Thoughts on European Start Ups
From: cape, 11 hours ago
To get full benefit of the network effect of the internet, most web 2.0 companies have been developing an API (application programming interfaces) enabling others to use data and link effectively them.
APIs let software applications talk to each other, push/pull information, etc. It's how developers build third-party clients, apps for Facebook, Google Maps (GOOG) mashups, and more.
Now even the giant mainstream retailers are making their data available. For example, Best Buy, the giant US electronics retailer (and partner of Carphone Warehouse), just announced its own A.P.I., called Remix. Web developers can now draw on any information from the Best Buy Web site – product specs, prices, photos, user reviews – and port it over to their own sites.
The protective walls around information are slowly crumbling. Although of course the use of the API is carefully managed and controlled. In Best Buy's case managment of the API is done by Mashery on their behalf.
Mashery, is working with old-line firms like Hoover’s, Reuters, and even the New York Times, to develop A.P.I.’s.
As many companies have found, doing a commercial deal with a business partner is the easy part of the relationship, getting systems to talk to one another, accounting for the traffic and seamlessly integrating presents a more difficult challenge and one that diverts scarce development resource. This is particularly the case when you need or want multiple partners - sometimes in the hundreds.
San Francisco-based Mashery, helps companies manage their APIs
using its fully-hosted, scalable on-demand infra-structure.
The company raised $2 million in new funding at the end of June to help build out its product, add more customer support, and hire more sales and marketing staff.
.406 Ventures led the round; Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff participated, as did previous investors First Round Capital and Formative Ventures. The company has raised $5.2 million to date.
TAG has been invested since July 2007.
Daily Mail Online and Koodos have launched a major discount Fashion Boutique
The Boutique, www.dmfashion-boutique.co.uk, offers stylish women’s and men’s clothing and accessories at savings of up to 70 per cent, starting with over 2,000 styles.
The Boutique is integrated into the Mail Online website with its own look and feel, in contrast to affiliate deals where shoppers are taken off to the partner’s website to make a transaction.
The koodos proposition of fashion deals seems to be resonating with credit crunched consumers. In less than two years it has become one of the top ten most popular fashion websites, according to recent Hitwise data. Under the shared revenue deal, koodos is providing the Daily Mail Fashion Boutique’s product, ecommerce platform, customer service and fulfilment.
Product is sourced by the koodos team of European buyers.
The Daily Mail readers are affluent but savvy and love a fashion bargain. FeMail has long been a core section of the newspaper and has built for the Mail very strong fashion credentials. Readers look to the Mail for fashion advice and offers and launching an online store was an obvious development.
Partnerships of this nature depend very much on getting strong support from the offline media and decent placement on the partner website. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.