Marco Jo Rodzynek was certainly one of the most energetic investors in the TMT sector during his 12 years at Lehman.  Now, reborn as the founder of Noah Advisors, his energy seemed redoubled as he hosted a conference at the Park Lane Hilton on the internet investment scene in Europe.  Seven cross border players presented, followed by seven “customer-focussed winners”, followed by 11 investors of various types, all washed down with 15 “emerging European Internet Players”.  OK , no one spoke for very long, but they all had their slides and videos, we all wanted to ask some questions, and since we entered in heavy rain and left after dark having experienced all this diversity, allusions to the Ark and a future of advising on post- recessionary floods were well in order.  “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, he said there’s no more water, it’s the fire next time …”

I have a feeling that I may return to Marco’s picks (probably once a week for the next six months) but here and now it is worth noting a few trends exemplified by his contributors.  For example, you can do wonders by enabling distress purchases in a new and easier context (the tyre distributor Delticom is a classic example).  This company has revenues of €201 million and EBITDA of €15.3 million – there is margin in making distress pain-free.  Private club shopping is big business for impressive operators like Brands4friends, which uses social media techniques to create Germany’s largest shopping club, a success that BuyVip will seek to emulate from its Spanish base.  Local search and local advertising also featured (www.qype.com), as did software downloads, mobile phone developments, gold dealing and football  … and so much else .

More of that anon.  For now, it is worth noting that the German and Scandinavian sectors look very strong, that few things here seemed much tarnished by recession, and that the services sector online seems to be booming with entities that challenge comparisons with their traditional US peers and rivals.  And a long and happy future to Noah, for taking in a diverse crowd on a wet day, feeding them and providing a thoroughly educational entertainment.

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