Tag: WhaleShark Media

BuildASign wins the Startup Olympics Summer Games

BuildASign won the first ever Austin Startup Olympics Summer Games.
The company, co-founded by Dan Graham, received a $10,000 prize to donate to its charity of choice.
BuildASign chose Austin Pro Bono, a nonprofit that connects lawyers and other professionals to nonprofit organizations.
“SpareFoot took home the silver this year, earning $5,000 for Kure It Cancer Research. Our charity of choice was founded by a self-storage business operator to support kidney cancer research,” according to the company’s blog post. Adlucent earned the Bronze, finishing in third place. It earned money for Austin Pets Alive.
The other startup teams participating each won $500 to donate to their designated charities. Boundless Network designated Capital Area Food Bank; uShip picked Communities in Schools of Central Texas; Spredfast selected Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas; Mass Relevance selected Austin Children’s Shelter and WhaleShark designated Austin Children’s Museum.
uShip won the Startup Olympics Winter Games held last January at its headquarters.
The Summer Games kicked off shortly after noon on Saturday at the Krieg Softball Complex with the running of the torch by uShip’s Co-Founder Jay Manickam, which Sparefoot’s Co-Founder Chuck Gordon received on a podium. After the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, Gordon released about a dozen white doves to a cheering crowd and announced the official beginning of the games.
Adlucent won the first event, the 400 yard relay followed by BuildASign and uShip.
Altogether, the games consisted of seven events: kickball, tetherball, tug-of-war, basketball, the relay sprint, 400 meter sprint and the advance sprint which consisted of a relay team performing various tasks including dizzy bat, egg and spoon race, sack race and the three legged race.

Geni Glynn with Sparefoot and Summer Games organizer

“These games are a lot more competitive,” said Geni Glynn, spokeswoman with Sparefoot, who helped organize the games. She was comparing the summer games to the winter games which raised $2,300 for charity. This time, a lot more prize money for charity was at stake.
In fact, Sparefoot had rules for its competitors such as no alcohol until after the competition, Glynn said. Sparefoot also had to contend with much larger teams. Sparefoot with 45 employees was the second smallest startup to compete. Mass Relevance with 35 employees was the smallest.
About 300 competitors and their supporters were expected to attend the games, Glynn said. She expected several hundred more for the after party that was held at the field around 6 p.m. at the end of the competition.

Jay Manickam, cofounder of uShip

uShip, the defending champs, did not put any restrictions on its employees, said Manickam. He says the games started off as just a fun idea among some friends, but it quickly took off.
“There’s a groundswell of support and a real interest among the startup teams in giving back to the community through charity and having fun together,” he said.
The games embody the startup culture in Austin of camaraderie, competition, collaboration, hard work and giving back by supporting local charities, Manickam said.
“The ultimate goal is to make this a national competition,” Manickam said. He envisions an annual Startup Olympics competition at South by Southwest with teams from other high-technology regions like Silicon Valley, Boston and New York. He’s already received interest from other regions.

Photo courtesy of Austin Startup Olympics

Austin Ventures, Consero, SVB Financial Group & Silicon Valley Bank, KHRG, Dos Equis and Deep Eddy Vodka sponsored the event. Dos Equis provided 300 cases of beer and Deep Eddy Vodka staff showed up in a classic Volkswagon Bus packed with Deep Eddy Vodka and Sweet Leaf Tea. With temperatures soaring well into the 90s, the refreshments provided many of the athletes with the sustenance they needed to compete.

Austin Startup Olympics Summer Games this Saturday

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will kick off July 27th in London.
But you don’t have to wait that long.
Some of the best geek athletes in Austin will be demonstrating their athletic prowess this Saturday at the Summer Austin Startup Olympics.
(And if it’s anything like the Winter Austin Startup Olympics, held last January at UShip’s headquarters, these Olympics involve prodigious amounts of beer drinking, Tito’s vodka swilling and merry making.)
And it’s all for a good cause.
Each startup chooses a charity and all the money raised to goes to support those charities. Here’s a list of this year’s competitors and their charities.

· Adlucent – Austin Pets Alive
· BuildASign – Austin Pro Bono
· Boundless Network – Capital Area Food Bank
· uShip – Communities in Schools of Central Texas
· Spredfast – Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas
· SpareFoot – Kure It
· Mass Relevance – Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation
· Whaleshark – Austin Children’s Museum

Photos courtesy of Austin Startup Olympics

uShip took the top prize in Austin’s inaugural Startup Olympics competition. BuildASign captured second place and Sparefoot came in third.
The summer games take place at the Krieg Softball Complex at 517 S. Pleasant Valley Road. Opening ceremony starts at noon. Events will last all day.
The summer games include sprints, kickball, basketball, tug-a-war and tetherball.
The after party and awards ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Krieg Softball Complex also.

