Google is going all-in on native advertizing

Content advertizing is something that the social media platforms have been doing best. Facebooks ad revenues for example are said be be 80% from native advertizing (content posts).

Now Google wants a piece of the cake. Or better to say an even bigger piece of the cake. Google (Alphabet) has started rolling out three new mobile advertizing formats. These AdSense formats go directly after mobile native ads.

AdSense native ad formats include in-feed, in-article and matched content (as Marketingland reports). Publishers can use any of these formats to add additional content to their websites/blogs/vlogs that is relevant to the user.  „Google is going all-in on native advertizing“ weiterlesen

How Amazon Prime Day will make you think twice about purchasing something in the next few days

Amazon Prime day is going into its third round. The last two years the exclusive sales event for Amazons Prime Members became one of ecommerce most important sales days of the year. Both larger and smaller retailers alike (who sell on amazon) cannot wait for this monster sales peak.

The overall growth rate of the Prime Day is impressive to say the least. With hundreds of thousands of deals within a time period of only 30 hours, these super sales are a feast to anyone who needs “something”. From clothes to tech, and all you need to join in on the fun is a Prime Account (which comes in at 45 EUR p/year).

Prime day will be bigger than Black Friday

At the top of the list of most hated days in the year (for traditional retailers that is) is surely Black Friday (or the online equivalent Cyber Monday). This sales event is nothing more but a cry for help for an entire industry that is battling their over-stocks. Turnover pressure has become tremendous, with investors wanting to see growth to cover for their investments. Retailers see very little alternative than to simply selling all of their over-stock at ridiculously low prices.  „How Amazon Prime Day will make you think twice about purchasing something in the next few days“ weiterlesen

EU Fines Google Over Shopping-Feature

The European Union and Google (Alphabet) have not been the best of friends so far. Today though, this latest EU-Commission ruling tops them all.

Don’t feel like reading: listen to this post (07:13 minutes)

The EU-commission has said that Google is using its dominant role to promote its own products once more. This time Google’s retail marketplace Google Shopping is at the center of the discussion. The EU is criticizing that Google is putting Product Listing Ads (PLAs) above the regular search results.

The EU-commission argues that this placement cannot solely be used to promote products that are listed on Google (or a service by Google). The placement should promote a wider diversity of product offerings. „EU Fines Google Over Shopping-Feature“ weiterlesen

Amazon Prime Wardrobe: Fashion Nightmare or Blessing?

With Amazons new Prime Wardrobe offer the marketplace giant will show retailers how to disrupt yet another industry. In the world of online shopping and fashion, convenience is a key differentiator. It is this exact customer laziness convenience that the Tech-Giant addresses with its new Prime Wardrobe Service.

In essence the service is very straightforward. Amazon Prime customers who order more than 3 pieces receive their goods without being charged for shipping. Upon receiving the cloths, you have 7 days to try them on. Whatever you don’t like you can simply send back (Amazon picks the returns up for you), again free of charge. You just keep what fit best and you liked most. „Amazon Prime Wardrobe: Fashion Nightmare or Blessing?“ weiterlesen

Is an ecommerce only strategy a good idea? Adidas think so

Last week wednesday I read an article on CNBC who did an interview with Kasper Rorsted (Chief Executive at Adidas). Rorsted stated that Adidas are looking to quadruple its ecommerce revenue by 2020.

Now that in itself is nothing spectacular for a company such as Adidas. However, he stated that Adidas will primarily focus its attention on digital channels. He went as far as to say that it would leave TV-Advertising behind entirely.

As much as I personally applaud the fact that a strong brand is willing and able to invest in digital as their primary source for customer acquisition, I find it somewhat troubling to focus only on one channel.

What makes for a solid marketing mix?

Now a lot can be said for digital advertising. It is measurable, the ROIs are plannable and its granularity is unparalleled. Yet one thing Rorsted said troubles me a little; “It’s clear that the younger consumer engages with us predominantly over the mobile device” (K. Rorsted)

„Is an ecommerce only strategy a good idea? Adidas think so“ weiterlesen

Facebook launches Collections on Mobile

Facebook announced that they will start to roll out a new mobile shopping feature called Collections on March 23rd. An attempt to streamline the purchasing experience for (Fashion-) Brands, Facebook focus on creating a seamless, fast-loading purchasing experience.

Brands can use a combination of video and static content to entice the user and bring them into their shop. The mini shop with up to 50 products is readily available within Facebook. Making the view to purchase experience fast and seamless.

Collections tell a more visual product story

Social Media are widely seen a source of inspiration for shoppers. In-feed ads and native ads are amongst the strongest growth drivers for small and larger companies alike. Native Advertising has caught on well in the last year, with over 50% off all US-Mobile adspend using this ad format.  With native advertising on the rise, content and ads blend in ever more.

Business Insider already reported the following in december 2016: Facebook’s effort to create Collections comes as it struggles to distinguish between high-quality content from established media outlets and the glut of low-quality, fake news stories that go viral across the social network. 

