As you might have read in my post on “The Power of Introspection and Detached Analysis” after I sold Aucland I was involved with three companies in France:
- MilleMercis – an online marketing company
- 2xmoinscher – a Half.com equivalent for France
- Cityvox – a Citysearch equivalent for France
For the first two I wrote the business plan, helped fund raise, managed the site redesign and spent countless hours with the management team refining the model and figuring out the business. For Cityvox, I was somewhat less active but helped think through the business model and strategic options.
I obviously liked the business, the management teams and helped get them off the ground; however, when I started Zingy I stopped being active. By this I don’t mean I just decreased my level of involvement; I completely stopped it. I did not have time to talk to the management, participate on board meetings or anything. It got to the point that I forgot I had those equity stakes – I essentially assumed my investments had died with the dotcom crash.
You can imagine my (extremely pleasant) surprise when I learned today that MilleMercis had gone public on Alternext, the French stock market for small cap companies and had a 60 million euro valuation! I love watching the stock on Boursorama, the largest French financial information site.
MilleMercis inspired me to check how my other companies were doing. I am very happy to report that 2xmoinscher is doing very well – growing rapidly and very profitable despite competition by Priceminister, a larger player in the same space, eBay and Amazon. In fact 2xmoinscher just turned down a buy out offer at over 10 times my original investment. As for Cityvox, it is profitable and growing, has reinvented itself when it needed to and is poised to grow when the local search marketing market finally takes off.
My Chinese Internet stocks are also doing extremely well so I guess I am currently batting 1.00 in Internet investments. Sometimes it pays to be lucky!
Let’s hope the luck continues with the next batch of startups! In the meantime feel free to contact me if you want to buy 2xmoinscher or Cityvox at a huge premium 🙂