czwartek, 19 października 2017

Report from EURUS 2017


This has been an exciting week for us here at Jaaz. It all started with the Wolves Summit in Warsaw and ended with the EURUS Forum and European Super Angels Club Roadshow in Zurich. The latter two of which, I’d like to share with you.

The EURUS Forum is a growing platform bringing together Private Equity, Venture Capital and Real Estate groups from all over Europe and beyond. For this up-and-coming forum, this was their second annual event following the inaugural meeting in Vienna in 2016, and thus a huge test of their strength and capabilities, albeit one they passed with flying colours. 

It started early in the morning, with a guest reception in the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), a wonderful venue with a panoramic view of Lake Zurich and the surrounding Alps, and one which advertises itself as a meeting point for the best minds.

The conference, as with the delegates, was divided into three tracks – Private Equity (PE), Venture Capital (VC) and Real Estate (RE). Delegates were free to attend any session of choice in any of these tracks. This format facilitates cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities when, for example, VC firms take interest in propteq or when RE groups seek to partner with PE funds. I could only participate in the VC stream, but I fully believe that the others were also on the same, exceptionally high, level.

The debate started with the topic of How Private Capital Shapes the Global Economy. Following this, within our track we had the opportunity for some snapshots on the latest technology trends, from FinTech to AI. In addition, we were given some invaluable advice from leading VC firms on how to building stellar start-ups as well as lessons learned from past mistakes.

Having been given some fascinating insights to consider, we then enjoyed a short break for coffee and soft drinks. This provided the perfect opportunity for some networking and friendly chat with fellow delegates. 

After the break, we learned about some interesting potential directions for SaaS start-ups. This was followed by a debate on what drives LP allocation decisions in today’s fast evolving world. The carefully chosen panel offered some essential facts and unique insights for entrepreneurs wishing to know what lies behind successful investment decisions. 

Debate over, the guests settled down for an excellent dinner with three courses and a dessert. This provided another ideal occasion for networking and expanding our contact base in a friendly and engaging company.

After lunch, heavyweights from EURONEXT and the London Stock Exchange discussed IPO trends, the exit climate and the benefits of taking private companies public. Following this, a moment of reflection took place, with a session dedicated to creating a new pan-European start-up ecosystem. 

The afternoon break that followed was the perfect opportunity for refreshment and yet another occasion for networking. Finally, the remaining time was devoted to discussing corporate venture hubs and later listening to some engrossing real-world case studies. 

The conference ended with a networking party. However, many of the guests and speakers were eager for more. For them, Chris Houghtaling from Venionaire Capital, who also sits on EURUS Advisory Board, had prepared a second day of activities as part of the European Super Angels Club’s (ESAC) road show in Zurich.

The next day I arrived early and was warmly welcomed by Chris. After coffee, the opening was headed by Berthold Baurek-Karlic, Founder and CEO at Venionaire Capital and ESAC Board Member, and also featured KPMG- another partnering organisation. 

Later on, we had the opportunity to watch pitches made by six companies (1 Hungarian, 2 Austria, 2 German and 1 Swiss) selected by the Club through a rigorous process. From vendors of venture capital support portal DealMatrix through to e-bracelets, to the AI-driven myAlfred, every presentation was at the highest possible level, and was followed by an engaging Q&A session. 

The European Super Angels Club is also a relatively new organisation that raised 2.5 Million Euros for their first three startups. Off to a good start with very high standards and potential, they are currently raising over 8 Million Euros for 7 startups with commitments to raise over 15 Million in 2018 already confirmed. If you are a start-up looking to raise your capital in Europe, you should definitively consider applying at https://www.superangels.club/.

Investors can email Chris at chris@superangels.club to learn more about membership opportunities.

Overall, it’s been a stimulating few days in Zurich under perfect blue skies and with a great mix of leaders to connect with. Many thanks go to the organizers of EURUS Forum and its Founder Aren Sarikyan.

You can visit EURUS Forum here: http://eurusforum.org



poniedziałek, 2 października 2017

How to SEIS?