„Facebook launches Collections on Mobile“ weiterlesen

Google Shopping switching entirely to EANs

Google Shopping is one of the most powerful features Google has today. For many ECommerce shops, Google Shopping has become an ever increasing source of revenue. Whereas the organic search results are becoming ever less visible on Google, the shopping section is flourishing and Google has given it more importance in the last few months. 

As of June 20th, all shopping feeds on Google need to comply with a number of new guidelines. These guidelines are generally there to improve the shopping experience for the user and make it easier for those who are searching for a certain product, to actually find what they are looking for. 

One of the new requirements is the addition of an EAN number for each product that is being advertised. Whereas many of the larger shops and brands should generally have EANs for their products, this could pose a bit of an issue for smaller producers and shops. Especially in industries such as (ecommerce) Fashion, many smaller labels do not use EANs for their products. 

EANs are not a code that “you” can simply come up with yourself, but whoever produces something and would like to sell their products professionally, will need to purchase a set of EAN codes. This is not all that cheap and can cost a few hundred Euros for only a few codes. Hence, smaller labels and producers tend not to buy any. 

A workaround the EANs for Google

We have been in contact with Google regarding this issue and have managed to find a simple workaround for those brands who do not work with EANs. 

The most important insight that we have learned is that: if Google has EANs for this particular product, it will require you to use the same EANs in your shopping feeds, otherwise the products will not be shown on Google Shopping. If Google does not have any EANs in its database, meaning the producer or label did not provide anyone on the market with EANs, then an exemption is made. 

We could imagine that it could be that Google will start to contact these smaller producers/suppliers and request them to purchase EANs – yet this is merely speculative. For the sake of clean comparison, EANs are a good step forward for sure. 

Some issues still remain

When EANs are used, it does not necessarily mean that the product is 100% unique. EANs can be used across multiple seasons and variations of the same product / and how they are used depends solely on producer of the goods. Each producer are free to use a logic for their EANs as they please. Of course there are some recommendations and EANs are generally used in a similar fashion, but there is not one single institution that actually checks how they are being used. Google could be the first one to actually do so, next to Amazon / who have also been using EANs for years. 

If you need any help, and would like to find out if your shopping feeds fit all the right requirements / feel free to reach out to us at any time. We would be more than happy to help and have a quick look. Google Shopping can be a very strong part of your marketing mix and if you don’t take care of the data on time, you could run the risk of losing a large portion of your income for a number of weeks or months – depending on how fast your suppliers reply to your requests. 

Craig Wright reveals himself as Satoshi Nakamoto

FIVE months after Craig Steven Wright, an Australian computer scientist and businessman, was outed against his will as Satoshi Nakamoto, he says he is indeed the creator of bitcoin. On May 2nd he published a blog post offering cryptographic proof, backed up by other information, to make his case. Along with two other media organisations, The Economist had access to Mr Wright before the publication of his post. Our conclusion is that he could well be Mr Nakamoto, but that nagging questions remain.

In fact, it may never be possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt who really created bitcoin. Whether people, particularly bitcoin cognoscenti, actually believe Mr Wright will depend greatly on what he does next, after going public.

In December, after he was outed, Mr Wright stayed silent. So why has he now changed his mind? “I’m not seeking publicity, but want to set the record straight,” he explains. He says he called himself “Nakamoto” after a 17th-century Japanese philosopher and merchant, Tominaga Nakamoto, who was highly critical of the normative thought of his time and favoured free trade. (He doesn’t want to say why he picked “Satoshi”: “Some things should remain secret.”) (Source)

So why is this a big deal?

In essence it is a big deal because it will if Mr Wright is indeed Mr Nakamoto that would not only help to illuminate the origins of bitcoin—it could also have a big impact on the future of the controversial cryptocurrency. Mr. Wright could explain in a lot more detail the dynamics and his intentions with this new currency.

This in turn would allow others to take his work a step further. Many would love to see Bitcoins be traded as a regular currency and bring it closer to our every day usage. Bitcoins are used only by a small group of people so far, who have loved the idea from the start. The digital currency itself is still in its very early days, and many struggle to take it seriously. Maybe giving it a “face”, will make bitcoins more tangible to the common perception and open up entirely new opportunities.

Having launched the bitcoin project with the publication of a paper in 2008, and then the first release of bitcoin software in 2009, Mr Nakamoto stepped back from active involvement in 2010. His return from obscurity would most certainly change the dynamics of the debate about bitcoin’s future direction.

picture by Mark Harrison – The Economist

Rabobank supports Nexuslab blockchain startups

Rabobank will sponsor the first round of startups in the Nexuslab programme. The Swiss blockchain startup programme was initiated and organised by Nexussquared from Zurich.

The Dutch bank joins Nexuslab to support the first round of its programme geared towards early-stage European blockchain ventures. The collaboration adds leading financial industry expertise to the programme and further strengthens its international footprint.

As an industry partner, Rabobank will add its own experts to Nexuslab’s roster of mentors, contributing its leading know-how and expertise to help participants build and refine their business models and test their ideas against real-world requirements.

