Archive for the ‘Software’ category

Update on Isilon IPO!

December 20, 2006

Update on my previous article on our portfolio company Isilon:

The Seattle-based company debuted on NASDAQ on Friday, December 15, 2006 under the symbol “ISLN” and opened at $25, up 92% from its IPO price of $13. It’ll be the third biggest opening day gainer of the year and will have market cap far above $1.4Bn! Atlas Venture V was a founding investor in Isilon in May 2001.

What an amazing year end! Congrats to the whole team involved!

Isilon IPO on Nasdaq!

December 15, 2006

Datango – Expansion Financing Round to fuel international growth

December 13, 2006

As Valerie has pointed out nicely on her blog, Datango, one of our portfolio companies from the early internet days, has completed a financing round with HassoPlattnerVenture and Extorel. Datango is an interesting turn-around story, which initially started in 1999 providing “web-rides” to consumers. After the burst of the bubble the company transitioned from the B2C space into the B2B space focusing on eLearning.

After the successful acquisition of a distributor in 2004, the company has continued its turn-around and has been on a steady growth path since, primarily focusing on large roll-out projects and applications support systems (a market to be estimated to be worth a few hundred million Euros).

The new investment round signals a continued interest from investors into Datango and this emerging market space. The international market is still untapped and will provide a great opportunity for Datango to grow in the future.

Identic Solutions connects with Investors – €10M for Austria-based RFID company

November 16, 2006

IDENTEC SOLUTIONS uses the power of RFID combined with tight infrastructure to deliver real-time information on mobile resources which saves customers millions of dollars in operating costsIdentec Solutions, a provider of RFID solutions based out of pretty Austria, has announced a financing round of €10M. The company designs and markets intelligent long-range asset management system. Lead investor was SAM Private Equity with participation from Sustainable Performance Group, RFID Invest, gcp gamma capital partners (well done Oliver!) and an undisclosed private investor.

Takeaway: Identec Solutions focuses on a multi-billon euro market. According to analysts, the total market for RFID (tags, system, sw, hw, etc.) could account for $24Bn by 2015. However, so far, the expectations in this market have not been fulfilled at all. Pilot projects have been stopped or delayed. Implementation cycles take much longer than planned. Often it is necessary to cover the whole value chain with a solution in order to derive substantial cost savings. The initial hype generated by projects such as by Walmart resulted in partly disappointing results and – not surprising – high costs for suppliers. People and industry experts seem to be much more realistic nowadays in terms of RFID’s potential! Which is good of course!

Recommendations: Although the market might take longer to develop than expected, RFID is clearly one of the leading, pervasive technologies ahead of us. Once the initial pilot projects in various industries have delivered the expected ROI, the world should be poised to see more innovation coming from this sector.

Have you tried Photosynth?

November 14, 2006

Try itHave you tried this cool demo? Photosynth, a new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed three-dimensional space. The idea is to put “hyperlinks between pictures on the internet”. The images with the same content create a 3D model, and this model now allows the user to move and navigate between pictures like in a film.

Takeaway: Pretty amazing core technology, which could enable a lot of new ideas and applications on top!

Advertising revenues becoming more important for MNOs

June 1, 2006

MNOs such as Vodafone and T-Mobile are moving aggressively into the mobile marketing space in order to generate new forms of revenues and to compensate for lost voice and SMS business. Now, Virgin Mobile in the US is going down a very innovative path in the mobile world: “subsidized ad calling”.

Takeaway: Subsidizing calls on a fixed line was a model which was introduced in 1999 and 2000 by a few start-ups here in Europe, an approach which miserably failed at that time. As cell phone calls are getting cheaper and cheaper (in the US there are first “phone as much as you want” packages available; in Austria free of charge calls within the same network, etc.), advertising models might only attract a very distinct (young people?), (probably small) target group. However, it remains an interesting pilot case…

Recommendation: MNOs are feeling the pressure and are moving into new fields of activities. The voice business has been deteriorating over the last years. Now, new start-ups are threatening other, still profitable products and businesses such as SMS or IM. There are many interesting ideas out there…. and interest from the VC community is growing steadily…

Schambach attracts funding from T-Venture

June 1, 2006

Valerie Thompson recently reported about several successful start-ups, who were set up by former Intershop founders and managers. One of thesse companies, demandware, headed up by Stephan Schambach, seems to be doing well. Although the company is HQ’ed in the US, they have recently attracted a German VC investment from the T-Venture fund according to ComputerWoche.

Takeaway: Demandware, building upon a strong product originated from Intershop, seems to hit a hot spot in the markt for hosted eCommerce solutions. Especially SMBs seem to find this new kind of service intriguing. Demandware will need to define a scalable business model, which allows to address thousands of SMBs with such a hosted solution – without spending too much effort, time and money on getting these customers live.

Recommendations: Enrepreneurs! ASP services will continue to boom. We will see more business models like these in the future….