Tag: Austin Ventures

Bizologie Provides Research Services to VCs and Startups

By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News

April Kessler, Lindsey Schell and Laura Young, founders of Bizologie

April Kessler, Lindsey Schell and Laura Young, founders of Bizologie

In May of 2014, Laura Young found out Austin Ventures wouldn’t be raising another venture capital fund.

That meant her job as a staff researcher and librarian would be phased out.

So in June she decided to launch Bizologie, a business research firm, with her colleagues and fellow librarians Lindsey Schell and April Kessler. Kessler also worked at Austin Ventures. They all originally met at the University of Texas working in its library system. Bizologie provides due diligence and competitive intelligence research to venture capital firms and startups.

Today, Bizologie has four VC firms as clients, a couple of advertising agencies, Techstars in Austin and lots of startups.

“A lot of CEOS need what we have they just don’t know it yet,” Young said.

Bizologie can provide research for any business or organization. They have subscriptions to expensive databases like Capital IQ and Thompson One and they know the tips and tricks to finding information on Google that most people don’t know exist, Schell said.

“It’s an investment in your growth whether you are seeking a Series A or you’re at $10 million in revenue and trying to get to $20 million in revenue, there is expert research you need in your business at every stage,” Young said.

Sante Ventures, a VC firm in Austin with a focus on investing in life sciences startups, is a client.

“I got used to relying on a top-shelf professional research and intelligence department during my seven years at Austin Ventures, and at McKinsey before that,” said Kevin Lalande, managing director of Sante Ventures.

But the expense required to have a full-time team with that caliber of research talent makes sense for large funds that have more than $1 billion in capital under management, Lalande said. But it doesn’t for smaller funds, and that’s the problem Bizologie solves, he said.

“Laura and her team at Bizologie fill this need by allowing several smaller but demanding funds to share the expense base,” Lalande said. “Their work was always outstanding when they were in-house at AV, but if there’s one thing I know about start-ups, it’s that nothing so focuses the mind as launching your own business and knowing you have to cover your own expenses with paying clients.”

And Bizologie has met and all of Lalande’s expectations.

“They have over delivered as I knew they would,” he said.

Tritium Partners, a private equity firm focused on growth buyouts in the lower middle market, based in Austin, uses Bizologie for a wide variety of projects including market and company research, diligence support and opportunity sourcing.

Bizologie is creative, thorough and efficient, said Brett Shobe, principal with Tritium Partners. They are collaborative problem solvers with a friendly, trustworthy and responsive team, he said.

“Bizologie’s research experts allow our investment team to be more productive while also improving our research capacity and quality,” Shobe said.

static1.squarespaceBizologie provides a one-stop shop for research services and data resources, he said.

“They are research experts, a skill set most firms don’t have internally,” he said.

If someone really understands what a librarian does, they instantly understand the value in what Bizologie does, Schell said.

A venture capital firm might want to know the size of a market, a bio of a CEO, competitors in a particular industry, a history of a funding in that area, a full overview of an industry and Bizologie can do all that, she said.

Ad agencies ask the same questions in different language, Schell said. Bizologie generally investigates 20 to 25 sources for each report.

Bizologie charges different rates depending on the client’s needs, Kessler said. It can even provide 24/7 red carpet service based on a retainer and an anticipated volume of service, she said.

“Our customers are coming to us for different reasons,” Kessler said. So Bizologie offers a variety of pricing plans to meet their needs like flat fees for startups.

“We answer any kind of off the wall question like how much does sugar cost and how much will it cost five years from now?” she said.

Bizologie specializes in high-tech and med-tech, but they have done every kind of research topic across the board, Young said.

Even today a lot of people think they can just Google information and find the research they need, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, Young said.

“We can use Google better than a lot of people,” she said. “If you’re not trained and experienced at finding information, it can take days to find information.”

