Congrats to Christophe on Nokia exit

Great job by the Gate5 team on its exit to Nokia, altough a few of our peers are probably disgruntled at this outcome as the company pursued a dual-track strategy.  It happened to us last year on another opportunity, never nice to be wasting time even when chasing winners.  The terms are not disclosed but if the orginal rumours are still holding this should be a meaningful exit.

Gate5 was founded in 2000 and originally raised money from angels and Europatweb (remember them ??).  A management buy-out occurred in Jan-02 followed by a tiny round in Feb-03 and the key "relaunch" fundraising in Feb-04 courtesy of Innoven and Target Partners (Thomas Balland and Kurt Mueller or Thomas Bleyer, unclear).

Valerie is trying to figure out why they went the Nokia route.  My two cents on this is that valuation and competitive challenges probably tipped the balance in favour of the immediate exit.  Why would Nokia pay up:

  • Location-based has been touted as the holy grail and is finally happening.  Companies like Tom-Tom are adding messaging capabilities to their devices; getting a strong software suite in embedded is mission critical for Nokia.  They have historically not been great at developing app software on top of their OS so acquiring is logical.
  • I am sure Nokia sees real value in killing off the OEM pipeline that the company has built and taking a best-of-breed asset away from the competition

Well done Mr Maire we look foward to the next one !

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