Smartfrog Hires Internet and Telco Veteran Charles Fraenkl as CEO
Adding a proven tech executive to drive company´s innovation and strong growth worldwide
Berlin, Dublin, 27.10.2016
Smartfrog, the leading Internet of Things provider, hired Charles Fraenkl as the chief executive officer, adding an experienced, proven expert in the telecommunications, information technology and consumer business. Fraenkl, who hails from Switzerland was previously the CEO of Gigaset AG, a leading communication technology company listed on the prime standard of German stock-exchange and Europe's market leader in DECT phones with sales activities in 70 countries worldwide and over 1200 employees. Gigaset is also a pioneer and provider of award winning smart home and IoT solutions “Gigaset elements”. Elements was developed and brought to market under Fraenkl’s leadership. Prior to that, Fraenkl was CEO of ClickandBuy, CEO of AOL Germany, CEO of Vodafone Telecommerce Group, Head of technology of Vodafone, member of the executive board of e-plus and a managing director of Swisscom.
Charles Fraenkl graduated with a master’s degree in electrical engineering with concentration in telecommunications from the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). He also holds a master of science in management from the London business School and speaks 5 languages.
“Charles knows the internet business inside out and is adding an enormous value with his profound expertise in both technology and leadership” said Andreas Rudyk, a co-founder at Smartfrog. “This is a great day for our customers, our team and partners.”
“Smartfrog is recognized as one of the most promising IoT companies in Europe” Fraenkl said. “I am impressed with everything Smartfrog has accomplished so far in such a short time. Smartfrog is disruptive in almost every area of its business, has users in 130 countries, a great team, the first really easy to use and affordable IoT-Product, innovative technology, great partners and acclaimed investors. I am very excited to help scaling the business.“
“With Charles Fraenkl, Smartfrog has hired a renowned executive with two decades of experience in developing new technologies, building companies and making new markets. This will further strengthen Smartfrogs's position as an IoT leader” says Andreas Haug, General Partner at e.ventures. “Charles is a very well-known expert and the perfect fit to drive the innovation and the fast growth of Smartfrog” says Yaron Valler, General Partner at Target Global.
Just a few weeks ago, Smartfrog completed a new financing round of EUR 20 million to fund its strong growth. The company has raised a total of around EUR 28 million in funding since its foundation in June 2014.
Smartfrog (http://www.smartfrog.com/) is a tech company focused on the “Internet of Things”, which is about making everyday objects more intelligent and connected to the internet, e.g. via an app. The aim is to make the everyday lives of people more comfortable and more secure by making modern technologies user friendly and affordable. For this, Smartfrog has developed a universal IoT-Platform designed to build dedicated solutions across product areas. Having started with security and monitoring as a primary area, it offers an easy-to-use and affordable complete home security solution, so that users can always keep an eye on their home and business at any time and from anywhere. The package starts at €5.95 (£4.95) per month, with no minimum contract period and monthly cancellation. It includes the Smartfrog app, allowing users to manage up to ten cameras, a Smartfrog Cam and video storage.
Among the shareholders and management of Smartfrog are the founders of internationally renowned IT and internet companies. Charles Fraenkl is CEO. International VC-funds such as e.ventures, Target Global and renowned family offices as well as Jean-Pierre Wyss, co-founder of u-blox AG, a leading Swiss high tech company, are involved as investors.
Founded in 1998 and built on a strong, shared culture of entrepreneurship, e.ventures is a leading early stage venture capital firm with global scale. The firm invests out of dedicated funds in six geographies and combines a global investment strategy and philosophy with local presence and insights. Focused at the intersection of consumer internet, media and mobile, e.ventures partners with visionary company founders to disrupt global markets and build category creating companies.
Notable investments include AppFolio, Sonos, AngiesList, Groupon, FarFetch, The RealReal, NGINX, Deposit Solutions, App Annie, Auctionata, Munchery, and others.
For more information, visit the e.ventures website: https://www.eventures.vc/
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About Target Global
Founded in 2012, Target Global is an international VC firm with over $300 million in assets under management and offices in San Francisco, Berlin, Moscow and Tel Aviv. Target Global focuses primarily on fast-growing digital-enabled B2C and B2SMB companies in e-Commerce, Fintech, travel, software and mobile. Target Global manages a growth fund that invests in Series B and later stage opportunities (both primary and secondary) 5-30m$ per deal and a seed stage fund that focuses on late seed and early Series A investments of 200-500k$ per deal. Investment criteria are a) Digital-enabled businesses operating in a B2C or B2 SMB space; b) Targeting a large market and global opportunity; c) Led by an amazing team.