Berlin-based CRM startup Linko announces $2.6m investment and Localstream takeover

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Since our early team (Vesa, Mikko, Joona, Michal and Jakub) made a deliberate decision to gather the development team under the same roof in Berlin, Linko opened its new development headquarters in October 2013 and moved the whole team to an amazing penthouse on Torstrasse, the center of gravity for startup action in Berlin. Breathtaking views and great coffee has kept us awake and energised while we’ve grown bigger, stronger and more diverse.

Following the investment round, Linko has strengthened its executive team by acquiring Localstream, a Berlin-based technology startup, that was founded by Mark MacMahon and Jilles van Gurp, who previously led the development of some of the core services behind Nokia’s recently rebranded HERE technology platform.

Why did we acquire another startup rather than expand the team through hiring? Even more interestingly, why would founders of a technology startup want to sell their company to another startup that has just raised a seed round?

There are multiple more questions and uncertainties to deal with. Will the acquisition speed up our development process? Will there be a good cultural fit between the teams? What other risks are there in acquiring a company? Isn’t it hard enough to build a winning culture already? Why add more complexity to the situation through an acquisition?

 

The answer is in our approach to building the team. Our culture can be seen in the structure of our team: Linko currently has a senior, experienced team, where average age is 34 years. Even more importantly, 11 out of our 13 full time team members have entrepreneurial background as founders, CEOs and early executives. Some of us had also  successful exits.

For Linko, the acquisition of Localstream is a technology play, as well as team expansion with key executives that have already proven to be an excellent strategic and cultural fit. Localstream is a location-based search and content publishing platform, whose key innovation is the development of a Location Graph of the world that makes it easy to automatically tag and disambiguate web content with rich location information such as venues, streets, neighbourhoods and cities.

“We saw a strong synergy between the Localstream technology platform and Linko’s core product. Automated location-aware customer communication data will offer a huge advantage to sales managers who embrace mobile devices as sales tools”, says Mikko Alasaarela, Founder and CEO of Linko.

Combining mobile data as a service approach of Linko and location and elastic search expertise that Localstream team brings on the table, the extended team will create a LBS (Location Based Services) business model the market hasn’t seen before. For a long time “check in and consume” approach was dominating in LBS business model, along with location targeted advertising and location based dating as the only business models that have seen any notable success before.

Linko GrowsSince our early team (Vesa, Mikko, Joona, Michal and Jakub) made a deliberate decision to gather the development team under the same roof in Berlin, Linko opened its new development headquarters in October 2013 and moved the whole team to an amazing penthouse on Torstrasse, the center of gravity for startup action in Berlin. Breathtaking views and great coffee has kept us awake and energised while we’ve grown bigger, stronger and more diverse.Following the investment round, Linko has strengthened its executive team by acquiring Localstream, a Berlin-based technology startup, that was founded by Mark MacMahon and Jilles van Gurp, who previously led the development of some of the core services behind Nokia’s recently rebranded HERE technology platform. Why did we acquire another startup rather than expand the team through hiring? Even more interestingly, why would founders of a technology startup want to sell their company to another startup that has just raised a seed round?There are multiple more questions and uncertainties to deal with. Will the acquisition speed up our development process? Will there be a good cultural fit between the teams? What other risks are there in acquiring a company? Isn’t it hard enough to build a winning culture already? Why add more complexity to the situation through an acquisition? The answer is in our approach to building the team. Our culture can be seen in the structure of our team: Linko currently has a senior, experienced team, where average age is 34 years. Even more importantly, 11 out of our 13 full time team members have entrepreneurial background as founders, CEOs and early executives. Some of us had also  successful exits.For Linko, the acquisition of Localstream is a technology play, as well as team expansion with key executives that have already proven to be an excellent strategic and cultural fit. Localstream is a location-based search and content publishing platform, whose key innovation is the development of a Location Graph of the world that makes it easy to automatically tag and disambiguate web content with rich location information such as venues, streets, neighbourhoods and cities. "We saw a strong synergy between the Localstream technology platform and Linko’s core product. Automated location-aware customer communication data will offer a huge advantage to sales managers who embrace mobile devices as sales tools”, says Mikko Alasaarela, Founder and CEO of Linko. Combining mobile data as a service approach of Linko and location and elastic search expertise that Localstream team brings on the table, the extended team will create a LBS (Location Based Services) business model the market hasn’t seen before. For a long time “check in and consume” approach was dominating in LBS business model, along with location targeted advertising and location based dating as the only business models that have seen any notable success before.“Linko’s unique business model and strong business team convinced us to join and provides us with an exciting technical challenge,” says Mark MacMahon, CEO of Localstream. What if location relevancy does not only entertain you or make you spend more, but also help you to be more effective in your job and free you from hours of manual research? Linko’s product is not only a mobile CRM tool, but really an automation of the sales data acquisition, where you control what is automatically shared, while Linko adds relevant context to it to make sure you, your team members and managers get the most out of it.Automated location context provides a huge boost to the quality of sales activity data.Now, after the investment round and acquisition, the challenge for the new team is to ramp up the deliveries of pilot rollouts and eventually allow all the thousands of sales executives who have already signed up on our website to jump aboard. Automating CRM is no small feat, and we are all working hard to end the misery of sales bureaucracy that most people are still struggling with. Interested? Please sign up here, and we’ll be in touch shortly! Or if you are in Berlin, just come over to our penthouse and have a chat with us, you are most welcome!Linko TeamLinko in numbers: Locally operating in: USA, Germany, FinlandFull time team members: 13Out of which stakeholders: 13 (Yes, everyone!!)Cups of coffee per day our rocket machine brews: at least 35 Number of jokes during the day: at least 20Penthouse with a view to Berlin TV tower: PricelessNumber of movie theatres at the penthouse: 1 Amount of beer left since the last party: come find out!Companies in our current pilot rollout program: 50 Waiting list: 2000Nationalities: Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Irish, Russian 

“Linko’s unique business model and strong business team convinced us to join and provides us with an exciting technical challenge,”

says Mark MacMahon, CEO of Localstream.

What if location relevancy does not only entertain you or make you spend more, but also help you to be more effective in your job and free you from hours of manual research? Linko’s product is not only a mobile CRM tool, but really an automation of the sales data acquisition, where you control what is automatically shared, while Linko adds relevant context to it to make sure you, your team members and managers get the most out of it.

Automated location context provides a huge boost to the quality of sales activity data.Now, after the investment round and acquisition, the challenge for the new team is to ramp up the deliveries of pilot rollouts and eventually allow all the thousands of sales executives who have already signed up on our website to jump aboard. Automating CRM is no small feat, and we are all working hard to end the misery of sales bureaucracy that most people are still struggling with.

Interested? Please sign up here, and we’ll be in touch shortly! Or if you are in Berlin, just come over to our penthouse and have a chat with us, you are most welcome! Linko Team

 

Linko in numbers: 

Locally operating in: USA, Germany, Finland

Full time team members: 13

Out of which stakeholders: 13 (Yes, everyone!!)

Cups of coffee per day our rocket machine brews: at least 35

Number of jokes during the day: at least 20

Penthouse with a view to Berlin TV tower: Priceless

Number of movie theatres at the penthouse: 1

Amount of beer left since the last party: come find out!

Companies in our current pilot rollout program: 50

Waiting list: 2000

Nationalities: Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Irish, Russian

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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