Wednesday, 31 December 2008


Kublax synchronises all consumers bank accounts, utilities, and loyalty schemes and presents the information in a user friendly format.
This enables easy tracking of incoming and outgoing cashflow and analysis of personal finances.
All the key information (log-ins etc) stays on the desktop in hyper-encrypted files.
Kublax also creates a social network around your personal finances where key information is not revealed but the “crowd” can source intelligence on investments, savings accounts, mortgages and spending proportions.

Kublax aims to put some 'fun' into managing personal finances - or at least remove the drudgery.
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Bill Monitor from Optimor

BillMonitor helps users save money on their mobile phones by ensuring they are on the correct tariff. The flagship service uses advanced statistics to identify the best price plan for customers based on their individual usage pattern, considering tens of thousands of tariff options available in the market today from UK mobile phone companies.

BillMonitor’s technology analyses historical usage patterns, predicts future behaviour, and suggests the best mobile price plans with a high degree of certainty that individuals will see real savings.

Because people’s mobile calling habits change frequently, BillMonitor uses predictive and data mining maths from Oxford scientists to anticipate future needs, recommending the best tariff plan and services early enough for you to enjoy maximum savings.

BillMonitor keeps track of usage updating users on a monthly basis ensuring they are always informed of their usage relative to the tariffs available.

BillMonitor was developed by Optimor Labs Ltd.

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Songkick aims to be the home of live music on the web.

Songkick is a concert listings site that has created a comprehensive database that tracks concerts as they appear on 16 different ticketing sites in the UK and the USA and across dozens of blogs. You can search the database and track shows and blog posts about your favorite acts, or download SongKicker, which automatically tracks artists you listen to.
SongKicker is a plug-in that pulls artists you listen to from iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Winamp.

Songkick makes going to shows as easy as going to the movies.

More listings are constantly being added to ensure that every single concert in existence—no matter how obscure the band or tiny the venue is listed. Songkick even index bands' MySpace pages to make sure they have all their dates.

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Image representing as depicted in...Image via CrunchBase is a network and information website which does two things:

  • It displays academics around the world in a tree format, according to what university/department they are affiliated with.
  • It enables an academic to have an easy-to-maintain academic webpage. A sample page on is here:
In December 2008, it had over 85,000 academic papers uploaded and more than 20,000 academics featured in the 'tree'.

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Seedcamp was inspired by Saul Klein in a blog post in February 2007.

Seedcamp it is a collective initiative by members of the VC community, serial entrepreneurs, mentors, and angel investors and was founded in the belief that Europe has the talent, the role models, and the capital founders and entrepreneurs need to succeed.
It aims to provide a catalyst for the next generation of great entrepreneurs and help them to take risks, think big, and succeed.

Participating in Seedcamp provides enormous validation and access to a world-class network of advisors to help with every aspect of the entrepreneurs business, plus a direct route to seed and venture capital

Seedcamp runs an annual event in London at which 20 finalists of a Europe wide competition participate, receiving intensive mentoring and gettting the opportunity to present their companies to an experienced audience.

The 6 winners are entitled to receive Euros 50,000 in return for 10% of their company.

If a team that is selected agrees to take the investment, the funding will be sufficient for them to move to London for at least three months.

The goal of this 3-month period is to help grow and nurture the teams by providing the same level of intensity and in-depth focus on developing the product and business.

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Dopplr is a free social networking service, launched in 2007, that allows users to create itineraries of their travel plans and spot correlations with their contacts’ travel plans in order to arrange meetings at any point on their journey.
Additional features include allowing the user to calculate the carbon footprint their journeys have produced. New features are being added continuously adding to the benefits of travellers.

The site is named after Christian Doppler, discoverer of the Doppler effect. The company is based in the Old Street area of London.

In 2007, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, described it in an interview with The New York Times as his favorite non-wiki website.

A survey carried out in early 2008 on influential technology figures by the Guardian Media Group named Dopplr as a company to watch out for.

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Launched in 2006, Mashery is designed to make it cheaper and easier for companies to build and control channels for web services than it would be to do everything in-house.

