Across different countries in Europe, more needs to be done to give start-ups tax reductions during their early years.  We are creating new jobs, so it is in the interest of the European economy to help us, because we are the employers of the future.  Governments need to take a longer term view.  --Alessandro Rizzoli, founder and CEO of Mopapp.  You can follow him on Twitter here. 

Photo Courtesy of Alessandro Rizzoli, via Twitter

Interview by Bindi Kharia, Platform Strategy Advisor, Microsoft EU

Change Happens

A year is a long time in the start-up world: in this fast-paced environment, a lot can change and quickly. A company may get acquired for a billion dollars. Boards change.  Great hacks turn into stellar businesses.

That’s kind of why I wanted to catch up with Alessandro Rizzoli, founder and CEO of Mopapp, to hear how the company has evolved since winning the pitch competition at 2011’s BizSpark European Summit.  The next EU Summit is taking registrations

BK: What does Mopapp do and what was the big idea that led you to win the startup pitch competition?

AR:  We aggregate information from all major app-stores, giving mobile application developers current information about their latest sales.  Until Mopapp came along, systems for tracking sales were focused on different appstores and didn’t address the growing sales channel of online ad networks. 

 

BK: What’s happened in a year’s time?

AR: It’s been amazing.  We secured substantial investment from Italian company CRIF in February 2012, which should fund us for at least the next year.  We’ve grown the team to 14 people across the UK and Italy and we have paying customers, including well-known names such as Autodesk, Intuit and one of Europe’s biggest publishers.  At the moment, we’re working on the next version of the Mopapp service – I can’t say too much at the moment, but we plan to launch later this year and it will definitely help our clients increase their marketshare.   We’ve also recently completed cloud migration to the Windows Azure platform.

BK: You’ve also physically moved offices, I think you relocated Mopapp to London recently right? Why?

AR: London is a real hub for global start-ups and investors, so it gives us a real international presence.  Plus, it is still close enough to Italy so that the management team can work closely with the developer team back in Italy.  We’re sharing Seedcamp’s offices in Tech City but plan to get our own premises soon.   London is a great place for start-ups to be right now, there’s a great buzz here.

BK: While the past 12 months have been good for Mopapp, economic conditions have been tough for start-ups across the region.  What do you think can be done to help start-ups more?

AR: Across different countries in Europe, more needs to be done to give start-ups tax reductions during their early years.  We are creating new jobs, so it is in the interest of the European economy to help us, because we are the employers of the future.  Governments need to take a longer term view.

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Alessandro actually spoke at a joint event between the US Embassy and the Italian government, and he had the same things to say, on a global level. To wit, entrepreneurs create jobs in the digital economy, and that economy is global, pervasive and accelerating. Incidentally, the company is hiring interns this summer to work in sunny Italy. Now, who would not want that kind of thing?