CleverLearn Opens Back-Office in Cebu, BigFoot NextJanette Toral
CleverLearn.com launched their back-office operations in Cebu City and its Clicktionary last November 23, 2001. This company was able to build its RP presence from the ground up in record time, 2 months.
It all started last September 2. I received an email from a digitalfilipino.com visitor inquiring about the possibility of outsourcing software development work in the country. Was able to reply right away and Michael Gleissner, the company chairman, came to Manila last September 8.
During our meeting, the discussion went to the level of looking into the possibility of setting up operations in the Philippines. He went
to Cebu that afternoon and set up a meeting for him with Vincent Rallon of Salveon Inc. and who happens to be the founding president of CyberPromdi, a Cebu-based Internet user community. Rallon introduced Gleissner to several contacts in Cebu.
Last September 13, CleverLearn.com finally opened its presence in the country and hired technical people who are now powering the back-office operations of the company. US-based management members, Marc Hausen and Tobias Koenig, are now based in Cebu as the back-office operations of the company is being moved from the US.
Marc Hausen will be at helm of the Cebu operation, and is the designated CEO and President of Cleverlearn Learning Asia Inc., a local subsidiary of Cleverlearn.com Inc., one of the portfolio companies headquartered in Washington DC (USA). Tobias Koenig is the VP for product development and heads up the products and services of the company.
Cleverlearn.com is building tools for learning english for markets with non-native english speakers. The company has closed their main office in Germany due to large losses incurred by the high cost of software development. The existing commercial product is the “Clicktionary”, a tray application that allows users to click on words and get an instant translation. Important next steps are to localize the product for other markets (Japan, China, Spain, France) and include client/server communications to provide subsequent learning tools. The Clicktionary has 130,000 users in Germany.
“I am very pleased with the quality of work that our 20 man team was able to do with our Clicktionary,” said Gleissner.
With the early success of such experience, the company is now moving
on to the next level by setting up the back-office operations of
BigFoot.com in Cebu City.
To start the process, the search is now on for a Chief Techonology
Officer with experience in mission-critical UNIX applications. The company is also open to get an entire company that has not been able to raise funds and is looking for new challenges. Expertise in website development and wireless applications will be very vital.
Cleverlearn.com is one of approximately 15 portfolio companies of Bigfoot Ventures LLC., formerly known as LBinvest Venture Capital Partners LLC. Its office is based in New York, and it has several investments in learning companies and e-commerce companies. LBinvest acquired Bigfoot.com, a well-known e-mail provider in the U.S.. It is building Bigfoot.com into a communications company, marketing specialized telecom services to its 2.1 million customers.
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