|Lots of People, Bad Traffic, No Road Rules and this Investor Is In.|
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Monday, 30th April 2012
Following his exit from Qunar, Fritz Demopoulos has set up his own investment fund, Queen’s Road Capital and he has one simple rule when it comes to making bets.
“I like countries with big population, bad traffic and people don’t follow the rules of the road. That smells like an opportunity to me,” he said.
Which probably explains the investments he’s made so far, all of them in emerging markets and in broad categories.
He said, “I continue to be excited about online travel distribution opportunities. However I am also looking at advertising technologies, artificial intelligence opportunities, online games and entertainment.”
Thus far, he’s invested in a Beijing-based ride-sharing company, Wodache.com (Mandarin for ‘I hail a car’). Described itself as “the most trusted carpooling social network in China”, Wodache was co-founded by CTO Jeff Hsu (formerly at Microsoft Research and Apple) and CEO Eric Wang, who worked at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
On their Vimeo channel, they said, “Traffic congestion costs the Chinese government US$150 million a day. Therefore, we are dedicated to relieve China's commute problem by building a mobile platform called Wodache.”
Said Demopoulos, “This is collaborative consumption and is an exciting category. General Motors and Volkswagen have invested in this space.”
He’s also made a bet on IPINYOU, a digital ad technology platform in China, which in March launched the first DSP product (demand-side platform) in the country.
DSP has been described as “an indisputable mainstream trend of Internet advertising development for the future”.
This report in Yahoo Finance says, “DSP plays a significantly important role in the Internet display advertising space, which enables the industry to become more transparent, efficient and controllable.”
Co-founder and CTO Xuehua Shen, explaining the key components of a DSP, said in this interview, “I believe a DSP should have two key components: real-time bidding (RTB) and data-driven audience targeting. Without RTB, we miss impression opportunities. Without data-driven audience targeting, we could not take full advantage of optimization opportunities brought by RTB. Besides real-time bidding and data-driven audience targeting, a nice user interface and multi-dimensional reporting for advertisers are also important.”