Sunday, December 26, 2010

Portfolio Update Part 2

Continuing my little 2010 portfolio review (here's part 1), the next stop after San Francisco (Zendesk), Vancouver (Clio) and Berlin (Momox) is Edinburgh, home of FreeAgent Central. By launching a flurry of innovative new features such as multi-currency support or project profitability analysis, in 2010 the FreeAgent team has shown again who's setting the bar for online accounting. An incredibly powerful yet simple-to-use application is what 1000s of users love us for (as well as the press), and is the reason why we've won a Software Satisfaction Award for the second year. And there's more to come. 2010 has been a big year for the company in other ways as well: In March we announced that we've taken a minority investment from and entered into a strategic partnership with IRIS, the leading supplier of software for accountancy practices in the UK with over 14,000 practice customers (50% market share!). Kudos and a huge thank you go to Ed, Roan, Olly and everyone else at FreeAgent Central.

The next portfolio company takes me to Tokyo. Konnichi wa, myGengo. myGengo is a pretty recent investment of mine which I've done about half a year ago together with Dave McClure and other angel investors. myGengo is a crowdsourcing marketplace for human translations – think Amazon Mechanical Turk for translations. myGengo connects people who need translations with qualified translators in a way that's much more efficient than it used to be and thus allows it to offer high-quality translations done by certified translators at affordable prices. Thanks to this very clever idea, extremely strong execution and lots of innovations (like an iPhone translation service and a very smart API), as well as a rapidly growing list of language pairs, my Gengo has more than doubled translation volume and revenues in every quarter this year. Even so, the young startup is of course just scratching the surface of the huge, multi-billion dollar translation industry, which makes me extremely excited about the opportunity ahead. Thank you very much and doumo arigatou gozaimasu, Rob and Matt.

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