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Re: NoumberFour AG :: Serious Competitor

by
Fabien Pinckaers
- 12/28/2014 10:55:48

Hi David,

NumberFour is the strangest fund raising round I have seen. One year ago, they raised $38m without a product, nor even revenues. Some investments are not rationale and I think this one is probably one of them. When I saw this news one year ago, I searched for more info and the day of the fund raising announce, I saw a comment of an employee saying that it was full of bullshit, the product was super buggy, and the best developers left the company due to bad management (they removed the comment a few hours after).

I don't think investing millions in R&D is enough to build the best product in the world. Doing something exceptional do not requires hundred of developers. You just need a few people, but the right ones. You also need to iterate a lot to get feedback, and this takes time.

Having said that, the biggest challenge of Odoo is not the competition. SMEs remain largely untapped (<20% are equipped with an integrated software) because current offers do not fit their needs.

Nobody succeeded to crack this market and solve the equation: a product that handle the whole complexity of SMEs at a low price. Current products are either too expensive/complex (Ms Dynamics, SAP BO, ...) or too simple (Salesforce, Xero...)

We are not far, but we still need a few years for Odoo to succeed.

There are already thousands of competitors and new ones will appear every week because it's a massive market. They may compete with us when selling to the 20% of companies who can afford an ERP.

But our main challenge is much bigger. We need to move forward quickly to be the first to crack the SME equation and reach the other 80% of the market. The first product that will succeed will explode and become mainstream.

In this perspective, I don't think we should be afraid of competitors. We must of course analyze competitors and copy the best ideas.

But we should be afraid of evolving too slowly. It's probably a winner-takes-all market. We are in a very good position to become the winner but the others are evolving quickly too.


Fabien

On Dec 28, 2014 6:18 AM, "David Arnold" <dar@devco.co> wrote:
Hi Guys, Hi Fabien

out of curiosity, I just spotted Berlin based NumberFour AG in german review "manager magazin" as some heavyweight competition for Odoo.

Made by the inventor of OpenOffice (Star Office), it now operates "secretly" (manager magazin, p154 -12/2014) on quite the same product going for the very same market.

The range of investors covers silicon vally heavyweights as Sun Microsystems Co-Founder Andreas von Berchtoltsheim and Klaus Hommels (Skype, Xing, Facebook, Spotify). Series A financing provided $ 38M for preparing market launch (announced on June 27th, 2013).

A look on the job page might be interesting (http://www.numberfour.eu/) a quick google tells thr rest of the story.

Odoo, I'd say, they are on your (our) heels...

Lead Investor statement:
“From a technology perspective, small businesses are the most underserved market in the world. NumberFour is the first comprehensive business platform that offers amazing technology, wrapped in apps with a stunningly simple user interface.”

Saludos Cordiales
David Arnold

David Arnold BA HSG / Analista
315 304 13 68/ dar@devco.co

devCO - empresa de consultoría de sistemas (en fundación)
http://www.devco.co

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