The Shpock team and Schibsted Classifieds Media has agreed that Schibsted is taking over control and increases its shares to 91% in the flea market app.
As part of the deal the valuation will not be disclosed. The agreement enables the startup to turn Shpock into a global brand and continue its growth outside the current core markets Germany, UK and Austria. Founders and key team members stay on board and will drive the development in the upcoming years.
Until today more than 10 million users are discovering, selling and buying over 2.5 billion Euros worth of items via Shpock. Shortly before Shpock’s 3rd birthday, Schibsted Classifieds Media announces to increase its stake to 91% in the finderly GmbH, which runs the popular app.
“This deal allows us to conquer new frontiers and to become the go-to-marketplace solution for the smartphone generation worldwide,” say Shpock founders and CEOs Armin Strbac and Katharina Klausberger.
The Austrian app maker, which was initially founded in 2010, launched Shpock - SHop in your POCKet - in September 2012 as the ‘flea market app for beautiful things’. Although Shpock started as a side project, the app quickly became the main focus of the company and the team.
“In early 2013 we had very limited resources and it was necessary to decide for one product to not lose focus. The team made a clear choice: Shpock!” says Klausberger.
Strbac remembers the tough times: “The team was fully committed to the vision of Shpock, but the financial situation of the company was not clear for some time. Seeing the few people, who were present at this time, stick together and work against the odds is one of my best life memories.”
Supported by Business Angel Johann “Hansi” Hansmann, Angelfund Speedinvest and subsidies from the Austria Wirtschaftsservice and Inits, the team was able to continue working on Shpock. The traction in the first months triggered the attention of several A-round investors, Schibsted being one of them. Schibsted joined Shpock in summer 2013 as strategic partner and now, two years later, increased its stake to 91 percent.
When it comes to explain the mutual benefits of the partnership, Klausberger states:
“We have a partner on our side that knows the classifieds business like no other! On the other hand, we bring our mobile experience and an extremely talented and hungry team into the game.”
“It may sound cheesy, but that’s the truth! Looking at the app there are a 100 things that give us an advantage compared to others, but the main reason for our success is the team behind the app,” says Strbac. Today, the Shpock crew consists of more than 45 people, with 14 different nationalities, operating from the city center of Vienna. With this deal at hand the team will grow further soon.
Source: Schibsted press release
AUSTRIAN DURCHBLICKER.AT BACKED BY VENTUREpRENEUR JOHANN ‘HANSI’ HANSMANN sells 45% of shares to NYSE-LISTED WHITE MOUNTAINS INSURANCE GROUP
New York Stock Exchange-listed White Mountains Insurance Group acquired approximately 45 percent of durchblicker.at, Austria's independent price comparison portal for insurance, gas/electricity and finance services.
Since 2010, the website offers comparison of insurance rates, electricity and gas, as well as traditional financial products such as savings. With around 2 million compared rates calculated in the first half of 2014 for a total of 18 product categories, durchblicker.at is the leading portal in comparison of rates in Austria.
The management team of the company - two founders Reinhold Baudisch and Michael Doberer together with the Venturepreneur and Austrian renowned business angel Johann “Hansi” Hansmann continue to hold a majority stake.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
BIG NEWS! VENTUREPRENEUR DUSAN STOJANOVIC (TRUE GLOBAL VENTURES) AND Opentopic Founders invest in scalable content technology
We have been waiting impatiently to learn from Dusan Stojanovic today that Opentopic (http://www.opentopic.com), a new platform designed to make content discovery and distribution profoundly simple for marketers, especially within media and publishing, education, non-profits, technology companies and professional services, today announced that it has raised a $825K financing round. The total investment in the New York-based firm combines contributions from Opentopic founder and Chairperson Sophie Reinauld, serial entrepreneur and Opentopic CEO Christian Jorg, also a serial entrepreneur, and True Global Ventures, an investment firm comprised of the world's leading technology entrepreneurs-turned-angel-investors.
