Rolling out just in time for the rumoured e-shopping spree this Christmas, 12Snap offers consumers the chance to buy goods such as concert tickets and electronic gadgets via auctions through their mobile phones.
Already active in Germany and Italy, the good thing about this brand is that the service uses SMS technology - which is pretty much universally available via all mobile phones - as well as WAP.
Site characteristics Since this business model is based more around mobile than web commerce, the site is very basic. But people will be interacting with the brand via their mobile phones anyway.
Target demographics Mobile phone users aged between 18 and 35 who are open to new technologies and attracted to discounted prices.
Principals Michael Birkel, the chief executive of the German branch of 12Snap, is also the company's co-founder. Anne de Kerckhove is the UK managing director.
Backing Initially funded by Viventures Partners in Paris, secondary funding was led by Nokia Ventures in March of this year. Third-round funding has just been secured from Apax Europe and Argo Global Capital.
Marketing Marketing for 12Snap will focus on PR and co-marketing opportunities with its operator, Vodafone, and its goods suppliers.
Competition One of the closest competitors to 12Snap in the UK is Scan, which uses SMS technology exclusively to sell products to consumers via their mobiles.Deborah Bonello
THE YEAR AHEAD
The infancy of m-commerce and the lack of knowledge of how well such services will be adopted by consumers makes 12Snap's future uncertain.