Mobile start-ups 'can now compete with big companies'

Mobile start-ups 'can now compete with big companies'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 6th 2011 at 12:38PM

Playfish boss says new smartphone studios have a huge opportunity to be successful

The rise of mobile allows start-ups to challenge giant companies, Playfish boss Kristian Segerstrale has said.

"Never before has there been a time where as a small company you have such an unbelievable opportunity to challenge the big giants in any sector," he said at a London event.

"And nowhere is there such an opportunity as in mobile."

Segerstrale believes that, with the rise of emerging economies and smartphone popularity, the number of people with mobiles could rise from 1.5 billion to 4-5 billion over the next five years.

“There's an opportunity that big companies can't do: it's hard to focus on this platform when you're big. People are migrating from desktops to mobiles, and big companies won't do it: you guys will,” he said.

"It is horrible today to be a big company and want to do something new and innovative and different."

He urged start-ups to “dare to put a zero” on the money they are raising in order to chase that vision.

He also warned against playing cautious in raising funds and to think bigger to compete with rivals.

“If we continue to raise money that's one quarter or one fifth of what our brethren in Silicon Valley raise, they will continue acquiring the companies here and ultimately creating the world-beating companies."

Elsewhere, Segerstrale believes there are unique opportunities in London, which could be the place for start-ups as it’s full of “passionate, talented entrepreneurs."

“If we spend enough time together and bother to listen to one another and work together, we can raise London up from a distant second cousin to Silicon Valley to a genuine driver of where the mobile internet is going."

Kristian Segerstrale was speaking at Mobile Entertainment’s top 50 innovators event in London.