Archive for the ‘Partnering’ tag
Given that we won’t see much new this year at E3 – aside for official Wii U availability and perhaps (just perhaps) whispers of next gen Sony and Microsoft consoles, this bit of news could carry the show. The Vita is powerful, to be sure, but it’s hardly nailing it in terms of game availability and to be able to play a game on the handheld and then pop over to the console is pretty compelling. Presumably the console can also act as a conduit for a definitively more interesting gaming experience.
Whatever Sony chooses to do, I’m actually not expecting in the way of blockbuster news this year, which is, in the end, just fine. The next generation consoles have to make a huge splash next year and the more fully baked the concepts the better.
China Unicom executives this week revealed that the telecom’s partnership with Apple has performed better than expected and contributed to a 14 percent rise in profits in 2011.
Index Ventures may be best known on these pages for its technology investments, but today it launched a new fund that points to how the company is willing to put its money into other examples of strong innovation. The life sciences fund will see Index put in $100 million of its own capital, and have it matched by $50 million each from big pharma leaders GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson.
Much like the new $400 million fund from Iris Capital, Orange and Publicis, this fund is all about bringing in major players into an environment where they can make more investments into the technologies and services that could well be the future of their industries, but have possibly been too difficult to track and engage with up to now. This time around, the focus is not tech per se, but promising, early-stage R&D innovation in health.
This is not the first time that Index has invested in biotech but it is the first time they have raised a fund dedicated specifically to it. Previous investments include Genmab A/S, PanGenetics B/V (acquired by Abbott Laboratories, Inc,), Aegerion, Inc., Addex Pharmaceuticals Ltd, ParAllele BioScience Inc. (acquired by Affymetrix), Molecular Partners AG and ProFibrix BV as well as several later-stage investments.
In this new fund, Index will take the lead on investment decisions, maintaining full decision-making rights, while GSK and J&J will participate in a “scientific advisory board” to share their expertise. Index has up to now focused largely on European and Israeli startups working on one or two projects; and this is likely to be the same aim with this new fund. Index says it will also consider opportunities in the U.S.
The fund is being led by Francesco De Rubertis, at Index, who noted that this kind of partnership between two would-be competitors, working together in a venture fund, is something of a first: “The fact that these two global pharmaceutical leaders are committing substantial resources to seek early-stage opportunities through a pure-play classic Venture Capital fund is a testament to the visionary leadership behind the companies,” he said in a statement.
The advisory board will have nine people on it: from GSK, Dr. Moncef Slaoui and Dr Paul-Peter Tak, Head of GSK’s Immunoinflammation Therapy Area Unit; from Janssen, Dr. Paul Stoffels and Dr. Bill Hait, Global Head, Research and Development; and five Index Ventures-appointed executives: Francesco De Rubertis, Kevin Johnson, Michele Ollier, Roman Fleck, and Remy Luthringer.
[image: SydneyUni on Flickr]
they I remember the first time I received an email from a company that stated they wanted to partner with me. Back then, I was the marketing contact on the client side, and running point on brand…
[Click on the title to read this article in its entirety at Conversation Agent]
Groupon has quickly become a lighting rod of debate among many small business owners. On the two sides of the issue about whether the service is good or bad for small business – the disagreement usually comes over the philosophy of deep discounting. Are you killing your profit margin in exchange for a short burst of fickle customers who will never come back to your business unless they get a similar discount? Or are you using a smart discounting method to bring new customers in the door, who you might convert into loyal customers paying at close to full price?
The answer, it turns out, relates as much on how you choose to use Groupon as anything else. A few weeks ago at the Corporate Social Media summit, some presenters from popular website analytics firm WebTrends shared some survey results that raised the possibility that the biggest success factor might be what products or services you choose to discount. This led me to the topic for this post – which spotlights some common strategies that lead to failure on Groupon – and how you might avoid them:
- Groupon Money Losing Strategy #1: Discount your core product/service. There are likely products and services from your business which many of your current consumers depend on coming into get. Discounting them simply offers your existing customer the same thng at a lower price … a sure recipe to fail. Instead, find products and services that have a higher margin where you can afford to lose some money initially, but will make it back if a customer gets hooked on that product.
- Groupon Money Losing Strategy #2: Sell a longer term product or service. If yours is the kind of business or service that the average consumer might do only a couple of times a year (such as hair coloring) – that may not be the ideal thing to offer a deep discount on because you will have effectively lost your one chance to interact with that consumer for months.
- Groupon Money Losing Strategy #3: Offer a forgettable discount. While the simplest thing to do may be to offer a coupon where a consumer spends $10 to get $20 of spending power with your business … the reality of a promotion like this is that it is completely forgettable. Instead, if you can tie a promotion to a part of your business – such as offering 3 rounds of Golf for $81 as a course recently did in my area – it can be much more memorable for consumers who choose to take advantage of it.
- Groupon Money Losing Strategy #4: Focus offer on the item and not your brand. When writing up the offer that you will present for consumers, a common mistake is to only focus on describing your offer without doing a good job of selling your brand along with it. This misses a golden opportunity for building brand recognition among local consumers (presumably a major goal of why you would do the Groupon in the first place). Instead, make sure you try to use a real photo instead of a stock image, include links to positive online reviews, include links in the body of the description of your business and generally do a better job of talking about why your business would be a great one for the consumer to choose not only for this promotion, but in the future as well.
Airbnb, a marketplace that allows people to rent their homes and apartments via the web, is considering entering the car-sharing space. In a survey sent to us by an Airbnb host, the startup is asking hosts if they would rent out their cars along with their residences.
As shown in the screenshots below, Airbnb asks if owners allowed a guest to use a car during a stay, and if owners would rent a car to guests if there is insurance provided. The survey also asks hosts whether they would rent a car to a guest that is not renting their home.
The survey also asks hosts how concerned they would be about car theft and inconvenience when offering a car sharing service. And Airbnb asked hosts if there are any other items they would rent to guests.
A customer survey does not mean Airbnb is launching a car-sharing service any time soon. But it is a logical market for Airbnb to move into. Especially with the new massive amount of money the service could be using this to expand to other verticals. Of course, this would be competition for Getaround, a car rental community recently launched (and won) at TechCrunch Disrupt. Or Airbnb could just buy or partner with Getaround.
We’ve contacted the company for confirmation.
Update: Airbnb says it is thinking about partnering with existing car-sharing services and issued this response:
We are in constant engagement with our users and regularly send out surveys and conduct focus groups to better serve our community. After being approached by a number of car sharing companies with potential partnership opportunities and we sent this survey to gauge the interest in car sharing services amongst our community and whether a partnership would be useful to them.