Posted by Tattletech on Oct 20, 2011 in Apps
, Smart folks
Friend of the blog and frequent contributer Geoff Casely has been appointed Managing Director for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region for NetQin Mobile Inc., a leading provider of mobile security and productivity applications.
Over the last 20 years, Geoff has led business development teams for numerous start-up and rapid growth companies and recently, he developed strategic alliances with major device vendors, operators, and key distribution channel partners as vice president of global business development for Nimbuzz. So clearly, Geoff is the man. We will be checking in with him in a few weeks to see how things are going and get some of his thoughts on new endeavor, so stay tuned!
Check out Geoff’s last post (and one of our favorites) on what we can learn from supermarkets here.
Posted by Tattletech on Jan 25, 2011 in Mobile
Nimbuzz just keeps on rolling and this time into 88 million subscribers in Indonesia with the world’s first push notification option for feature and Nokia phones. (about 400 million (Nokia) Symbian smartphones, which currently lack this feature).
You know what this means? This means that operators (can you tell this is operator news day?) can increase data sales and drive up loyalty with an innovative VAS offering that bring smartphone functionality to this large market of feature phone customers. This also means that Nimbuzz is rapidly becoming an generate new value added services revenue through Nimbuzz, which is rapidly becoming one of the first OTT communications app in the market.
Nimbuzz Ping is a push notification feature that allows feature phone users to appear online to their friends and receive a free SMS alert when someone in their Nimbuzz community wants to get in touch, even when the app is closed.
Nimbuzz Ping is initially available to more than 88 million subscribers across the Telkomsel (Singtel Group network, with a dozen mobile operators throughout the Middle East and Asia Pacific adopting the service over the next few months.
According to Gartner Research, the feature phone market sold 264 million new ‘dumb phones’ in Q3 2010 compared to 62 million smartphones, such as the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, sold during the same period of time.
Ping is free for users to enable inside Nimbuzz and complements Nimbuzz’s “always-on” product nature. While operators provide the SMS alerts, Ping drives up ARPU with a new revenue stream from the additional data use that occurs when customers are prompted to log in to respond to invites, chat messages, or shared files. Pre-paid operators who primarily carry feature phones can also benefit and compete in the market with offers such as Nimbuzz Ping to deliver instant gratification to their customers.
How does it work?
Users appear online and available to their contacts even when the Nimbuzz app is closed. When one of their contacts wants to reach them, Nimbuzz Ping delivers a free SMS message to their home screens, prompting the user to log in to Nimbuzz and start a data session to communicate.
The path to Mass Market
Its not the niche markets that operators and apps are shooting for, its mass market appeal and reach. Nimbuzz Ping is targeted to the mass market of feature phones and optimized to work on low bandwidth networks. Ping also allows feature phone users to stay connected while preserving battery power. — JH
Posted by Tattletech on Sep 1, 2010 in Mobile
, mobile social networking
, Mobile VoIP
Recently, Nimbuzz decided to run a blog series called “Demand more from your mobile”. And you know what? We actually didn’t realize how much you could do with your mobile phone with Nimbuzz. Sure, yea we knew you could chat and call – but then it struck us – that is just the tip of the iceberg. The fact is that today your mobile device is THE thing you use to connect to your network. We used to walk around with our ears to our mobiles, now we walk around with our precious thumbs or fingers glued to our mobiles. To us, this is why we believe that universal communications – now and in the future – will be via your mobile and via companies like Nimbuzz. In their kingdom, you have all of your “contacts” in one place and by “contacts” I mean those people you talk to, chat with across all the communications channels we use today – social communities, online communities, your mobile’s address book – yup that’s right – everything all together. I want everything all together. I want it all in one place, I want to be able to communicate with whoever I want, when I want, across any platform where my posse resides. Can your operator do that? I don’t think so. — JH
Alrighty, we waited a bit for the dust to die down on this one, but we just wanted to go on record to say that we don’t approve of public spats between companies – it’s pretty classless and does your consumers no good – what is the point of behaving like a guest on Sally Jesse Raphael? It just looks bad.
So what’s the 411 on the Fring spat with Skype? To us it doesn’t matter cause everyone has overlooked the bigger issue here – the long game of mobile VoIP or as consumers/users call it – mobile voice or wait.. free long distance, depending on which generation you ask.
I asked my mother-in-law and she says she is positive that “someone” has overlooked that it’s free so we should use it as much as we can before “they” shut it down. Interesting.
