Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Startup Spotlight: Masabi

Can you give us a description of Masabi and where the name came from?
Masabi is a mobile ticketing technology company. We provide a service that enables people to use their mobile phone to find train times and prices, buy the ticket and use their phone as the ticket – thereby skipping queues and catching trains they might otherwise have missed. The aim is to reduce the amount of ticket machines needed by the train companies and the massive capital outlay incurred by those businesses as well as take a bit of pain away from the customers.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Exit Strategy: IPO Vs Trade Sale

By: Enock Koola, Analyst

As a Greek writer once wrote, “Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in”. The same might be said about technology start-ups needing to have an exit plan. In order to attract VC investments, start-ups have to entice with an exit strategy. Most VCs seek 10x potential return on each company given the risks involved in any given portfolio fund. On average it takes 5-7 years before an investor can realise their investment. You don’t need Amoo to say how long that is. It goes without saying if an entrepreneur and investor are going to be strategically working together an exit strategy should be well thought of.

Monday, 12 December 2011

"Memo to Management"

Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit took place last week and is the inspiration for our recent blog posts [full videos to the event are available on the Bloomberg Terminal exclusively through the function LINK]. The hallmark event allowed technology decision-makers in the financial services industry share ideas and address issues they care about most. In attendance were technology industry leaders and technology executives.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Overview of IT Spending 2011

IT spending in 2011 saw an increase of around 7% as reported by IDC taking the global technology spend to 1.6T USD. The outlook for 2012 is for almost identical percentage points growth but with the bulk of this growth coming from the emerging markets.
IT Services and Software market spending are expected to increase further with the BRIC nation software markets growing at a CAGR of 14% in 2010-2015. (IDC, Black book, Q3 2011).

Thursday, 1 December 2011

BRICS: A Structural Shift

By: Enock Koola, Analyst

The UN climate summit taking place this week in Durban, South Africa is a sign of the times. Over a decade ago, the rapid rise of the BRICS economies was predicted by some economists including Jim O’Neil; the man responsible for the BRIC acronym in 2001. During 2001, when the term was first coined, many politicians disbelieved a trending of economic power towards the emerging economies would ever happen nor threaten Western dominance in technology, manufacturing and research; therefore dictating global economic policies. However, there has been a structural shift from the Western economies to emerging countries.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Silicon Milkroundabout

Brick Lane, home to London's fashionista crowd and curry houses, gave way to tech geeks yesterday. The long queue outside the Truman Brewery, matched my level of anticipation for the Silicon Milkroundabout technology careers fair. Once past the Thor-like bouncer and super-efficient registration helpers, I paused to take in the ambience. There were hundreds of people in the un-careers fair and the warehouse buzzed with a very familiar tech startup energy. From the Terminator 3 pinball machine to the beanbags and wifi area, and the Foosball machine to the Portuguese water dog, this tech job hunting nirvana felt like it was inspired by the Google offices in Victoria, London.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Startup.IT: Overview of the Italian Venture Capital and Startup Environment

Guest Author: Sarah Raniero

Most of us think 'sovereign debt crisis' when 'Italy' is mentioned. Ok, maybe olive oil, pasta and The Godfather also come to mind but did you know that Italy's early stage funding is pretty active? The importance of turnaround is also growing. Considering the amount invested within the different funding stages, the Italian Association of Venture Capital and Private Equity (AIFI) reported that during the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009

Monday, 26 September 2011

Award-Winning British Alternative Renewable Energy Firm Announces New Industry Partners After Successful Equity Funding Round

A university start-up, which has developed a flooring system that generates electric energy from footsteps, has secured all its target finance during its latest funding initiative, including a major investment from a specialist investment fund.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Company Summary & History
Index Ventures was founded in 1996 by Neil and David Rimer, and Giuessppe Zocco. Their first office was based in Geneva, with the London office opening in 2002. As such they have traditionally invested globally in companies that have a European focus. However the company is not focused on geographical investing, as shown by the opening of an office in Silicon Valley in 2011.

Friday, 16 September 2011


Amoo Venture Capital Advisory is proud to announce the successful launch of place4BRICS, London's first community for technology entrepreneurs and investors from or interested in conducting business in the BRICS countries. The first event took place on the September 14th, 2011 and featured perspectives on an opportunity in each country put forward by relevant experts, which was followed by an insightful round of Q&A and an opportunity to network.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

It's Getting Cold Outside

Within the last two weeks, billions of pounds were wiped off the financial equity markets, volatility hit record highs, technology IPOs went through controlled delays (e.g. Zynga), and hot tech startups are beginning to show cracks (e.g. Groupon).

