Archive for November, 2011

Up’s Mobile Networking Breakfast – A Brief Reflection…


  • Chairperson: Judy Gibbons – NED, Guardian Media Group (ex-Accel)


  • Velti
  • Trader Media Group
  • Facebook
  • Comscore
  • Qype
  • Mesaplexx
  • Taptu
  • Knomo
  • AlertMe
  • EchoEcho
  • YuMe
  • Mippin
  • Touchnote
  • Adfonic
  • ChartsNow
  • Mobile Monday
  • Geocast
  • WeeWorld


1. Is Mobile just another channel or a distinct new business opportunity? If it’s a single-minded opportunity do you think about Mobile separately from Tablets. If it’s multichannel, how do you think about mobile as a channel?

‘If you have to distil down what it is in essence – it’s about connectivity. You are actually connected live wherever you are. The constant connectivity is the key difference for me when it comes to  Mobile versus Tablet. You are in the pocket of that person 24/7. That’s why it affects every industry like payments for instance, because you have 100% connectivity.’

‘Until I’m carrying a tablet in my pocket there’s an awful lot I’ll do on my phone that I won’t do on my iPad. That’s a real differentiator.’

‘There is a lot of evidence out there of companies that have grown very large off the back of having a Mobile presence, e.g. Mobile Advertising businesses like Velti prove that having a clear mobile focus will enable businesses to win.’

‘The channel is not an end in itself; it’s a means to an end. Some of us couldn’t make money without mobile because our businesses couldn’t exist without it.’

‘From an advertising perspective it’s the output rather than input. There will be a time in advertising when Mobile becomes just one mechanism to reach the consumer. It will become about connected devices.’

‘Isn’t Mobile just a label for the stuff that we haven’t quite worked out yet that’s still nascent and bleeding edge?’

‘If you think about Mobile as a channel, it’s one that can be used in conjunction with others, which isn’t necessarily the case for all channels. You can’t use radio at the same time as TV to target consumers, for example. But you can use Mobile at same time as Radio, TV and Print.’

‘Mobile means that we live in a world where everyone is ‘chipped’. Even banking doesn’t have that. Nothing has the penetration on a global basis like Mobile. That network effect is completely unprecedented; it’s hard to predict and will be changing for next 20 years.’


2. Many of you are involved in start-ups. You have to make bets on where you place your money. On one side you have iPhone and Android with a successful app store and billing mechanism. Then on the other a whole array of other platforms and HTML5. How are you thinking about where you’re going to place your bets in the next 12-18 months in terms of development investment?

Touchnote: ‘We have our app on each and every platform. The next 12 months for us will be focussed on iPhone/iPad. With HTML5 it depends on what you do. As a business, it’s relevant for some companies but not all.  App store success is all driven by ratings. It’s never been such a problematic market for app builders.’

Facebook: ‘We’re investing very heavily in HTML5. Despite being a big brand we’re actually quite limited on resources; through our own choice. We are definitely multichannel operating across anything we can get our hands on. But we want the best experience possible so we have made significant engineering investment in to HTML5 and are working to get the spec better. Introducing HTML5 caused some slowing initially but we got rid of the bugs.  It’s a fundamental belief that we have to nail HTML5 because from our perspective we have to make sure Facebook works on as many platforms as possible. HTML5 is slow at the moment but once we fixed the bugs users started coming back to it.’

WeeWorld: ‘If you want app store distribution you have to be native. With native apps you have the opportunity to take advantage of all the cool features of the phone.’

EchoEcho: ‘We’re a small start-up and we made the decision very early on to be cross-platform. Undoubtedly it has slowed us down but it provides us with a different kind of story. It’s interesting to see spikes in traffic from users on different platforms.’

Comscore: ‘89% of UK doesn’t have an IPhone. Do you want a big audience or a small audience that will use your app intensely?  Only you can decide that based on your business and data from the market.’


3. You’re all very familiar with mobile and what’s happening in terms of tech adoption curves. If you had $3m and weren’t doing your day job where would you place a bet in terms of a new consumer opportunity? What’s exciting and will be emerging?