But, let’s take it back a step and look at what the frack we are actually talking about, if indeed we do know what we are talking about …. what is Mobile VoIP anyway? According to Nimbuzz, it all started when folks could make calls over the Internet (VoIP). And then well you know that old Internet caught on and you could get it on your mobile and then you could make calls over the Internet from your mobile phones (mobile VoIP), instead of via your mobile operator’s network.
So, we just asked Nimbuzz what they thought (and they told us, well to be fair, they told a bunch of bloggers):
Mobile VOIP is just a piece of the puzzle, which makes up the future of mobile communications. The future of mobile communications is a unified communications platform that gives users the freedom to have free and mobile calls, IM and all your friends as well as social networks in one place. And that means from any provider, anywhere in the world. This puts the user in charge of how they connect and communicate.
And, according to Nimbuzz, you can still talk with your friends and family over Skype via Nimbuzz. Their relationship with Skype remains the same and they continue to let people talk over Skype or any other instant messaging or social network, which ever they choose. Yay!
They go onto say: (we feel like jumping up and down shouting Yes Yes!)
Mobile VoIP is the start of something much bigger in mobile communications – and openness and choice are key components of this. Nimbuzz sees mobile VoIP as an entry vehicle to create the next generation of mobile communications. Delivering a unified communications solution to the mass market through the convergence of all the ways that users communicate today – chat/IM, social and online communities, mobile voice and SMS/text – for free.
We currently see companies battling for market share around features, but the future of mobile VOIP is not about SDKs, unlimited data plans, video or other individual features. It’s about building Value Added Services (VAS) around the user’s contacts or address book. Mobile VoIP is a true VAS. Nimbuzz believes in a global mobile community across all platforms, communities, devices and operators that gives users the ability to choose how they communicate. Calls will be free. Revenue will be generated from enriched mobile communications for all industry players, including users and operators. Simply put, it will become as ubiquitous as talking face-to-face at the same cost, free.
I think that is something my mother-in-law could get behind. – JLH
We get around quite a bit and when we venture out of our IPTV/Telecommunications cave and into the start up cave, we are always amazed by the degree of innovation we see in both worlds. It is a different type of innovation but you can see an agenda brewing in both markets.
We recently were in Dusseldorf (European Venture Summit) and London (TechCrunch Christmas Crunch) and realized we finally saw some true innovation – for us this means a couple of things. It means that 1) we can and will use it in our daily lives even if we didn’t /dont work/live in a tech bubble 2) that the technology or service will help change behaviour, ours and the world around us and 3) it just appealed to us as humans.
Without further ado or ridiculous narrative, here are our five start ups to watch for 2010.
1. Flinc – a real-time ride sharing system enabling spontaneous short rides in suburban areas. It is navigation software connected to mobile phones enables the user to find a car within a few minutes. We really like it and for so many reasons. It is not just because we think the two founders, Michael and Benjamin (ok so Benjamin makes us blush a little, there is nothing wrong with that) channel the best characteristics of entrepreneurs we have seen in 15 years, or because they want to build a sustainable business and change people’s mobile/driving behavior but because it makes sense. People didn’t like Zip Car for that matter when it came on the market and Christopher Colombus had one heck of hard time getting that extra ship. So we think its time for a change. Save gas, share rides, use technology to make a better planet. Just do it.
2. mmatcher - We are all about how local can you go and this start up out of Slovenia we think is going to nail it on the head. The core team is amazing – the perfect blend of technical and business acumen – plus their ability to make a true one page executive summary is amazing. They are methodical and have a secret algorithm that will even make Google envious. Look for them as they make their way out into the marketplace.
3. NimBuzz – They have a ton of venture funding but that is not the point – the point is that they are useful and practical and we love them. Free calls, chat and messaging on your mobile phone or from your computer. Hello? How can this not be a great thing. Launched recently in the US, we expect great things from our favorite regularly and frequently used application, even my mom and and dad could use this.
4. Ubervu - Big fan, huge fan of the startup from Romania (now London) led by the brilliant and charming Dragos Llinca. Why? Cause again, it makes sense. Tracking and following conversations around the web is like trying to nail jelly to a tree and this company solves that problem. And why is it a problem? Because we should all keep up with ourselves in cyberspace, plus it puts all of that chatter into context and gives it meaning. Meaning is good.
