EuroCrunch

A window on European internet & mobile startups and venture capital

Sunday, December 31, 2006

 

Desktop application Tag2Find to tag files

Austria-based Tag2Find launched a technical overview of a desktop application for Windows XP and Windows Vista. It's a light application to tag files stored locally on a computer's hard drive à-la flickr or del.icio.us

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

 

Gmail massive outage

I still can't access my Gmail account at 2am EST. It's been down for over 4 hours now.
A few other people are experiencing the same.
I just hope tomorrow morning my 800MB of emails are still there ...

Update: GMail is working fine. I had to do "Clear my private data" on Firefox to get it to work again, maybe a cached DNS problem.


 

Le Web 3: the Aftermath

What happened at LeWeb3, the conference organized by French blogger and entrepreneur Loic Le Meur ?
Last-minute panel with ex-Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Perezm and French Presidential candidates Nikolas Sarkozy and François Bayrou raised a wave of unrest across the blogosphere:

LeWeb3 Fallout. As A Speaker, I’m Not Happy
LeWeb3 is political propaganda
Loic Lemeur: Betraying 1000 attendees for his own political ambitions?
Why are they there?
Le Web 3 hacked by French politicians
Election campaign at LeWeb3
Le Web 3: The Sarkozy Show
Tom Raftery: Le Web 3 renamed Loic (pronounced Le Week)
leweb3: no politicians for the politics and blogging session
Le Web 3: old fashioned propaganda

Tom Morris is collecting more quotes on the conference.

Sam Sethi had to leave TechCrunch UK, as explained by Arrington.

Anyone has positive comments? Please send them to me.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

PagineGialle unveils amazing visual maps beta

PagineGialle.it, the leading Italian yellow pages, recently launched a leading edge flash-powered map product online. It features 2D streets, satellite and hybrid maps à-la Google Maps, eye-bird imagery and a stunning, fast, browser-embedded 3D model complete with altitude information.

I was especially pleased by the 3D model that is faster and better than Microsoft's Live heavyweight Internet Explorer plug-in.

At the moment, only Italy is covered by high resolution satellite imagery.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

 

Top 10 European Internet Startups to watch in 2007

Here's my list of European startups to watch in 2007:

1. Sulake Corporation
Creator of the online community Habbo, it pioneered together with Linden Labs new monetization strategies for virtual worlds.

2. Last.fm
Community website for music fans that is growing into the ultimate post-filter in a long-tail media industry.

3. Blyk
Will launch in mid 2007 as the first free, ad-supported mobile carrier targeted to the youth market.

4. FON
Counting on investments from Skype, Google, Sequoia and Index, FON plans to blanket the world with user-contrubuted hotspots.

5. The Venice Project
Started by Zennstrom and Friis (founders of Skype and Kazaa), brings peer-to-peer technology to video streaming to disrupt the television industry.

6. MX Telecom
A mobile application and service provider, has seen fast-growing revenues over the past years and is well positioned to provide the infrastructure to emerging mobile 2.0 businesses.

7. WAYN
Social networking website that plans to monetize its traffic in the travel and lifestyle markets.

8. Xing
Formerly known as OpenBC, the company is the main player in European business social networking space.

9. Quintura
A new player in the visual search space, Quintura recently closed a round of financing to find its way in this lucrative but crowded space.

10. Netvibes
Emerging as a category leader in AJAX desktops and startpages, Netvibes is well positioned to become a web 2.0 success story.


 

Italian startup, did you mean "italian starter"?

Today I read Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA Ranking (pdf, 1237 kB). Companies from UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Turkey, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Hungary, Latvia, Denmark, Portugal are represented.

Right, Italy is not in the list. Surprised I went on to Google to search for "Italian startup" to find some exceptions to the rule. Ironically, Google thought I mispelled my query ...




Sadly, my home country is running late in the technology and entrepreneurship race of the 21st century. Being late now means being irrelevant in 2050. If I were prime minister, this would be my top priority.