Compare Metrics Snags $3.8 Million in Follow-On Venture Capital

comparemetricslogoAustin-based Compare Metrics, which makes analytics software aimed at retailers, announced that is has received $3.8 million in follow-on venture capital.
Austin Ventures led the investment with additional funding by existing investors Julie Allegro of Allegro Venture Partners, Bob Greene of Contour Ventures, Capital Factory, Mike Maples Jr. of Floodgate, Brett Hurt of Hurt Family Investments and independent investors Dean Drako, Ralph Mack and Adam Ross.
This brings the company’s total amount of funding to $8 million. Compare Metrics received $4.2 million in first-round financing in May of 2013.
Compare Metrics recently made the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce’s A-List of Startups to watch in Austin in the emerging growth category.
The company plans to use the money to support its continued growth. It now has 32 employees and several customers including Fresh Pair, Lenovo, Rebecca Minkoff and The Wasserstrom Co.
Garrett Eastham, Mikael Solomon and Stephen Goodwin co-founded Compare Metrics in 2012 based on Eastham’s cognitive science research at Stanford University.
“It has been exciting to watch the journey of the Compare Metrics team from a three-person start-up to the high-growth and maturing company that it is today. This follow-on investment is indicative of the company’s progress in proving out their market value,” Chris Pacitti, general partner with Austin Ventures, said in a news release. “Retail client results have again validated our original confidence in the company’s potential, and I look forward to watching their continued success going forward.”

Guides to SXSW 2014 in Austin

By LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News

Austin Skyline Photo licensed from iStockphoto.com

Austin Skyline Photo licensed from iStockphoto.com

It’s that crazy time of year in Austin when locals leave for Spring Break and rent out their houses and apartments for gobs of money to the estimated 30,000 people expected to attend this year’s South by Southwest Interactive.
That’s right, it’s the biggest, wildest and wackiest SXSW ever.
And while some think the event has jumped the shark, we don’t think so.
In fact, we get a lot of value out of SXSW every year and it’s a fabulous place to meet with all kinds of people. We always come away filled with new ideas.
This year, Silicon Hills News will launch its first print magazine at the event. Read this article on why we’re doing it.
To find a copy of it all you need to do is attend the Silicon Hills, Austin Technology Incubator and Central Texas Angel Network Pitch competition on Sunday in the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s offices. Hope to see you there.
Copies will also be at the entrepreneur’s lounge at Fogo de Chao and at Capital Factory, Techstars and other select locations around town.
But enough about us, let’s get to all the great panels, parties and people that make up SXSW.

To get a jump start on SXSW Interactive, check out the lineup of all the great events for University of Texas at Austin Entrepreneurship Week which kicked off last Friday.

The University of Texas has also published this 2014 Interactive Events and Activities schedule for all things Longhorn-related.

And SXSWedu Conference and Festival kicked off Monday and runs through Thursday.

The Austin Technology Council just released its member guide lineup of must-attend events.

Capital Factory has its agenda of SXSW events.

And don’t forget to read Joshua Baer’s 10 Austin Startups to Watch at SXSW.

Austin Ventures published this list of can’t miss events.

Mad Betty has published the party list.

And Fosbury has a directory featuring 30 local companies and landmarks along with the “best of” and “cant miss” spots in Austin.

Halfpastnow.com has created this “unofficial guide to SXSW.”

And the folks at WeAreAustinTech.com created the video embedded below as a guide for first timers.

Pitching to VCs and The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital

By SUSAN LAHEY
Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Krishna Srinivasan of LiveOak Venture Partners, photo by Susan Lahey

Krishna Srinivasan of LiveOak Venture Partners, photo by Susan Lahey

If you, as an entrepreneur, email a VC firm, it’s a crapshoot whether they’ll even open it, much less read it. If you’ve got some heavy hitter, celebrity entrepreneur or investor making the introduction for you, your chances improve astronomically. So start making friends with the right people. That was one of the key takeaways from a panel of venture capitalists, led by Andrew Romans, general partner at Silicon Valley’s Georgetown Angels and author of the book: The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from Leaders in the Startup Game.
The venture capital roundtable book event was hosted by Romans at the offices of DLA Piper. Panelists included Krishna Srinivasan of LiveOak Venture Partners, Pat Noonan of Austin Ventures, Lou Marchetti of Vista Equity Partners and Eric Garcia of Harvest Growth Capital.
In researching his book, Romans tapped his huge network of VCs, Angels, CEOs, and attorneys and wound up with dozens of contributors. The main point he raised Tuesday night was that entrepreneurs need to seek advisors with clout who can connect them with investors and help them understand what they need to know to make a solid pitch.
Andrew Romans, general partner at Silicon Valley’s Georgetown Angels and author of the book: The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from Leaders in the Startup Game, photo by Susan Lahey