The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is an innovative initiative by the British Government that helps connect start-ups to investors. We have recently successfully applied for it, and received our certificate in September 2017. Read more on this initiative.

The SEIS was launched by British Government on April 6, 2012 and, for the last five years, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, both from Britain and overseas. To qualify, you must first register your start-up in Britain and your company must be in operation for no longer than two years.

The most important advantage of SEIS is that the Government returns up to half the invested money as tax relief. There is, however, a limit to the investment, at £150,000. In addition, only £100,000 in total can be invested in the first year.

Consequently, given that we have set our investment at £154,000, we have divided it into two stages: £70,000 to complete and launch the initial version of our product, Jaaz Portal, in the first year, and £84,000 in the second.

However, we have subsequently discovered that we can, in fact, seek considerably more investment than the stated £154,000. This is because sums over £150,000 will be covered not by SEIS but instead by the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

Advance Assurance

To be successful in convincing the investors, you not only need to correctly divide your investment deal, but it is also beneficial to receive confirmation from the government that your deal is SEIS certificated. This means you should apply for Advance Assurance – confirmation on paper that your company is approved for SEIS tax relief.

While there are numerous accountancy firms which can prepare applications for a sum of around £1000-2000, we decided that the process is not overly complex, and thus prepared the application ourselves.


This means we needed to prepare a number of documents, primarily, of course, the SEIS application that you can now make online. The beta version is available here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/investment-tax-relief

The online application is even simpler than the original SEIS Advance Assurance and can be completed in around 15 minutes.

Further documentation

The basic document required by authorities is the Memorandum and Articles of Association. The Certificate of Incorporation is no longer needed as the verification takes place online.

The other important document is the company Business Plan. It must be written according to SEIS requirements and will form the basis for the certification decision. Be careful to edit your Business Plan appropriately because, after approval, you cannot change it.

If you were trading before making the application, you will also need to present an accounting report, but this is not otherwise obligatory, and you can omit this step if you were not yet on the market at  the time of application.

The last item is a cover letter. While this is not mandatory, it can speed up the application process. You can find an example here: http://jaazportal.blogspot.com/2017/10/seis-cover-letter.html

If you have completed all the documents, you can apply for SEIS Advance Assurance online. The process usually takes around four weeks, and, if you have written a suitable cover letter, the authorities may not ask additional questions.

We applied in the beginning of August and received our certificates at the start of September 2017. We hope that this article will be of benefit, and wish you the best of luck in the process…





SEIS Cover Letter





07 August 2017

Dear Sirs
Advance Assurance Application (SEIS)

Enclosed you will find a filled version of form number EIS-SEIS(AA) v1.0 along with supporting documents completed in support of an application for Advance Assurance on behalf of Jaaz Portal Limited (registration number 10651447), herein referred to as Company.

Company will be providing Jaaz Portal software – a mass market solution for the Data Centers. We will be licensing our product, as well providing subscription based web hosting service of our own. We believe our offering meets the terms of a ‘qualifying trade’.

Company has been active since 03/03/2017 and has no subsidiaries and is not a subsidiary of any other company. It is a privately owned limited company and is not listed on any public exchanges. There are no immediate plans to list the company publically. The company has 1 director, Artur Radosz. Company is based in the UK with the company’s address being 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ. All of Company’s activities are conducted from the UK. Its web address is jaaz.co.uk.

Company aims to raise approximately £154 000 in total via SEIS– the exact amount will be subject to the business’s ability to attract investment in exchange for ordinary shares in the company (eligible shares). This will be the company’s first outside investment of any kind including de minimis aid (none of which has been sought or received).

All funds raised will be used for qualifying business activity. The funds will be deployed solely by Company and are anticipated to be predominantly spent on things. Company expects to be able to complete the declaration on form SEIS1 in due course.

Company has not yet drawn up company accounts. Its assets total £0 comprising stuff on your balance sheet. To date, £0 revenue has been earned by Company.

