June 14, 1972 |
Erlenbach, Bavaria, Germany
Alexander Straub is a German-born entrepreneur. Straub Ventures of London and Cambridge Accelerator Partners. He was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he dropped out while completing his DPhil. However, he previously gained two engineering degrees, one from Darmstadt Dipl. Ing and the other from Cornell Master of Engineering (MEng). He also attended Stanford University, Timoshenko Institute on a DAAD scholarship to complete his Master Thesis for Darmstadt for the Department of Applied Mechanics.
In 1999, Straub and business partner Rouzbeh Pirouz won a Sunday Times entrepreneurship contest. With the prize money from 3i, Eden Capital and Zouk Ventures and total funding of around £7.6m the pair launched Mondus, an online B2B marketplace for SMEs that has been compared to Alibaba and appeared to operate using a similar business model. By April 2000 the business was valued at £760 million (Financial Times Article). Later that year, in August, a 40.7% stake was sold to Italian Yellow Pages Seat Pagine Gialle for £100m in cash and shares. Soon after the transaction Straub was appointed as Vice Chairman. He moved to New York City to establish Lazard Technology Partners II, a $300 million venture fund, while Pirouz stayed on with Mondus. The duo later bought back Mondus from Seat Pagine Gialle.
Straub held an internship position with Goldman Sachs’ principal investment area in London, during which time he worked on an investment into SSL, which is today part of Parthus Ceva, an Irish-headquartered intellectual property company focused on semiconductors. He became a general partner at Lazard Technology Partners (LTP) in New York City.
His listed investments include Stockholm-based software firm IBX, and e-invoicer OB10, which was floated on the London Stock Exchange as Tungsten PLC Corp and Summit PLC. In 2006 he co-founded mobile Voice over IP specialist Truphone with James Tagg. As of 2014, Truphone has built mobile network operations in eight countries: USA, UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain. Straub was named Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum in 2007 and 2008 for his work with Truphone.
In 2007, Straub co-founded Pixsta, a visual search company that later merged into Empora Group. Pixsta won Red Herring Europe 100 and was shortlisted to Global Red Herring 100. Today, Straub remains CEO and Chairman of Empora Group GmbH, which operates the social sharing network Fashionfreax and Avenue7. He acquired fashionfreax in 2010. While Fashionfreax is an equivalent global female social image sharing network like Pinterest, Instagram it is smaller than its US headquartered rivals. The company also operates European state funded visual search research and development into the following subjects of interest clothing recognition in images, context of clothing recognition, pattern recognition and logo recognition technologies.
In early 2017 Straub launched SnapMe, an App based e-commerce company, based on e-commerce enabled via computer vision, machine learning and A.I. in preparation for an augmented reality and VR enabled world. Currently SnapMe links Instagram and Snapchat images and video to consumers via a simple "Shop by Screenshot" mechanism. e-commerce companies and brands can integrate easily via SnapMe API and test the capabilities on company opened Instagram and Snapchat accounts.
Straub lives in LA, London and Berlin with his wife Tilla Lindig, founder of Happycoat and three children.
- "Alexander Straub". Business Week, Bloomberg. New York City. 12 June 2000. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 2006-10-30.
- Rodger, Iain. "Mondus storms b2b market", BBC Business, London, 4 April 2000
- Cassy, John. "Fledgling Mondus raises £100m with sale of 40% stake", The Guardian, London, 11 August 2000
- Mansfield, Barry. "A True Calling" London, CNBC European Business. 1 January 2008
- "Empora acquired fashionfreax"
- Rushton, Katherine. "Britain's Truphone wins backing from Roman Abramovich" London, The Daily Telegraph. 1 February 2013
-  Straub Ventures