August 8, 2012

Can XO re-invent the banking industry?


Morten Lund is a Danish entrepreneur who was among the first investors in Skype. He is also a very lucky entrepreneur. One reason to why he invested in Skype was that he felt sorry for the founders who didn't have much money at that time - he didn't really believe in the business model behind Skype. The founders of Skype later sold the company to eBay for $2.6 billion, and Morten Lund made a lot of money from his investment. He later lost most of that money when a newspaper he had invested in failed in 2008. In 2009, Morten Lund was declared personally bankrupt. He has since then recovered from the bankruptcy, and has also co-founded the successful startups Tradeshift and Everbread. This year, he is back again with the startup XO.

XO is so new that they don't have a webpage - or an official name. When searching for information about the company, you will find names like LundXO, BankXO, XO GoGlobal, and CapitalXO. The denominator is XO, so we will refer to the company as XO until we find more official information.

XO is a new type of bank - a social bank. The basic idea behind XO is to help small companies go global. A new type of bank is exactly what the world needs. The current world economy is in a mess, much thanks to the misbehaving of some of the traditional banks. You have probably heard at least one story each month about a misbehaving bank - from lending money illegally to Iran, to manipulating Libor-rates.

From the video above, it seems like they wanted to invest lots of money in Facebook - before the IPO this year. XO are probably long-term investors in Facebook since Morten Lund is a big fan of the social network and believes in the long-term potential of Facebook. XO are using Facebook as a platform and believes that Facebook is the next generation operating system, much like Windows and iOS used to be. The performance of the Facebook stock after the IPO has not been good. The stock has fallen from a high of $45, and is currently trading at $20 per share. We don't know what XO paid for the Facebook shares, but if they have lost money, let's hope that the loss will not influence the future of XO. The world really needs someone who can re-invent the banking industry.

Quotes by the company:
"LundXY GoGlobal gives all businesses the power and reach of a corporate conglomerate without pre-existing presence or capital. It utilizes the p2p bias of the social media to connect businesses to qualified sales partners already living or even operating in the regions they want to reach. Likewise, it gives locally connected distributors the ability to find and connect with international companies seeking affiliation with their community. LundXY GoGlobal coordinates a new kind of global transaction space that creates value through connections."
"But more than simply connecting new partners, LundXY GoGlobal is also an enterprise platform that allows businesses to operate on a global scale without actually scaling up in terms of investment, back office, legal staff, tax accountants, and other logistics.
Businesses and individuals use the communication platform to find one another, and are then free to focus on their relationship, collaboration, and sales. LundXO GoGlobal’s robust commerce and etransactions platforms enable an otherwise confoundingly complex international business relationship to proceed as if it were occurring between neighbors."

Source: LundXY, Vimeo