This is a slideshow from the last startup Olympics in the parking lot across from Uship.

WhaleShark Media Buys Miwim, a French Coupon Site

WhaleShark Media has acquired Miwim, an online coupon and deal site in France.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Austin-based WhaleShark Media connects consumers with multiple daily deal and coupon services like Deals.com and CouponShare.com as well as deal sites outside of the U.S.
Founded in 2010, WhaleShark Media has received $300 million from several venture capital firms including Austin Ventures, Google Ventures, and Institutional Venture Partners.
Last year, WhaleShark Media made more than $70 million in revenue as part of the $1.7 billion in sales generated for its merchant clients.
The company has 170 employees worldwide, including 120 in the U.S. It plans to hire another 50 employees this year.
The acquisition of Miwim’s web portfolio, which includes online coupon site Bons-de-Reduction and cash-back website Poulpeo, combined with WhaleShark Media’s existing portfolio of European websites, VoucherCodes.co.uk in the U.K. and Deals.com in Germany, positions WhaleShark Media to provide coupons to consumers that represent 70% of the ecommerce activity in Western Europe.
Olivier David and Francois Larvor, the founders of Miwim, will continue to serve as co-General Managers of Miwim and 20 other employees will join WhaleShark in France.

WhaleShark Media Awards Top Shark a Costco Shopping Spree

At WhaleShark Media, the “Employee of the Month,” known as its “Top Shark” gets to spin a wheel of fortune and win a prize.
Employees nominate the hardest working WhaleShark employee and management votes on the winner.
In the past, Top Sharks have won free flights and hotel stays anywhere in the U.S., Super Bowl tickets, elliptical machines and more.
Recently, Austin-based WhaleShark added a new prize: a timed three minute shopping spree in Costco. The employee and one helper can load up on as much merchandize as they can get to the register in three minutes. Then Cotter Cunningham, WhaleShark CEO, pays for the purchases and they get to walk out of the store with the merchandise.
Recently, “Top Shark” WhaleShark employee Angela Wong hit the jackpot.
On Thursday, Angela, cheered on by 80 employees, took on Costco and won, said Brian Hoyt, head of communications at WhaleShark Media.
“The grand total – Angela is now the proud owner of nearly $25,000 in merchandise,” Hoyt said. “Including: 3 flat screens, 10 cameras, 2 computers, several Dyson vacuum cleaners and case of nice champagne!”
The wheel of fortune is just one of the ways WhaleShark rewards employees, Hoyt said. The company is focused on attracting and retaining the top technology talent in Austin, he said.

RetailMeNot.com launches new mobile coupon site

WhaleShark Media’s RetailMeNot.com, online coupon site, announced the launch of its new mobile site.
The new site provides coupons and other deals to Apple iPhone and Android mobile phone users worldwide. It also provides exclusive in-store mobile deals from retailers who want to reach customers on their mobile devices.
“In 2011, we experienced triple digit year-over-year growth of visits to RetailMeNot.com via a handheld device, which is why we made substantial investments in developing our mobile product capabilities over the past six months,” said Cotter Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of WhaleShark Media, Inc., the operator of RetailMeNot.com, said in a news release.
The new site makes it easier to search for and redeem coupons using a mobile phone at a store.

WhaleShark Media seeks to dominate the deal industry

CEO and Founder of WhaleShark Media Cotter Cunningham

By Eoghan McCloskey
Special Contributor to Silicon Hills News

The popularity and success of daily deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social have created opportunities for others like WhaleShark Media.
The Austin-based startup connects consumers with multiple daily deal and coupon services like Deals.com and CouponShare.com as well as deal sites outside of the U.S. like Gutschein-Codes.de.
Founded in 2010, WhaleShark Media has received $300 million from several venture capital firms including Austin Ventures, Google Ventures, and Institutional Venture Partners. In less than two years, WhaleShark Media has evolved into a profitable and quickly growing company, generating 30 percent growth in site traffic and 50 percent revenue growth. WhaleShark Media’s rapid growth stems, in part, from a series of major acquisitions of other coupon vendors, most importantly RetailMeNot.com, the single largest online coupon site in the world, and VoucherCodes.co.uk, the UK’s top online deal site.
WhaleShark makes money from advertising on its sites from more than 300 million visits to its web properties, said Brian Hoyt, WhaleShark Media’s communications director. It also makes a small commission off thousands of retailers whose offers the company helps merchandise and facilitate sales for via the coupons and deals clicked on its site, he said.
“This relationship goes beyond big box retailers and includes thousands of other large and midsize merchants,” Hoyt said.
Last year, WhaleShark Media made more than $70 million in revenue as part of the $1.7 billion in sales generated for its merchant clients.

