'In Your Pocket' catches investors' attention

  • 2000-07-20
  • Jaclyn M. Sindrich
TALLINN - Trigon Capital, one of the Baltic states' and northwestern Russia's leading investment banks, announced the largest new media investment in the Baltics ever. The firm signed a $4.6 million investment in the ever-popular city tour guide provider, "In Your Pocket," on July 13.

Trigon placed the share issue with the Baltic Republics Fund, a fund which has also invested in other Baltic "new economy" companies like Microlink, Helmes and Alna. The Lithuanian-based "In Your Pocket" calls Trigon Capital's investment a major step toward its conquest of the Web, WAP (wireless application protocol) and Western Europe.

Forget dot-com insanity. Trigon Capital stressed its investment is in a company that has established itself "the brick and mortar" way.

"From the start of this process, it was clear that IYP isn't just another Internet gamble or a pointless Web site - this is a company built on real people, with real products, producing real content and generating real sales," said Trigon Capital partner Jason Grenfell-Gardner.

"In Your Pocket," well- known in the guidebook industry and among tourists through the region, covers 19 major cities through- out Central and Eastern Europe, including Vilnius, Tallinn, Riga, Parnu, Kaunas and Klaipeda. The company currently operates out of six offices, but by 2000, it plans to open 10 more offices, starting with Prague, Warsaw and, of course, the wireless-savvy Scandinavian capitals, Copenhagen and Helsinki, according to an "In Your Pocket" press release.

The company was spawned in 1992 by three Belgian brothers and a German journalist to "simply get by," and get around a rapidly-changing post-Soviet Vilnius. Now, it is one of the largest resources for city information in Eastern Europe.

Not surprisingly, "In Your Pocket" has already established itself online (inyourpocket.com), but now, the company is intent on fast-forwarding to the mobile and wireless markets.