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Americans Can’t Put Down Their Phones, Shut Off the TV

Have a hard time prying your eyes from a screen? You're not alone.

A new report from market research firm eMarketer reveals that US adults are now spending more than half their day—12 hours and 7 minutes, on average—consuming media. That includes nearly six hours with digital media on a mobile device, desktop, laptop, or tablet and four hours in front of the TV; nearly 1.5 hours with radio; and 25 minutes with print media sources.

EMarketer likened American's media obsession to the annual Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

"It has seemed in recent years that US adults bring a similar spirit to their consumption of media, cramming as much as possible into an average day," the firm wrote. "Like a Coney Island contestant stuffing hot dogs into his mouth with both hands, people are often using multiple media at the same time. That is how the figure for time spent can add up to 12 hours a day."

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The company said it counted simultaneous usage separately, so if someone spent an hour in front of the TV, and browsed the web on their smartphone at the same time, that counted for an hour of usage for each.

One might surmise that our collective smartphone obsession would start to dwindle by now. Not so, according to eMarketer; the average time we're spending with smartphones has "steadily increased," it said. EMarketer expects the amount of "nonvoice" time we spend with smartphones to rise from two hours, 18 minutes in 2014 to two hours, 42 minutes by 2019.

"The proliferation of apps is clearly a factor in this increase," the company wrote. "For users of smartphones — and, to a slightly lesser extent, users of tablets—time spent using those devices mostly means time spent using apps."

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Golden Gate Ventures closes new $100M fund for Southeast Asia

Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures has announced the close of its newest (and third) fund for Southeast Asia at a total of $100 million. The first hit a first close in the summer, as TechCrunch reported at the time, and now it has reached full capacity. Seven-year-old Golden Gate said its LPs include existing backers Singapore sovereign fund Temasek, Korea’s Hanwha, Naver — the owner of messaging app Line — and EE Capital. Investors backing the firm for the first time through this fund include Mistletoe — the fund from Taizo Son, brother of SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son — Mitsui Fudosan, IDO Investments, CTBC Group, Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC), and Ion Pacific. Golden Gate was founded by former Silicon Valley-based trio Vinnie Lauria, Jeffrey Paine and Paul Bragiel . It has investments across five markets in Southeast Asia — with a particular focus on Indonesia and Singapore — and that portfolio includes Singapore’s Carousell, automotive marketplace Carro, P2P lending startup Funding Societies, payment enabler Omise and health tech startup Alodokter. Golden Gate’s previous fund was $60 million and it closed in 2016. Some of the firm’s exits so far include the sale of Redmart to Lazada (although not a blockbuster), Priceline’s acquisition of Woomoo, Line’s acquisition of Temanjalan and the sale of Mapan (formerly Ruma) to Go-Jek. It claims that its first two funds have had distributions of cash (DPI) of 1.56x and 0.13x, and IRRs of 48 percent and 29 percent, respectively. “When I compare the tech ecosystem of Southeast Asia (SEA) to other markets, it’s really hit an inflection point — annual investment is now measured in the billions. That puts SEA on a global stage with the US, China, and India. Yet there is a youthfulness that reminds me of Silicon Valley circa 2005, shortly before social media and the iPhone took off,” Lauria said in a statement. A report from Google and Temasek forecasts that Southeast Asia’s digital economy will grow from $50 billion in 2017 to over $200 billion by 2025 as internet penetration continues to grow across the region thanks to increased ownership of smartphones. That opportunity to reach a cumulative population of over 600 million consumers — more of whom are online today than the entire U.S. population — is feeding optimism around startups and tech companies. Golden Gate isn’t alone in developing a fund to explore those possibilities, there’s plenty of VC activity in the region. Some of those include Openspace, which was formerly known as NSI Ventures and just closed a $135 million fund, Qualgro, which is raising a $100 million vehicle and Golden Equator, which paired up with Korea Investment Partners on a joint $88 million fund. Temasek-affiliated Vertex closed a $210 million fund last year and that remains a record for Southeast Asia. Golden Gate also has a dedicated crypto fund, LuneX, which is in the process of raising $10 million.

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