Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Zlango- Benchmark and Accel’s latest deal [Updated]

Accel and Benchmark have completed a $12 million investment into Israeli start-up Zlango. Maybe I’m just not getting it, because immediate thoughts are:

Zlango

[Update]

So I asked Judy (Gibbons) of Accel this afternoon about the Zlango investment. She gave me a plausible explanation of the capital deployment and revenue model. I don’t think Accel would thank me for discussing here, but she’s addressed my key questions: why $12 million and where’s the revenue model.

 

Filed under: Venture Capital

Zlango- Benchmark and Accel’s latest deal [Updated]

Accel and Benchmark have completed a $12 million investment into Israeli start-up Zlango. Maybe I’m just not getting it, because immediate thoughts are:

Zlango

[Update]

So I asked Judy (Gibbons) of Accel this afternoon about the Zlango investment. She gave me a plausible explanation of the capital deployment and revenue model. I don’t think Accel would thank me for discussing here, but she’s addressed my key questions: why $12 million and where’s the revenue model.

 

Filed under: Venture Capital

Zlango- Benchmark and Accel’s latest deal [Updated]

Accel and Benchmark have completed a $12 million investment into Israeli start-up Zlango. Maybe I’m just not getting it, because immediate thoughts are:

Zlango

[Update]

So I asked Judy (Gibbons) of Accel this afternoon about the Zlango investment. She gave me a plausible explanation of the capital deployment and revenue model. I don’t think Accel would thank me for discussing here, but she’s addressed my key questions: why $12 million and where’s the revenue model.

 

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Filed under: Venture Capital

UK Third Behind California and Massachusetts

Library House posted  an interesting chart today on their World Rankings, providing the following chart:

Lhvcr_preview_2
California is the king of the hill, followed by Massachusetts, then the UK.

By default, that means London and surrounding areas (which represents about 60% of all UK investment activity).

It’s amazing to see the spread between investment amounts in the UK and California – 9:1.

The average amounts invested per company are roughly 2:1. That matches nicely with Simon’s numbers which suggest Europe is building $100 million companies for half the cost.

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Filed under: Venture Capital

European LPs- Wither Pension Funds?

Library House’s latest Venture Cast newsletter highlights the problems raising funds from UK Pension Funds and their lack of participation in venture capital. It’s worth noting that Index’s recently announced fifth fund only highlights BP Pension Fund amongst the LPs. The basis for the poor participation levels are the historic venture returns in the UK:

… the return statistics don’t look good. Where buyout funds averaged 18.5 per cent a year over 10 years for funds raised since 1996, and mid-market funds returned 9.6 per cent, venture funds were down by an average of 2.5 per cent a year during the period, according to the British Venture Capital Association.

As every prospectus will tell you, past performance is no indicator of future performance. Just because UK venture has performed poorly compared to buy-outs and mid market funds historically over the past ten years, doesn’t mean it’s not a great time to be investing in venture here.

As Simon Cook of Esprit pointed out earlier this year,

The average European exit has taken $40m of VC backing –almost half the average $70m that the US VCs have put in to build the same value companies.

For exits over $100m in market cap, better than 1 in FOUR of the winners are in Europe despite 80% less investment.

For those $100m+ exits where the exit market cap is better than fives times the capital invested, or the ‘home runs’ which are the feature of the US VC industry that makes it so successful over 1 in THREE are in Europe despite 80% less investment.

Of these $100m+ exits, the average exit is $251m BOTH in the US and Europe -so there seem to be no discount for European companies.

Couple these stats with the AIM vs NASDAQ debate and you can begin to paint a compelling picture for European LPs.

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Filed under: Venture Capital

The Online Video Industry Index

In case you missed it, there’s a pretty thorough overview of the online video industry at read/writeweb.

They cover multiple players in Video Sharing, Intermediaries, Video Search, Video eCommerce, Video Editing & Creation, Rich Media Advertising, P2P (Peer To Peer), Video Streaming, Vlogosphere.

I’m sure there are a host of additional companies not listed, but it gives you an idea. The reference to stealth mode startups is very appropriate as well- there’s a lot of activity in this space that’s starting to bubble to the surface.

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Filed under: Software, Technology

Fred Destin effect

Fred quipped earlier that taking a blogging hiatus increased his subscriber numbers…

I’ve been snowed under since after Christmas, so my blogging has slowed to a stand still-but I’ve added 50 more subscribers in the past two weeks despite no posts.

Strange.

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Filed under: Other

Disney sells 1.3 million films on iTunes

Sales of films from Disney on Apple’s iTunes Music Store jumped to more than 1.3 million just three months after debuting on the digital storefront.
Big-name studios have proven reluctant to join iTunes for fear of
angering brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, both
of which derive a sizable portion of their profits from DVD sales.
Wal-Mart in September was reported to have threatened Hollywood studios
with retribution if they joined Apple’s movement. Disney CEO Bob Iger
said digital distribution is "creating more consumption of media,"
adding that "The message that we deliver to our traditional [retail]
partners is that the pie is getting bigger," according to FT.com. (via MacNN)

I’ve argued before that digital distribution would expand the pie, not cannibalize any sales. Judging by iTunes music sales evolution, movie sales are running slower than music, but music sales just reached the 2 billion mark, after hitting the million mark in October 2005. With the coming launch of Apple TV, movie sales through iTunes should really take off. This should put further pressure on other studios to make their content available online.

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Filed under: Other

Hack your Skype video calls

Video chatting is great, but a bit grainy. If you’re using Skype, you can improve the quality of the video by following this tutorial on Skype’s dev zone

Open your Application Support folder (in your personal library) and navigate down to Skype. Open the folder inside with your skype user name. Open the config.xml file and add the following two attributes inside the <video> tags: <CaptureWidth>640</CaptureWidth> and <CaptureHeight>480</CaptureHeight>. Save your changes, launch Skype and place your video call. The receiving party should receive video at 640×480 resolution rather than the standard 320×240.

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Filed under: Software

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