It is with great joy, that I can announce Index Ventures is investing in Just-Eat together with Venrex Capital and some of the existing shareholders. As we all know, Index is a world beater in the internet venture industry, with great investments in companies such as Skype, Lastfm, Glasses Direct, Betfair, MySQL, LoveFilm, Netvibes and many-many more. The official press release can be found here. The total funding round is £10.5 Mio. of which the vast majority goes straight into our balance sheet. It has been a very interesting period the last half year. Tough at times, but also a lot of fun and very encouraging. But, most importantly it has been a happy ending. We got a lot of interest from the European investor community, and there were also several VC's that we definitely would have been happy to work with, but in the end it came down to Index in the form of Ben Holmes and his mates. We trust they are the right fit for us. When discussing a deal like ours over the course of four months, you do get a good sense for what kind of people you are dealing with, and the whole management team here at Just Eat is very happy with the partner we have choosen. And let's not forget Venrex either, they will also be a good help going forward. And for those who want to know how, how to get a VC onboard, here is a quick 1-2-3 step guide. 1. First, you present your company - make a nice ppt. that shows momentum.
2. Get the yes! 3. Go through all the paperwork. 4. Wait nervously until everything is in agreement (Mike, our CFO is smiling a bit worryingly here, while the Torch guys are standing in the background, as always). 5. Sign. 6. And then let the lawyer (Chris from Bird & Bird) open the champagne! The champagne has been consumed, the easy part is over, now it is all about execution. Having the strongest balance sheet in the world within our category is great, but it also fuels expectations, so there is still a lot of pressure on us to deliver on the promise: be the best and the biggest within online takeaway ordering. But, we have momentum.
Personally, I hate logo processes. Not only does everybody has an opinion, but most also think their opnion is a relevant opinion - and to some extent that might even be true. There are of course some factual things you can base a logo decision on (different colors sends different signals, certain stuff works better online, etc.), but there is still a chunk of gut feel involved. So logo processes tend to be very much like watching a World Cup footbal match with a handfull of drunk mates that believe they should have been coach for the national team (I am sure this comment will upset my colleagues, but I have to admit, that in this scenario, I will be as drunk as everybody else). But good stuff also tends to come out of logo discussions, e.g. you tend to become a bit clearer about what the company is all about, and to get that kind of a discussion out into the open can be very productive. But at the end of the day a decision has to be taken, and everybody needs to move in the same direction. In Just-Eat we have had a very unique logo, but also a logo, that does not at all signal what we want to be. It was too niche-ethnic and down market. And on top of that, it was actually difficult to read. But we could not start all over designing a new logo, because there is some affinity to the old logo, and many of our 5.000 restaurant partners has the logo on their windows, etc. Our abstraction was, that we should do with the logo, what BMW did to the Morris Mini: everybody seeing a Mini Cooper can see, that it is a Mini, but it is also very obvious that it is a brand new car that has been modernized and re-found it's inner strength catering for a modern audience. After a couple of months of heated debate (and probably a difficult and frustrating time for our agency), we ended up with what I think is a good solution. We have kept the yellow and red colours, but modernised the look. But judge for your self - the logo is at the top of this page. If you have comments, be welcome - we will probably go through another logo process within a couple of years, and then I will dig out the comments.
I have thought about getting this blog up and running for the last half year, and finally with help from Rune R., here we go. Based on the most commonly used blog publishing software, I am finally in the ranks of the self promoting internet generation. So why do I start blogging (other than it is interesting for me to see how internet CMS has developed since I last had hands-on experience with this almost 10 years ago)? Well, it is because, I really-really want Just-Eat.com to become a truly international success. And part of that is to preach the message of how the world will be a better place if we all did our takeaway ordering via the internet ... well, it might be an exaggeration that the world becomes a lot better, but at least it helps a bit: fewer trees to be chopped down for menu card production, more effective ordering without the frustration of language issues and occupied phone lines, better choice to pick from, safe credit card processing, etc., etc. All in all, a quite good proposition. When the average takeaway consumer understands this, I am sure they will all skip the phone and come the way of the convenient takeaway portals like just-eat.com. And if I with this late entry blog could help to push a bit in the right direction, then that would be super. Mission accomplished. But since takeaway and online ordering is not the only thing of importance on this planet, I assume I will spend a good chunk of my blogging time on very different issues. We will see - I will take it one blog at a time. Cheers!