Tuesday, December 05, 2006

 

Netherlands-based security software Consul acquired by IBM

IBM acquired security software Consul, based in the Netherlands.
See IBM press release.

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European entrepreneurship role models

I have just come across an interesting article on Internation Herald Tribune article on how German Samwer brothers sold $320M worth of companies in the last 4 years. Their most known successful companies were online auction site Alando.de (acquired by eBay for $50M in 1999) and Jamba (acquired by Verisign for $273M in 2004).
It is a good article on european entrepreneurship.


 

Recipient-paid text messages and mobile innovation

European mobile telecom carriers do not charge the recipient of a text message (SMS), but only the sender. They also charge an interconnection fee for internet-originated messages.

In the US, the message charge is usually split in half between sender (10 cents) and recipient (10 cents) and a fair number of active texters opt for a flat rate of about $5/month to get unlimited text messages. Since somebody is paying to receive a message, carriers do not charge any interconnection fee for internet-originated messages and have all incentives to keep the doors open to incoming messages. All American mobile carriers provide reliable SMTP gateways free of charge. In other words you can text say any Verizon phone sending a simple e-mail message to number@vtext.com. The recipient will pay for that message.

Even though this pricing policy has raised some discussions, I believe that the possibility to send text messages for free has spurred a number of startups to explore a variety of mobility services at a very low cost. I'm thinking about DodgeBall (acquired in 2005 by Google) and more recently Zemble, Pinger and other mobile application providers that could enter the mobile market simply developing an email application without incurring any interconnection costs.


 

UK ahead of US in online advertisement and broadband penetration

Interesting article on the New York Times today, pointing out that it's not only in mobile penetration that the US is lagging behind. Both share of online advertisement of the overall ad spending and broadband penetration surged in the past five years, causing the UK to overtake the US in 2006.

Online advertising is racing ahead in Britain, growing at a roughly 40 percent annual rate, and is expected to account for as much as 14 percent of overall ad spending this year, according to media buying agencies. That is the highest level in the world, and more than double the percentage in the United States.


Similarly, broadband access in Britain at first lagged access in the United States, but has since surged. In 2002, 15.7 percent of American households had broadband compared with only 5.1 percent of British homes, according to eMarketer. This year, Britain is ahead, with 47.4 percent of homes having broadband, which is more than the 43.9 percent in the United States.



Sunday, December 03, 2006

 

EuroCrunch LiveChat







Saturday, December 02, 2006

 

Musicovery re-launches a visual music discovery service

After a preview few months ago that was temporarily closed down due to bandwidth (and maybe copyright) woes, I was happy to see through del.icio.us popular page that Musicovery re-launched its music visualization and discovery streaming service, both in English and French.

I couldn't find much information about the company; their beta1 preview was available in French only, so I guess they are based somewhere in France.

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Car-sharing Zipcar raises $25M Round C and launches in London

ZipCar, a car-sharing company started out of MIT in 1999, announced a $25M third round of equity financing to expand its operations to new geographies. In particular, they are deploying 25 cars in London, expecting to grow to 100 vehicles in 2007.

I am a very happy Zipcar customer here in Boston, I think they are bound for success in Europe as well.

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EU VC and PE fund raising slows down by over 40% in Q3 2006

European venture capitals raised €451.65M in Q3, down from €903.81M in the same quarter last year. Private equity and buyout firms raised €3.13B in Q3 2006, down from €5.19B in Q3 2005.

That's what emerges from Dow Jones VentureOne's Q3 2006 European Funds Release (xls). Press release (pdf).

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RedHerring 100 Europe Nominations

RedHerring is looking for nominations for the hottest 100 privately held tech companies in Europe. Here's the submission form.

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Web analytics company WiredMinds gets funded

WiredMinds, a company based in Stuttgart, Germany developing web analytics solutions, received an undisclosed amount of money from Creathor, a German venture capital firm.

Read Creathor's press release (pdf, in german).

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