Thursday, April 7, 2011


Fourteen VC-backed IPOs occurred in the first quarter, with companies raising an average of $98.3 million.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Predicted new Social Search

Predicted by leading forecast expert Edward Mushinsky on
new Social Search -
today was realised by Google

Monday, March 28, 2011

Social search & marketing leads in M&A

eBay announced on Monday that it will buy GSI Commerce, an ecommerce and interactive marketing services company, for $2.4 billion.

Google leads all other major technology companies by acquiring 23 companies in 2010, compared to IBM’s 12, Facebook’s 6, and Microsoft’s 0.

LivingSocial Will Overtake Groupon in January 2012

Humans gravitate towards tools they've used before and those tools stay in the same place, that's a companies URL. There are the places they go to shop, their favorite weather site, the place they watch random videos, their bank, their localities website, etc. When those sites fail to be organized, they revert back to searching the garbage heap of the web (i.e. search engines).

People are not per se authorities on anything in the social world other than how to waste time and where the lemmings now are headed to follow each other off a fashionable cliff. While social has it's place, it isn't exactly content rich or a place to perform research on most matters.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New venture bubble?

What's driving the trend this time, Ackerman says, is a long-term shift in the way companies invest in research and development. With less money devoted to corporate R&D amid pressure to turn immediate profits, big companies "are having to tap into innovation externally, and their VC arms are becoming the front line."

Differing models

Intel was one the leaders in corporate venture capital during the dot-com bubble. "Intel made a lot of money in the early days, and a lot of companies saw that and started joining," said Roy Martinez, who spent four years at Intel Capital during that time and is now chairman of North Bay Angels in Petaluma.

Intel's investment model long has focused on startups that can help its bottom line; last month, the firm announced plans to put about $26 million into six mobile-technology startups. After all, the more mobile devices that are sold, and the more that mobile games drive demand for new devices, the more chips Intel sells.

Chipmaker Nvidia takes that approach even further: its in-house venture program, launched in 2009, invests solely in startups that use the company's proprietary graphics-processing units for computing applications. "If these startup companies are successful, they increase our market footprint," says Jeff Herbst, vice president of business development.

On the opposite end of the philosophical spectrum is Google Ventures, which rolled out two years ago with the goal of investing $100 million a year. Google's portfolio defines diverse, ranging from mobile-payment services and anti-malware technology to vacation rental clearinghouses and a maker of ultra-fuel-efficient cars.

"I think we have breathed new life into corporate venture," says managing partner Bill Maris. The fund now has stakes in more than 20 startups (up from 10 last May); it's increased its staff by 60 percent in that time to about 25.

Rather than look for startups that will, in Maris' words "help us sell widgets," Google's nigh-bottomless coffers allow the search giant to focus on what he calls "incredible entrepreneurs." You'd expect that from a company that famously lets its employees spend 20 percent of their time dreaming up new projects, but Maris insists there's a rigorous approach to sifting through the hundreds of pitches they receive (including referrals from company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin). "Our objective is financial return," Maris says.

Google's wealth does free it from many of the hassles traditional venture firms face, like raising money from outside investors. And while most venture firms these days are steering clear of very-early-stage startups, betting instead on companies with greater likelihood of making money, so-called seed funding is the majority of Google's deal flow.

Though Google has teamed up on investments with outside venture firms (such as a $42 million deal announced last month in tandem with Khosla Ventures), "we're happy to go it alone," Maris says. "Traditionally, corporate venture usually needed or wanted an outside VC along for the ride, which to me always implied a weakness on the team."

Exit strategy

On the other hand, VC firms may have more of an incentive than ever to partner with corporate venture arms. With the IPO market slammed shut since the financial crisis of 2008, VCs have become more dependent on doing deals with corporate America, says James Mawson, who runs a London-based website called

In recent years, he and others note, a corporate acquisition of a venture-backed startup has been one of the only ways for VCs to recoup their investments in small companies. Even though the market may be thawing for initial public offerings of stock, Mawson expects such partnerships to continue.