Thousands of software-driven companies are releasing APIs in order to become Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, either as a primary or secondary line of business. Although every API is different, the infrastructure to manage them includes the same set of challenges across virtually all providers. Adopting Mashery's developer management and support services allows API vendors to focus on their core business.

Mashery offers all the ingredients needed to get APIs widely distributed and successfully used – an API marketplace, tracking, metrics, usage/access management, commerce, security and performance tools.

Mashery’s customers include, Move, Cafe Press, LinkedIn, Lonely Planet, Freewebs, Get Satisfaction,, France Telecom, Netflix, Trulia and Sylantro.

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Glasses Direct

Glasses Direct, is an eCommerce Business that supplies discount-priced prescription spectacles. It was founded in 2004 when it created the sector.

It is also notable for the legal/regulatory attempts to close it down by several major bricks and mortar competitors.

Glasses Direct range of products has expanded rapidly and now includes many 'designer' frames.
The website is supported by a comprehensive catalogue and innovative techniques have been introduced to enhance the buying process.

For example, using the industry's most advanced facial recognition technology, its virtual mirror lets customers see what the glasses look like on their own face - on screen.

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DH Gate

DHgate aims to be a one-stop solution to purchasing China wholesale products online.
Its buyers are from the US, Europe, Australia and Asia–totalling to over 230 countries worldwide.

DH Gate has over 10 million product listings from more than 100,000 dedicated wholesalers and manufacturers from China.

DHgate offers a quick-and-easy online purchasing process in addition to offering a dedicated and knowledgeable customer service team. Its Trust Marketing and Escrow payment processes enhances the safety and security of wholesale purchasing environment.

DHgate is PayPal's largest client in the Asia-Pacific region.


Zoopla aims to be the definitive data resource for the real estate market in the UK. Covering all 27m homes, Zoopla's data sources include owners and agents who upload data enhancing the value of the database as a whole.
The Zoopla site is a searchable directory of UK residential properties, created as a mashup of Royal Mail's database, the UK HM Land Registry's data on property transactions, Google maps, Microsoft Birds eye view, and other data sources. The data is then presented in a read-write format, so that user generated content can "fill in the gaps".

Zoopla has started by providing free value estimates and sold prices on homes, allowing sellers and agents to list homes for sale and letting all users edit information and upload photos.

Zoopla's value estimates are calculated using a proprietary algorithm that been developed by analysing millions of data points relating to property sales and home characteristics throughout the UK. The algorithm works by comparing relationships between home prices, economic trends and property characteristics in given geographic areas.


Byteplay's flagship product, DotHomes is a Real Estate search engine.
DotHomes allows home seekers across the US, UK and South Africa to search over thousands of real estate Websites from one place. Underlying DotHomes' search mechanism is a Machine learning data-mining technology, which automatically finds property listings on listing broker / agent Websites, and extracts relevant information. This allows for extremely rapid scaling up of coverage, whilst still getting data directly from source Websites (as opposed to getting data from smaller aggregators).

DotHomes employs an advertising business model. It does not charge real estate listing brokers to have their property listings appear in the DotHomes search index. Instead it provides ancillary real estate services with an opportunity to advertise alongside the free "organic" search results.

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OpenX, formerly called Openads, is the most popular ad server solution when measured by number of publishers using it. It has 35,000 publishers using the software on 150,000 sites in 140 different countries and in 20 languages.

OpenX Hosted, contains the same software found in the original OpenX Ad Server, which allows publishers to completely control their ad space. This product allows publishers to use the software to operate all aspects of ad serving while OpenX provides all the hardware and back-end infrastructure, leaving publishers free to focus on their advertising revenues.

OpenX is an open-source advertising server that is licensed under the GNU General Public License. It features an integrated banner management interface and tracking system for gathering statistics. The product enables web site administrators to rotate banners from both in-house advertisement campaigns as well as from paid or third-party sources, such as Google's AdSense.

In Dec 08 Techcrunch reported very rapid growth for OpenX in both usage and revenues.

