Services companies can use their varied client network for feedback on prospective investments. Those companies that get the client vote can start doing business instantly with a wide client base. Such was the case for Yet2Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of technology marketplace, which was able to make a quick decision to invest in mobile device barcode scanning company Mobeam. Yet2 asked corporate clients to vet the technology of the nascent start-up, in this case a client base of consumer goods companies, such as Procter & Gamble, that handle discount coupons. Ben duPont, general partner at Yet2Ventures, said: “We took Mobeam to a dozen major couponers in a week. Their reaction moved us to make our investment.” This, effectively outsourced, due diligence led to co-leading Mobeam’s $6.2m series A round in 2011. The results of the partnership are set to bear further fruit with a coming funding round. Chris Sellers, Mobeam chief executive, said: “We will be finalising our series B venture round in the next month, which includes Yet2Ventures, DFJ Athena, Mitsui Ventures and Fairbridge Partners.” Yet2 sourced the Mobeam deal, as it was a spin-off from its mobile communications company Ecrio. DuPont said: “As a result of our investment in Ecrio, we had a small initial position in Mobeam. We then led Mobeam’s two financing rounds.” Sellers said: “Yet2 has been an integral partner in developing new opportunities for the use of Mobeam technology. Ben duPont is board chairman for Mobeam and he continues to provide support and belief in the power of our technology to transform mobile commerce.” Such support has resulted in multiple commercial wins for Mobeam. Sellers said: “We have completed our first phase of tests with Proctor & Gamble, exploring new and highly efficient methods for consumers to redeem – and retailers to accept – coupons at the point of sale. Additionally, we have a strategic alliance with ProLogic for coupon processing that combines our technology and ProLogic’s Digital Coupon Clearing solution to create a completely digitised coupon system for consumers and retailers. We will also be announcing more in the coming months regarding our technology and manufacturers.” There is huge enthusiasm at Yet2Ventures for Mobeam’s technology. DuPont said: “At Mobeam one blink literally transmits a thousand barcodes. At a supermarket check-out scanner, while you can easily scan the barcode on a bag of peas, you could not read barcodes on a handset until Mobeam came along.” Working as both investor and…

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