Harrie Vollaard, Rabobank Head of Innovation, said:

„With its novel approach to fostering startups in a virtual setting, Nexuslab has introduced an innovative way of enabling blockchain innovation. Rabobank has been experimenting with blockchain technology for a while, and by partnering with Nexuslab we can further deepen our own expertise in this field. This collaboration allows us to work directly with promising international early-stage ventures and help build up the European blockchain ecosystem.“

More information regarding the programme you will find in the original article here: link


About Nexussquared

Nexussquared is a Zurich-based business platform with a focus on blockchain technology and its application to business models across different industries. With a view to supporting diverse and broad-based innovation, nexussquared partners with institutions operating across the entire financial services spectrum and beyond. The founding Team of Nexussquared consists of Daniel Gasteiger and Daniel Grassinger. 

Daniel Gasteiger has worked in financial services for more than 20 years. Starting out as an FX trader at Credit Suisse, he later joined UBS to work with hedge funds and third-party banks promoting UBS’s business-to-business API solutions and Prime Brokerage services. In his last role at UBS, he built up and managed the Office of the Chairman as a Managing Director. 

Holding degrees in civil engineering and business administration, Daniel Grassinger has worked in real estate consulting and workplace design for more than ten years. He developed and implemented workplace concepts to foster innovation and collaboration for some of the world’s leading technology firms and other Fortune 500 companies. In the past three years, Daniel built up and managed AECOM’s Swiss branch in Zurich.


GANDT Ventures Mentors Startups in first Nexuslab

The first Nexuslab has kicked-off with a number of great and exciting Startups (in no particular order):

  1. Taqanu Bank, Norway
  2. ProofOfYou, Estonia
  3. Paymeabit, Italy
  4. Bittunes, United Kingdom
  5. Zeptagram, Sweden
  6. First Wallet, Estonia
  7. Caravaggio, France
  8. SafeBike, Germany
  9. WONE, Finland
  10., Switzerland

nexuslab will host its three-month programme, which will take place in a predominantly virtual setting based on a secure collaboration platform to facilitate tailored coaching sessions and offer on-demand training. Three weekend hangout sessions in major European cities will provide founders of participating startups with the opportunity to meet face-to-face and learn directly from successful fintech companies.

Throughout the program, the start-ups will be individually matched with senior level mentors and financial services experts to receive practical advice on regulatory, technical and commercial aspects of their specific business.

… This is exactly where GANDT Ventures come into play. As part of the Mentor Team around the Startups we aim to support them as best as we can with our network, a shoulder to cry on when things are not going as planned and share our tech-enthusiasm with the teams.

If you would like to know more about the Nexuslab Programme, or about the startups at hand, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Heilemann Ventures and Earlybird join forces

This morning Heilemann Ventures and Early Bird announced that they will join forces to bring their VC-Teams to the next level.

Gründerszene (link is in German) communicated this morning that both companies are looking to raise a 150m EUR fund in the next couple of months, to help drive European digital startups. Both teams will continue under the Brandname Earlybird.

The Heilemann Ventures Team consists of both strong entrepreneurs and investment bankers. Yet what brings both companies even more together is the current lack of technical expertise on the Earlybird team, with Ciarán O’Leary and Jason Whitmire (now Blue Yard) as well as Simon Schmincke (now Creandum) having left the Earlybird team recently.


How Heilemann Ventures describe themselves

Originally established by the DailyDeal founders and serial entrepreneurs Fabian and Ferry Heilemann.

‘As a complementary team of successful entrepreneurs and like-minded investment bankers we provide seed and early stage funding for European entrepreneurs in the digital industry. We are based in Berlin and well connected in the European start-up and investors landscape’ (source)


How Earlybird describe themselves

‘We are optimistic risk-takers who roll up their sleeves. Earlybird is an international venture capital firm that invests across multiple stages. Our companies have the potential to reshape markets and change the world around us.’ (source)


Earlybird Facts (date: 24/04/2016):

  • Total capital raised to date: 700m EUR
  • Number of funds raised: 5
  • Latest fund raised: 2014
  • No. of investments since 1997: 111


Our Heilemann Ventures connection

Heilemann Ventures were early stage investors in one of the endeavours of Remco Livain (Founder of GANDT Ventures). Back in 2014, Heilemann Ventures lead the Series-A round for MIFLORA, a Munich-based flower delivery startup (co-founded by Tobias Mazet, Remco Livain and Christopher Hadenfeldt).

The Heilemann brothers have build up a strong portfolio of digital projects and investments over the years and have been a trustworthy strong sparringspartner for the management team of MIFLORA ever since.

We wish the Heilemann Ventures Team and Earlybird all the best for the future and we are sure that this is a big leap forward – and we are certain that a great number of super investments will follow in the coming few months and years.

Our GANDT Ventures Services

If you need any help with your valuation or would like an independent person to look at the valuation that your company was “given” after a due diligence, we offer e-commerce due diligences for early stage startups and SMBs. We would deep dive into your marketing and IT-Setup, and assess the potential of your business based on industry standards where available and/or provide you with valuable input as a sanity check.


Feel free to reach out to us at any time for more information.