The company was was originally based in the UK, but has now moved its main headquarters to California with offices in London and Poland.


Wonga (the flagship brand of Quickbridge Ltd) provides small, short-term cash advances to UK consumers online. The company uses sophisticated risk and decisioning technology to make automated yet responsible lending decisions. Funds are lent from the companies own Balance Sheet. This is not peer to peer lending.

Applying for Wonga is simple and quick. There’s no paperwork to tackle or documents to fax. The service is online from start to finish.

Wonga is transforming the unsecured loan market by offering small, short term loans online with more speed, convenience and flexibility than banks, high street lenders and other websites. It removes the complexity and inflexibility consumers face whenever they need to borrow some cash in a hurry.

Its sophisticated risk and decision engine means the application and approval process takes literally minutes. The entire service is online and real-time and operates 24 x 7 x 365.

Wonga is serious about its commitment to responsible lending. It makes money when customers repay, not by continually extending a growing line of credit.

slang term for cash or money, used in the UK and especially in London (“A whole lotta wonga”). From the Romany word wanger (coal) - coal was sometimes used as a casual term for money in England in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Imagini is a London-based technology company that has developed patent-pending technology to capture Visual DNA, a means of understanding emotions through images. There are currently three patents pending for the underlying IP.

BBC has nominated Youniverse, Imagini's visual communication platform, one of the best sites on the web. Other media such as the The Wall Street Journal, PC World and The Guardian have positively reviewed Imagini.

The Imagini technology builds Visual DNA by collecting the feelings and motivations of consumers using image-based quizzes that identify and map visual preferences across a series of behavioural axes. The technology can be used to capture emotional responses to a wide variety of pictorial stimuli from aesthetic elements such as style and form, through to more abstract concepts such as freedom, happiness, fulfilment and love.

This visual approach differs from traditional text-based research tools since it taps into the strongest source of emotional reflex. Images access feelings without the need for higher thought. With Imagini image-based quizzes, users express their emotions in just one click.

Imagini’s technology has been used in collaboration with a number of commercial partners including MSN, the Art Institute of America, The British Army, Nectar,, PepsiCo and

More than 10m people have completed an Imagini quiz/survey.

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Netlog (formerly known as Facebox) is a social networking website specifically targeted at the European youth.
Netlog's success is partly due to the localisation which it implemented early in its development.

The site was founded in 2004 in Ghent, Belgium, by Lorenz Bogaert and Toon Coppens, and as of mid-2008 had 37 million registered users across 19 languages.

On Netlog, members can create their own web page, extend their social network, publish their music playlists, share videos, post blogs and join groups. Each member can invite friends on his page and thus create a link between his profile and the profile friends. The world record for the number of friends gathered on a single profile is owned by a Belgian: Ma_planete, who as of July 2008 had almost 12000 people on their friends list.


Spot Runner is an Internet based ad agency that focuses on making it easy and affordable for local businesses to advertise on TV.
Spot Runner is looking to change the television ad industry by offering everything needed to get your commercial on TV at a reasonable price. The entire process takes just days and is a fraction of the cost (as little as $500) of what it otherwise would be.
Spotrunner's web-based service provides the ability to pick and choose from its library of pre-produced ads and customising the spot through an online process, including the advertisers logo, voice-over script, and other company information.
Through its proprietary media planning engine, the service can also create customized media plans by using some basic information entered by the advertiser, such as their industry, target demographics and budget.


The Daylife intelligent content services platform offers a compelling way for any publisher to complement their own editorial expertise by adding fresh pages, sections, or whole sites of high-quality, targeted content with little or no staffing resources.

is an online news aggregator including a news platform based on the concepts of the semantic web., launched in 2007, is a showcase of the platform and provides access to a publicly accessible API. Initially known as NewsDB, Daylife is situated both as a news-browsing engine and a platform. This dual structure allows users and publishers alike a view into every subject, country, point of view, or topic in the news.

