Since the summer of 2008, we’ve invested in a number of start-up companies. We’ve been looking for businesses that compliment our own, and specifically where we could leverage our existing assets and benefit from the economies of scale. As I’ve mentioned before, we look for people with a unique idea, who are prepared to work hard and who can build the product/service themselves. All of the following companies met that criteria:
Clear Books Limited
Clear Books is an online accounting software service run by Tim Fouracre. He’s a chartered accountant, entrepreneur and programmer and has been working on the system for 6 months now. We’ve been beta testing it for our Fubra Accounts, and we’re really happy with its progress. The intelligent bank statement import feature has already helped us cut down the amount of time we spend book keeping from 10 days a month, to 2 days a month! We’ve also used it to complete our quarterly VAT returns, and our 6 monthly FSA regulatory reporting.
UMPC Media Limited
UMPC Media is a joint venture between Fubra, Matthew Dunham and Steve Whiteley. The company aims to develop a number of web based communities, mainly in the area of Ultra Mobile PCs. The first site in the portfolio is a forum about Dell Mini PCs called MyDellMini.com
Niggle specialises in providing customer feedback systems for businesses. They offer a comprehensive service which spans both the online and offline worlds, with everything from paper based postal feedback cards, to mobile / SMS and online feedback forms. In a recession consumers will be especially picky as to where they spend their hard earned cash, and we believe the best placed companies will be those that listen to their customers.
Bytewire is a games development company run by Dave Heward and Elliot Reeve. They are working on a number of online multiplayer browser based games, the first of which is a Mafia type game called Street Crime. The game has been running for just over a month now, and already has 2000 players!
Renegade Games Limited
Renegade Games is another games development company run by Pete Zaborszky. The company is in the early stages of developing a number of projects, so watch this space for more information.