Friday, 5 August 2011

Start-up Spotlight: Interview with Alex Kelleher founder of Cognitive Match

Can you give some insight into your background and how this led to Cognitive Match? Having studied psychology at university, a factor that combines what I’ve done is a fascination with how people behave and if we are able to change that behavior. This is really what the whole of marketing is about. My first company was an internet web design agency, designing sites for brands like Shell and Lastminute.com in the early days of the internet (1995-2000). The key thing that came out of that was how much data the channel (i.e. websites) generates, particularly about how people behave, even back then.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Information Security in a Borderless World

An intrinsic feature of the internet has been its organic growth through open and interoperable standards, meaning as a network it is inherently borderless. Resultantly the wealth of information it contains is extremely amenable to attacks or ‘cyber crimes’ by malicious organisations, criminal and governmental, and individuals. According to the FT, cyber crime is estimated as costing the UK 44 billion USD annually.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Year (And A Day)

I remember the evening I finally got round to incorporating Amoo Holdings Limited like it was yesterday. This was just after a disagreement with a business partner and a very long email that left me feeling raw. Funny how the challenging incidents in life tend to elicit stronger and more sustained positive reactions from us.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Open Source

Open Source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. According to opensource.org ‘Open Source’ as an official label relating to computer software was first coined at a strategy session held in 1998 in Palo Alto California and grew out of the free software movement and hacker culture.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Company Summary and History
Greylock Partners have been in operation since 1965. They have funded and successfully built hundreds of companies, more than 150 of those have gone on to IPOs and more than 100 have achieved successful M & A events . Since 1965 they have raised 13 funds in the form of limited partnerships, the latest of which (Greylock XIII) was expanded to 1 billion USD in March 2011 .

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Start-up Spotlight: Interview with Josh Liu co-founder of Minutebox

Your background in a few words... and why Minutebox? I was in advertising, working at Ogilvy Taipei. But you know, it is frustrating, working in an agency. All the time you spend serving your idea and the clients don’t buy it for the silliest reasons. So I wanted to be an entrepreneur and nurture my own ideas. That is why I came to London and pursued an MBA at Imperial.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Company Summary and History
Bessemer Venture Partners,
formed in 1911,
is one of the longest-standing venture capital firms in the United States. The founder Henry Philips Jr. formed Bessemer Securities Corporation, as part of which Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) originally operated, to manage and invest the proceedings from the sale of Carnegie Steel, founded with Andrew Carnegie. Since 1975, Bessemer Venture Partners has operated as a standalone partnership with Bessemer Securities Corporation as its primary limited partner.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Crowdfunding v1.5

“The Internet is fundamentally replacing the economics of scarcity with the economics of ubiquity”- Eric Schmidt MWC Keynote February 2011.

Web 2.0, the proliferation of fast internet access and the explosion of social media have given a greater sector of society an unprecedented ability to exert their influence.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Mobile Monday London - Connecting 50Bn

News from “The Internet of Things & other Machine-to-Machine Stories” - CBI Conference Centre, 17/5/2011

Terrific line-up for the 66th Mobile Monday London (MoMoLo) event! Camille Mendler of Informa moderated the evening, joined by Dan Warren, Director of Technology at GSMA, David Wood, Technology Strategy Lead for Embedded Devices at Accenture, Tor Bjorn Minde, R&D Manager from EricssonLabs, and William Webb, CTO from Neul.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Collaboration

We've just finished a nightime conference call between our web developer, our video producer and one of our directors of the company.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

G-Nigeria 2011

There are many positive things about technology entrepreneurs that also hold true in Nigeria; talent, creativity, resourcefulness and sheer drive.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Running a Marathon

Building a company form scratch is a lot like training for a marathon - it requires stamina and determination to keep going through the rough bits.

Friday, 15 April 2011

University Spin Outs

In the post-mortem of the recent financial crisis, a key conclusion was that the U.K. economy needs to reduce an over reliance on the financial sector. Crucial to this is a transition to a knowledge-based economy.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Diary of an Intern: Amoo VCA Summer 2010

Having heard stories of City interns being entrusted with much responsibility and highly stimulating tasks such as photocopying, I was a little apprehensive about how useful my summer internship would be

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Believe

Yesterday I met my good friend Jack Mcmanus and his lovely fiancee (plus Harry the dog!) for breakfast.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up / Technology: Special Mention

A quick special mention to my main man in the US of A who has just raised $2m for his company, Stella Service:


We're hot on your heels brother!!! (Praise be!!!)

