In the life of a startup, closing a Series A Round is an important milestone. It means that the startup has demonstrated enough traction in the market that investors believe the company has reached “product/market fit” and is ready to scale-up. Most startups fail before reaching this milestone—an estimated 9 out of 10 startups fail to reach Series A. Closing the Series A round creates a huge lift in confidence for not only founders, but all of employees of the startup.
In February, we announced that Coca-Cola Founders-backed Wonolo, an on-demand staffing company, had closed their Series A round. We posted a Coca-Cola Journey article explaining our co-creation approach as well as the strategic value Wonolo is creating for Coca-Cola.
Weex is now the second company in our portfolio to reach this milestone.
In less than two years, we’ve co-created 12 startups in 10 countries. Our co-creation approach is helping Coca-Cola create new solutions that would be very difficult for us to create internally as well as building high-growth startups with founders around the world.
Every established company is dealing with (or maybe struggling with) what most people refer to as “digital transformation.” Every company must transform in their own way, but we feel that with Weex, we could be riding the next wave of digital transformation.
In a recent post, Fred Wilson, one of the most respected VCs in the world, makes the case that the future of “mobile” will look a lot different than in has in the past.
“The mobile revolution from 2007 to 2015 in the west was more about how we accessed the internet than what apps we used, with some notable and important exceptions.
“But the next 2.5 billion people to adopt smartphones may turn out to be a different story," he writes. "They will mostly live outside the developed and wealthy parts of the world and they will look to their smartphones to deliver essential services that they have not been receiving at all – from the Web or from the offline world. I am thinking about financial services, healthcare services, educational services, transportation services, and the like.”
Weex has created a new wireless service in Mexico. But it’s also created a way for Coca-Cola to transform its business.
Pablo Lopez, our local internal advisor who has advised Weex from the beginning, sums up the opportunity this way:
“Think about it. We have millions of pieces of equipment that work alone and we have the chance of interconnecting them and building a proprietary network, one of the biggest in the world. From streaming content, to payments, to training our customers...the possibilities are endless. Let´s call it the Internet of Things but for the Coca-Cola system.”
Imagine how big this could be?
What’s exciting is that co-creation is almost infinitely scalable. We can collaborate with entrepreneurs and VCs in more than 200 countries. Imagine how big this could be? Now imagine if other multinationals like Coca-Cola were to open up their biggest challenges and their assets to co-create new marketplaces, new platforms and perhaps even new industries?
David Butler is vice president of innovation at The Coca-Cola Company.
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