Quixey Raises $50 Million from Alibaba and GGV

quixey logoPretty excited today for my friends at Quixey, who announced their Series C round of investment led by Alibaba Group with participation from GGV Capital and existing investors.

I first met Tomer and the team at Quixey in 2011, and have been amazed at what they’ve accomplished since then. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Alibaba since investing in the company in 2002 and jumped at the chance to work together with Quixey.

Why are we so excited about Quixey?  For starters: 102 BILLION.

That’s the number of apps Gartner projects consumers will download on their mobile phones this year worldwide, generating more than $26 billion in revenue. For a market that by all respects didn’t even exist 6 years ago.

The team at Quixey has a very, very big vision in which consumers are able to leverage the apps, data and capabilities of their smart mobile devices to the max. It’s also a vision that is decidedly “open” (i.e. not controlled by Google, Apple, or…) and focused on enabling consumers and app providers to deliver the best possible experiences to consumers.

Perhaps both GGV and Alibaba are colored by our experiences in China, but we see the market accelerating at warp speed to a mobile environment. Industry segments we don’t even recognize yet will be created overnight by companies we are just starting to hear about today. Uber and Instagram are perhaps the best examples to date, but there will be others.

Alibaba is one of the strongest technology and consumer companies on the planet, with an e-commerce business that is larger than Amazon and eBay combined. The company has an enormous strategic focus on mobile (see the announcement earlier this year that Jack Ma joined the board of UCWeb, a GGV portfolio company with more than 400 million users worldwide).

It’s going to be awesome to watch the Quixey team execute on its vision, now with plenty of capital and the support of Alibaba Group.

By the way – Quixey has amazing offices on Castro St. in Mt. View and is hiring!

amazingteam1

Q4 CEO Dinner: The Mobile Web

Last Thursday night in San Francisco, we hosted more than 40 of Silicon Valley’s top CEOs for our quarterly CEO dinner.  The theme of the dinner was the “mobile web,” and our guest speakers were Tom Conrad, CTO of Pandora (GGV portfolio co.) and Satya Patel, VP Product at Twitter.

My Partner Glenn put together a nice recap of the key themes from the dinner on his blog SandHillRdMeetsWallSt.

We also distributed a short presentation with some relevant data on the mobile / apps / Internet sector.  Much of it is data readily available on the web, but some interesting data that clearly outline the key trends (some of which Glenn talks about in his post).

GGV Q4 2011 Mobile Internet Discussion

View more presentations from GGV Capital

Now, Group Buying Gets Interesting…

Worth reading Inside Facebook’s post today describing Facebook’s new Group Buying Feature (pic at right from IF post).  As the post points out, many of the popular group buying sites advertise on FB, and  have tens of millions of users.  FB has >600M users, and >250M using the FB mobile app.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out…

New Post on Focus.com: The 3 Biggest Challenges Mobile Creates for CIOs

I recently responded on Focus.com to the question:

“What do you think the top 3 challenges are facing CIO’s and their IT staff because of mobile?”

Read my response, as well as the responses of others by clicking on this link.

GGV Mobile Commerce Dinner

We held our quarterly CEO dinner on Tuesday night in Menlo Park, CA.  This quarter’s dinner was focused on mobile commerce + mobile payments.  Terrific group of companies/CEOs in attendance (see below).  A few takeaways:

1) Belief that NFC is going to “be for real” in 2011, with notes of caution.  “Embedded in phones doesn’t mean widespread user adoption.”  “Will take time for users and retailers to embrace.”  “Most likely will see things other than payment as first wave of feature adoption for NFC – think of what Bump does for communication/collaboration.”  This last point was reinforced this week with Google’s rollout of NFC-enabled Places check-in kits.

2) Widespread discussion of how to create value for consumers and retailers.  This crew gets it, IMHO.  “Taking pain out of the transaction for retailers and credit card companies does nothing for consumers.”  “Winners will focus on how to create new transaction value for retailers and ease of use functions for consumers.”  Think – in-store advertisements, offers, prioritized payment options, etc.

3) Our straw poll of “hot company, not your own” revealed a number of really cool companies in the mobile space.  After several years of hope, it feels like we may start to see some scalable businesses built in the mobile business (by startups).  My bet’s on one or more of the companies at our dinner!

4) Like it or not, the “elephants” of the industry will play a key role – banks, carriers, Visa, Mastercard, etc.

Companies attending the GGV Dinner included:

Billing Revolution

BlingNation

Lookout Mobile

LocationLabs

BillShrink

PayNearMe

MopedPayments

PlacePop

Sparq

TrialPay

TapJoy

Trumpet

Dilemma

Vesta

Amazon

RIM

Dell

PayPal

%d bloggers like this: