Various companies are poised to go global in 2015. Recovering global economies, paired with a rising number of corporations who have paved the way for international success, have inspired businesses of all sizes to contemplate new global strategies.
Bloomberg recently pointed out that the 2014 Standard & Poor's 500 Index – which represents some of the largest U.S. companies and stocks across all major industries – rose by 12 percent over the past year. Historically, when the SPX has risen, the MSCI World Index has risen dramatically in the following year – poising 2015 as the prime time for companies to invest in their international efforts.
If your company has begun to evaluate whether it should go global, look to the following three businesses that expanded their operations to new countries in the past several months.
Tinder may have been the go-to dating app of 2014, but Hinge emerged as a dark horse competitor toward the end of the year. Similar to Tinder, Hinge allows mobile users to sift through possible dating matches. But unlike Tinder, which permits users to swipe through endless profiles, Hinge matches users based on their online friendships, meaning people are paired with connections of their Facebook friend group. The site launched in 2013, but just recently announced its plans to expand to different countries.
Investment firm Shasta Ventures partnered with the matchmaking app, pledging $12 million to go toward global expansion. The app currently allows people to connect in 28 different cities, but founder Justin McLeod explained to Forbes that 2015 would be all about growth – both expanding profile capabilities for users and reaching audiences abroad.
"France-based BlaBlaCar managed to raise more than $100 million to fuel its globalization efforts."
This digital signature acquisition service is a great resource for companies looking into business globalization. It allows professionals from different companies to collect signatures from both partners and clients who cannot physically sign documents. The company currently operates in several different countries, but it recently raised $30 million to develop and expand its efforts in the Japanese market. Forbes reported that it plans on using the funds to open an office in Tokyo, which will assist the brand as it tailors its features for the Japanese market.
France-based ride-hailing service BlaBlaCar – similar to U.S. companies Uber and Lyft – operates primarily in Europe. People can download the mobile app, enter their location and call a car to come pick them up. The business began in France, but operates in 14 different countries. Last year, it opened branches in both Russia and Turkey. In 2015, the company plans to further expand by operating in India. BlaBlaCar managed to raise more than $100 million for the India expansion – but the company has no plans to stop there. CEO and co-founder Frédéric Mazzella explained to TechCrunch that the funds will help not only develop the India office, but pave the way for other countries, like Brazil, in the future.
Is your brand considering an international expansion? Read up on why 2015 is the year to go global.