Andrew Romans, general partner at Silicon Valley’s Georgetown Angels and author of the book: The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from Leaders in the Startup Game, photo by Susan Lahey

“The network around your company is your company’s best asset,” Romans said. It’s preferable if an advisor has some skin in the game in terms of cash or equity. But the most important thing is that they love the founders and are willing to open doors. Noonan of Austin Ventures agreed that the best route to getting a meeting was an introduction from someone they know and trust.
The right advisor, VCs added, will ensure that an entrepreneur doesn’t go into a meeting with gaping holes in his or her information.
“You’ve got to make sure you know your numbers,” Romans said. “If someone asks what’s your revenue and you stutter on that one, that’s a no-no. You’ve been there since the beginning you should know…if you don’t know what pre-money valuation is and you’re going to run into trouble it’s the advisor’s job to get you out of the meeting before that happens.”
Srinivasan of LiveOak Partners, though, said his company was happy to be contacted by entrepreneurs without a formal introduction. LiveOak is still new enough that it doesn’t have much of a legacy portfolio. And since theirs is a geographical strategy for Central Texas, they’re not too focused on themes either.
“We’re delighted to receive emails and are trying to be as helpful as possible and as responsive as possible. It feels like part of giving back to the market to raise institutional money…. We’re looking for smart guys who are hard working who want to work with us…. Other people who have these giant maps are looking for something specific—bitcoin meets gaming segments—we’re looking for something with recurring revenues and high growth segments, motherhood and apple pie stuff.”
“It’s hard to do thesis driven investing in a state like Texas,” said Noonan. “You’re at the mercy of the entrepreneurs.” AV, he said, is beginning to invest in oil and gas, since the technology component has become so much more crucial to the industry’s future. Health care and big data are other areas they’re dabbling in.
Garcia of Harvest Growth Capital said that company often helps founders of companies with $20 million to $30 million in revenues who haven’t arrived at an exit point yet and struggle with liquidity.
“The time to liquidity has gotten longer and longer,” he said. “It used to be four-to-five years. Now it’s north of 10 years…. A lot can change in that time; kids go to college, divorce, and taxes…. We can shorten that time to liquidity. We underwrite to two-to-three times money for a two-to-three year window.”
Romans krishna noonan marchetti garcia by Susan Lahey

Andrew Romans, Georgetown Angels, Krishna Srinivasan, LiveOak Venture Partners, Pat Noonan, Austin Ventures, Lou Marchetti, Vista Equity Partners, Eric Garcia, Harvest Growth Capital, photo by Susan Lahey

Two interesting dynamics have emerged in recent years, roundtable participants said. The quality of companies and ideas has gotten steadily stronger; and the amount needed to startup a company has gotten steadily smaller. In Austin, the number of big exits is growing, but still small. So VCs are being careful where they put their money, but there are few hard and fast rules about who will walk away with funding.
“We have funded companies pre-revenue, pre-product where they found the right market fit, some of our companies have revenue,” said Noonan. “It’s hard to pin down the exact magical formula. Every investor will target a different thing: ‘We invest in markets; we invest in people.’ You can make a mediocre idea truly exceptional with the best execution. All the time we get questions like ‘I’ve got an app, how many downloads do I need and how many active users? If you’re not growing 10 percent week over week, you’re doing something wrong. You need some kind of stickiness or growth. If on the enterprise side, you need customers to validate you.”
One approach Romans took, as an entrepreneur was to have a team sign an employment contract contingent on getting a specific investment. That way, he could present a sterling team to investors without anyone having to quit his job until the money was available.
Srinivasan said, from LiveOak’s perspective, companies needed to be able to articulate, “what is the next hill they want to take? What is the next inflection point for this company?”
In the end, Noonan said, “a lot of it comes down to gut feel.”