Mawson says corporate VC began 50 years ago as an "experiment" that has ebbed and flowed in the decades since. "Rising from the ashes of the 2008 recession," he wrote in a recent note to subscribers, "we see unprecedented opportunity for the pieces to come together."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What business models will dominate 2011 ?

The rise and collision of several trends—social, mobile, touch computing, geo, cloud—keep spitting out new business models - see

continued by prediction What business models will dominate 2011.

Here are seven technologies poised to rock the new year:
Web Video On Your TV: We’ve already seen many attempts to turn the Internet into a video-delivery pipe to rival cable TV: Google TV, Apple TV, the Boxee Box, Roku, and a slew of “Internet-enabled” TVs. None of them are quite yet cable killers, but they are seeding the market with simple ways to bring Internet video to your large-screen TV in the living room. The more cable-quality video that becomes available over the Web via streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu, or iTunes, the more that people will turn to Web when they are looking for something to watch. This trend is not about surfing the Web on your TV. Nobody wants to do that. It is about using the Internet as an alternative way to deliver movies and TV shows to your flat-screen TV. Even the cable companies will dip their toes into the Internet delivery waters (or plunge deeper if they already have their toes wet). What looks like a pale competitor to cable today will be a lot more viable in a short, twelve months.
Quora Will Have Its Twitter Moment: Social Q&A site Quora may be the current darling of Silicon Valley, but not a lot of people beyond the insular tech startup world actually use it yet. That will start to change in 2011, which I believe will be the year Quora has its Twitter moment and start to really take off. Quora represents a bigger technology trend, which is the layering of an interest graph on top of people’s social graph. On Quora, you can follow not only people, but topics and questions. It defines the world by your interests, not just the people you may know or admire. This is a powerful concept and is not limited to Quora (both Twitter and Facebook also want to own the interest graph), but Quora is designed from the ground up to expose and help you explore your interests. It is addictive, and as it reaches a critical mass of early users, this will be the year it emerges from its shell much like Twitter did in 2007.
Mobile Social Photo Apps:The end of 2010 witnessed a spate of mobile photo apps including Instagram, PicPlz and Path. They all take advantage of several massive key trends: the growth of iPhone and Android, the ubiquity of decent cell phone cameras, GPS, and existing social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Each of these apps is built for mobile first. They let you take a picture, mark your location, and share it with your social network (sometimes public, sometimes private). With Instagram and PicPLz, you can choose a filter to make humdrum pics look more exciting or capture a mood. By building on top of existing social networks like Twitter and Foursquare, they are making popular new ways to use those services. Instead of simply checking in, now you can do a photo checkin (even Foursquare lets you do that now). Already Instagram is one of the most popular photo apps in iTunes. Sharing photos is pretty much a universal impulse, and these apps make it easier and more fun.
Mobile Wallets: If you could use your cell phone as a credit card, would you? Everyone from Apple and Google to Nokia want to make that a reality and tap into the mobile payments market. Both Apple and Google are exploring this opportunity. Google bought mobile payments startup Zetawire to gain experience and the latest Android phone, the Nexus S, comes with an NFC chip—the same kind that is embedded into credit cards and lets you pay by waving it over a wireless reader. The iPhone 5 also may come equipped with an NFC chip, and Apple was sniffing around mobile payments startup BOKU last year for a possible acquisition. It is going to take more than just NFC chips in every phone to make mobile payments a reality, but efforts by the major players this year should begin to move the needle.
Context-Aware Apps: Whether it’s search, mobile, or social apps and services, the most useful apps people will keep coming back to are the ones which help people cut through the increasing clutter of the Internet. Apps that are aware of the context in which they are being used will serve up better filtered information. When you search on your mobile phone, that means you get local results and local offers served up first. If you are on a service like Quora that understands your interest graph, it means that you are only shown topics that you care about, sorted in realtime. If you are on a news site, you will see the most shared links from people in you follow on Twitter or are connected to on Facebook. Music and movie services will similarly surface social recommendations. In a world of information overload, context is king.
Open Places Database: Every mobile app, it seems, taps into the geo capabilities of phones to pinpoint your exact location and show you what is around you. (Incidentally, that is another example of a context-aware app). But there is a lot of duplication going on, with everyone from Google to Facebook to Foursquare creating their own database of places. It would make much more sense if there was an open places database that any company could both pull from and contribute to. While we are not there yet, we are making progress towards a more open places database, or at least a federated one. Factual is providing some of the data for Facebook Places and creating a places database is a major focus for the company; MapQuest (owned by AOL, as is TechCrunch) is adopting OpenStreetMaps (which could very well become the central places database with more resources and development); and Foursquare lets other apps pull from its places database through its API. There are economic reasons why some companies don’t want to participate (controlling the places database makes it easier to serve up local offers), but expect to see this movement pick up steam in 2011.
The Streaming Cloud: As all media moves to the cloud, more and more people will stream their movies and music whenever they want to any device. I’ve already mentioned the forces that will bring Web video streaming to your TV, but those movies and TV shows should also be available on your iPads, Android Tablets, or even mobile phones if you want. Expiring downloads will still make sense for plane trips and other places where the network is spotty, but you will manage your subscriptions and collections in the cloud. Think Netflix streaming applied to all media.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SecondMarket boost the startups market

