PinchMedia – first investment in the mobile spacePortfolio
W Media Ventures has so far shied away from investments in the mobile space, partly because of a lack of exciting opportunities but most importantly because the sector has lacked a few attributes that the Internet provides: multiple monetization opportunities (business models in the mobile space were until recently mostly controlled by carriers) and an open platform to develop on (talk to any mobile start-up and you will hear about the inefficiencies to develop applications for hundreds of different handset models). Thanks to RIM, Apple and Google this has recently started to change and interesting mobile platforms with attractive monetization options have emerged. So when I got invited by Chris Fralic over at First Round Capital to invest a small amount in PinchMedia alongside them and Union Square Ventures (which are two of the smartest consumer internet VC’s in my opinion), I was very intrigued. PinchMedia provides analytics for mobile applications so think Omniture or Coremetrics for the mobile space (currently, analytics are only available for the iPhone platform but will cover the other mobile platforms (Blackberry, Android) very soon). Looking at the incredible growth the iPhone apps store has seen in the first few months since its launch there are tremendous opportunities ahead for Greg Yardley (a fellow Canadian living in NYC) and his team – they have already built up an impressive product and now also the capital and resources to scale the business.