Persistence and Confidence Key to RetailMeNot’s Cotter Cunningham’s Success

By LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News

IMG_1723It’s not a good idea to quit a good job and launch a divorce startup while happily married, said Cotter Cunningham.
“The day you quit your job to go home and tell your wife you’re starting a divorce site is not the best day of your life,” Cunningham said.
At 46, Cunningham left his job as the COO of Bankrate in Palm Beach and wrote a $1 million check to launch Divorce360.com. He also raised $1 million from Austin Ventures. The investment was a good chunk of his net worth.
“It failed miserably,” Cunningham said.
The first year, the startup spent $400,000 and made $19, Cunningham said. The second year, it spent $1.5 million and made $300,000, he said.
“I feel like we failed because of the business model,” he said.
Cunningham recounted his entrepreneurial journey Tuesday evening during an interview with Brett Hurt, co-founder of Bazaarvoice and entrepreneur in residence at UT during a talk sponsored by the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship at UT.
Today, Cunningham is the founder, president and CEO of RetailMeNot, the world’s largest online coupon and deals marketplace. The company, founded in 2009, has 300 employees with its headquarters in Austin and offices in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. The company has raised approximately $300 million from investors including Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, JP Morgan and Google Ventures.
Hurt asked Cunningham how he became an entrepreneur. Cunningham and his brother grew up in Helena, Arkansas and later Memphis, after his parents divorced. His dad was speaker of the house in Arkansas and liked to debate politics around the dinner table. Cunningham liked growing up in a small town where everyone knew his name and the kids had a lot of freedom.
“I was driving at 14,” he said. “My dad threw me the keys and said have fun.”
When Hurt asked Cunningham what advice he would give to students, Cunningham advised them to be confident and persistent.
“I think to succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to have a strong amount of confidence in yourself, bordering on arrogance,” Cunningham said. “Persistence has worked for me. It was not something I was born with. I had to develop it as a skill.”
Cunningham said he didn’t have a great academic record. When he graduated from Memphis State, he landed a $14,000 a year job working for Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. He then went on to get his MBA from Vanderbilt University.
“I have always persisted,” Cunningham said. “I didn’t give up.”
That’s where passion comes into play, Hurt said. It drives entrepreneurs to keep going in the face of adversity.
“You almost can’t be persistent if you don’t like what you do,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham joked that he was the antithesis of Hurt, who he joked grew up with an entrepreneurial pacifier from birth.
After Divorce360 failed, Cunningham moved to Austin with his family and worked with Austin Ventures to start something new. He met a guy at a cocktail party who was going through a divorce and he found out he owned an online coupon site. The site generated $3 million a year in revenue.
“It was insanely profitable,” Cunningham said.
That sparked him to start Whale Shark Media, later renamed RetailMeNot. With the backing of Austin Ventures, Cunningham cold-called 100 online coupon sites. He interviewed 60 of them. He ended up buying three of them. Together, they had $10 million in revenue. He hired 30 people. He found out that RetailMeNot, the biggest competitor, based in Melbourne, Australia, was for sale. He got on a plane a few days later and flew to Australia to meet with the founders.
“We pursued them for nine months,” he said.
Part of the courtship involved eating kangaroo meat, something that Cunningham did not enjoy. But it helped him close the deal.
The lesson for the students, said Hurt, is that to be successful, “you have to eat kangaroo meat.”
Through all of the acquisitions, RetailMeNot has been able to maintain its corporate culture by treating employees the right way, Cunningham said. It got 60 employees through the acquisitions.
“We believe people work hard for us, so we need to work hard for them,” he said.

VCs and Founders Give Advice on Funding a Startup

By LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News

BWJolG9CMAA9hCnFunded companies, which are performing well, get nice offices and free lunches for their employees, said Mike Dodd, partner with Austin Ventures.
Mass Relevance is one of its portfolio companies performing quite well. And on Wednesday, the company hosted a panel discussion about successfully raising capital for a startup company as part of Austin Startup Week.
The two-year-old company has grown from four employees to more than 120 employees and raised $5.5 million in a Series A round of funding and it already has millions in revenue from customers like NBC, MTV Networks and CNN. Its partners include Facebook and Twitter. Mass Relevance, formerly known as TweetRiver, aggregates social media content for its customers.
Claire England, executive director of RISE Austin, moderated the discussion, which paired two successful startup Co-founders with their lead investors. Eric Falcao, founder and Chief Technology Officer of Mass Relevance joined Dodd of Austin Ventures and Josh Kerr, Co-founder and CEO of Written teamed with Krishna Srinivasan, general partner at Live Oak Venture Partners.
Mass Relevance got early traction by landing a six-figure deal with MTV, said Falcao. And then the Co-founders brought on Sam Decker, formerly of BazaarVoice, as its CEO. He had connections with Austin Ventures. Mass Relevance got seed funding easily and raised its first round without a lot of trouble, Falcao said. Mass Relevance also went to California and received funding from Mike Maples Jr.’s Floodgate Partners, an early investor in Twitter.
Kerr bootstrapped his first two companies, but he wanted to build a really big company with Written, which markets bloggers’ content to brands, so he saw the need to get funding from the start. He was able to get a seed round from Live Oak Venture Partners.
“I wanted the structure that comes from raising money and the acceleration that comes with it,” Kerr said.