WhaleShark's workplace

WhaleShark Media’s workplace just south of downtown Austin on Congress Avenue is vibrant, laidback and youthful. Employees get a budget to decorate work areas with art, most employees dress casually and CEO Cotter Cunningham occupies a modest desk in a corner of the common work area, a symbolic reflection of his personality and the company’s philosophy. Cunningham’s personality and his success as an executive ultimately helped investment firm Austin Ventures decide to back the company. Cunningham previously served as CEO in residence at Austin Ventures, founder and CEO of Smallponds and Chief Operating Officer of Bankrate Inc.
“We originally invested in WhaleShark because of the enormous potential for growth we thought was there, as well as the ability to innovate within the online coupon and deals space,” said Austin Ventures Partner Thomas Ball. “We also had a relationship with Cotter, who we believe is a great executive.“
Jules Maltz, General Partner at Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), reflected Ball’s view.
“IVP looks to back premier late-stage companies and management teams,” said Maltz. “WhaleShark is the leading online coupon company with strong profitability and tremendous growth potential. We’re excited to back Cotter and help WhaleShark continue to expand.”
WhaleShark Media is also focused on hiring technology talent locally and worldwide to fuel its expansion, Hoyt said. The company has 170 employees worldwide, including 120 in the U.S., with most of them based in Austin. Last week, it announced that Matt Howitt would join the company as vice president of engineering.
“We recognize there is a limited talent pool in Austin and we want to keep them in Austin,” Hoyt said.
WhaleShark Media plans to hire another 50 people this year, he said. The company is also taking over another floor at its downtown headquarters. It currently occupies the seventh floor at 301 Congress and it’s expanding to the eighth floor.
Late last year, WhaleShark Media received $150 million in venture capital, which it plans to use to increase its market share in the retail deal industry. The company plans a series of product innovations and is concentrating on expanding its presence in the mobile coupon and deal market, Hoyt said.
“We’re looking at growth inside the U.S. and Europe,” Hoyt said. “We’re also looking at the Asia market.”
WhaleShark Media doesn’t have any short term plans to go public, Hoyt said.
“Right now we’re focused on building our business.”

The importance of play at Austin Startup Olympics

Never underestimate the importance in play in the workplace.
People who play together have better collaboration and social skills, according to SocialWare, which produced this info graphic on the Importance of Play in Enterprise.
But the guys at uShip already know that. They got together with seven other startups companies: BuildASign, Mass Relevance, Adlucent, Sparefoot, Spredfast, WhaleShark Media and Boundless Network to participate in the first Startup Olympics. The teams participated in ten activities on Saturday which involved copies amounts of beer and camaraderie. The events included foosball, darts, shuffleboard, pop-a-shot basketball, beerpong, flipacup, ping pong, trivia, connect four and an obstacle course.
In the end, uShip took home the big trophy, followed by BuildASign and Sparefoot. About 200 people participated in the events, which raised lots of money for local charities.

Geek athletes compete at Austin’s Startup Olympics

Put Geek athletes into the Google search engine and what do you come up with?
A correction suggestion for Greek Athletes.
So the conclusion must be that Geek athletes are an evolution of the ancient Greek athletes that invented the Olympic Games in 776 BC in Olympia in Greece.
And as part of that evolutionary process, now a team of Austin innovators have created the first Austin Startup Olympics which features Austin’s elite startups Adlucent, Boundless Network, Build-a-Sign, Mass Relevance, SpareFoot, Spredfast, uShip, and WhaleShark Media competing in 10 grueling activities including Ping Pong, Foosball, Darts and Trivia.
The games begin today at 2 p.m. at the uShip headquarters. The event is closed to the public, but an after party to raise money for charity will be held at Club De Ville. “Bands performing at the after-party include The Lemurs and Burgess Meredith. All proceeds from the $10 cover charge will benefit local charities,” according to a news release.
You can also follow today’s action on Twitter.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Austin Children’s Museum, Austin Pets Alive, Austin Pro Bono, Capital Area Food Bank, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas , Kure It, and Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation. Sponsors for the event include Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Cedar Door.
The Startup Olympic organizers want to challenge other startups, particularly those in Silicon Valley, to come to South by Southwest and compete in the second Startup Olympics. Contact StartupOlympics.org for more information.
“Guys like Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican Bobsled team were true innovators, giving their particular sports a new twist, a new look that made them legendary,” Shawn Bose of uShip and co-Chair of the Austin Startup Olympics said in a statement.
“You’ll find that same innovation among Austin’s startups – not only among those competing in the event, but citywide,” said Bose. “We’ve brought new ideas to existing industries and businesses. Many of these ideas came about during fierce games of ping pong, beer pong or even Connect Four while squatting at ‘innovative work spaces’ like Crown and Anchor Pub and Mozart’s Coffee Roasters.”

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