Reimagining the Automobile Industry by Selling the Electricity.
Software industry hotshot Shai Agassi has a well-funded plan to shake up the auto industry with a new approach to the electric car.
Shai Agassi startled everyone at SAP when he left the company. Only 39 years old, Agassi was expected to some day take over the helm at SAP. At his departure from SAP Agassi indicated that he would be focusing on alternative energy in Israel.
The new system will sell electric fuel on a subscription basis and will subsidize vehicle costs through leases and credits.
“We’re basically saying this is just like the cellular phone model,” he said. “If you think of Tesla as the iPhone, we’re AT&T.”
Now news is breaking that Agassi has raised $200M for his startup called Better Place. The startup has raised $100M from Israel Corp. as well as funding from VantagePoint Venture Partners, a large New York investment bank that wasn’t immediately identified, and angel investors including Edgar Bronfman Sr.
Agassi plans are to shake up the business model for electric vehicles. It will sell or lease electric cars to consumers in packages with monthly service fees (Agassi uses the cell phone plan as an analogy). Better Place will also operate networks of charging locations and service stations. One of the problems with electric vehicles is that you can’t make it too far from your home base before you run out of juice. Better Place stations will just replace your battery so you can get on your way. Agassi plans to pilot the project in a few countries next year and begin mass deployments in 2010.
Yesterday I arrive home from the Tokyo Trend Tour.
It was exciting to organized such a great Tour in this futuristic city.
Each day we had many inspiring meetings and intersting expert talks – all in all our client learn a lot for future strategies and innovations.
Gratulation and my best wished to Jyri !
Jyri commented the deal:
We’re joining Google because we see big potential in what we’re doing – potential that we want to realize as services that our Jaiku users love, and other mobile and Internet users too. We’re not planning to disappear: you know we use Jaiku to communicate with many of the people that are personally dear to us. While it’s too soon to comment on specific products and our development plans, we honestly believe that together with the engineers who we’ve befriended at Google we can build great new things that we couldn’t do alone.
Google acquires Jaiku.
Jaiku is joining Google. While it’s too soon to comment on specific plans, we look forward to working with our new friends at Google over the coming months to expand in ways we hope you’ll find interesting and useful. Our engineers are excited to be working together and enthusiastic developers lead to great innovation. We look forward to accomplishing great things together. In order to focus on innovation instead of scaling, we have decided to close new user sign-ups for now.
But fear not, all our Jaiku services will stay running the way you are used to and you will be able to invite your friends to Jaiku. We have put together a quick Q&A about the acquisition.
Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen, Jaiku Founders.
Changing a global market worth 60 billion USD – “SMS 2.0″ might be right application to rock the market.
What is 3jam?
In 2005 Andy Jagoe and Enlai Chu started developing a new way of text messaging communication. Let’s name it SMS 2.0. It improves the basic text messaging by allowing friends and family to stay connected with group communication. The 3jam service is free, only SMS charges may apply. But the cool thing is that each text message you send or receive through 3jam is counted as 1 standard text message, even when your message may be received by multiple recipients in the 3jam conversation.
How does the 3jam service via Virgin Mobile works?
The Virgin Mobile customers have first to sign up on the menu of Virgin Mobile’s WAP deck or at www.3jam.com/virgin.Then they can start sending SMS to any number of friends simultaneously. The receipients of the SMS can reply to all at once.
How big is the market for SMS?
For this year Informa analysts suggest the value of global SMS traffic at 60 Billion USD; Gartner forcasts 1.8 Trillion USD by 2010.
In the US we already talked to some carriers and most of them are pretty interested in partnerships with service developers, since they can help them to attract more customers and also increase their ARPU.
Currently, 3jam is building a global service for transiting, billing and clearing multi-party SMS messages. They are also working on some new features.
Blog by Monty C. M. Metzger *monty.de.