Signs of a successful startup

Next, England asked the venture capital investors to talk about the signs they look for when evaluating a startup investment, the warning signs of bad investments and top signs of good investments.
“This is such a people business,” said Srinivasan with Live Oak Partners. “I think that is the most important factor. We’re looking for people who have an insight from what they have done before.”
Live Oak Partners also looks for people they can work with and collaborate, Srinivasan said. The ones that don’t work out are entrepreneurs who are not collaborative and those that don’t want to be great partners, he said.
“It’s obviously team, team, team,” Dodd said.
BWJozAFCYAEAKeaBut Mass Relevance had a really great product and they were solving a problem of aggregating real-time Tweets for companies early on, Dodd said.
“What we try to do is look around the corner at the early markets,” Dodd said.
Austin Ventures saw Mass Relevance as being one of the big players in social media for television, Dodd said.

The importance of relationships

Next, England asked how often the companies and funders met and interacted with each other.
Falcao said he sees Dodd once every quarter, but that Dodd met with other executives, like Decker, on a more regular basis.
Dodd said he talked to Decker about once or twice a week. He joked he visited the Mass Relevance office often because they have free lunch for employees. His firm also helped in hiring some of the senior executives and helped to recruit people.
“We can get six head of sales literally almost over night,” he said.
Kerr said Srinivasan gives his seed stage company sage advice.
A good investor helps in team building and scaling the company much more aggressively, Srinivasan said.
England also asked if there was a downside in partnering with investors. The question was met with laughter and then a bit of awkward silence before Falcao answered.
“When things are going well, things are going well,” said Falcao. “VCs are good. They come with checks and advice and more checks. When things work, they work. So far, we haven’t gone through hardship. So it’s tough to point to anything.”
The downside is companies start to rely on them, Kerr said.
“They are bringing this really great value to the business. It’s not just money,” Kerr said. “It’s your buddy. It’s much, much more than that. But you’re not the only company they are invested in and you’re not getting 100 percent of their time. So the only downside is you might want more and not get it.”

What happens when things are not going well? England asked.

imgres-10“I have plenty that are not doing well,” Dodd said. “They don’t have offices like this. They don’t have free lunches. We focus on burn.”
Austin Ventures works to make sure they are focused on maximizing profit and minimizing losses and working to get market share in their industries, Dodd said. The relationship between the investor and the entrepreneur doesn’t change, he said. In a few cases, though, it has, he said.
“I still believe in what they are doing, it’s just taking longer than expected,” Dodd said.
Venture capitalists like to chase trends but it’s good to keep focused on the main business and not get distracted by whacky ideas and the latest trends, Falcao said.
“You need to ask yourself are we just chasing something new?” Falcao said. “You shouldn’t always do exactly what your customers want you to do. There’s something about staying on a mission and staying focused rather than chasing X.”
When a firm makes an investment and things don’t go as planned, the investors work to salvage the value and help hold the ship together to find an acquirer or to get some modest outcome, Srinivasan said.
“Those things take a lot of hard work,” he said.

