Toonz Media Group has acquired a majority stake in the large full-service Emmy winning production house Telegael, extending the group’s global entertainment footprint and adding important pre- and post-production facilities to its animation powerhouse, as well as a large live action studio to its entertainment business, hence enabling it to become a major 360 entertainment outfit. The deal between India-based Toonz and Ireland’s Telegael brings many strategic synergies, making this a complementary venture for both companies. As part of this strategic venture, Toonz benefits from having an award-winning, successful and highly active pre and post-production studio, as well as a live action capacity amongst its business divisions. Telegael now becomes part of one of Asia’s largest and most dynamic entertainment groups, with a 400-talent strong studio in India, producing around 10,000 minutes of 2D & 3D animation and visual effects annually and joins a dynamic group with full-scale financing, production, distribution and broadcast offices in 10 major countries around the globe. Toonz Media Group CEO, P. Jayakumar, commenting on the partnership, said, “The addition of proven pre-production and post-production facilities, together with existing distribution capabilities and our globally recognized production expertise delivers synergistic and customer benefits that exceed the sum of the parts. This new acquisition will enable Toonz to deliver world class end to end services to existing and future customers across the globe”

Wavecrest Growth Partners Leads BigTime Software Investment Round

BigTime Software, a provider of cloud-based software for professional services firms, has closed a $14 million investment led by Boston, Mass.-based private equity firm Wavecrest Growth Partners. Chicago-based BigTime Software provides more than 2,000 professional services firms with an integrated “all-in-one” solution for budgeting, tracking, managing and invoicing within project-based firms. Wavecrest Growth Partners is a growth equity firm that partners with B2B technology entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley to accelerate growth and build sustainable operating models. “We are excited to make the first of what we hope will be many investments in standout high-growth B2B companies in Chicago that are well run and ready to scale. BigTime has the technology platform and reputation to become the go-to solution in the professional services space,” said Vaibhav Nalwaya, Indian American co-founder and managing partner at Wavecrest. “Brian and his team have built a solid foundation with a highly capital-efficient mindset. Now – with the right senior team and a few best practices, we’re confident we can scale it up over the next several years.” The new funding will be used to add depth to Big Time’s senior management team, accelerate growth in sales and marketing, and fast track additional product development hires within its Chicago team.

Abacus Insights Secures $12.7 Million in Series A Financing

Abacus Insights, a healthcare data integration company with operations in New York and Boston, completed a $12.7 million Series A financing round. Venture capital powerhouse CRV led the funding. Abacus is on a mission to improve people’s lives by liberating this data on behalf of its customers. Health insurers can use the Abacus platform to enhance consumers’ experiences, improve patients’ health, and lower the cost of care. “This investment will help propel us forward as we continue to scale the company, adding talented professionals who are looking to make a difference tackling one of the thorniest problems facing our healthcare system,” said Dr. Minal Patel, CEO and founder of Abacus Insights. “We chose CRV because they have a deep understanding of the tech landscape and how to scale high-growth platform businesses. We believe partnering with them and our existing investors, .406 Ventures and Echo Health Ventures, uniquely positions us to continue to innovate on our data platform to meet the aggressive demand we are seeing in the market.”

Purdue and Indian Universities to Collaborate 

Purdue has just announced a partnership with two Indian universities in the state of Andhra Pradesh – Andhra University and Sri Venkateswara University – to collaborate on capacity-building activities focusing on entrepreneurship and pharmaceutical sciences. The partnership is part of the government of India’s Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan program, intended to improve the quality of Indian state public institutions, recognizing that the development of the country’s entrepreneurial talent is critically important to job creation and overall economic prosperity. According to Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships, “Purdue has been consistently recognized for its award-winning programs in fostering entrepreneurship, startups and commercialization of university research, and is uniquely positioned to collaborate with these institutions on capacity-building activities that fuse together entrepreneurship and pharmaceutical sciences.” Prof. Venkatesh Kumar, national coordinator for RUSA, says, “Partnerships like those being developed between Purdue, Andhra and Sri Venkateswara are exactly the kinds of collaborations that RUSA aims to promote. By learning from peers at respected and experienced institutions like Purdue, our state institutions will be on a fast track to developing their own entrepreneurship hubs.” The 12-month projects will focus on three main pillars: entrepreneurial ecosystem development, research collaboration, and core facility training.

Aneel Bhusri Named to Stanford University Board of Trustees

The Stanford University Board of Trustees recently elected two members including Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO of Workday. In 2005, the Indian American entrepreneur co-founded Workday, a provider of enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance. He served as its board chair from 2012 to 2014, prior to his appointment as CEO. At Stanford, Bhusri has been an active volunteer for Stanford GSB, including as a member of the GSB Trust. Prior to founding Workday, Bhusri held a variety of senior positions at PeopleSoft beginning in 2003, including as senior vice president responsible for product strategy, business development and marketing. He was also vice chair of the PeopleSoft board from 1999 through 2004. Previously, he worked as an associate at Norwest Venture Partners and as a corporate finance analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Bhusri is also an advisory partner at Greylock Partners, a venture capital firm that he has been associated with since 1999. He is currently a member of the boards of Intel and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He previously served on the boards of Data Domain, Pure Storage, Okta and Cloudera.

By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr., India-West Staff Reporter

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