Gianluca D’Agostino is a mobile tech expert, entrepreneur and Angel Investor, and a newly appointed advisor to MEF. We caught up with him during MEF Connects 2019 to ask about key tech trends in the global mobile ecosystem in 2019 and beyond.
What do you see as the biggest innovation trends in the mobile ecosystem today?
First of all, I see that today the Mobile Ecosystem is the Ecosystem! Everything now is started, is designed, is consumed primarily via a smartphone. This outcome is something we foresaw as lucky pioneers of the “mobile revolution” in the 90s, and it’s indeed amazing to watch it happening.
There are a number of exciting trends coming up but my favourite ones are associated with content & service monetization. I’m observing a potential shift towards new platforms, after almost a decade of Apple/Google domination.
For example, Epic Games, developer of the viral success “Fortnite”, has been taken off the Google Play Store while Facebook and Snapchat have created their Instant Games Platform.
More precisely I see two trends: 1) Tech giants creating their own separate platforms to nurture app developers 2) Smaller players developing new distribution models more developer friendly.
Why do you think established companies / MEF members need to engage more with start-ups?
Open Innovation should not only be a keyword but a continuous strategy for public and private companies, and surely for MEF members.
I believe that a Board of a corporate should scan the market, looking for startups to partner with and ultimately to be acquired to accelerate the innovation pattern.
My role within the Boards of Bango (a MEF member) and OnMobile Global has a lot to do with such practice and has led in 2018-19 to the acquisition of Audiens by Bango and Appland by OnMobile.
As an Angel Investor what do you look for in a start-up?
My main areas of focus as Investor have been: marketplaces, ecommerce and technologies for ecommerce (B2C or B2B/SAAS). The investment “fil-rouge” is the support to young entrepreneurs who think out-of-the-box and are fully committed to their dreams, with a dedicated focus to female founders, aiming to promote a successful generation of “women in tech”.
How can start-ups benefit from partnering with established companies?
This is obviously the other side of the medal of the earlier question. I do believe that start-ups and especially B2B ones should engage with corporate pretty early during their journey.
And that they should not merely to build some foundation for a possible industrial exit, but test and design their products according to what the corporate market is looking for.
I even believe that the “Startup creation funnel” might be triggered more and more in the future by Corporate inputs, see the successful Founders Factory case here in London as a reference
What are your predictions for the mobile ecosystem in 2020?
Let me drop here 3 predictions which are confirmed by the growth of 3 startups I’ve invested in
- Consumer subscriptions and group subscriptions to accelerate their growth vs Advertising within the Monetization market shares
- Crowdtesting to become a key component of the big SW testing market
- Blockchain to fully recover from the Crypto Hype bubble and enter the main gate of a key technology component for several mission critical marketplaces beyond finance, including government and real estate