“Today more companies are turning to content marketing as a simple and cost-effective way to build new and lasting relationships with customers. But, the investment in content development and heavyweight platforms can actually undermine the benefits that attract marketers to content in the first place,” said Christian Jog, CEO of Opentopic. “At Opentopic, we believe that content marketing doesn’t have to be complex to be effective, and so we’ve created a platform that makes it surprisingly simple for marketers to acquire and engage customers with a steady stream of meaningful content. Now, with investment from True Global Ventures, we’re better positioned to grow our customer portfolio especially in the US, France, Germany and Singapore where we have already our existing customers and where True Global Ventures has a strong presence.”
Opentopic’s content marketing platform reduces the time it takes to discover relevant content and streamlines the steps required to package and distribute that content across the web, including social networks and email. Launched in private beta in April 2013, Opentopic became available to the public in the fall of 2013. The company has already attracted 20 customers, including Vinci Construction, technology solution provider Pitney Bowes, and media brands such as Elle and Marie Claire.
"With its easy to use platform and deep understanding of content marketing’s processes and objectives, Opentopic is uniquely positioned to support marketers in this time of explosive demand for content marketing,” said Dušan Stojanović, founder of True Global Ventures who was elected Angel of the Year in Europe by EBAN. ”We are very impressed by Sophie Reinauld’s execution and the talent she has attracted to the business, especially CEO Christian Jorg. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Sophie and Christian and the Opentopic team.”
Opentopic founder Sophie Reinauld also founded L'Agence, along with a fellow journalist, and Mediangles, a pioneering Internet marketing company that was later sold to Ipsos group. She is currently based in Europe where she heads Business Development and Sales for Opentopic.
Opentopic's new relationship with True Global Ventures has already resulted in new business. "We found that Opentopic is easy to use and extremely effective in supporting the discovery of quality content across the web and, notably, in different languages," said Kreso Gudelj the CEO of Adriatic-home.com, another company for which Dušan Stojanović is the lead angel investor. "We are excited about the pipeline of social media distribution outside of the standard US social media and its push also into emerging markets social media.”
Opentopic makes it profoundly simple for marketers to engage and acquire customers with a steady stream of meaningful content. Opentopic’s easy-to-use content marketing platform reduces the time it takes to discover relevant content and streamlines the steps required to package and distribute that content across the web, including on social networks and email. Based in NYC, Opentopic launched in private beta in April 2013 and has already acquired 20 enterprise customers since public launch in Fall 2013. To learn more, visit www.opentopic.com and follow on Twitter @opentopic and LinkedIn.
About True Global Ventures
True Global Ventures is a unique, international, super angel fund formed by more than 30 of the world's leading technology entrepreneurs-turned-super angel-investors. Its network consists of more than 350 high tech investments in Sweden, France, Germany, US and China realized prior to forming True Global Ventures. It leverages these personal networks and the expertise of its founders to support and accelerate the next generation of superstar companies. It exclusively invests in serial entrepreneurs with global ambitions within the Internet, mobile and software sectors in Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, SF-Bay Area, New York, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Prior to Opentopic, True Global Ventures has invested into Sharespost (Silicon Valley), 4GSecure (Paris acquired by SCCP in Singapore), Polyspot (Paris), Musicxray (New York), Yatedo (Paris), DAD Asia (China), Stryking (Berlin) and Bountysource (Silicon Valley). www.trueglobalventures.com
Source: press release
Super Angel Fund True Global Ventures - founded by Venturepreneur and European Business Angel of the Year 2013 - Dusan Stojanovic invests in Stryking in Berlin and Bountysource in Silicon Valley
True Global Ventures along with Investitionsbank Berlin invested €1.3m in Berlin-based start-up Stryking Entertainment. The complete amount of €1.3m will be used to further develop and launch nspyre™. The new technical solution and service enables developers and publishers of free-to-play games to sell real products next to virtual goods within their in-game shops and to integrate consumer brands as part of the gameplay.
Stryking’s new technology and service nspyre™ with its first module, nspyre commerce, offers a shop-in-shop solution which provides the opportunity to sell real products in free-to-play games by implementing an API. The solution offers contextually fitting products to the users who enter the in-game shops and also provides delivery and logistics of the product as well as all other necessary after sale services. In the upcoming months, further functionalities will be added such as advanced targeting options as well as sponsoring, advertising and product placement opportunities for brands.
