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Former Mr Porter global marketing acquisition manager joins Styloko as marketing director

 

Orla Barrett has joined social shopping site Styloko.com as its new marketing director from Mr Porter.

Barrett was Mr Porter’s first marketing hire and has now been tasked with establishing Styloko as a global fashion destination.

With more than a decade of marketing experience behind her, having also served as a product marketing manager for Google, Barrett’s expertise in building a luxury brand, social media, and digital marketing strategies are hoped to be an asset to the brand as it looks to communicate its offering to customers.

“Orla is a fantastic addition to the team. With a background in fashion as well as technology she immediately understood our vision…Orla’s role will be to find innovative ways to introduce more shoppers to the convenience of the Styloko experience,” commented Styloko co-founder Ivailo Jordanov.

Barrett added: “As a self-confessed techy and Google alumni, Styloko’s innovative technology really appealed to me, and from a marketing perspective it’s always exciting to promote a product which is truly the first within its field. Following my experience of launching Mr Porter this role provides a fresh challenge and I look forward to communicating Styloko’s visionary features to a new audience.”

Brett invited to attend Hy! Berlin

 

Brett invited to attend Hy! Berlin

hy! brings together 150 creators who push boundaries in technology & media. They will engage in powerful dialogue in a laid-back atmosphere while discovering Berlin.

Attendees will include Charles Adler (Kickstarter), Jawed Karim (YouTube), Renaud Visage (Eventbrite), Travis Kalanick (Uber), Francis Pedraza (Everest) and many more.

This summer, hy! welcomes special guests including young entrepreneurs and high profile players in the national and international start-up scene as well as the leaders of European businesses and politics. The three-day event commences on Sunday, June 2nd with a live show for the public, and then becomes an invitation-only summit for 150 pioneers of the start-up scene.

From June 2nd to the 4th hy! Berlin’s main focus is the creative digitisation of the European ecosystem. The diverse program of the opening show on Sunday reflects this principle and offers the audience not only captivating discussions, but also the trademark hy! start-up competition, including new and innovative industry players.

HPI appoints Madhur Srivastava as consumer director

Our clients HPI have recently completed a strengthening of the management team and Forsyth Group are proud to have assisted the company in placing Madhur Srivistar as consumer director with the company.

A new management team has been appointed at HPI, with Roger Evans as the new automotive sales director, and Madhur Srivastava as consumer director. http://bit.ly/12Aqsjv

 They are joined by Dominique Horton, who takes the role of chief financial officer, and new head of industry relations, Barry Shorto.

Evans has previously held a number of senior positions, including director of business development and European sales manager for Avis Rent-a-Car, head of developments at the AA, and director of sales North America for Europcar.

E-commerce expert Srivastava joins HPI after founding pay-to-bid auction site, Madbid in 2008. In his role as operations director, Madhur oversaw the growth of Madbid which achieved a turnover of £10-12 million within three years.

In addition to five years in specialist claims management, Horton worked in manufacturing, distribution and utilities industries.

Shorto, who has been with HPI for more than nine years, will be responsible for developing relationships with influencers across the motor, finance and insurance industries as well as with key government representatives.

Congratulations to the fabulous team from TransferWise

P2P Currency Exchange TransferWise Raises $6M Led By Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, With Participation From SV Angel, Others

http://bit.ly/14kjjox

Steve O’ Hear

 

 

Here’s some encouraging news for the European startup scene, and London in particular.TransferWise, the online currency exchange that uses the crowd to undercut traditional money transfer services, has announced that it’s closed a $6 million series A round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures — the first investment in Europe by the PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor’s international fund.

We also understand that Ron Conway’s SV Angel has joined this round, along with a small number of angels, and TransferWise’s existing backers IA Ventures, Index, Seedcamp, and TAG. This brings the total raised by the company to $7.35 million since its launch just two years ago.

Originally billing itself as the “Skype of money transfer,” TransferWise enables individuals and businesses to send money between countries for a fraction of the price that banks and others charge, using a peer-to-peer, “crowdsourced” model — where money destined for transfer doesn’t unnecessarily actually leave each country. It passes on these saving by charging a small flat fee per transfer.

