Having been deeply involved with ge.tt (and being a shareholder) since the very beginning, it was a a thrill to sign the closing papers on the acquisition by e-conomics this fall.
Here’s a snippet from the media; http://tnw.co/1aJqg4F.
The team is now deeply involved in integrating the service into e-conomics platform and use their skills in optimizing the e-conomics platform in general.
Great to see this kind of M&A activity in Denmark!
That has changed now. Check it out at http://www.peakshare.com.
Today Berlingske.dk writes that the QR code has matured. In other words left the peak of the hype cycle and matured into a technology which deliver value, not headlines.
Read the article here (in Danish); http://www.business.dk/media/qr-koden-er-blevet-voksen
An example is the asset and tracking mangement setup at Bispebjerg Hospital. Here QR codes serves as access to information and tracking data to assets in the hospital, e.g. all the 900 beds. Read the latest article from Bispebjerg Hospital here; http://www.bispebjerghospital.dk/nythospital/topmenu/Nyt-og-presse/Aktuelt_2013/Fremtidens_hospital_er_intelligent_og_traadloest.htm
Today Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen launches PeakShare. The hospital want to unleash the potential in mobility and by putting a smartphone in the pocket of most employees the hospital can now introduce web-based management solutions that truly change the way they work.
WePioneer is very proud to be part of the journey at Bispebjerg Hospital, and we have delivered PeakShare (www.peakshare.com) to the hospital, enabling a whole different way of supporting mobility needs thoughout the facility. The first application is bed tracking, a solution that improves hygiene and billing in the bed logistic processes.
Yesterday Atomico met 20 companies face to face in Copenhagen. Not at a conference and not as a guest (or rock star) at some hyped event. They simply wanted to scout on their own in the pre-seed layer in Denmark. Face to face in a very proactive and direct fashion, quite unlike what most VCs do.
I have been working with VCs for many years now and I have always been wondering why they were sitting behind the desk waiting for deals to appear or go to crowded and hyped conferences where the agenda mostly is talk to other VCs. It’s been a mystery to me that a VC’s first advice to the entrepreneur is to define, create and lead the market and sell sell sell, an they don’t really to it themselves. Not in Scandinavia anyway. Maybe here’s part of why returns are so poor and VCs in Scandinavia are having such a hard time raising funds.
The way entrepreneurs get capital has dramatically changed in the last few years. There is no clear border between angel investments, A rounds, B rounds etc. Super angels are so wealthy and still have appetite that they can support the start up much further than before and the VCs that have realized that they need to be more than a cash dispenser in a well defined period of a company’s life are now working across financial borders to get the best opportunities. Except in Denmark of course where the entrepreneur tax kills everything that’s young and risky. Here entrepreneurs become so modest and keep their head so low that the chance of something big coming from here is very very slim.
Tuesday night Ge.tt won the Atomico Pitch Event in Copenhagen. 6 startups were selected among 50 applicants and Tobias Baunbæk ended up on top of the pack winning the competition. See the pictures here: http://ge.tt/2cPcdg3.
The Pitch Event was a warm up to Atomicos Open Office day in Copenhagen http://www.atomico.com/events/copenhagen_open_office/. More than 500 showed up to witness the pitches and one of the most prominent Danish business bloggers wrote a very insightful blog on the event in the days after, if you read Danish please spend 5 min on this http://bit.ly/gs0AH0. The blogger Niels Lunde went to a government sponsored “growth conference” just before going to the Atomico Pitch Event. Guess which event he thought was most valuable when looking for future growth?
Winning the pitch content bought Tobias a private meeting with Niklas Zennström, the founder of Atomico and of course Skype and Kazaa. I had the privilege to participate too and we had a great discussion on the business and got super insightful advice from Mr. Filesharing himself.
I hope that Atomico’s Open Office imitative will inspire other VCs. The days are over when they can sit in the office waiting for deal flow and manage funds that raise themselves. A strong selling and entrepreneurial spirit is in demand with the VCs, both when creating investment opportunities and managing the LP community.
It was very common in the last decade and you still meet people that ask how are you going to protect your product? And still many are misled to think that patents are the way to protect stuff in IT and online.
Last week we witnessed the beginning to the end of at least one big dinosaur, Nokia. I am sure that Nokia holds thousands of patents on technology and designs, but no one cares to buy their high margin products anymore. So have they protected their business well? I am sure there’s an investor or two who thinks no. In Denmark we have an example of the same sting of events, Bang & Olufsen once an icon is now completely caught in the headlights wondering who is going to buy their bling bling stereos. They also have made the fatal mistake of not focusing on the product just like Nokia.
In online things are even worse. The clock in this space runs faster than with Nokia and B&O. Everything can change overnight, if you are not focusing on the product and the customers. Of course a certain technology advantage can get you a bit ahead, but in the long run, like a year from now you may face competition from someone that just fixed the problem more elegantly and your technology advantage is obsolete. Ask Google. A couple of year back the mightiest of them all, today everybody is seeing Facebook as the new internet. Why? Because Google was so obsessed with matching Microsoft products with online alternatives that they completely missed the value of social. Here patents does no good, only focus on product and ability to become the service we like to use matter.
So what to do? Well you need the best people there is and the ability to stomach decisions that might turn out to be completely wrong. It’s the era of trial and error, short iterations and not huge 3 year projects. Being online is very very transparent and locking in a users is very hard, you cannot hide behind salesmen anymore, your customers and users will judge you by the actual value of the service not by your marketing. They trust the neighbor when he says the the service is fantastic. Or suck. That’s how I decided on my Iphone anyway and i am not turning back to Nokia again. And my TV is a Samsung, it replaced the B&O a few years back.