Thursday, May 10, 2007

What happens when David Soskin and co want to invest in your start-up

The Cheapflights chief executive and his chairman, Hugo Burge, recently invested $1 million in TrustedPlaces.com, through their angel fund Howzat Media.

The site is a pretty good social networking effort for London restaurants (already branching out elsewhere in the UK) and has been generating a fair bit of media buzz in recent months.

Howzat's investment was announced in February this year, a few weeks after its decision to invest in the WAYN.com travel social networking site, with Brent Hoberman and the founders Active Hotels.

Interestingly, one of the founders of TrustedPlaces, Sokratis Papafloratos, decided to keep a diary of the whole process.

It starts when Papafloratos and co-founder Walid Al Saqqaf met Burge at a networking event in early-December 2006, cotninues through the negitations, and ends with "biggest bank account balance I've ever seen".

You can view the whole diary on the Foundread.com website.

Here's a snippet:

Feb 1, AM: We launch a new version of our site. It’s a total refresh of the front end, plus a number of new features, like the personalized recommendations. Big exhale, then this: Hugo spots a bug in our search and recommendations feature (it had to be him!). Dima tweaks the algorithm, and tests and redeploys it – within a couple of hours.
It is a rather interesting journey - and a reasonably quick one by all accounts. Useful especially for start-ups that might be curious as to how getting some extra cash might work.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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1 comment:

Darren Cronian said...

Do you think that social networking has just gone crazy? Everyone and his dog seems to be launching social networking sites at the moment - I know why, but when will it end!