Jon Bradford opened @techstars demoday by reflecting on his introduction 4 years ago to David Cohen of techstars in boulder Colorado. Bradford’s idea of giving a little money and a lot of support to start ups was bought alive. Now 4 years later the first London cohort are about to present their efforts.
Bradford reflected that Techstars is a network and a community which now has a new node in London with an event that shows Investors, press and mentors how much progress they have made.
Bradford then introduced Lord Young who announced that new start up firms were growing YoY , up from 450,000 in 2012 to 500,000 in 2013. Lord Young who is an advisor to the Prime minister reflected how much easier his life would have been if programs like techstars existed 30 years ago. He then encouraged everyone to look at the UK government Seed EIS scheme.
Before we look in detail at some of the offerings a quick view of the speakers, leadeas, entrepreneurs at Techstars London 2013
A demo and pitch in 5-6 minutes is no mean feat, there is my attempt at writing up what I heard. If I made a mistake – please comment or contact me.
All in all – the quality of ALL the pitches was very very high – congratulations to all the participants.
Sarah Cochrane, a 2nd timer at demoday and a qualified vet presented the vetcloud vision. The medical analytics market was worth $55B in 2013 globally and vets account for 20% of the market, which is a decreasing share as most Vets are focussed on disease treatment and prevention. The health and well being market for pets in gorwing rapidly and vetcloud is a vets practice management system that allows them to replace their old IT systems with a modern cloud based IT platform.
Furthermore the platform allows the vets to be proactive by offering advice for their customers around the health and wellbeing which creates new venues .
Vetcloud are looking for a 400k investment round and are 80% complete
Adrian Rans an ex-Insurance broker explained how the insurance market is a $4.7 Trillion market which is still paper based in the world of digital communications. The Quantemplate allows that industry and digitise their processes and they offer;
His platform is launched and in use by many of the giants in the industry . His small team have secured 33% of their target funding of $600k . The platform is extremely complex and I would expect the sales cycle to persuade the firms to move their risk data into the platforms will be long. The funding among other things will be used to hire a sales team!
Alick Varma gave an impassioned pitch, somewhat devoid of slides explaining how his destiny was made when, at the age of 12 his parents (both of who were chartered accountants) spoke to him about the P&L of his life. Not long after he was making £300 of his own money monthly and had the responsibility of managing his own money and funding his school uniform. He founded the company on his idea that children need to take responsibility for money and the traditional banking system does not make it easy for them to do so.
Osper have secured their next round of funding, and although not mentioned in detail, I suspect this was by some of the banks wanted to take a social path in a much maligned indusyr.
Osper have 25 founding families signed up who are trialling their technology.
Dan Weddlepohl lost all of his possessions when his home burnt down, he learnt during the following weeks that people feel good when they share and help others. Peerby is a website and app that allows you to borrow things locally Weddlepohl claimed peerby was the only platform in the world who start with a request, rather than by listing what you have. Not sure Freecycle would agree with that view, but anyway.
peerby won a 125k sustainability award from the Clinton global initiative in 2012 and have used the Techstars opportunity to grow the platform and usage. They are mainly focussed today in holland and transaction volumes are low …1 transaction every hour! Low volumes with high 80% of fulfillment of borrow requests in < 30 mins
Marketing is done via local viral networking. Peerby are looking to raise 600k euro, with 30% already committed
Paul Murphy explained that recording voice is a $2.5bn market for call recording , but that’s just the start of the size of the opportunity. How many conversations do we all have and how much do we use the knowledge in the data. Op3nvoice is a platform that allows developers to have audio and video search of that knowledge and data.
Murphy presented some exciting use cases, Mobento who make educational videos available to students, N2uitive insurance adjusters recording interviews and 2 banking use cases.
The main transformation during techstars was the realisation that there are so many use cases, op3nvoice want to unleash the power of the platform into the hands of developers. They now offer a full developer platform which is underpinning all of the use cases above. They made revenue of 300k in 2012, and on target for 1M, they are looking to raise a large seed round but the amount was not disclosed.
Will Eastcoast – CEO presented the games platform, who gave probably the best “demo” of the day. Whilst explaining his and his teams credentrials and the process a game developer would go through to create a game from scratch a demo ran in the background. It showed the fully integrated end to end platform for developing, designing, publishing and running games. The demo culminated in the platform running a game in HTML5 and on tablets, smartphones and various other platforms – pretty impressive..!
Playcanvas provide infrastructure and a community, creating revenue from 3 main streams, developer subscriptions, digital marketplace and shared app revenue revenue.
Playcanvas are raising $650K of which $250K is already committed.
Great job by Will !
Patrick Walsh quickly established how excessive processes for payments are turing customers away from making mobile payments. In the extreme this could mean 135 keystrokes to buy something with your credit cards.
There platform which is offered to carriers (I assume they would take a cut in the margin?) has processed 10k transactions in 3 months and with a team of 2 and 2 advisors that is pretty impressive.
This is already a crowded market but paymins are looking for a $500k investment with 80% already committed.
Laurence Aderemi quickly established his credentials in probably one of the smoothest pitches of the day. Moni is a Mobile money transfer platform. Laurence has a history with 3 former startups Move, Overture and Admob. Before a stint at head of mobile at google.
The Moni platform offers speed vs traditional banks and a lower cost and higher convenience vs traditional money transfer firms. They have achieved regulator approval from HRMC and FCA and so far raised a small seed round from small investors
They are now looking for passionate investors for the next part of their journey.
Dennis Ostir presented iptvbeat platform designed to measure audience feedback and provide TV analytics. The traditional way of doing this is known as Nielsen television measurement that measures viewing behaviour down to the second, revealing detailed programming and commercial engagement. Ostir argued this require expensive hardware and reach only reaches 5000 households in the UK, of which a large % might not be watching TV through traditional means (if at all). Futhermore the data delivered is slow (24 hours+) and cumbersome (in a CSV format).
The TV / advertising analtyics market is a $5billion market place. with 95% of the revenue owned by Nelson and TNS. IPTVbeat is looking to disrupt this market. Iptvbeat aggregate information from multiple places (e.g. carriers, content producers) and then sell it back to digital / cable providers, broadcasters and advertisers . They are trying to make a simple, beautiful, realtime platform.
Cutting their teeth in Slovenia to 100k households they are now on track to reach 1M households by the end of 2013. IPTVbeat are raising large seed round and looking for investors.
Alexa Varsavky reflected that it’s crazy how the average women as over $1000 worth of clothes in her wardrobe but only wears half of it. There is great business in crazy !
Modabound provide apps and marketplace for buying and selling clothes to each other. Their differentiator is local and try before you buy. Pilot was launched at Columbia, 400 items listed and 1/3 sold. Aiming at universities in the US , where they have 12m students.
They aim to get revenue streams from % of payment fees and are raising 600k with 50% committed already.
- TechStars London’s Debut Demo Day: Meet The Ten Startups Who Presented (retrometrotech.wordpress.com)