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Wavemarket – Profile

February 10, 2005

HQ: Emeryville, CA
Founded: 2000, but company was in stealth mode until 2002.
Management: Founder/CEO is Tasso Roumeliotis who previously was a Principal at Claridge, the Bronfman family operating and investing vehicle in the wireless and media industries. This is an outfit that we’ve never heard of.
Investors: In February 2004, Wavemarket raised $9.4M in Series B led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Blue Run Ventures (previously Nokia Venture Partners), Intel Capital, MyQube/Telecom Italia Mobile, and Granite Ventures. Series A was an $8M round in 2002, which included big-hitter angels Sandy Robertson,­ founder of Robertson Stephens; Pete Higgins,­ former Group VP and Office of President at Microsoft; and Keith Grinstein, Vice Chairman of Nextel.
Business Model: Company stakes its turf as “location-based alerts and blogging.” However, it has clearly been flailing in the wilderness for a business model. When it was founded in 2000, blogging was not a trend so its turf then was “database technology for mobile location-based applications.” The company’s showcase deals appear fairly random – from the Supernating Superdudes to the Seoul Metro Police Agency to Itchy Media. Recently the company launched a consumer brand called Crunkie. It’s a mapping application for cell phones that allows users or “SmartMobs” to post location based pictures and share with friends. The application is new, and so far hasn’t taken off, but is getting a smattering of good reviews. One of the benefits is the potential for parents to virtually fence their kids – we guess that means they want to know when their teenagers head to the Tenderloin to cop some crank.
<img alt="wavemarket phone.gif" src=" phone.gif" width="150" height="274" border="0" /
Competitors: Hvem er ibyen.
Dirt: We like this space and think that Wavemarket can go places, especially if their investors help out. But it won’t be easy to kick-start the marketplace. They need to develop a new habit among a broad range of users. It will take time.


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