In support of the above you will find enclosed:

• The completed form EIS-SEIS(AA) v1.0
• A complete Business Plan
• A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and related Companies House filings
• An up-to-date copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association

All information contained herein is true and accurate to the best of the director’ knowledge at the time of submission. We look forward to receiving the Advance Assurance and continuing our path to raising SEIS and EIS funding. Thank you.

Yours Faithfully,
Artur Radosz
For and on behalf of
Jaaz Portal Limited



piątek, 22 września 2017

Wolves Summit - Warsaw



Jaaz Portal Limited is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of start-ups that will participate in upcoming Wolves Summit in Warsaw, which will be held on October 10-11. 
 
We are UK-based company with an R&D Centre in Warsaw. Our mission is to deliver revolutionary software that will open up existing Data Centres to the new mass market of individuals and organisations lacking technical knowledge of the Internet. 
 
Our product will be extremely easy to use and will also be simultaneously licensed to other web hosting companies commercially and as Open Source. This is a unique business model as, in general, companies do not share their web hosting systems. 
 
The company is currently looking for an investment of £154,000, divided into two stages. In the initial stage, we want create the Free and Personal Editions of our product, in which we are aiming for an investment of £70,000 pounds. Following a successful launch, we will be looking for an additional £84,000 to further develop our product.

In total, we are offering 18.2% in shares, divided equally (9.1% apiece) between the two stages.

If you are interested in hearing more about this distinctive investment opportunity, please contact our secretary, Marcin Gregorczyk, to arrange a 1:1 meeting during the Wolves Summit.

You can find information on our company at http://jaaz.co.uk
More information on the Wolves Summit can be found at: https://www.wolvessummit.com/



[PR] SEISmic Investment


(London, September 22, 2017) Jaaz Portal Limited is proud to announce that it has received SEIS Advance Assurance from the British Government. In practice, this means that any British taxpayer investing in the company will be returned half the amount as tax relief.

Jaaz is currently working hard on its flagship product Jaaz Portal, an easy-to-use web hosting solution for bloggers and average users of social networks. The company aims at opening the mass market to other traditionally hardware-vending web hosting companies.

The product will be available in various editions intended for Personal, Community and Business use, along with a limited Free version as Open Source.

“Advance Assurance has opened the company up for British investors. We feel that we have joined an exclusive club”, states Artur Radosz, company director.

The company is seeking a total investment of £154,000 in return for shares of up to 18.2%. If you are interested in this unique investment opportunity, please feel free to contact us for further information.

Jaaz Portal Limited is a UK-based company with an R&D center located in Poland. Through this, it can provide excellent quality IT services at a minimal cost.

Since March 2017, it has focused on the development of the company’s flagship product Jaaz Portal - an ultimate, out-of-the-box web hosting service for average and unskilled users of social networks and bloggers.



poniedziałek, 7 sierpnia 2017

[PR] Business Plan


(London, 07 August, 2017) Jaaz Portal Ltd. has published the final version of its Business Plan. The company is aiming for a total investment of £154 000, with a predicted Return on Investment of 128%.

The company has prepared their Business Plan in accordance with SEIS guidelines, meaning that any British investor will be eligible for 50% tax relief. The investment will be divided into two rounds: £70 000 in the first year, and £84 000 the following year. The total shares will stand at 18.2%.

Jaaz Portal is a mass-market solution for Data Centres. The company is aiming at the 85% of the market composed of small- and medium-sized enterprises that traditionally vend hardware space to their customers, thus opening them up to the mass market of individual customers.

“Traditional web hosting companies are renting their rack space, virtual private servers or dedicated servers. We want to enable them for the market of users who do not possess deep technical knowledge’, states Artur Radosz, Company Director, Jazz Portal Ltd.

The product will be available in three basic editions: Personal, Community and Business, complemented by a Free Edition that will be simultaneously be distributed as Open Source.

In addition to providing their own web hosting service, the company wants to license their product to the other vendors.

