The fourth episode of Unfair Advantage takes us to Denmark as we chat with Klaus Nyengaard, the Group CEO of Just Eat. Just Eat is originally from Denmark, where it was set up more than 10 years ago. In the last five or six years, the company has seen a huge growth in internationalisation and now operates in 15 countries. Their currently run forecasts that they will deliver somewhere around $750 million worth of food this year. Klaus Nyengaard gave us a very detailed view on their internationalisation strategy both from setting up shop yourself and acquiring existing players in the market to grow.
Fortumo, the Estonian wonder startup continues its amazing growth. They have now opened up business in their 48th country, Thailand according to a recent blog post. Thailand is one of the large markets in South-East Asia with its 66 million mobile users. Interestingly enough, only 2% of the population is subscribed to broadband connections and while 12 million of the 66 million mobile users are also mobile internet users. Going head on with a growing, but still very immature market cna be flourishing for Fortumo. As internet usage grows, so does the requirement to monetise it - this is where Fortumo comes in. Furthermore, the huge mobile market presents numerous opportunities for Fortumo and its clients.
At the end of October we wrote about Blyk opening office in Singapore. Today they've announced that they will begin to offer the Blyk platform through Aircel in India. India has one of the largest mobile markets globally. With Blyk's focus on the youth segment, India is a dream market - 51% of the total population is young and potentially interesting for Blyk. Aircel is a Pan-Indian operator with a subscriber base of 48 million customers.
Culminatum Innovations has come up with a totally new program to generate better growth companies from the digital content and services sector in Finland. The program is called International Business Program and it has several stages. The companies participating in the clinic this year may be eligible for 10 000 euros worth of internationalisation services.
Zipipop (see our previous coverage) launched recently an English version of their "Mennäänkö yhdelle?" application in Facebook, now called "Going for one?". It's an application designed to make it easier to get your friends in the same place for a drink. Helene Auramo, CEO of Zipipop, provided us a bit more insight into the company's plans.
Helene comments it was clear from the beginning that if the application would fare well in Finland, they would produce an English version. The Finnish user interface has done the trick in getting the application to spread around, and it seemed right now was a good time to make the international debut.
Helene reveales Zipipop has actually used the Going for One? application as a demo for a bigger "Event Organizer", to learn about users' wishes and behavior. They were especially interested in learning how spontaneous small event organizing works with social media.
Then the obvious follow-up question, where's the money? Helene comments Zipipop is currently developing "creative advertising models" supporting the usability of the applications and providing thus added value for the users, as opposed to banner advertising. In addition Zipipop continues to make Facebook applications for other companies. Helene confirms Zipipop is profitable already, so seems they have been able to keep costs under control so far.
In the future Zipipop will be expanding into mobile. Going for One application is already usable on mobile, and according to Helene the main focus of development will be seen on that front. She also flashes iPhone as one of the target platforms, and the company is also looking into Open Social.
While the Facebook/social network sector can be a tough place to do business in, it's good to see brave activity there (and there are some good examples also). These days it seems everyone's up to creating different advertising models, though, but I hope Zipipop finds the correct mix. I also heard through the grapevine Zipipop has something to do with a Finnish technology consulting firm, who is among other things specialized ramping up startups and acquiring funding...maybe there's something coming up?