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Friday, 30 July 2010

VC Factsheet: ATOMICO VENTURES

Company Summary and History
Atomico Ventures is a London-based venture capital firm that was founded in 2006 by Niklas Zennstromm and Janus Friis, the founders of Skype, after the 3.1 billion USD sale of Skype to Ebay. The firm invests in seed to early stage web-based businesses that target consumers or small to medium sized businesses. Atomico Ventures I funded 17 companies spanning a wide range of sectors including last.fm, Heysan and Technorati. Atomico Ventures II, a 165 million USD fund launched in March 2010 is to invest in seed to early stage businesses with a preference for those located in Europe.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Email Security

A number of recent security breaches spring to mind ranging from Apple’s iLeak to a series of Google’s own security breaches. This is reassuring as it offers one a chance to reflect on their security and at least know one is not alone in their fight against “virtual pharmacists, financial propositions from Nigerian princes and pictures from dodgy sites [1]” and the more recent and ever so apt “part-time job” applications with surreptitiously attached 100KB zipped files. Who really has a CV that long?! But we digress.

Monday, 19 July 2010

VC Factsheet: GOOGLE VENTURES

Company Summary + History
Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Google, was launched late March 2009 and although a newcomer to the venture capital space packs an arsenal of fire-power, namely an established name, proven business processes and capabilities in the technology sector.

According to the technology portal Mass High Tech Google Ventures plans to invest approximately 100 million USD each year with a yearly deal activity of 30-40 deals while pursuing ‘a stage- and industry-agnostic strategy’. According to the same source ‘the venture arm will seek financial profit from its investments and not filter companies based on their strategic importance to the parent company’. The fund presently focuses geographically to companies in North America. Google Ventures is overseen by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer while investments vetting will be led by Bill Maris and Rich Miner.

Friday, 9 July 2010

VC Factsheet: KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS (KPCB)

Company summary & history
Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), widely known as KP, is one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world. KPCB has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, but is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. It is one of the first firms to have its founders, Kleiner and Perkins, from non-financial backgrounds when they set up the first fund in 1972. In 1982 they raised 150 million USD,

Monday, 5 July 2010

Technology Venture: Skype

Company summary & history
Skype Limited (the company that operates the Skype platform) was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis with headquarters in Luxembourg. The first beta version was released in August 2003. Skype was purchased by ebay in October 2005, and the following year the number of users reached 100 million. In March 2009 Skype launched SIP for business users. In the third quarter of 2009, there were 521 million Skype user accounts, and Skype Limited's revenue reached 185 million USD.

Key people
Niklas Zennstr̦m РSwedish entrepreneur and investor. He co-founded several high-profile ventures including Skype and Kazaa, and

Friday, 2 July 2010

UK 2010 (Emergency) Budget: Impact on SMEs, Investors and Entrepreneurs

Conservativism is associated with smaller government and reduced state-dependance, which, coupled with classical liberal beliefs in market forces and privatisation, would probably make one expect the coalition's Emergency Budget to have a positive impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), investors and entrepreneurs. Despite the government's claim that the British economy is a prolific environment to harness and expand enterprise, it seems that last week's Budget's token gestures to the small-business community has fallen short of providing genuinely far-reaching concessions.