Platforme for trading shares of IT-companies - did whop the venture market - see about

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Predicted mobile social

BPG-The Big Idea (BPG-TBI), a communications agency based in the UAE today announced collaboration with Extentia Information Technology. With this venture, BPG TBI will offer a range of mobile application development services for the Middle-East/Persian Gulf region.

BPG-TBI is a well-known communication agency and is part of the leading BPG Group, in the Middle East. BPG-TBI has over 10 years experience in providing communication solutions across various digital, activation and advertising platforms, and has a portfolio of several leading brands in the Gulf region as customers.

Extentia is a global software development company from Pune, India, with an established presence worldwide. It delivers technology solutions to customers across Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, SE Asia and India. Their development team has strong technical skills in Microsoft - .NET, Sharepoint, Java and open source technologies. Extentia brings extensive experience to the relationship, across the domains of education, marketing, operations management, travel, healthcare, content management, and finance.

iXtentia is a division of this alliance that focuses on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and other mobile technologies. It has successfully launched and marketed several applications that rank among the Top 200 in the Apple App Store.

“There has been a significant interest in mobile application development services in the Gulf region. Businesses realize the importance of reaching out to a vast mobile user audience” said Hoshi Siganporia, CEO, BPG–The Big Idea. “With this collaboration, we’re able to leverage the expertise and experience of a highly successful development team”

BPG TBI expects to successfully leverage this collaboration as the Middle East is an exponential growth market for innovative mobile applications. According to Business Management Middle East magazine, ‘smart phone penetration in the Gulf is very high and offers great potential for offering viable mobile commerce and banking solutions.’ Also, the region’s countries are attractive for applications that cater to a wide user base - from homemakers and bankers to the retail segment.

“There has been a lot of interest in the app development & various business segments have asked us if we could help them leverage the mobile medium. They do not want to miss this bus, and there’s a lot of excitement”, says Abhinav Kottalgi, VP, Business Development – Digital, BPG-The Big Idea. “We expect more interest as service providers look to us as knowledge leaders in the mobile services space.”

“We are delighted to work with BPG-TBI to tap the potential of this immense audience. BPG-TBI’s customers will benefit from our proven mobile technology services expertise, our strategic involvement and the benefits of global sourcing,” said Umeed Kothavala, CEO, Extentia Information Technology. “An added benefit is that we also offer marketing services to help customers promote their applications effectively across application stores, and on mobile/online media.’

Other data about mobile social predicted by leading forecast expert Edward Mushinsky