Do you have a great idea but not sure how to execute it? Are you interested in collaborating with us? Please send us a message or give us a call!
Popa AB, Box 3619,
103 59 STOCKHOLM, Sweden
+46 322 30 36 05
+46 70 776 77 33
Popa AB, Box 5173,
200 71 MALMÖ, Sweden
+46 322 30 36 01
+46 70 833 80 00
POPA (Projects of PAssion) has been our home turf since 2000. Through POPA, we start or engage in interesting projects that have the potential to turn into fun and business.
We started POPA after working in other exciting organizations such as Tele2, Aspiro, Lunarstorm (Magnus) and Jobline, Campuz Mobile and Pressglobe (Johan). There, we gained great experience working with communities and internet and mobile services. Through those organizations we were bitten by the start-up bug; the only cure seemed to be running our own exciting projects and businesses. So far, our journey has been a combination of logical steps, miscalculations and strokes of luck.
We started out in 2001 by acquiring Everysport from the IT-company Ementor (now ATEA). Coming from a background in mobile services and communities, we had a vision of turning Everysport into a purely mobile-services company, providing SMS results and wap-portals for sports. Needless to say, it did not go well, and because we had exactly no income from mobile services, we had to find a way to bring in other revenue. We went to the dailies in Sweden and offered help in administrating local sports results and statistics, which was much more successful. Everysport now serves approximately 75% of the Swedish dailies with results, tables and statistics in many sports and divisions.
In the beginning, we outsourced all of our development to the Gothenburg-based development team Surikat. Things were great, but we saw that the amount of development steadily increased and we wanted even more control over the technical direction for Everysport. We contacted BTH in Ronneby, who set us up with some really interesting projects in collaboration with their students. Through these projects we found super talented developers Lars Widmark, Kaj Wiklund, Mattias Eriksson and Carl Grundberg, with whom we then started technological lab Menmo. Menmo now provides tech development to all of our companies and is the founder of our technological ventures, such as Mobenga. Over the years, the line between POPA and Menmo has blurred; today, most of our focus is on Menmo projects.
Everysport and Menmo collaborated in 2004 to build mobile sports service Sportzapp, a mobile java app that allowed fans to follow their teams, receive live score updates and chat with each other in real-time. Sportzapp launched in versions for media clients DN and Göteborgs Posten; however, even though with massive advertising campaigns and events, the app was unsuccessful, perhaps due to our underestimation of the technological hurdles required to install java apps on phones in 2004. In 2005, we re-launched Sportzapp with the ice hockey club Malmö Redhawks and suddenly saw a ten-fold increase in the number of users over our media clients, perhaps suggesting that a close tie-in with a team motivated users to overcome the technology hurdles. Later that year, we launched a java app with live score service together with the betting company Bet and Win (now Bwin), and the number of users increased even more; as users got closer to the money, the hurdles appeared even lower.
Sportzapp’s success inspired us to start a specialized mobile-betting development company, Mobenga, with the guys from Mgoal. Mobenga started in the fall of 2005; we soon had our first customers and a very skilled CEO in ex-Expekt.com CEO, Christian Rajter. It took a few years, but mobile betting really took off; now, Mobenga is the market leader in making betting businesses mobile. We took on investment from a business “angel” and ALMI Invest in 2009 to further grow the business; in 2011, we sold Mobenga to LSE-listed betting software developer Playtech. Details here.
In 2005, we ran into sports media entrepreneur Magnus Jansson, who ran a few local sports websites in the Uppsala region, as well as Sweden’s largest basketball site, Basketsverige.se. We convinced Magnus to come on board and develop a sports media business for us. A little later, we acquired hockey site Hockeysverige.se and hockey stats giant Eliteprospects.com, which is now the dominant global player in hockey stats and hockey transfers. We also acquired leading Swedish football site Fotbolldirekt.se from IMG. All of our online sports media business is organized in NewsMe.
Sports communities have always held a special place in our hearts, which is why we have put a lot of love into everysport.com, a community focused on following live games, Matchsnack, a community for sharing your game experience, and training-log community Shapelink.com.
We were really pleased with the web sites’ development from 2005 to 2008, but we did not see much revenue coming in; we had worked with a few sales agents, but we were not really impressed with what they delivered. As a result, we started our own advertising sales company, Sportsverige, in 2009. Today, Sportsverige handles display advertising sales for all of our own sites as well as for a lot of other Swedish sports websites.
We developed an online administrative system in Everysport for sports clubs to manage football or ice hockey youth tournaments; that later developed into a full-scale event administration platform with a very capable e-ticketing solution. Today, that platform is maintained and further developed by Nortic, a technology leader in the Swedish ticketing business. Every year, hundreds of events and hundreds of thousands of tickets are administrated through Nortic.
In 2011, we grew out of our Malmö offices and looked for new office space. The proposals we received from brokers were expensive and not a lot of fun; through a stroke of luck, we found out that a three-story house on Djäknegatan was for sale. We bought it and converted it to Djäkne, a combined office space, open work space and coffee shop.
In the spring of 2012, we made a commitment to make a turnaround in functional-food start-up Reztart and as a result made our own investment and brought in a couple of outside investors. We also made an investment in e-commerce aggregator IRH.
After having had long lasting contacts with the association for the highest football leagues in Sweden, SEF, we came to the conclusion that in a cooperation we could capitalize on new technologies for the football. The joint efforts led to Sportomedia that has developed the official apps and sites for Allsvenskan, Superettan, Elitfotboll Damer and Division 1.
Before the year ended we had, through Shapelink, gotten to know a company that develops methods for coaching people to change, Inner.
2013 was supposed to be a year where our focus should be on existing engagements. But than we ran in to some people that impressed us an suddenly we had invested in some new projects…
This year also lead to one other great change. We decided from now on to do all our business through a new legal identity, Menmo Ventures. By connecting our investments to our development company Menmo we indicate that our focus is on technology. We believe it is around technology and competence in product development that we can ad more than just being a venture capitalist.
We believe in the concept of using video when recruiting. Therefore 2014 began with an engagement in ground breaking recruitment service YouCruit.
We are still looking for more exciting projects; if you have an idea for sports, media or mobile and you want to partner with us, please give us a call.