£15m in 7 months?

A great story in yesterday’s Sunday Times…

One Jamie True, who is 35 and nauseatingly good looking, and his 24 year old CEO Alistair Crane, are set to sell their company, Grapple Mobile, for more than £15m. They have received many unsolicited bids. The company was set up 7 months ago. They make Apps (mobile device applications) for smartphones, made by the likes of Apple and Blackberry.

A number of things struck me as salient about Grapple’s story –

1. Grapple Mobile have proprietary software to allow them to make the apps in “days”. This looks like a USP to me – why a customer should choose them over other apps designers. It’s why Boeing made 50% return-on-sales for decades with their 747 – no one else could make a plane so big (read “efficient”). They dominated the market. They had a monopoly (which is not illegal).

2. Grapple work with big advertising and marketing agencies to develop apps for the agencies’ clients. This is a great route to market – offer your USP not directly to your customers, do it through a third party (in this case the agencies) who already have access to your target market, yet cannot offer what you can. But how do you get into big advertising and marketing agencies? Read on…

3.  Grapple Mobile is chaired by Jon Claydon, a “veteran advertising executive”. That’s the icing on the cake.

A great USP, a clever route to market and an insider to make it all work.

I hope Jamie True and Alistair Crane get their £15m.

They deserve it.

 

, , , , , , ,

2 Responses to £15m in 7 months?

  1. Jules Ehrhardt December 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Interesting points. If I could provide some industry perspective…

    1. Grapple Mobile have proprietary software to allow them to make the apps in “days”. This looks like a USP to me – why a customer should choose them over other apps designers. It’s why Boeing made 50% return-on-sales for decades with their 747 – no one else could make a plane so big (read “efficient”). They dominated the market. They had a monopoly (which is not illegal).

    >>>> None of these one-easy-step multi-device solutions work gracefully and everyone is still piling into either iOS or Android development as a result. Grapple’s solution is perfect for little brochure apps, but you cannot create true media rich immersive experiences that respect the specific device UI. Brands looking for meaningful engagement are not looking for generic web style solutions. If anything HTML5 as a technology offers a glimpse into this one stop future. So Grapple are not going to dominate.

    2. Grapple work with big advertising and marketing agencies to develop apps for the agencies’ clients. This is a great route to market – offer your USP not directly to your customers, do it through a third party (in this case the agencies) who already have access to your target market, yet cannot offer what you can. But how do you get into big advertising and marketing agencies? Read on…

    >>>> This is the most horrible situation to be put in. Little or no access to the end client and a whole world of agency crap sitting between you and the person making decisions about the project or app you are delivering. Big ad and marketing agencies are pretending to their clients they ‘do’ apps and then call a development house. Its a nightmare of pretence and inefficiency. Trick is that brands are now going straight to the dev houses direct and avoiding the big agencies and their big fees. The world is changing.

    3. Grapple Mobile is chaired by Jon Claydon, a “veteran advertising executive”. That’s the icing on the cake.

    >>>> Used to work for him. The world and industry he knows and bought his sports cars off the back of is dying and the game is turned on his head. People in the old ad/marketing game are too rooted in bill boards, tv and web. He will of course have good old world contacts.

    At the end of the day, the £15 million pound bid article and the way it was written smelt of a plant by a friendly journalist to drive a negotiation or discussion. You’d be patently insane to pay £15M for a delivery solution or model that the market has paid little attention to.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention £15m in 7 months? - Pearls Of Leadership Wisdom -- Topsy.com - August 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Nugent, Choice Online . Choice Online said: RT @DrMarkNugent Jamie True and Alistair Crane . Grapple Mobile #smartphoneapps http://bit.ly/alFDpl […]

Leave a Reply