5. Alcosystems - Living in Europe now, specifically France at the moment, it is evident they are serious about drinking and driving. Yea I am a product of the early 80s so that term was barely in existence in the US at the time, but when you are driving here and its 13:30 in the afternoon and the Gendarme pulls you over and makes you blow air into a tube, you are pretty darned glad you didn’t stop for lunch and throw back a couple of Vin du Pays. This is why we think Alcosystems (you can also see them as they debut at MWC in Barcelona in the Sweden Pavilion (Hall 2, stand 2 F13) is a great idea. Alcohol is the third largest risk factor for illnesses and accidents and this mobile device will help you self monitor your own blood alcohol content and let you know if its safe to drive or you should just stay put and drink some more. Viva la France.
It’s here! The hot seat interview even I have been waiting for and I did the darn thing. Tobias Kemper, Head of Communications & Social Media, Nimbuzz. I love this company, yes I am going to say this outloud. LOVE THEM! Why? Well maybe because they are made up of some of the smartest and nicest fellas I have met in a long time or the fact that they believe in their product without being arrogant or pushy. Maybe it’s just the fact that they have a good product and it works. Well we caught up with Tobias at Plugg before he jetted off to Japan for holiday and here is what we got.
Tattletech: What is Nimbuzz’s overall selling point Twitter style?
Tobias Kemper: The ultimate app to keep up to date with all your friends in one place. Best mobile social messenger for your hyperconnected lifestyle!
TT: Free mobile calls? We’re all over that. But how do you get around using the minutes from the wireless operator?
TK: We use the mobile internet, or Wifi to provide free mobile calls using the phone’s data connection. We recommend an unlimited data plan (which is the norm with most new tariffs), and your Nimbuzz experience is golden! No hidden fees, no worries, and arguably the best VoIP calls all over the world.
TT: Does your “Locate Your Friends” feature replace services like Brightkite, Loopt and Google Latitude?
TK: No, and it isn’t supposed to either, it is just one of the popular tools in our extremely feature rich application and can be used in conjunction with our other calling and messaging options. For example, it’s great when arranging to meet up with a group of friends and finding a location that will suit everyone. We are about openness and sharing, integrating over 20 of the most popular communities, and our Locate Your Friends solution is actually a Google Maps mash-up.
TT: We couldn’t help but notice that Twitter is not listed on your site. When do you expect to implement it into Nimbuzz?
TK: We are experimenting with it via the Personal Message feature, but it isn’t a proper implementation yet. It is coming though so stay tuned! We love the Twitterati and do not want to dissapoint!
TT: What has been your biggest technological obstacle and how did you overcome it?
TK: Scalability. We needed members to get the best out of Nimbuzz. We have now proven what we can do, a landmark for us was when we added StudiVZ support for 12 million users. To give you an idea of our current scale we are now adding over 600,000 new users a month – that’s more than one new user in less than four seconds!
TT: How does Nimbuzz stack up against competitors?
TK: We have a bunch of great competitors out there, and they were all there before us and pioneered the space. We are happy to have them help us build the market, and I think we have done an amazing job in setting ourselves apart, thanks to our loyal users and huge word of mouth spread! We also get massive uptake by winning peer award titles like Best Mobile IM app, Best VoIP app, Best Free app, Best All Round App from Top Mobile 20 and global recognition from Red Herring as the only mobile social messaging aggregator to ever win the prestigious Red Herring Global 100 award.
TT: Do you have any insider tips for Nimbuzz users?
TK: Yes, on the iPhone and iPod touch, you can use the landscape-mode chat from any angle, even while hanging upside down from a tree! Just in case you should ever find yourself in that position. Otherwise, for the latest and greatest, we send daily facts and figures on twitter.com/nimbuzz. Follow us there.
TT: What trends do you see among Nimbuzz users?
TK: The Nimbuzz iPhone app is huge for us in terms of popularity and also new users, but the Symbian client is still in the lead – they are both awesome products that I am super-proud of. We see massive uptake in Europe and North America, as well as in developing countries and Asia. Our Skype solution is used to near breaking point of our system, it’s insane. Especially when the US wakes up. We enjoy massive word of mouth, and 98% of user recommend the product to a friend.
TT: What do you predict to be the next big thing in social networking?
TK: If I knew that I’d be on my way to becoming a very rich man! If you look at the most popular new social networking tools simplicity is key – whether that be a short Twitter status update or a fantastically intuitive and easy to use interface whilst still doing everything you want from one place. People’s expectations are higher than ever so whatever it is it needs to live up to these demands, our users are a guiding light and we will continue to work on a product that fits in everyone’s lifestyle without a paranormal learning curve to adapt to first.
TT: What’s next for Nimbuzz?