Making the pitch to investors

BWPJv2yCIAAwxMGEngland then asked the entrepreneurs how they marketed themselves to potential investors.
Kerr said when he pitched his company to Live Oak, Srinivasan sent him three really challenging questions in an e-mail message. He had time to think about the answers, but he couldn’t come up with the answers.
“Ultimately I ended up going back to him and saying these questions are too hard,” Kerr said.
At an early stage, the investment in the company is more about the people than the idea, and it’s better to be honest and admit when you don’t know something, Kerr said.
“If you don’t know the answer, you don’t know the answer,” he said.
Srinivasan said that he liked the honesty that Kerr displayed. He was able to evaluate the risk of investing in them and to gauge how much it would take to get the company to the next level, he said.
Startups should know how to answer basic questions from investors about customer acquisition costs and know how to scale, Falcao said.
“If you haven’t thought about that, you’re not thinking about how hard it is to scale a SMB (Small to Medium-Sized Business) company,” Falcao said.
How much money should startups ask for and how much time should they spend doing it?
The size of a check should be reflective of the stage of the company and issues it is facing, Srinivasan said.
“Just getting out of the gate, you’re going to raise a little bit of money,” Dodd said.
Typically, seed stage companies raise money from angel investors ranging from $350,000 to $1.2 million, Dodd said. A Series A round receives between $2.5 million and $7 million and a Series B round can get up to $20 million, he said.
Kerr said he spends 90 percent of his time raising money. His other partners focus on running the business.

The startup ecosystem in Austin

250px-AustinSkylineLouNeffPoint-2010-03-29-bEngland asked if Austin had a strong enough funding ecosystem to support startups.
Both Kerr and Falcao raised money from California from Floodgate Investments.
“More firms. We need more firms here,” Dodd said.
The ecosystem needs more sophisticated seed stage investors, he said. He said he wished there were three or four more firms like Live Oak to increase competition for funding, he said.
Raising second and third round funding is easy if a company is doing well, he said. But it’s harder to get people in the valley to invest in early stage companies, he said.
Austin needs more firms focused on early stage, Dodd said. More investment firms are good for Austin, he said.
“A rising tide floats all boats,” he said. “The more money that is in town, the better everyone will do.”
In the 30 years he has been in the market, this is the most vibrant and most exciting time, Srinivasan said. The quality of the ideas is really good, he said.
“Clearly this place can have more early stage companies,” he said.
The overall maturing of Austin’s startup ecosystem has contributed to Austin’s vibrant startup community, Srinivasan said. People who have been through the process a few times and transplants from California now populate it, he said.
“It’s a genealogy effect,” Dodd said. Successful companies spin out successful startups, he said.
Austin Ventures has funded three or four startups by people who left BazaarVoice, a company Austin Ventures backed that went public, Dodd said.

Adometry Expands into New Headquarters

By SUSAN LAHEY
Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO and Casey Carey, chief marketing officer

Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO and Casey Carey, chief marketing officer

Adometry, the Austin Ventures startup that aggregates and analyzes data from multiple advertising streams, is growing like gangbusters and Thursday had an open house to celebrate its new space in the Lakewood Center Building II on Capital of Texas Highway.
“We have 110 people,” said Casey Carey, chief marketing officer. “We’ve doubled in a year and we probably will be at 150 by the end of this year. We have the first right of refusal on some additional space downstairs.”
What Adometry does, for clients like Lenovo, Hulu, Hyatt and Charles Schwab, is to analyze data from digital media ads like banner and display ads, email marketing campaigns, SEO, social media and other touchpoints as well as data from “top down” advertising like broadcast and print, analyzes it and creates dashboards so customers can know which ad dollars are producing the most return on investment.
The data from the “top down” advertisers comes from the same places it always did—audience demographics and other information that can’t be tracked to specific users. But the company also incorporates data that might influence the campaigns, like news events and economic changes. Each client is assigned an account manager, a data engineer, a data scientist and a business analyst. They’re all needed, Carey said, because “this is a really hard data management problem.”
20130912_172422“There’s a lot of disparate data and every company’s data is different. People get excited about the attribution (attributing revenue to a specific ad source) and the reports. And the hard part we don’t take a lot of credit for is all the data management. That’s one of the things we’ve learned over 70-plus clients. We’re mastering it, but it’s been a little bit of a journey because there’s new stuff coming up all the time. For example, nobody’s really doing this for Twitter. The big question on the table is how do you track users across devices?”
Without cookies, which many mobile devices lack, data tracking is nearly impossible.
But the company faces another challenge, the challenge of the “new truth.” One of Adometry’s jobs is helping CEOs and advertising and marketing managers adjust their perceptions of what’s really bringing in the revenue after years of incorrect assumptions.
Adometry’s Austin roots began with a company called Click Forensics, founded by Tom Cuthbert and Tom Charvet in San Antonio. The company focused on reducing click fraud that burned up dollars spent on Google Adwords campaigns. The company started in 2007 and received $21 million from Austin Ventures, Sierra Ventures and Shasta Ventures. By 2011, Google was tackling click fraud more aggressively internally and Click Forensics bought Adometry out of Redmond, Washington and launched its suite of online marketing analytics.
Adometry is focused, Carey said, on “companies who have a fairly large adspend and have access to a high-value conversion event.” But its ultimate destination is still up in the air.
Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO was serving as entrepreneur in residence for Austin Ventures when he was introduced to the company. He acknowledges that Austin loves its homegrown success stories like Home Away and Bazaarvoice. On the other hand, he said, Adometry is a venture company which is “looking to have a liquidity event. “
“One of two ways to have a liquidity event is either an acquisition by strategic buyers or going public and most are acquisitions. From a strategic standpoint, we’re solving a really important problem for marketers. We’ve put a great team in place and we want to keep accelerating that and let the liquidity take care of itself. “

