Mobile Investment Panel @ InContext2014

A few weeks ago, I was invited to moderate a VC funding panel around contextual mobile apps and the overall fundraising environment for mobile apps, at large. Joining me on the panel were investors who all have operational experience and quite a lot of experience touching various parts of mobile products: Gilad Novik from Horizon, Josh Elman from Greylock, Charles Hudson from SoftTech, and Bubba Murarka from DFJ. If you are building and/or investing in mobile apps, you should watch this entire video, as the panelists go into great tactical and technical detail about the current state of funding mobile products and what types of traction, behaviors, and founders they’re looking for. The video is above, and I tried to take some brief/rushed notes below. Thanks again to my friend Roi and his colleagues at for inviting me to participate.

  • Context-based mobile applications and wearables: Pairing devices with sensors using BTLE, built up proprietary databases of sensor data; Data collection and aggregation isn’t enough, needs intelligence on action;  Google Now is the standard for seamless context.
  • Platform-specifics: Android platform provides far more context to developers, will drive innovation; Fingerprint, M7 so much to explore on iOS — great but different opportunities on this platform
  • Gilad – disruptive, data guzzlers, B2c, good/deep tech
  • Josh – can it be a daily habit, old type the URL, or fits on homescreen, push app for something meaningful in your lives, core of virality is word of mouth – will people tell other people over lunch, a simple message,
  • Charles – expansive founder vision, multi-platform, multi-interaction world, wants to know about top 10% of users for engagement, doesn’t see a mobile app crunch — locked up engineers locked up in great companies, and when they trickle out, they’ll pair up, and will be attractive to him.
  • Bubba – mobile still early in a way, communications (high daily use), content (compare creators vs consumers), looks for depth of mobile development team, testing infrastructure, how to handle different platforms, bar will get higher for high-end teams, the SDK Crunch is coming, will consolidate into a few larger companies