On the other hand True Global Ventures invested $1.1m in Bountysource together with the company's founder . The funds will be used in scaling developer community and attracting more corporate sponsors.
Bountysource has created an industry first and something open-source projects desperately
need: a community-friendly way to get funding and support. The tech industry relies heavily
on open-source projects and tools, yet developers struggle to get money and attract
volunteers to help with the day-to-day work required to keep projects running. Bountysource
solves this problem by standardizing the funding cycle and creating a vibrant marketplace of
dialogue and collaboration between developers and backers. The model incentivizes users
to support their favorite open-source projects through monetary donations or completing
bounties connected to a project. The company is also working with corporate sponsors, like
Adobe, who have a vested interest in supporting open-source projects, which often serve as
integral parts of a company’s engineering infrastructure.
About True Global Ventures
True Global Ventures is a unique, international, super angel fund formed by more than 30 of the world's leading technology entrepreneurs-turned-super angel-investors. Founded by Dusan Stojanovic, its network consists of more than 350 high tech investments in Sweden, France, Germany, US and China realized prior to forming True Global Ventures. It leverages these personal networks and expertise of its founders to support and accelerate the next generation of superstar companies. It exclusively invests in serial entrepreneurs with global ambitions within the internet, mobile and software sectors in Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, SF-Bay Area, New York, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.
Besides Bountysource and Stryking, True Global Ventures has invested into Sharespost (Silicon Valley), 4GSecure (Paris acquired by SCCP in Singapore), Polyspot (Paris), Musicxray (New York), Yatedo (Paris), DAD Asia (China).
Do not miss Venture Village interview with Dusan, talking about entrepreneurship, True Global Venutres - his super angel fund and Swedish startup successes.
(Source: press release)
We just found out that Ludei (an HTML5 game development platform based in San Francisco) secured $1.5 million in funding. According to the official press release, the funds will be used to expand the engineering team and bring its development platform to app developers outside of the gaming industry.
The round was backed by 2 Spanish VC funds as well as several angel investors.
“This funding further validates our approach to HTML5 development,” said Ludei founder and CEO Eneko Knorr. “HTML5 has taken a lot of criticism in recent years, and it’s true that on its own, it performs poorly on mobile. But our team and the world-class developers using our platform are proving every day that with the right support, HTML5 is ready for primetime, and we’re positioned to take on the biggest players in the app industry.”
More than 6,000 developers, including three of the top 20 game publishers in the world,are using the Ludei Platform to power HTML5 applications with the speed, complexity and features normally reserved for native applications. More than 500 games have been developed using the Ludei Platform.
Ludei’s initial funding came from Eneko, Venturepreneur who sold his previous company to Telefonica before founding Ludei. This round brings Ludei’s total funding to $4.5M.
Ludei enables developers to quickly and easily create, accelerate and publish HTML5-based apps and games. To date, Ludei’s cloud-based HTML5 platform has powered more than 500 iOS and Android game titles. Ludei is based in San Francisco, CA.
For more information please click here.
(Source: press release)
Dusan Stojanovic, Venturepreneur and super-angel received the Business Angel of the Year award (handed by other Venturepreneur Johann Hansmann - president of the Austrian Angel Investor Association) during The Annual European Business Angel Network (EBAN) Congress 2013 which was celebrated in Vienna on 13th and 14th May. Both Venturepreneurs shared their thoughts on what they believed angel investing was all about. Dusan Stojanovic (25 investments, 3 recent exits), emphasised the exit as his main driving force. On the other hand, Johann Hansmann (21 investments since 2010) pointed out that to him being a succsesful business angel was more focused on “building up a cash flow-positive and sustainable company that is nice to work in”. "I invest in people, not the companies", he added.
CouchCommerce - a cloud based SaaS platform that received 6-figures seed funding from the Venturepreneurs at the begining of 2013, has just become available in France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Alexander Ringsdorff CEO of CouchCommerce expalins the recent expansion: "We initially launched CouchCommerce with a German and English site back in 2012. But due to the high demand from surrounding European countries we quickly decided to enable our platform for these additional regions and languages and now officially launched France, Italy, Spain and the UK".