The Daylife service provides access to a continually growing index of all the articles and images of many thousands of sources, including established news outlets and blogs. The whole platform is fully automated and without human intervention. It uses various proprietary algorithms, AI, and NLP to derive all its data and output.

Daylife's Developer API, DayPI, provides programmers with a web accessible interface to Daylife's news aggregation and analysis service. By using the API, developers can ask rich questions about the news, and retrieve data that will allow them to build applications around the answers to those questions. Both free and paid access is available.

Publishers using Daylife's platform include: The Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Newsweek, SkyNews, CNN Money and Treehugger.


is the leading global fashion & dress-up community for girls. It has over 20m members and is presented in 17 different languages.
Stardoll is a browser game based around the paper doll concept. Launched in 2006, the website was attracting a reported 8 million unique users a month (as of February 2008), who dress up dolls using a range of tools and can participate in interactive activities depending on the type of account they use.


MoveMe is a website dedicated to making moving home really simple. It takes care the myriad administrative tasks associated with moving as well as offering opportunities to save money in the process.
MoveMe evolved out of a deep understanding of the process, the founders ran a concierge service hand holding movers through the moving nightmare.
The site is built on top of dozens of databases identifying service and utilities providers, local Government and parking regulations etc for every postcode in the UK.
Revenues come from lead-generation and sponsorship.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Astley Clarke

Astley Clarke has established itself as one of the leading on-line designer jewellery boutiques. It has a wide range of stylish and original jewellery priced between £50 and £2000.
Products are beautifully packaged and the company prides itself on its high level of customer service.
Astley Clarke is constantly featured in leading publications. The year of 2008 saw more than 100 press articles in leading journals covering Astley Clarke's products and service.


The Fizzback™ service solicits instant customer feedback at the point of experience and employs a unique artificial intelligence engine to understand the nature, sentiment and tone of comments.
Adaptive responses are generated and delivered instantly giving customers a sense of empowerment.
Relevant staff are immediately alerted, enabling companies to resolve customer issues quickly.
Senior management benefit from Real-time Dashboard, ranging from KPIs to verbatim customer feedback.
Fizzback has a roster of blue chip clients including: Carphone Warehouse, National Express, Marks and Spencer, Phones 4U and T-Mobile.
Fizzback has won a plethora of awards including Retail Systems Supplier of the Year from Retail Week and are rated a 'cool vendor' by Gartner.


Koodos has established a platform for famous fashion brands to publish their overstocks. Koodos features over 150 of the world's best known brands offering its customers significant discounts to the full retail price.
The brand is able to control the price at which they offer their goods, with Koodos receiving a commission on the sales made.
Koodos also makes its own purchases and runs special time limited promotions to its many hundreds of thousands of members.

Mind Candy

Mind Candy is one of the world's leading developers of
social multi-player games, helping kids (and big kids!)
around the world play and connect.
Its first game Perplex City required players to solve extremely challenging puzzles to locate a missing treasure.

Its latest game, Moshi Monsters, is aimed at young children and is growing very rapidly. These puzzles are at least mostly solvable by the average Venture Capitalist.

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Moo loves to print.
An on-demand printing company with a unique technology which enables every item ordered in a set to be different.
Famous for its mini cards, Moo has extended its range to encompass Business Cards (regular size, but remarkable in their quality, variety and packaging), Greeting cards and other stationery.
Moo has a strong, loyal and growing following who provide each other and the company with inspiring new ideas for formats, content and uses.
Based in London, more than half Moo's products are sold in the USA.

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Lovefilm is a leading European home entertainment company with over 600,000 active subscriber households.
* In the last 2 years, launched in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Germany
* Top 3 Most Visited UK Site in Entertainment and Movies
* UK's largest range - Over 65,000 titles
* World class partners with exclusive relationships
* Lowest-cost DVD rental platform in Europe
* Market leaders in digital film delivery with the largest movie download catalogue in Europe

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Digivate is a leading ecommerce agency which builds ecomerce websites, provides a fully managed service for these sites as well as offering marketing services such as email marketing, Paid search, Affiliate program managment and SEO consultancy.