Yes, it was the sixth Noah show in London on Thursday and Friday last week. The poet may have referred to them as “brokers roaring like beasts on the floor of the borse”, but seeing Europe’s investment bankers, VCs and PE funds filling three floors of Old Billingsgate (surely over 2000 this year) was a joyous sight. These people clearly love Noah, and the way they tolerate two days of constant bombardment is testimony to this: they eat and drink and meet and… roar at each other all day long and go to the Noah party at night, but from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm they absorb some 200 presentations on three stages in a positive orgy of claim, comparison, analysis and counter-argument. Presiding over this like a genial Godfather is Marco Rodzynek, and having attended these shows since the first in 2009 in the Hilton, Park Lane – only 100 or so people but the catering was excellent – I feel, from a TMT perspective, that it was almost worth Lehmann going down to get this show started in the sector.

Of course, much has changed. Huge global volumes of devices and users have altered the meaning of our early definitions of proof of concept and usage as a measure of success. You can now have sector and geography specific plays that command larger audiences than the global marketplace in 2009. NOAH covers Europe, with a strong flavour of the stand-out start-up cities – London, Berlin and Barcelona, as well as a useful input from the influential Israeli industry. There is also a NOAH event now in Berlin and I shall hope to cover that in 2016. These events are simply the best way I know of touching the pulsating heart of innovation in Europe, at all the stages covered from start-up to near-mature businesses looking for the next investor. Because there is always a next investment stage, and NOAH, as leading advisers in the sector, are crucially aware of the work-in-progress aspect.

I could generalize about innovation for the rest of this blog, but it may be best to give you a flavour from some extracts from my notes. Bear in mind that these come from a few hours on one day on one stage: I would hesitate before trying your patience with the full output!


Inquisitr Every service vendor now has a news service, from Google to Facebook Notify. This is a response to these new ways of presenting breaking news. Requirements – speed, luck and authority!…..
Mubi Quality -based video streaming. Began on PlayStation in 2007. Now in a JV with Sony delivering quality movies to PlayStation. Founder says it took 149,000 nights to become an overnight success!….
TeamViewer. Fremium model in which private viewers go free and corporate viewers (now integrated into Outlook) pay. Remote support software aimed at remote access, monitoring and sharing services. 1 billion installations, 20 million online at any one time, 200m corporate customers, 300 million accounts, 30 languages. Customer range – from a hospital group sharing images to an artist mounting a global exhibition of his work….
Pipedrive (a NOAH investment) CRM for SMEs. “aimed at the salesman and built for mobile use”. “42% of CRM software is never used” Gartner. Developed for people who never had CRM before. Estonia, and now US….
Scyti Barcelona-based global supplier of election software. 42 countries Online voting platform with 24 solutions ranging from registration to results tallying. Security is key element. Market worth $500m Has done 4 rounds of VC investment, raised $100m last time…
Deezer streaming music 6 m customers. 35 m tracks. Subscription model. Big business in cars. Some ads but subs is future 2007. Collects 240 m data points from customers daily. Sends lyrics. Download is dying, discs are dying…
SimilarWeb. Visitors and performance of every web service. Rank. Like Nielsen for websites .Not downloads but usage. Alexa but better and global. Multi source data…
Statista. Largest market research portal 20 m Rev 35% margin. Market research bigger usage than Nielsen, lpsos. Info graphics is marketing device….
Mall of Africa. ECommerce goods for aspirational markets. Address verification. 300 m middle class internet users on mobile. Amongst 1.2 bn people. Nigeria and Kenya as hubs… MoovIT, 90min. Israel
(soccer, user created)….
Badoo Largest dating social media? 270m registered users generating 40m messages a month. Transition from web to mobile. Founded 2007, profitable 2009…

Just a flavour, but also i hope an indication of why this is so fascinating, and why the wide differences between different styles of venturing , and widely different results in different geographies makes this important, not just for investors, but for everyone of us as creators of network – based services of some sort or another.

keep looking »