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Bmp AG backs Your Opinion Counts

Berlin-based YOC is developing an interactive platform for mobile phones and internet.

Venture capital company Bmp AG has acquired a 20 per cent stake in Berlin-based YOC!AG. The company is developing an interactive SMS-based platform for the youth market and will release it in the first quarter of this year.

Co-investors in YOC, which stands for Your Opinion Counts, include Industrie Management Holding GmbH which has taken a 10 per cent stake in the company, and the DIH Finanz und Consult GmbH which has acquired a five per cent shareholding. Board members include Gerd Schmitz-Morkramer, managing partner of Merck, Finck & Co. Private Bank, Kai Hiemstra of German media agency HMS Carat, and a Bmp AG representative. The company has made strategic agreements with partner agencies from the publishing and media sector.

YOC is targeting 13-26 year old mobile phone users. A company statement says that over 15 million of 36 million mobile telephone owners belong to this target group. Dr. Oliver Scholz, Bmp AG's senior investment manager, said: “The business model aspires to a strategic technical fusion between the mobile phone and the internet, whereby the service principle is independent of the Internet. The degree of interaction achieved, in association with the advantages of the mobile telephone, opens up attractive business potential.”

Bmp AG has been involved in venture capital since 1997 in Europe and the US. Since its foundation, it has invested over E100m in companies.