CouchCommerce is a platform that converts online shops into web apps that are accessible like websites but behave like native apps. Natural gestures are supported, loading times shortened and the checkout optimized. With these improvements online shop merchants can immediately increase their sales via mobile traffic up to factor 10.
"Working with online shops across Europe we are seeing a traffic share of 30% and more via touch devices like Smartphones and Tablets. Merchants suffer from bad conversion rates because their shops were built for mouse and keyboards. With CouchCommerce they have a turnkey solution to handle this traffic and to increase sales within just 30 minutes after sign up!" completes Alexander.
The SaaS Platform currently supports Magento, Shopware and xt:commerce shop software. Within the next months Oxid e-sales, Presta Shop and Zencart will be added to this list. As a special launch promotion CouchCommerce is now offering a 30-day free trial on all plans for merchants joining.ara modificar.
We are thrilled to inform you that CouchCommerce raised a 6-figure seed funding following winning the first ever Venturepreneuers Organisation Pitch Contest in October 2012.
The investment will be used to support additional shop systems and to prepare the roll out in the CEMEA region.
CouchCommerce successfully launched its SaaS post PC commerce platform automatically converting online shops in touch optimised web apps for smartphones, tablets and smart TVs in August last year. By the end of 2012 CouchCommerce already welcomed its 500th online shop demonstrating the high demand for mobile commerce solutions across small and medium online shops.
Christopher Pommerening, Founder of the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation explains why CouchCommerce was chosen as first ever investment of the Venturepreneurs: “The CouchCommmerce platform is a unique, highly scalable and fully automated turnkey solution for online shops across all verticals and potentially all around the world. We see a strong shift from traditional computers to new post pc devices like tablets and smartphones in commerce. This customer group already stands for about 20% of all web users and will continue to grow rapidly. In contrast to native app solutions requiring download, installation and customization for each ecosystem, CouchCommerce web apps are instantly available in the web browser of all relevant devices offering an easy and touch optimised shopping experience. Just like the consumer expect it to be.”
Thanks to the fully automated web-app deployment process online shops can launch with CouchCommerce within just 30 minutes,all by themselves and without the requirement of technical know-how. This helps the startup to quickly grow its number of merchants.
Alexander Ringsdorff, Co-Founder and CEO of CouchCommmerce explains why he is especially proud to have the Venturepreneurs as seed investors for his new venture: “We were thrilled when we got the message to have won the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest. With more than 25 Venturepreneurs from 11 countries and an average of 8 investments per person the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation gives us access to all relevant markets and an unmatched network within the venture and entrepreneurial field. This is a great foundation for the international roll out of CouchCommerce in 2013. We could not be more excited about the opportunity ahead.”
According to Christopher: “The added value of the Venturepreneurs is the serial entrepreneurial experience that comes with the investment. For a startup, advice is as important as money when an idea is being implemented into a marketable product or service. This is where the role of the Venturepreneurs can really stand out in both experience and network of contacts.”
About CouchCommerce GmbH
Hannover, Germany based CouchCommerce is running a cloud based SaaS platform automatically and in just a few minutes converting online shops into web apps for post PC devices like tablets, smartphones and smart TVs. Web apps appear directly in the browser of the visitor without installation and can be used using natural gestures. The advantages for online shops are higher conversion rates, app feeling without installation, compatibility with all relevant smartphones and tablets, better ranking in mobile search results and low entry costs into the mobile commerce world.
CouchCommerce was founded in February 2012. More information is available here.
After the great success of the “Trends Session” held for the first time at the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation 10th Summit in Gavà, once again (this time in Mallorca) the Venturepreneurs shared with us their thoughts on what they believe the hottest trends in the (mainly) technology sector will be. We have listed for you the Top 10 (not only Tech) Trends identified as the most important for the upcoming year.
Today, it’s all about the crowds. From crowdsourcing, that allows companies to source on—demand employees, to crowdfunding - a new high-tech trend for companies looking to raise capital with groups of people making small investments that collectively can fund a startup. Crowd is powerful and very much related to online communities and social networks. The availability of cloud applications and platforms will make the “crowd-“trend one of the hottest tech trends in 2013.