‘The loyalty area is interesting. Taking traditional card schemes and putting them on a device and to be able to then pay with the device. That area will transform.’

‘Data, data analysis and real time synthesis. It’s about knowing what the consumer is about to buy. There is a huge data play emerging. The company that can, in a sophisticated way, synthesise data is going to make a mint.’

‘Education and emerging markets. Being able to create educational based services on the smartphone and to provide personalised learning lessons on a daily basis with fresh new content and learning each morning. It’s a massive market opportunity.’

‘eCommerce – there’s a great opportunity for rich and beautiful entertaining shopping experiences. Things like interactive catalogues.’

‘On and offline shopping experience convergence presents a great opportunity: using devices to augment your experience in the bricks and mortar world will be huge. 54% of iPhone users leave a store and buy the item more cheaply online. There’s an opportunity to keep them in store using the mobile.’

‘Screens that will become increasingly flexible. Already it’s happening and it’s possible to have screens on the side of the bus as well as 3D printing. The concept of the side of the bus or any surface as a mobile device is exciting.’

‘Health technology. Being able to track your health stats through your mobile.’


 Thanks to all who attended, a really interesting and lively event!

Europas Winners 2011

Best Service Provider to Startups (Legal, Financial, PR etc)

Highly Commended:
33 Seconds PR
Brown Rudnick Lawyers
Spark PR
2Pears – the events and PR agency

Winner: Orrick

Best Business or Enterprise Startup

Highly Commended:
23 Video

Winner: Podio

Best Advertising or Marketing Tech Startup

Highly Commended:

Winner: Conversocial

Best European Startup Accelerator

Highly Commended:

Winner: Seedcamp

Best Startup Tool For Startups

Highly Commended:

Winner: Pusher

Best Mobile or Apps Startup

Highly Commended:

Winner: Amen

Best Entertainment, Audio, Video, Music Startup

Highly Commended:

Winner: Mixcloud

Best Gaming or Social Games Startup
(New category)

Highly Commended:
Shadow Cities

Winner: Nordeus for Top 11

Best Social Platform or Networking Startup

Highly Commended:
CircleMe (Cascaad)

Winner: Peer Index

Best Education, Recruitment, Media Startup

Highly Commended:
English Attack


Best Commerce, Finance or Payments Startup

Highly Commended:

Winner: iZettle

Best Sport, Leisure or Health Startup

Highly Commended:

Winner: Endomondo

Best Culture (Fashion, Art etc) Startup

New category (incredibly close)

Highly Commended:


Winner: Lookk

Best Transport, Travel or Environmental Startup

Highly Commended:

Winner: OneFineStay

Best VC of the Year 2011

Highly Commended:
Index Ventures
DFJ Esprit
hardGAMMA Ventures
EarlyBird Venture Capital

Winner: Accel Partners

Best Exit 2011

Highly Commended:
Tweetdeck (to Twitter for est. $40m)
Dailydeal sale to Google $114 million
Autonomy to HP for $11.7bn
Zong acquired by ebay for $240m

Winner: Lovefilm sold to Amazon for $328m in Jan 2011

Best Angel or Seed Investor of the Year

Highly Commended:
Jeremie Berrebi, Kima Ventures
Robin Klein / TAG
Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital

Winner: Christophe Maire, Angel

Best Startup Advisor/Mentor of the Year 2011
(non investors)

Highly Commended:
Tine Thgesen, Everplaces
Chris Grew, Orrick
Tina Baker, Brown Rudnick
Ivo Spigel, Perpetuum Mobile

Winner: David Noel, Soundcloud

Best VC Partner of the Year
(New category)

Highly Commended:
Adam Valkin, Accel Partners
Chris Kowalczyk, hardGAMMA Ventures
Paul Jozefak, Neuhaus Partners
Saul Klein, Index Ventures
Davor Hebel, Fidelity Growth Partners