(It’s the P2P element that playfully draws the Skype comparison, as well as the fact that TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus was the Internet calling giant’s first employee, while other members of his team also worked at the company.)

The company also pitches itself as the preferred method of money transfer for European startups, recently garnering some decent PR with an offer to waive the fees for a total of $100 million worth of international money transfers for qualifying startups using the TransferWise platform. Interestingly, Thiel was one of a host of names publicly endorsing the campaign, so we probably should have known something was going down.

Hinrikus tell me that the new funding will enable TransferWise to continue expanding, both in terms of the number of currencies it plans to support, and in raw head-count. It started out offering British Pound and Euro transfers, and has since added support for the U.S. Dollar, Swiss Franc, Polish Zloty, and Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Krone. In total, the company claims to have transferred over £125m worth of customers’ money, saving £5 million-plus in banking fees (though it isn’t without competition). Meanwhile, the team has grown to 33 members of staff.

“There’s another dozen currencies to be launched this year and 20 more people needed in the team,” says Hinrikus. “Also we need to launch locally in key European markets – Germany, France and Spain.” Hinrikus says TransferWise continues to grow between 20-30 percent a month, which to date equals roughly 10x year-on-year growth. “Doing what’s in the pipeline puts us on track to do another 5-10x this year,” he says.

Staying on message, London-based TransferWise (with an office also in Tallinn, Estonia) is now calling itself a Tech City startup. Tech City, headed up by Joanna Shields, ex-Google, AOL/Bebo, and most recently Facebook’s head of EMEA operations, is the UK government’s re-branding of the London tech scene and, specifically, East London’s “Silicon Roundabout” area.

Cue the now prerequisite statement from Shields: “Transferwise is a shining example of the successful businesses that make Tech City a thriving ecosystem. London has a real strength in financial services and technology, with many companies like Transferwise transforming financial services for consumers, for the better.”

That said, TransferWise’s HQ is on Shoreditch High Street, which doesn’t get any more Silicon Roundabout than that. And certainly, a $6 million series A is no mean feat for a European startup, and nor is attracting a top tier Silicon Valley investor like Peter Thiel.

 

 


 

23snaps, The Facebook For Families, Flicks The Monetization Switch With Printed Photo Books

Congratulations to our client 23snaps with their first mover advantage.

23snaps, one of a number of mobile apps that target parents who want to share photos, videos and updates of their children within a private social network, has flicked the monetization switch today. It’s launched an on-demand printing feature within the app to let users turn their uploaded photos into a physical printed product — both photo books and individual prints.

Available for both iOS and Android, as well as a web-based version, we’ve previously described 23snaps as like a Facebook for families, even down to its look and feel.

You begin by setting up profiles of your children in the app and optionally adding your partner, who can also have posting privileges, as well as any other friends or family members you want to privately share content with. You can then upload photos, enter height and weight measurements at various stage of your child’s development, and add status updates to record those special moments, which will be enjoyed by close family and friends but might otherwise be considered as over sharing within an uber-social network like Facebook.

This content then shows up in your news feed and the news feed of those who you have chosen to share with. In addition, those friends and family members receive real time mobile or email notifications when you add a new update. To that end, 23snaps says that photo and video uploads have an engagement rate of 90% (meaning that on average, 90% of a user’s connections will in some way engage with every piece of content they post), which it claims compares to Facebook’s 10% engagement on an individual’s posts. In addition, the average open rate of 23snaps email updates is said to be 70%, while the startup has passed 1 million items shared since launch.

More details on how the new printing feature works: Users tap the print button and choose to print individual pictures or a photo book comprised of selected pictures, specific collections or favourites. They then choose to have their photos and albums sent to themselves or directly to friends and family. The “high quality” photo book (worldwide) starts at a minimum of 24 photos for £15 and prints (U.S. and UK-only) start at £6 for 20 photos.

Based in London, 23snaps was founded in January 2012 by Ivailo Jordanov and Yury Tereschenko. Jordanov was previously Head of Product at Espotting, a search service acquired by Findwhat in 2004. He also co-founded Zoomf.com, later acquired by UK newspaper Trinity Mirror. In 2009, he joined financial company Avans.bg in Bulgaria, where he still serves as advisor and board member. Tereschenko and Jordanov also both later co-founded the UK shopping company Styloko.

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