2. Social advertising
We have already witnessed how this year’s Olympics Games in London became the first ever social media Olympics. Various reports claim that internet users spend more time in social networks and less surfing the websites. The conclusion is obvious: social advertising will be one of the most important marketing tools worth looking into as it offers better targeting and ROI; it is also successful in bringing in new customers whilst increasing the size of the community.
The Venturepreneurs are convinced that food industry has a great potential and, believe it or not, it has more presence online than one would thought! Just recently we have started to see many online platforms that offer pre-prepared fresh ingredients and recipes allowing consumers create restaurant-quality meals at home. This “gourmet convenience” trend will not pass unnoticed in the near future!
The e-commerce has changed physical distribution systems and the role of logistics has become critical in diverse aspects. Consumers want the products available everywhere and at any time. The future of (e-commerce) logistics will rely on precision, speed and flexibility.
Individualization is currently considered one of the most important social-cultural trends. After social validation in the online community, now it’s time to go back to real life and stand out from the real crowd! Custom made products and services are growing in popularity among consumers who want to be unique. We are witnessing a transition from designer-individual to customer-individual products, a trend that leaves a lot of space for more than one industry.
6. Big data
We have already heard about big data trend last year, but it seems that this space has not been discovered profoundly. Companies have started to realize that big data transforms into true business value and it transforms the business itself. With indefinite amount of information that we deal with on a daily basis it becomes even more obvious that it is very important to analyze it fast. On the other hand, it’s critical to distinguish between using “a lot of data” and “divers data”, and last but not least, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention the role of a human factor!
2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year for e-health trend. From wireless monitoring, where people can measure i.e. blood pressure simply by downloading apps on their smartphones to tele-health technology that provides two-way videoconferencing allowing doctors treat patients at a distance. In the last couple of years, the online health activity has grown so that this trend must be taken seriously; the Venturepreneurs believe that we will soon see a lot of revolutionary solutions in the e-health sector so we will absolutely keep an eye on it.
The future of the robotics landscape is going through a very interesting time. We have seen robots as co-workers and co-inhabitants; we have witnessed a 3D recognizing revolution (smart TV, Kinect) with built-in cameras, cloud robots, smartphone-based robots, telepresence robots and it seems that the line between humans and machines becomes unclear. Nevertheless, there are a lot of discoveries and innovations that we are expecting to see in the upcoming years.
9. Home automation
Home automation trend has recently started to speed up. This sort of a digital version of “clap on/off” lights, allows you to control your home functions i.e. doors, alarm, TV, music, air conditioning, heating etc. from the screen of your smartphone (as long as they are connected to the high-speed Internet at home). It has become more popular and accessible for larger group of clients, mainly because of the amount of available apps that control the system and reasonable price of installation + maintenance.
10. Human capital management
A cloud instead of a local server, enterprise social networks instead of intranet, tele-/videoconferencing systems for smartphones/tablets…we are witnessing that companies can manage a global, mobile and varied workforce at a distance. The Venturepreneurs see the future of platforms which help to increase productivity, lower the costs, accelerate performance and help proactively manage the workforce from anywhere in the world.
The trends highlighted above have been discussed by the Venturepreneurs, a network of business angels who aim to be always on top of the game and capture the right time to invest, support, and help create new “hot” businesses. The time will show if these forecasts were correct!
Two weeks ago, we invited you all to enter the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012. The response was overwhelming, we have received so many great projects, it was hard to choose, but eventually we narrowed it down to the final 3.
It’s finally time to name the three selected Stratups and Entrepreneurs for the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012 (in a random order):
Smadex - Jordi de los Pinos
Ludium Lab - Ignacio Arroyo
CouchCommerce - Alexander Ringsdorff
Thank you all for participation in our contest and Congratulations to the 3 finalists!
For the first time ever these 3 top startups will pitch their projects in front of the Venturepreneurs on the island of Mallorca on October 18th and will be competeing for up to €300.000 of Funding!
Best of luck to the top 3 startups!
***As Xavi Beumala (Marfeel) was unable to participate in the Venturepreneurs Pitch Contest 2012 in Mallorca, we invited Alexander Ringsdorff from CouchCommerce, being the next selected project on the list.