ESO Solutions Lands $4 Million in Funding from Austin Ventures

ESO Solutions lands $4 million in funding from Austin Ventures in a Series B round.

Chris Dillie, CEO, ESO Solutions, Inc.

The Austin-based company plans to use the money on sales and marketing efforts and for expansion and acquisitions.
ESO Solutions makes electronic medical record software that lets healthcare providers access patient records. The software is aimed at better informing hospitals and emergency response workers about patients’ health and how to best treat them in emergency situations.
“Our customers in EMS and fire have moved from paper-based processes to the electronic age over a very short period of time and are now looking to collaborate with other parts of the health care system in real time,” Chris Dillie, President and CEO of ESO Solutions, said in a statement. “ESO will be using this funding to make certain that we remain the leader and innovator in the area of pre-hospital health care data management.”

Umbel raises $3.7 million

Umbel, which measures digital audiences, Tuesday announced that it has raised $3.7 million.
Austin Ventures led the Series A round. Other investors included Herbert Simon, Chairman and Director of the Simon Property group and owner of the Indiana Pacers, and Gordon Paddison, CEO Stradella Road, and former EVP New Media Marketing at Newline Cinema.
The Austin-based startup also announced that Paul Krasinski, the former senior vice president of digital media and analytics at Arbitron, joins Umbel as its new chief executive officer.
“Seth Goldstein, the former co-chair, IAB Social Media Committee and Turntable.fm co-founder, joins Umbel’s Board of Directors alongside Thomas Ball, a Partner at Austin Ventures,” according to a news release.
In 2010, Meredith Maycotte, Higinio (H.O.) Maycotte, Travis Turner and Nick Goggans founded Umbel. The company began a collaboration with Arbitron in August of 2011.
“Umbel leverages social data at great scale to deliver unique insights about the people who engage with any site, service or brand,” according to a news release. “The company is currently in private beta and will be using the recently raised funds to aggressively execute on its product roadmap and further business development goals. Umbel is expected to bring its first product to market in Q3 of 2012.”
“We’re on the precipice of a new era in audience measurement where brands will demand granular data and the technology is available to deliver upon the market needs,” Paul Krasinski, CEO of Umbel, said in a news release. “It is exciting. I’m proud to join Umbel’s ambitious and talented team and extend the traditional media research principles using social and big data. Umbel has an incredible opportunity to make a large impact on the future of audience measurement.”
Umbel’s customers include the Boston Bruins, Streetwise Media and Austin City Limits.

Austin Startup Bloomfire gets $10 million in financing

A Web app firm, Bloomfire Inc. has landed $10 million in financing from Austin Ventures and Redpoint Ventures.
The Austin-based startup has created a productivity web app targeted at companies and their employees.
The product sounds like a corporate Pinterest-like application with an interactive component that allows employees to share documents, videos, pictures and charts online in real time. The application can be used as a training tool.
“Bloomfire addresses old-school productivity problems with a new-school approach, using social software to create and share valuable information within an enterprise,” Chris Pacitti, general partner at Austin Ventures said in a news statement. “It essentially allows you to clone your best sales people, reducing costs, improving productivity and accelerating new business opportunities that drive your bottom line.”
A group of seasoned entrepreneurs founded Bloomfire including CEO Craig Malloy, who founded and sold LifeSize to Logitech, CTO Dave McCann, formerly an executive at LifeSize and Chief Evangelist Josh Little, former national training manager at Stryker Instruments.

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