Trutap staff on notice; Deal of the century to be had!

Trutap, the mobile messaging community service, has put all 30 of their London Kings Cross team on notice. The company has had to make severe cut backs to reduce it’s monthly burn in order to keep it’s service live.

This is confirmed by a high level Trutap executive I know well.

And it’s a bit of a shame. The company has been innovating like no tomorrow — and the newly released version 2.0 if Trutap is absolutely phenomenal. To give you an idea of just how well received the new version is, about 70% of the service’s users have updated their status, location and home town! 70%!

The original backer of Trutap was a Hedge Fund by the name of Tudor. It’s perhaps no surprise that, as a result of the credit crunch, Tudor have orphaned Trutap and have reportedly stopped investing in private companies.

During new investment rounds (Trutap was due a £2-4m one shortly), it traditional, often expected and typically required that the original investor participate in some kind of ‘tag along’ manner in the next round of investment. Without their original backer to play, Trutap find themselves in a challenging position.

One person’s challenge is another person’s bounteous opportunity though.

If you’re in control of a media company, you should be hovering like a massive falcon above Trutap — and hoover them up. And I think you’ll get a very, very good deal. With over a quarter of a million users and very well received new version hitting the marketplace right now, Trutap is poised to make a ton of cash from mobile advertising, sponsorship and the virtual currency system (due out next year). They’ve already started making revenues — they’ve proved the concept, as it were. But they need an investor who is able to keep the company moving whilst they move into profits.

It really would be a shame to see Trutap simply go to the wall. The IP alone there — their instant messaging platform — is hugely, hugely valuable. In fact I can think of a load of companies who could either buy or license it for their own ends. The company and the service is due to continue in skeleton-mode for the moment (their software is that well built, it only requires one or two folk to keep it ticking over).

If you’re on the hunt for an investment like Trutap — a ready-made mobile community with users and a team to support it — and you’d like a really good deal, drop me a note and I’ll connect you to their senior management.

I wish the chaps at Trutap every success.

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  • Mike42

    Wow.

    But…

    “poised to make a ton of cash from mobile advertising”

    I really feel for those guys, but the mobile advertising ecosystem just_ain't_there_yet.

    The guy in the upmarket corner pizza place can't go to AdMob and ask for his ad to be served to over-21's within 2 miles only after 5pm. The manager of BP in Berkshire can't ask Google to push ads offering 5p off just to drivers along the M4 corridor *right now*. Mothercare can't ask Yahoo to do a campaign where mums under 35 with 2 or more kids get a 'buy one, get one free' offer on carseats.

    No, about the best you can do is, as was disclosed at the FOM last week, target “mobile users who have registered on a website and live within the M25″ or push a crap ringtone at everyone on Virgin, or somesuch.

    This isn't shotgun advertising, it's carpetbombing. All advertisers can do is spray the entire field, not pick out the daises or just the lone poppy.

    Until we can, people relying on mobile advertising had better have a funding plan B.

    /m

  • John

    Wasn't the Dragon running Trutap at the Future of Mobile the other week? Was his presentation along the lines of “there's no future, I'm out” ?

  • http://www.shopqwik.com Mark

    The thing is a lot of software can now give the likes of admob general location details but no mobile advertiser asks for it….

    Why can't they just add a lat and lon, age group and gender fields to what can be sent to them as non default ….? The location specific ad requests could be placed…

    Then all they'd have to do is ask the customer who they wanted to target and where…

    Seems pretty easy to me..

    The Trutap software looks like a great app and with facebook integration it should really be hitting its high point now… I hope they don't give up and continue to push forward.

  • Mobile Man

    Following Nokia’s announcement today that they are going to offer (paid for) IM as part of Ovi Messaging , you can expect Samsung and Sony Ericsson to join the list of potential acquirers.
    If I were Nokia I would snap it up before someone else does!

  • loopy

    Was this a business solving a customer problem [and thus making it an essential product/tool] or was it just a mobile application.

    Seems like Doug has backed a slow burner here [rather than saying it is a dud]. It is very difficult to get customers to download mobile apps (been there myself). Great product, but t does not seem to solve a major customer/user problem. and thus, apart from PR the product does not seem to have generated viral growth [key element to getting more users/customers].

    Why did the company need so much money??? Mobile app's can be made at low cost.

    I do not know of the total investment in Trutap [and the previous company which was rebranded to Trutap] but I think some basic business elements need to be addressed.

    Anyways, I hope the company can forge on.

    BTW. Why do we have this culture where, if you do not get funding, you kick the business into touch???

    I have never taken funding, and have had to work crazy hours. 'Get real' people, if you want the business to live – fight for it.

    PS: Look out for my next project……………………………….

  • loopy

    Was this a business solving a customer problem [and thus making it an essential product/tool] or was it just a mobile application.

    Seems like Doug has backed a slow burner here [rather than saying it is a dud]. It is very difficult to get customers to download mobile apps (been there myself). Great product, but t does not seem to solve a major customer/user problem. and thus, apart from PR the product does not seem to have generated viral growth [key element to getting more users/customers].

    Why did the company need so much money??? Mobile app's can be made at low cost.

    I do not know of the total investment in Trutap [and the previous company which was rebranded to Trutap] but I think some basic business elements need to be addressed.

    Anyways, I hope the company can forge on.

    BTW. Why do we have this culture where, if you do not get funding, you kick the business into touch???

    I have never taken funding, and have had to work crazy hours. 'Get real' people, if you want the business to live – fight for it.

    PS: Look out for my next project……………………………….

  • loopy

    Was this a business solving a customer problem [and thus making it an essential product/tool] or was it just a mobile application.

    Seems like Doug has backed a slow burner here [rather than saying it is a dud]. It is very difficult to get customers to download mobile apps (been there myself). Great product, but t does not seem to solve a major customer/user problem. and thus, apart from PR the product does not seem to have generated viral growth [key element to getting more users/customers].

    Why did the company need so much money??? Mobile app's can be made at low cost.

    I do not know of the total investment in Trutap [and the previous company which was rebranded to Trutap] but I think some basic business elements need to be addressed.

    Anyways, I hope the company can forge on.

    BTW. Why do we have this culture where, if you do not get funding, you kick the business into touch???

    I have never taken funding, and have had to work crazy hours. 'Get real' people, if you want the business to live – fight for it.

    PS: Look out for my next project……………………………….

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