Winner: Nic Brisbourne, DFJ Espirit

Best Startup Founder / Co-Founders

Highly Commended:
Michael Acton Smith, MoshiMonsters / Mind Candy
Ian Hogarth, Pete Smith, Michelle You, Songkick
Felix Petersen, Florian Weber, Caitlin Winner, Ricki Vester Gregersen – Amen
Azeem Azhar, Peer Index

Winner: Alexander Ljung, Eric Wahlforss, SoundCloud

The Europas Hero Award – Kicking Ass Globally From Europe
(New category)

Highly Commended:
Moshi Monsters

Winner: Rovio for Angry Birds

The Europas Grand Prix Award

Sponsor presenting award:
Scott Sage, DFJ Esprit
Martin Varsavsky, FON

Grand Prix 2011:

Peer Index

The Up Group’s Summary of interesting Digital, Tech, Mobile & Investor Events

Annual Events

Ongoing Events

iZettle raised €10mn in a Series A round led by Index Ventures with support from Creandum.

From Go4Venture’s Monthly European Technology Venture Capital Bulletin.

iZettle (Sweden), the developer of a system for taking credit and debit card payments using an iPhone or iPad, raised €10mn in a Series A round led by Index Ventures with support from Creandum and former Carphone Warehouse CEO Charles Dunstone. The money will be used for expansion into the rest of Europe outside Sweden and ongoing development.

iZettle was founded in April 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Jacob de Geer (who founded movie sharing service Ameibo in 2007 and sold it to Bonver Entertainment in 2010) and Magnus Nilsson (probably best known for his involvement with Wayfinder Systems which was acquired by Vodafone in 2009). The company has developed technology for taking payments from chip-enabled cards using an iPhone or iPad application and card reader. This is both EMV-approved (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) and complies with PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) regulations. Launched in August 2011 in Sweden, it immediately rocketed to number four in the App Store overall and number one in the finance category.  There are several competitors – notably Adelante and Square as well as incumbents Ingenico and Verifone. US-based Square raised $100mn in June at a valuation reported at $1bn and has a board which includes former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. Although Square is already processing $2bn per annum for over three quarters of a million SMEs, it would be difficult for Square to enter Europe owing to the chip-and- pin system which is rare in the US.

The application and hardware are free and iZettle does not charge a monthly fee. It makes its money from charging transaction fees of a €0.11 plus 2.75% per transaction. Obviously, for the vast majority of SMEs this is far more cost-effective than buying point of sale (POS) systems from traditional operators Verifone and Ingenico which both require up-front investment for hardware as well as charging a monthly fee.

Long-hyped in the media, mobile payments may finally be here. According to Gartner, the number of users of mobile payment systems worldwide has grown by about 40% in the last year. Blue chip incumbents have also begun to get involved as exemplified by the licensing of Visa’s payWave technology to Google, Ingenico starting work on an iPad attachment and Verifone working with Google Wallet.

This is the second investment by Index Ventures (€320mn (2009); AUM: €1.8bn) this month. It is also Index’s second investment in a mobile payments company, having supported a $2mn Series A round for former SeedCamp winner and POS and inventory management company Erply back in March 2010. In addition, Index invested £2.5mn in online peer-to-peer lending marketplace Funding Circle back in April.  Perhaps Sweden’s best known venture firm, Creandum (€80mn (2005); AUM: €120mn) invests in technology companies at any stage and has an active portfolio of 18 companies. Creandum has not featured in our bulletin since last year, with investments in Nanoradio and Cint, but has significantly expanded its team of investment professionals this year, as well as developing its portfolio companies. Index and Creandum are joined by former Carphone Warehouse CEO Charles Dunstone, who also invested in Funding Circle. Mr Dunstone also invested in Mobile Money Network – a home payment system for consumers – alongside mobile banking provider Monitise.  The EU’s ‘passport’ system for financial services means that clearance from the Swedish authorities obviates the need for further regulatory approval and iZettle could be in the UK as early as Q1 2012.


November 2011
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