The Times of England reports that founders of UK dot com 'star' Lastminute.com, Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, have teamed up again with a new business called Mydeco.com, which aims to help people decorate their homes. The new website is still in 'enter your email address' mode right now, but it will no doubt be some kind of wisdom-of-crowds site for interior decoration. The Times quotes Hoberman as saying that Mydeco.com will help users "make the right choices and get taste validation" for their home decoration jobs.
Lastminute had a rollercoaster ride in the dotcom days, but was eventually acquired for ¬£577m two years ago. Mydeco seems to have equally grand plans, as it has already raised about ¬£5m and, according to Hoberman, Mydeco aims to be "one of the largest technology start-ups in Europe."
Another interesting thing about Mydeco is that it isn't targeting a bunch of geeks, or teenagers. It is going after "a large female demographic". I would've thought it was the male population that needs "taste validation", but I guess even women do sometimes as well :-). Anyway this is another good sign that web 2.0 technologies are starting to be utilized in less geeky, non-teen circles.
LastMinute.com circa 2000, c/o Wayback Machine
moveme.com, which David Lenehan mentioned in his write-up last week of OpenCoffee Club. The Times had a write-up of moveme too, back in April. The connection between Mydeco and Moveme? Both are backed by Brent Hoberman (and he obviously has good connections at The Times).Another UK startup on this front is
MoveMe aims to help make "moving simple", by unifying under one roof (so to speak) all the tasks a person needs to do when moving house. The Times articles says that MoveMe has "raised almost ¬£1m of funding" from Hoberman, Advent Venture Partners and Accelerator, an investment firm set up by father-and-son entrepreneurs Robin and Saul Klein. Robin Klein wrote in his blog that MoveMe includes "databases and prepared letters covering everything from parking permits, utilities, removal companies, credit cards and the dozens of other chores one has to do."
For more background, check out Sam Sethi's post explaining how MoveMe got off the ground. Frederic Court of Advent Ventures sent Sam an email, in which he said about MoveMe:
"We spotted the company last November, liked it a lot and brought in Robin Klein (TAG) and Brent Hoberman in a seed round to get the business off the ground and get it to a stage where it will be ready for a proper Series A funding later this year.
We went from first meeting to closing of the round in 3 weeks! (yes VCs can be fast)."
Keep an eye out for both these sites, Mydeco and MoveMe, because they are offering useful services for normal people (I define normal as non-geeky!).