“Big companies that have such automated web hosting do not share it with others. We want to change this by addressing small and medium web hosting companies and data centres. It’s something that makes us unique on the market”, claims Marcin Gregorczyk, Company Secretart, Jaaz Portal Ltd.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Jaaz Portal’s Business Plan, please contact us directly.

Jaaz Portal Limited is a UK-based company with an R&D center located in Poland. Through this, it can provide excellent quality IT services at a minimal cost.
 

Since March 2017, it has focused on the development of the company’s flagship product Jaaz Portal - an ultimate, out-of-the-box web hosting service for average and unskilled users of social networks and bloggers.



poniedziałek, 17 lipca 2017

Investing in web hosting market


Nearly everyone needs some kind of online presence these days. Over its short lifetime, the Internet’s already become an integral part of human existence. It is now almost impossible to imagine the world without it, yet one of its defining aspects goes nearly unnoticed. We all see  websites – every day we browse through dozens, if not hundreds, of them, but what makes this possible? What is behind them?

The answer is the web hosting market and its key component – the  datacentres. It is estimated that, currently, the global network consists of 260 000 000 sites. Of these, 25%, that’s 65 000 000 sites, do not have a properly functioning website.

What’s more, the number of websites is only expected to grow. In the next four years, we can expect to see another 26 000 000 sites. All of them must be hosted somewhere: on some hardware, on some software, in some location.

The web hosting market currently generates an annual income of 15 to 16 billion dollars worldwide, and is growing rapidly. For this reason, tech companies are investing billions of dollars in new and existing  datacentres.

For example, let’s consider the case of Ireland, probably the fastest growing market in Europe. In the next year, it’s expected that investment in datacentres will exceed 2 billion dollars, including such era-defining companies as Google (150 million), Facebook (800 million), Microsoft (900 million), Apple (1 billion), and Amazon (1 billion).

Impressive numbers? Yet you need to remember two things: First, even combined, the big web hosting companies such as GoDaddy, BlueHost or OVH do not take up more than 15% of the web hosting market. They may be Internet Giants, but they are still drowning in a sea of medium and small businesses that are operating locally.

The other point – the true weak point of the web hosting industry – is that the investment primarily goes to the hardware vendors. It’s true, investment in software is yet in its infancy.

Of course, the Internet Giants themselves are investing massively in their own software systems and user-friendly interfaces, but the majority of the market, the 85% we rarely hear about, do not spend a single cent on software. They may currently be content with hardware vending, yet, in spite of all the investments by Google, Microsoft, Apple and all the other major players, this could soon change.

They all need software that anyone, regardless of their level of proficiency, can simply pick up and use with a minimum of background knowledge. Of course, they have the free C-Panel that is almost standard nowadays, but it needs extensive technical knowledge in order to be workable.

This is what we want to change with our Jaaz Portal technology. This is software that will automate every stage of the web hosting business – from the creation, through to the management of the site, to the billing process. Everything in a single, unified, web interface that’s so simple and convenient the average blogger or user of social networks can operate it with a minimum of instruction.

Unlike other players, we do not want to develop this system for only our customers, for only our personal use. No. We want to share it with others. Any of these myriad of small and medium businesses looking to embrace the future of web hosting will be able to download and deploy it.

The software will be licensed in three versions: Personal, Community and Business Editions accompanied by the Free Edition available as Open Source.

We consider that our revolutionary product will quickly capture the imagination of these small and medium web hosting businesses and their customers. We believe we can open them up to the mass market, so far reserved only for the Internet Giants.

I’d just like to leave you with one more thing to think about. Increasing numbers of non-technical ventures, such as traditional media outlets, are looking towards web services and, in particular, the web hosting market. They are losing their readers and advertisement base and now are looking to explore fresh markets and new horizons.

One such example is the Washington Post, which has recently launched a web hosting initiative. We believe that this media outlet is merely the forerunner of a game-changing new trend, and more and more newspapers will become interested in this lucrative market. Of course, they can develop their own web interfaces and systems, but they can also license Jaaz Portal...