Venture Capital seedcamp Europe

24 09 2007

The winners of the first ever Seedcamp have been announced.The six winning teams come from all over Europe and represent innovative ideas that have the potential to grow into big businesses. They are Buildersite (UK), RentMineOnline (The Netherlands), TableFinder (Sweden), Zemanta (Slovenia), Kublax (UK), and Project Playfair (Scotland) .

No mobile, no video, no communities (almost). Good or bad?

“Project Playfair”

Currently still in development, Project Playfair – coming out of Scotland in the UK – is about “hypernumbers”. What hypertext did to text, they want to do to numbers. It’s a bold and fascinating idea, one application of which could be collaborative spreadsheet working were each cell talks to another cell on another spreadsheet held elsewhere.


picture-13.pngZemanta (from Slovenia) has created a ‘content intelligence’ platform to automatically enhance content, making it web-ready. The upshot? Paste in some text and Zemanta looks at it and then starts to add the most likely links to the text, which you can then edit (something a lot of bloggers would kill for no doubt). This kind of application exists a lot in academic and enterprise content management systems but hasn’t appeared on the Web very much to date as these tend to be very CPU/resource intense technologies. It’s a web service API not unlike Akismet in its ability to look intelligently at content and decide what to do with it.


(site in development)

Kublax syncs with all your bank accounts, utilities, even loyalty schemes like Air Miles and presents all the information in a user friendly format so that you can track your incoming and outgoing cashflow and start to really analysise your personal finances. All the key information (log-ins etc) stays on the desktop in hyper-encrypted files, they claim. It also creates a social network around your personal finances where key information is not revealed but the “crowd” can source intelligence on investments, savings accounts, mortgages, you name it.


Coming out of Sweden Tablefinders’ mission is to aggregate the world’s online bookable restaurants. It’s a marketing platforms for restaurants, but more than that. Normally restaurants use one of two global booking systems, OpenTable or LiveBookings. Tablefinder will aggregate those systems, allowing them to compete on a level playing field. The payment goes from the restaurant to one of the systems and Tablefinder is a partner, so will make an unspecified commission on the restaurant booking. Funding to date has been via a small VC in Sweden. The aim is to partner with LiveBookings and OpenTable, so expect an announcement on this soon. Eventually restaurants could place bids for table bookings in a similar manner as one would bid for Google Adwords and even – eventually – creating a sort of Last.FM style network which learns your preferences for restaurants.


Buildersite is designed to be a web-marketplace for construction services, providing homeowners and tradesmen with a trusted venue for transacting business. The domestic construction market in the UK is worth £10bn. Competitor sites tend to be about lead generation but Buildersite instead charges a success fee which is 5% of the project fee. This means the whole service can be free to the homeowner, and it can track bad builders and bar them from the system. Buildersite launched in mid-2006 and now has 3,000 tradesmen on the site.


This site connects owners and renters, through an online market place providing goods for the renter and capital for the owner. The idea resembles eBay but instead of purchasing, the model is based on renting.




2 responses

30 09 2007
Return on Effort

i need to know more about these companies , in brief /

10 05 2008
Colin Mansell

Just to let you know that the Seedcamp winner Buildersite has rebranded and relaunched as after a complete redesign and rebuild of the website, all under the watchful eye of CEO Ryan Notz.

We’re already the largest online marketplace to find builders and tradespeople in the UK, and we’re continuing to grow in line with the high demand of the market.

All very exciting in other words, please update any links you have accordingly, and let me know if you have any questions.

best wishes,

Colin Mansell
Head of Marketing

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