Diary of a Start-up: Dancing with no music

Stretching on the gym floor last night, I noticed a man in the corner breakdancing. The moves he were pulling of were fantastic and very impressive but something was missing - music!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Learning from Others - the importance of a smile

Dripping with sweat as I evacuated the treadmill last night, I ran into a guy that I'd consider to be a friend now, someone that is a truly inspirational character.

Previously in the wine trade, for the last six months Patrick Gavin has been building one of the most simple and fascinating businesses I have seen in my career looking at start-ups.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Enthusiasm required

Starting a business is schizophrenic. It is exciting at the same time as it's frustrating at the same time as it's terrifying.

Will it work? Are we wasting time? This will work! We're going to make it! You are hit by an ongoing dichotomy of emotions with the trick being simply, to rise above it.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Wheels in Motion!

Any youngster today should read the (slightly cheesy, but inspiring) 'Art of the Deal' by Donald J.Trump. His wealth to wealth tale revolves around high flying property deals and sky-scrapping developments but each project always begins with the simple and symbolically important step: breaking ground.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: Analysing Risk

Boy, what a boring sounding title for a blog! Nonetheless, I'm reminded today by a quote uttered by a fellow start-up goer, Raj Dey, who said that 'people call entrepreneurs risk takers when in fact, it's the exact opposite of what we are trying to do. We are trying like hell to alleviate as much risk as possible'.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Letter from Amoo VC Advisory: Our Blog 2.0

Dear Blog Readers,

We would like to inform you of a couple of minor changes to our blog.

Not too long ago, we successfully migrated all our blog content from amoomedia.blogspot.com to blog.amoo.co.uk. The new site is easier to remember as well as more consistent with our brand identity.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: The Importance of Brand

Spend a couple of hours wandering amongst the throngs of people in Harrod's on a busy Saturday and the importance of brand is nothing short of rammed home.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Diary of a Start-up: J(f)DI!!

Not so much a post today, more a quote that totally resonated with me from Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley:.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Diary of a Start-Up: Early start, great meeting!

The early bird catches the worm so they say. If today is anything to go by then that adage is true. Dave and I met this morning to make a detailed plan of the next steps involved. Another old adage says that talk is cheap and I couldn't agree more with that. Action is the only thing that matters.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Diary of a Start-Up: The Power of a Network

I’ve just returned from one of the most fun and touching days I’ve had in a while. We have as of today, found a name (well, several actually that we need to decide upon) for the business.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Square Thinking: Meeting Etiquette

We are in the meeting business and have sat through several great meetings – and some not so great ones. We thought we should share our views on what meetings are meant to be. Most of you already know these so I'll be brief (and take a stab at humour while I'm at it). Below is our list of some things to do and some best avoided at meetings:

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lose Sight of The Bigger Picture

When running a startup, one should be conscious of when the lofty vision starts to be a ball-and-chain to managing your company. The primary purpose of management is to ensure the company does not run out of cash. As with established businesses, managers need to be acutely aware of the company's cash position.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Diary of a Start-Up: Incredible generosity from legal eagles

In his book, ‘Confessions of an Entrepreneur’, Chris Robson lays out some simple-to-follow advice when engaging with lawyers who in any real business, will become an integral and important part of a business. As a basic rule of thumb he suggests that you can gauge the quality of a legal firm/accountant based on how much they will give you for free.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

8 UK Incubators

The UK is an international hub for cutting-edge enterprise, presenting a network of incubators and science parks where technology businesses can find support for their research, development and commercialisation.

Incubators offer many advantages to develop and strengthen businesses including facilities, equipment and access to experienced advisers. Incubators frequently benefit from proximity to universities and research centers and are a credible s
ource of innovation and entrepreneurship in science and technology. Amoo prepared a list of them.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

End of Year Musings

This post is to celebrate the year 2010. It has been a milestone year at Amoo Venture Capital Advisory. We have been strategic about our goal to attract the best talent and have thus built a core team of advisors, associates, consultants and interns that would make any manager's mouth water.

We supported several startups, many of which you must watch out for in 2011. Take the award-winning Fits.Me and Pavegen Systems for example.