Infinity and beyond! We are a mass market product for the hyper connected lifestyle and we are still building the market. We are announcing more revenue sharing partnerships worldwide (today we announced a partnership in Italy and will deliver the next über-app for Android and Blackberries. New features across the board of course and focus on usability. We listen to our users and we are on the right track. Check our new iPhone app that just came out, as an example, it is HOT!
TT: Who is your favorite superhero?
TK: The Big Lebowski – he came out of nowhere and is a “hero” to so many loyal, loyal followers out there. Cult status, and the complete package of style and cool, with an awesome soundtrack, too.
PS. Interesting PPT
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 23, 2009 in Cool stuff
, Red Herring
Now that we have a few spare minutes but before Plugg fades too much in our memory, here’s the juicy news on Nimbuzz, courtesy of the awesome Tobias Kemper. They have just announced a new VoIP app for the iPhone! The new app enables you to make free Wi-Fi calls to your IM buddies with a full dial-pad, AND you can make VoIP calls to landlines and mobiles wih Skype Out, as well as with their other partners Gizmo5, Vyke, sipgate and A1. The new app lets you see how much Skype Out credit you have remaining right on the dial pad, and if you don’t have access to WiFi, you can make VoIP calls to your Nimbuzz buddies using their dial-up VoIP in over 50 countries!
How does that work you may ask? Nimbuzz dials a local access number using their VoIP servers that will connect you anywhere in the world, for the same cost as a domestic call. Genius! On top of that, you can magically turn youriPod touch into an iPhone and make calls via Skype Out or usering a Nimbuzz VoIP provider.
Sounds pretty cool to us. We’re going to give you more with the upcoming Tattletech Hot Seat interview with Tobias Kemper, don’t miss it!
Posted by Tattletech on Mar 15, 2009 in Conferences
, Cool stuff
, Good things
, Intelligent Search
, New things
, Sexy tech guys
, Social Networking
, Start ups
, Web 2.0 stuff
, Women entrepreneurs
Tattletech was at Plugg last week in Brussels (that Robin Wauters puts on a good show) and it was one of the best events we have been to in a while. The agenda was superb, the speakers were excellent and the food was outstanding. The start up rally was fun with our audience participation paddles, but the majority of the start ups were not that compelling, with the exception of three that stood out WAY above the others. We are planning on having all three of them do a Tattletech Hot Seat in the coming weeks.
Here are the three companies we think you should keep your eyes on. (Plus one extra)
Jinni – Everything is changing so why not how we search for TV shows and movies. Long time IPTV industry veteran and former Oracle guy, Yosi Glick thinks its about time we re think how we search for movies. So enter Jinni. Tattltech saw a super secret demo of Jinni last fall at IBC and now the train is on the track as Jinni has brought its new search technology to the forefront. Blending both a social networking element with a more logical way to search for what you want to watch (a social search and recommendation engine), Jinni will change the way you think about searching for content. They will. Sign up for the beta online. Watch them, get on board now, this would be like missing the Skype train. Yes, I said that. A fantastic management team makes all the difference and Jinni has that.
Myngle - Learn a language online. Okay, so at first glance that may not sound innovative, but it is. It is because it connects you to the global marketplace where you are talking with folks that know that native language. Its interacting with them in a way you would normally if you knew a language, not the “phrases” that you normally go through in an old school language class. It’s e learning mixed with educational social networking and we think that this is one of the best ideas for applying elements of social networking today. Imagine the possibilities this could have on developing nations.
Global classroom, cultural exchange takes on a whole new meaning. Founder by Marina Togenetti and based in the Netherlands, this woman gives entrepreneur a whole new name. Winner of the Plugg Audience Choice awards and more than 20,000 users in seven months.
Softatutor – It is unfortunate that their site is only in German, but trust me when I say to you this CEO has his eye on the big picture. And like Myngle, Sofatutor is focusing on applying the elements of social networking to education. Sofatutor blends video with social interaction to create an online “tutor”. And the CEO, Stephan Bayer at Plugg 09 says that he wants tutors to get paid for their work – educational advocate. Nice. Not to mention the fact that if we did a Top 10 list of sexy tech guys at Plugg, he would be on it.
Now, also on our list is Nimbuzz who has won all sorts of awards and plans to become the gobal communications platform for IP-based communication between mobile devices and social media platforms. Watch for their upcoming Tattletech Hot Seat interview with Tobias Kemper. And rounding out the trip was the excellent conversation spent with two fantastic “personalities” we had the great pleasure of spending our breaks with – Nicolas Mertens (picture a young David Spade with the same sense of humor), The Next Web and Jeroen Mirck.