to fill.

Interview

Toby Lewis talks to Frode Odegard, chief executive of Lean Systems Institute about the post-lean world.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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13 June 2016 – Cisco shakeup, Line flotation, Oxford ISIS rebranding and more.

Cisco is in the news for not so positive reasons following the walkout of its spin-in team.

Exits

Line, the messaging platform, wholly-owned by Naver, is aiming for $1bn in proceeds at a valuation of $5.5bn

Thailand-based back-office services provider Netbay is aiming for a $4.5m flotation on the domestic stock exchange.

Singapore Press Holdings is also due to celebrate an exit, with its portfolio company Smaato, a mobile advertising company, close to being acquired by Spearhead Integrated Marketing Communication for $148m.

Monster recruits Jobr.

Investments

Rylance is a company is using artificial intelligence to predict even never-before-seen attacks, stop intrusions before disaster strikes and learn from previous threats – and with a first close at $100m for its series D round, it’s well equipped to bring its software to even more clients.

Tradeshift operates an invoicing platform for companies to get paid by their suppliers and has today increased its total capital by $75m.

SundaySky, a marketing company with software that produces personalised video campaigns with real-time info such as product pricing, closed a $30m series D round.

Weka.io meanwhile welcomed Qualcomm Ventures to a series B round that increased the startup’s total funding to $32m.

A $30m series C round for Moogsoft, a software developer that’s created a platform to detect issues such as outages or failed transactions in real-time.

Qadium, backed by O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures, has attracted $20m in series A capital from Darpa, the US Pentagon’s investment division.

DocPlanner books in EBRD for $20m series C.

Funding

Merck, the Germany-based drug developer, has doubled its commitment to its corporate venturing subsidiary to $340m.

Salesforce Ventures has announced a $50m fund and incubator to help its corporate parent establish an ecosystem around its software development platform Lightning.

News from Global Government Venturing

Microsoft Accelerator partners Temasek.

Jungle returns to bare necessities with SeedPlus.

Turkey to grow with $224m fund.

Indonesia’s Bekraf draws VC support for creative upturn.

Delft offers a helping hand to $112m fund.

News from Global University Venturing

Pittsburgh joins Osage network.

Oxford rebrands its TTO.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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06 June 2016 – Funds from Microsoft and Romulus, job moves, Alibaba and Uber gain investments and more

Moves

Stephen Lowery, partner at venture capital firm Frog Capital, has joined Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) UK team to lead it corporate and independent VC relationships.

Julia Rebholz, founder and head of Ignite, the UK’s first energy-based corporate impact investment fund, has left to join a consultancy encouraging other companies to set up similar funds.

News

Large Netherlands-based corporations have formed a local networking group to develop their cooperation with startups.

The European Commission said it would propose some changes to the venture capital regulatory framework and set up a fund of funds.

Fundraising

Microsoft Ventures gets into direct investments.

Romulus builds $75m fund.

Investments

Singapore state funds bought $1 billion in Alibaba shares.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund invested in Uber.

YG puts on $85m show for Chinese corporates.

Yuanfudao studies $40m investment.

Qingsongchou campaigns for funding.

Tencent helps Tile key $18m series B.

Naspers tutors Udemy for $60m.

Ionic puts $45m in its basket.

In-Q-Tel Invests in Ephesoft Document Analytics Tool for Intel Community.

3D Media visualises $10m.

Exits

Reata gets $60m reaction in IPO.

Metamaterial Technologies manufactures Rolith acquisition.

Simply Hired lets go.

Line queues up again for IPO.

Clearside opens $50.4m offering.

NantHealth personalises $91m IPO.

Ping Identity pinpoints acquisition.

ServiceNow secures BrightPoint acquisition.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0