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E-invoicing company Tradeshift raises $17 million at $137 million valuation

From Russia with love: two Moscow-based investment firms have led a $17 million funding round for B2B social networking and e-invoicing company Tradeshift, valuing the company at $137 million.  The investors are ru-Net and Kite Ventures, with earlier backer Notion Capital also participating.

Tradeshift basically connects businesses – of all sizes, they’re keen to point out – to help them work together and collaboratively manage things like invoicing and cash flow.

Read the full story on

Bretton Putter joins panel on Stock Incentives for Start-Ups and Technology Companies

On Tuesday, 1 November 2011, global law firm Orrick will host a panel discussion on the current trends in the use of stock incentives by growing companies. The event will focus on practical rather than technical aspects and will bring together a number of experts in the field. Topics will include: current market rules of thumb for grants to attract talent; getting the valuation you need agreed with HMRC; trends in vesting schedules; cautionary tales on missing out on EMI treatment; and claw-back for leavers after the Skype controversy.

Confirmed panel members include:

Nick Thornton, Tax Partner: Orrick, London (Chair of Panel)
Tony Hindley, Principal: Valuation Solutions (ex HMRC Valuation Office)
James Lindon, Share Schemes Specialist: Orrick, London
Brett Putter, Managing Partner: Emerging Technologies, The Forsyth Group
Giles Hawkins, Senior Associate: Orrick, London

Rosemary Forsyth presents the Young Entrepreneur Business of the Year award at the Fast Growth Business Awards 2011

Asperity Employee Benefits named NatWest Fast Growth Business of the Year

Asperity Employee Benefits walked away with the top prize at the  Fast Growth Business Awards (FGBA), organised by Growing Business.

Asperity, which offers integrated employee benefits to over 500 of the UK’s employers – including IBM, Vodafone and BskyB – and over 1.5 million employees, picked up the NatWest Fast Growth Business of the Year trophy, after earlier receiving the Service Business of the Year award.

The company was chosen by a judging panel, which included Shortlist Media boss Mike Soutar and angel investor  and founder of the Forsyth Group, Rosemary Forsyth, in recognition of a remarkable year which has seen turnover increase from £28.5m to £79.2m, and profits rise more than three-fold.

Category winners

Nicko Williamson and Rosemary Forsyth

Nicko Williamson’s green taxi venture Climate Cars took the title of Young Entrepreneur Business of the Year award which was presented by Rosemary Forsyth.

Other winners included, who received the Innovative Business of the Year award; Ella’s Kitchen, which was named International Business of the Year, Aydya Ltd, which claimed the New Business of the Year prize and IT and technology consultancy firm Gibbs S3 was named Family Business of the Year.

Magmatic, creator of the ride-along Trunki suitcase, claimed the Product of the Year award, while P2i, which has developed a waterproof nano-coating for shoes, iPods and other consumer staples, emerged triumphant in the Best Use of Technology category.

Sarah Wood of Unruly Media was crowned Female Entrepreneur of the Year, after her company produced prominent campaigns for clients such as T-mobile, including a viral video spoof of the Royal Wedding.

The prestigious awards, which entered their fifth year with headline sponsorship from NatWest, as well as accountancy firm Smith & Williamson and the web-based human resources service Xpert HR, were announced last night at a gala ceremony at The Marriott Hotel, in London’s Grosvenor Square.

Explaining the choice of winners, Growing Business editorial director and FGBA judge Ian Wallis said:

“Fast growth in business is borne of ambition, innovation – and sheer guts and determination. The quality of entrants for this year’s Fast Growth Business Awards was outstanding across the board and made the final selections more difficult than they have ever been.

“Asperity Employee Benefits was the deserving winner of the NatWest Fast Growth Business of the Year. In five years the company has gone from a standing start to owning around 20% of its market, grew turnover by 177% in the past year, and raised profits 218% in the same period. That offers some insight into the calibre of companies we were judging this year – businesses that may not be household names today, but are the drivers of the economy and the ones the government is relying on to cure the ills of the public purse.”

Mini Seedcamp Barcelona 2011

Seedcamp will be returning to Spain for the second year running to host our penultimate Mini Seedcamp for 2011 . We already have two great teams based there, Offset Options and Robot Media and are expecting to meet awesome start up talents, upon our return to the fabulous city of Barcelona on 16th November 2011.

It would be great if you can join us as a mentor, please register here




Mobclix Acquired By UK Mobile Marketing Company Velti

Mobclix logoAnother one bites the dust. Mobile ad exchange Mobclix has been acquired by London-based mobile marketing agency Velti, we’ve heard from a source with knowledge of the transaction. We originally reported the rumors of a Mobclix deal last week. While terms of the deal have not been disclosed, we hear the size of the acquisition is north of $50 million. UPDATE: We’ve confirmed the acquisition with Mobclix; here is the release.

Mobclix’s exchange allows app developers to sign up with their ad inventory and ad networks, like Millennial Media and Jumptap, bid for the spots based on age, gender, location, and other factors. The ads being served change automatically, based on which ad network is bidding the highest to reach the users of that particular app.

The startup, which launched at TechCrunch 50 in 2008, also lets advertisers buy across a variety of apps based on demographic, geo-targeting, and behavioral characteristics. And Mobclix offers analytics via a recent acquisition of Heartbeat.

Velti, which is a public company on the London Stock Exchange, offers a SaaS technology platform that allows agencies and brands to plan, manage, and optimize mobile advertising and marketing campaigns in real time. The company says that in 2009, 2,000 mobile campaigns were run on its platform by more than 450 brands, agencies, and mobile operators in more than 35 countries. Velti has acquired a number of companies over the past year, including mobile ad technology Media Cannon and AdInfuse.

The exit is a little anticlimactic, considering that the names being bantered about with respect to Mobclix’s possible acquisition were RIM, Microsoft and other well-known technology companies. But the sell further reinforces the point that as Apple (via Quattro) and Google (via AdMob) take over mobile advertising, independent startups may not be able to compete. Acquisitions may be the best option for smaller ad networks.

Rumor has it that RIM is actively looking for a mobile ad network, and sniffing around Millennial Media. Nokia may also be eying a mobile network as well. Smaller mobile ad network mSnap just got bought by business software company Marketron. I’d expect to see more market consolidation as these independent ad networks continue to get snapped up. After all, mobile advertising is a $1 billion market and everyone wants a piece of the pie.
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