Behold the Mobile Era

Keval Desai
partner-InterWest Partners
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Keval Desai
Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, InterWest Partner has raised $2.8 billion, completed more than 70 IPOs, and participated in 60 upside acquisitions till date. Founded in 1979, the firm’s primary focus is providing venture capital to early-stage Life Sciences and Information Technology companies and invests an average of about $10 - 15 million over the span of their involvement with each company in their portfolio.

Tapping into the adoption of Smartphones

The focus for investment is on technologies and companies that are bringing innovation to the consumer. The big trend is clearly the massive adoption of smartphones and tablets worldwide which is heralding an unprecedented level of rewiring (or most aptly unwiring) of several industries including Retail, E-commerce, Financial Services, Healthcare, Education and even the Government. It was only eight years ago that Google went public in 2004 and businesses all over the world re-engineered themselves for the "Google era" to reach a consumer base which started their quest for a product or service by typing in a few keywords into Google. In a few years, when LinkedIn and Facebook went public in 2011-12, the same businesses re-engineered themselves for the "Social era" to reach consumers who had established an online identity with original names on the social nets. While this social internet re-engineering was still in progress, the mobile era sprung up first with the advent of iPhones & iPads and later with Android devices. These touch based devices, coupled with increased broadband speed on mobile networks, is ushering a completely new era where users are interacting with the web in a 24x7 fashion and from anywhere in the world, far away from their desks at offices and homes. Since more people in the world have mobile devices than there ever were PCs, the "Mobile era" promises to be a bigger trendsetter than anything else we have seen before.

IP is the undisputed winner

One of the most remarkable and longest running technology trends is the spread of Internet Protocol (IP) into every area of computing. IP initially began in the Wide Area Network (WAN) connecting the World Wide Web, which spread to the Local Area Network (LAN) connecting work groups in then offices. Now IP is poised to spread to our homes, connecting the various devices/appliances that reside within the living walls. Today, the devices in our home speak different "languages" i.e there are 3 - 4 remote controls available at homes, but still there is a struggle to get the Home Theater to work!

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