October 16, 2007 • 9:20 pm
I heard from DoCoMo, Vodafone and Nokia this morning (but Sling Media stole the show in the early afternoon).
I wanted to highlight a few key points that jumped out at me:
Smartphones represent LESS than 10% of the market in every western country except Italy
Smartphones are primarily used by males, over 35 earning circa six figures (except Italy).
Smartphone use is going from “snacks” to “utilities” (no mention of Italy)
The smartphone show as really packed- and they’re all rushing for sub 10% market? Obviously, this is going to grow and obviously more services are going to become available, but today’s conference has really reinforced how risky it is to be making early stage investments in the mobile application space (unless there’s a solid web tie-in?). You definitely want to be selling the shovels, not digging for the gold…
Some of Tim O’Reilly’s Address Book 2.0 thoughts came out, but on balance, I was pretty disapointed with what I heard… hopefully FOM will be much better.
Filed under: Events, Conferences and Panels, Mobile
iTunes has released Star Wars "The Clone Wars" formatted for release on iTunes. The first series consists of 20 three-minute episodes.
It’s a great example of the right content for portable devices. I’ve been discussing with different companies providing video to mobile networks here in the UK what impact the iPod video, PSP, etc they expect to see on video sales/downloads to mobile phones. There are mixed opinions, but most believe that video downloads on mobile phones will be a long time coming.
I’m convinced that unless the consumer experience can equal that of iTunes, mobile video on phones will never really take off. If you have $10 to burn, I recommend you grab the Star Wars series and Channel Frederator (free) on iTunes.
Filed under: iPod, Mobile
November 22, 2005 • 9:18 pm
160Characters lists 50 up-and-coming UK mobile companies here.
They’ve got Cognima on the list- I saw them at the Symbian Smartphone Show a few weeks back. I specifically remember them not having a business model though.
Filed under: Mobile
October 28, 2005 • 8:02 am
Normally, I can’t post regarding companies I’ve met with. However, since this post is out in the wild on alarm:clock, I’ll make a few observations.
Flirtomatic approached London Seed Capital and London Business Angels earlier in the summer looking for a different sum than what they raised in the end from Doughty Hanson. Unfortunately, DH offered more money at a higher valuation that what we were considering, and the company made an understandable choice to go with the larger funding round. I’m not convinced they need what they raised since their marketing spend should be limited to an initial London-based splash and then feed on the viral aspect of the business and I doubt the ownership structure varies significantly from what we were proposing.
The team have an excellent skill set and represent the type of company you long to see in early stage VC: experienced management, with directly relevant skills starting a business with explosive growth potential.
The company has approached their business model in a novel way compared to previous mobile companies, and it’s one that I’m seeing more frequently: they are effectively cutting the network operators out of the value chain. Because their app runs on data transmission, and not premium SMS, they hold on to the lions share of the revenue. Plus, because it’s subscription based- there’s a nice recurring revenue stream.
Congratulations Mark and Avi on successfully launching the service.
(And a tip of the hat to Alarm:clock for covering London-based start-ups.)
Filed under: Mobile, Venture Capital