In a bid to capitalise on what it says is a period of “accelerated growth”, eBuddy, the Dutch web and mobile messaging company, has appointed Sytse Zuidema as its new Chief Operations Officer, where he’ll be charged with leading the management team and overseeing day-to-day operations, such as sales, marketing, and product development.
Zuidema has plenty of experience, having served as Chief Commercial Officer for Dutch cable operator, Casema, where he’s said to have played a “significant role” at the company during a 2006 merger that lead to a $2.6 billion sale. And it’s this experience that eBuddy aims to tap into, perhaps as it gears up for an exit of its own.
Specifically, the company says that Zuidema will be focussing on “near-term financial performance”, as well as “long-term growth and value”, which should please the privately held company’s backers: Prime Ventures and Lowland Capital Partners.
eBuddy cites 250m registered users, and is targeting emerging markets and India in particular for its next growth phase, having launched its eBuddy XMS product which is designed to circumvent SMS messaging fees, along the lines of other social messaging apps, such as WhatsApp. eBuddy XMS is currently available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and Windows Phone 7 devices.
In addition to Casema, Zuidema has been a founder, general manager, and co-investor at various small and medium telecom and ICT enterprises. Notably he has an engineering background too, holding a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Delft University of Technology.
eBuddy was founded in 2003 and now based in Amsterdam, San Francisco and Singapore.