A significant part of Russian projects are clones of successful or promising Western models. From the very fact of copying, which does not go beyond the law, the investor is neither hot nor cold. If the original showed itself in one market, then it is viable in another (recalls the classic takeover of Darberry coupon by Elena Masolova, the company from which the model was taken - Groupon).
H&F has chosen five unpopulated young projects, each of which Russian imitators may like.
People are buying more and more unnecessary things. New models of gadgets come out faster than the old ones have time to break. In such a situation, it would be nice to create a platform for the sale of second-hand things. But it takes time, which many do not want to spend on such nonsense, to post offers on the Internet, photograph the device and negotiate with the buyer about the delivery.
The authors of the Sold mobile app radically address this issue. The user only needs to take a picture, for example, an old laptop with a telephone, select its characteristics and wait for the price to be assigned. The system will analyze the data of analogues from the main online markets and assign a price to it. If the seller agrees with her, then the service itself will put the lot on sale. When there is a buyer, the courier will pick up the goods from the seller. The startup, created by three graduates of MIT MediaLab, received investments from Google Ventures, Matrix Partners and Greylock Partners, as well as from several well-known private investors, including Matt Okko (invested in Zynga and Facebook).
Startups using crowdsourcing, manual work and customization in various proportions and combinations regularly attract the attention of venture investors in the West. And while labor-intensive projects such as CustomMade are still hard to imagine in Russia, the Quirky model is quite easy to copy. It is based on the community for the collection and screening of inventions. If the idea of the subject finds the support of users of the site, then it goes into mass production (the company has its own small capacities in Asia) and is distributed both through the Quirky online store and through large retail chains, including Amazon.
Most of the revenue goes to the author of the idea. The rest is distributed between those who helped in its implementation: gave advice, offered options for name, design, etc. Quirky mainly sells simple household items in production, such as a flexible surge protector - in general, things from the category "I figured out how to improve this." In 2012, the company released more than 100 new products, totaling about 2.3 million units. Revenues for the year amounted to $ 18 million.
Another unfading trend is the so-called sharing economy. People share various things or services that are not used at some point - as a result, it is beneficial to everyone. The most famous example is Airbnb, a short-term apartment rental service. However, now the principle of sharing economy extends to an increasing number of areas. You can rent a car, bike, leave someone with a pet for the duration of the vacation, or pay for the execution of a small assignment.
For large cities, perhaps the most relevant is the Parking Panda mobile app. In real time, it shows whether there are free parking spaces nearby that other service users are willing to share. The project also takes part in ordinary paid parking lots, which inform about the availability of free places and even carry out discount campaigns in low load seasons. The company takes a commission of 15-20% for each leased through its service place. According to the National Parking Association, the paid parking market in the US is $ 18 billion per year.
ScoreBig allows you to buy tickets for sporting events and entertainment shows - concerts, performances, exhibitions at a great discount. Unlike other popular discount services, this is not just an exchange on which users get rid of unnecessary tickets. ScoreBig works directly with event organizers. According to the creators of the service, about 40% of all tickets remain unsold, but the organizers do not want to sell them at a reduced price - this requires additional efforts and adversely affects the image of the company and the artists it brings.
User ScoreBig chooses the ticket price for the event of interest to him. He sees a percentage that others save on average, but can try to get an even bigger discount if, for example, he buys a range for his friends or colleagues. But the price may be above average, if the transaction is completed at the last moment and there are very few tickets left. The company received $ 31.5 million in four rounds of investment. The annual market for indirect sales of tickets to events in the United States is about $ 20 billion.
Big Data is an expression that inspires confidence and is often used to impress in conversations about the future of a business. However, while intellectual processing of large volumes of information by software methods is actively used mainly in corporate solutions.
DataHero is a startup promising to introduce a mass audience that does not have special technical knowledge to this tool. It is enough to download the data in the familiar Excel format from one of the cloud services, and DataHero will build a visualized, highly customizable and intuitively controlled presentation of this data. The first users note that the application itself suggests in which form the information should be displayed, which aspects of it should be highlighted and which parameters might be worth adding. According to Transparency Market Research, the US Big Data market in 2012 was $ 6.8 billion. At the same time, experts predict a sharp increase to $ 48 billion by 2018.
Illustration: twins cartoon