Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Tale Of Two Physical World Connectors

Two physical world connection companies...........going in opposite directions?

I have talked about Scanbuy numerous times and their application that allows a camera phone to link to the Internet via 2d bar code. Two major announcements today in the PWC space have me wondering if a clear leader is emerging.

Scanbuy, Inc. , a global provider of wireless commerce solutions, today announced the recent hiring of industry veteran Jonathan Bulkeley as Chief Executive Officer. The company also announced that it completed $9 million in Series B financing. Longworth Venture Partners, Masthead Venture Partners and Hudson Venture Partners led the round, with participation from existing angel investors.

Bulkeley was previously the CEO of barnesandnoble.com, growing sales from $71 million to over $200 million, and overseeing its IPO, which at the time was the largest Internet IPO in history. Prior to bn.com, Bulkeley served as Managing Director of AOL's joint venture with Bertelsmann Online in the U.K. and as AOL’s Vice President of Business Development in the U.S

Bulkeley currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Readers Digest Association, and Spark Networks, PLC. He also served on the Board of Directors of IGN Entertainment which was sold to News Corporation last year.

The funds will escalate growth of Scanbuy’s go-to-market efforts, extend its standard 1D and 2D bar code technology leadership in mobile marketing

Opposite directions? ........

Scanbuy's announcement comes on the same day that the other major U.S. Physical World Connection player NeoMedia Technologies, announces that their CEO, President and Board member Charles Jensen resigned.

The company also announced a series of cost-cutting measures, including across-the-board salary reductions for the company's senior-level executives.

Going on 3 years, NeoMedia has been involved in a patent infringment suit against Scanbuy.

"We are seeing huge growth in the mobile marketing arena worldwide and Scanbuy is the clear leader in making it easy for consumers to fully utilize these enhanced services via their wireless phones," said Steve Smith of Masthead Venture Partners.

"We are thrilled to have Jonathan Bulkeley leading the Scanbuy team. His experience, vision and credibility are exactly what the company and the industry need to bring this technology to the mass market," said Nilanjana Bhowmik, partner at Longworth Venture Partners.

It appears there has been a dramatic shift in the physical world connection playing field.

The ponder in me wonders if innovation instead of litigation would have allowed quicker adoption.

Thoughts comments?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some companies would rather be patent trolls than developers.

Anonymous said...

Is Scanbuy going to launch a major push of their software?

Scott Shaffer said...

Scanbuy has launched their platform outside the US.

Anonymous said...

The Pondering Primate
Perturbs and Perplexes
the Pumping Plebeians.

Ya gotta love it!

Anonymous said...

The Pondering Primate
Perturbs and Perplexes
the Pumping Plebeians.

Ya gotta love it!

Anonymous said...

And what, exactly, has Scanbuy done that a million other companies couldn't easily do?

The real problem is that Scanbuy has NOT solved the real problem here, which anybody who has followed the market understands: make it possible for the standard cell phone camera to decode linear bar codes.

All Scanbuy seems to bring to the table, as best I can make out, is an application that hooks SOME bar code numbers to content. This is hard?

Beyond that, as far as I can see, it seems to be all marketing hype, and a pretense that Scanbuy can do a lot more than it can really deliver. Other companies seem to be more candid about their limitations.

This is an admirable thing? For this Scanbuy should be awarded with this market?