Four exciting new UK web ventures pitching for funding later this month — share your thoughts

21/03/2011 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

Ether Books
Ether Books is a disruptor in the Publishing sector and is to reading what iTunes is to music. From
newspapers to magazines and books to columns – Internet enabled touch screen devices (like the iPad) have created a paradigm shift in consumer reading. Ether disrupts the publishing landscape by directly connecting writers to readers and cutting out inefficiencies in traditional publishing. Writers work directly with Ether thereby reducing publishing time to market >1 year to <2 weeks. Consumers download content to their devices; writers retain a higher % of profits. Publication costs are low, allowing margins to increase with each sale.


Ether launched in less than 6 months. Ether already has early revenues from writers including Sir Paul McCartney and Hillary Mantel. Featured on CNN, Radio 4, The Guardian, The Times, and Wall Street Journal, Ether is already a well-known new entrant in the UK publishing sector. The founders have a track record of developing high growth “download” businesses in music and mobile. EBITDA is projected to be £2m by 2014 when a trade sale is anticipated.

Slick Flick
Slick Flick is a photo story platform in the form of a mobile/tablet app. Photo stories are a  mezzanine level situated between basic mediums such as book, script and photography and more complex ones like film, TV, video games. They can be as simple as a storyboard or slide show and as complex as a graphic novel. The simple format of photography and text has maximum flexibility in creation and distribution, while retaining the key elements of more complex content forms, such as visual representation, story line and information content.


Slick Flick aims to create a seamless system that will make creation and distribution of photo stories effortless for authors and viewing a pleasure for consumers, in a market like environment that fosters creativity and helps generate high quality content contributions.

WeCanDo.Biz is an online new business network for sales leads and referrals. Using social networking methods to broker valuable new business relationships, it provides simple tools to  members that help generate sales leads, leverage customer referrals and win new business.


The two founders have over 50 years in the software industry behind them, including successful startups and exits, and have been involved in social networking since 2003. Version 2 of the web-based service, which already has 16,500 registered members, launches in early April 2011 at

MatesRates is an online private membership club where second home-owners can rent out their properties to recommended, trusted individuals at preferential rates within a closed, invitation only environment. In this way they are able to unlock income that they may previously have been reluctant to exploit. The home-owners determine the membership as they invite their friends or trusted contacts.


The longer-term objective is to create an exclusive community of affluent individuals who will leverage their relationships to provide and access a range of services at a “MatesRate”. This takes the networking aspects of Linked In and other social networks to the next level by introducing a direct commercial trading aspect. The founders each have over 18 years experience of founding, growing and exiting start up businesses in Europe. The team is also able  to call upon extensive experience within larger corporate environments at an operational and strategic level running large web services, marketing, customer operations and business integration.

What do you think of the four above?  Which is your favourite?  Share your comments below.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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