My friend Lukasz Gadowski has just announced the launch of Team Europe Ventures, a new home for his large portfolio of Internet companies. Lukasz is a successful entrepreneur who founded Spreadshirt in 2002 and cofounded StudiVZ, Germany’s largest social network (sold to Holtzbrinck last year) and is also an active business angel investing in Internet companies (he invested in more then 50 companies worldwide).

With Team Europe Ventures Lukasz will keep investing in early stage European Internet ventures and will co-invest in later stage rounds (Series A or Series B). In the last twelve months Lukasz was involved in the creation of many Internet companies like Brands4Friends, MisterSpex, Absolventa, Triphunter, Playnik and Käuferportal.

I also invest in very early stage internet companies. The companies that I invested in appear on the right of my blog. But lately I feel what is missing from the internet companies is concrete ways to generate revenues. The Google Ad model, or the advertising model, is mostly broken for anyone but Google. Companies like Fotolog have shown that is not enough to have enormous traffic volumes but that revenues other than Google are needed to be successful. Fon for example would die if it had to survive out of advertising alone and not from selling routers and passes. Another model that has greatly intrigued me lately is a company that David Cantolla, a Spanish acquaintance of mine launch. It is the company with the rights to the child series Pocoyo. In their case as you can see the series themselves which are available in DVDs in many countries are also available in Youtube. But that is because the money in Pocoyo is not in the series itself but in the fanaticism that the series engenders among children who like my son Leo who is younger than 2 then want in merchandising. Internet sites should learn from Pocoyo and find something real that they can sell out of virtual fame. Something like the T Shirts that Lukasz started with.

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Mariano on September 9, 2008  · 

Why not trying to run a long lasting business? All people are focusing on how to make money based on Google Ad models.
Adsense+”genuine revenues” = sustainable business formula 😉

Adsense addicts become blind….

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lukasz on September 9, 2008  · 

Martin, thank you for the post 🙂

on revenue based models: I found that it is difficult and risky to have revenues based purely on ads. Most of the companies try to have additional streams like subscriptions.

when you look at the companies that I co-founded in the last 12 months, all of them have transaction models… brands4freiends = selling apparel; misterspex= selling eyewaer & lenses; absolventa = jobs for graduates, the companies pay for access; playnik = people pay for virtual ingame items or subscriptions; käuferportal = companies pay for ‘leads’.

I also have investements based on ads, like (soprts community) or (instant messanger for social nets). But I tend to be rather picky about these kinds of models.

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yani on September 9, 2008  · 

As someone who has been following the silicon valley scene for only a couple of months and coming more from a traditional entrepreneurial background, my comments are:

BM and the issues of making money – it is so difficult, it is no wonder that people are all looking at google. it is getting more difficult as models are maturing.
entrepreneurs – one of the toughest way to make money that there is, really. good and sustainable BM is hard to find
market – a phenominal waste of money. even if investors cash out, doesn’t mean the business is sound and sustainable
investors – you really have to understand what you are doing and all the connections to help + exit
atmosphere(?) – many entrepreneurs are blinded by the potential of becoming the next mr. brin/page .. martin v ? 🙂 too much ‘celebrity’ like atmosphere often rather than down-to-earth execution. but the reality is: it is often much easier to make money with traditional models that looks quite ‘boring’.

conclusion: making money, i.e. finding sustainable BM is difficult, but the whole business has its attractiveness – a bit like gambling, which I do now and then – it’s fun & energy though irrational

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SandMan on September 9, 2008  · 

To get revenues from Internet 🙂 using advertises 🙂 🙂 :-). Well, 2 or 3 dollars per month could be sufficient?. If you use an advertise model, the only beneficiary is Google, you could get a high rate of visits and get an acceptable amount of monthly revenues but if Google changes the algorithm then you loose your rank position and your visits decrease… It is really not acceptable to have this dependency from a search engine.

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