Posts Tagged ‘Venture Capital’

Location-based mobile marketing firm, Rover nabs $1.1 million in seed round

May 30th, 2016 No comments

An innovator in location-based mobile marketing using beacons and other technology, has raised $1.1 million in seed financing. The round included contributions from BDC Venture Capital and 500 Startups, as well as some of the most prominent angel investors in the marketing tech and SaaS industries.

Additionally, Rover has created a new advisory board comprised of four of the industry’s brightest minds in mobile, marketing technology and retail. The board will provide strategic counsel and guide the company as it enters its next growth phase.

Rover will use the new capital to enhance its location-based marketing platform, and strengthen its sales and marketing teams to support growth. The company will also intensify its hiring efforts in both Toronto and the Bay Area.

“Location-powered engagement is the single biggest trend taking shape in mobile right now and Rover is at the forefront of this market,” said Stuart Wheldon, partner with investment firm Wheldon Brothers Ltd. and former vice president at Eloqua Inc. “Rover has a strong ‘location-first’ vision combined with advanced technology and a great team. They are well positioned to lead this space.”

Rover serves as the missing link between beacon hardware and mobile engagement. Customers such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Proctor & Gamble use its platform to create and deliver location-relevant information to their app users that enhance their on-site experiences and influence their behaviors. Using Rover’s CMS, mobile marketers can build and deploy rich campaigns within minutes with no coding required, and its advanced analytics provide engagement metrics that inform future campaigns. Rover’s SDK is open source and compatible with iOS and Android.

“Our vision for the future of proximity marketing goes beyond sales and extends to the customer experience,” said John Coombs, Rover CEO. “To help the market realize the full potential of this technology, we are eliminating hurdles to adoption, putting marketers in the driver’s seat and enabling engaging experiences because that’s what ultimately drives not just ROI, but also loyalty.”

Rover has experienced remarkable growth in a short period of time. Since completing the 500 Startups program, the company has increased its client base tenfold, actively engaged more than 7 million customers per month using location, and expanded its product to become the most comprehensive location-first mobile platform.

New Advisory Board to Guide Growth Rover has also created an advisory board consisting of four heavyweights who will contribute their collective mobile, retail, marketing, technical and business development expertise to guide Rover’s strategic growth initiatives.

Rover’s Advisory Board Members: Ryan Craver – Retail brand builder who is currently CEO of Trimfit and SVP of Lamour Group, and previously led department store strategy for Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor Hansmeet Sethi – Mobile entrepreneur and startup advisor who currently serves as COO of Neighborly Stephen Statler – Principal consultant at Statler Advisors and authority in beacon technology applications Stuart Wheldon – Investor, advisor and former vice president at Eloqua Inc.

“I have witnessed firsthand the opportunity for the world’s largest brands to use beacon marketing and location to strengthen the customer experience and bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping,” said Craver. “Rover’s platform provides the ideal mix of location, mobile and experiences that will be a catalyst to drive this industry forward.”

Rover offers Basic, Professional and Enterprise subscription plans for its location-based mobile marketing platform, depending on the size and needs of the business.

About Rover
Rover is a location-based mobile marketing platform that helps retailers and brands deliver smarter, location-powered mobile content that creates enriching customer experiences. Leveraging beacon and geofence technologies, it enables companies to reach consumers on their mobile devices with targeted content that’s relevant to their physical location. The platform serves hundreds of locations in a number of key sectors, such as professional sports, retail, loyalty and tourism. Rover’s SDK is open source and, through its intuitive and graphical CMS, marketers can develop and deploy campaigns in real time without coding. For more information, visit Rover’s website or blog, and follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.



SEO firm BrightEdge gets $12.6 million to fund market and company expansion globally

March 15th, 2012 No comments

BrightEdge,a site, search and social management platform for global enterprises, announced it has raised .6 Million in a series C round led by Intel Capital and joined by existing investors, Battery Ventures, Altos Ventures and Illuminate Ventures. Bright Edge competes with Covario though Bitshelf has not itself conducted a head-to-head assessment of the two solutions. Covario has expanded beyond SEO to incorporate advertising solutions and services.

BrightEdge pioneered enterprise-grade search engine optimization (SEO) in 2008 by delivering the first and only cloud-based platform that systematically allowed enterprises to grow their web site traffic and revenue through organic search. Today, it is the most widely used enterprise-grade search engine optimization (SEO) platform used by more than 2,000 brands and top digital agencies to attract customers from the billions of searches that happen on the web every day.

The company’s BrightEdge S3 platform is powered by a massive big-data foundation with an actionable analytics front end. In the past year BrightEdge has consistently delivered innovations that have led its market leadership position, including support for Facebook page optimization, Social signal measurement, Global SEO, SEO recommendations, and SEO tasks and workflow.

“We revolutionized how enterprises manage to be found when potential customers search for terms relevant to their business. Demand for BrightEdge S3 has been massive, and we welcome this funding to further grow our dominant market leadership position,” said Jim Yu, co-founder and CEO of BrightEdge. “Last year was a watershed year for us. We saw more than 400 percent growth, and doubling of our employee base. 2012 will be an even bigger year as we expand our business operations across the US and in Europe.”

“With consumer and business audiences competing for customers in search and social, BrightEdge’s platform is an elegant and effective solution that makes it possible to manage and optimize the process for companies that rely on the Internet to acquire users,” said Lisa Lambert, vice president at Intel Capital and managing director, Software and Services sector. “Their big-data technology, experienced cloud/SaaS leadership team and commercial success to date position them to be one of the core platforms for companies that rely on digital channels.”

BrightEdge has experienced tremendous growth in the past 18 months. It now serves more than 2,000 leading brands around the globe. BrightEdge currently serves 7 of the top 10 retailers, 8 of the top 10 digital agencies, and software leaders such as Microsoft, Facebook, VMWare, Symantec, Intuit and Citrix.

The funding will be used to continue its team growth, which has doubled in size as well as help expand the company’s footprint with offices in NY and London.

About BrightEdge
BrightEdge is the leading site, search, and social management solution for global enterprises, helping more than 2000 of the world’s largest brands stay ahead in the rapidly evolving Internet landscape.

BrightEdge S3 harnesses the power of analytics on big-data to drive revenue from web sites, search engines and social networks across the globe in a measurable, predictable way. social networks across the globe in a measurable, predictable way. BrightEdge is based in San Mateo, CA and is privately held with financing from Battery Ventures, Altos Ventures and Illuminate Ventures.

Source: BrightEdge

Crosslink Capital leads fifth round raising $16mm in funding for Marin Software

April 9th, 2011 No comments

Good news on the fact that Marin Software raised mm in funding. Congrats to one of my favorite companies out in the biddable media management space. Sources at Marin have described the recent funding and growth as a positive sign for the company. It’s also an important indication that paid search advertising is a maturing market despite the fact that spend growth has slowed a bit and focus has shifted to display mainly due to the hullabaloo around ad exchanges, attribution modeling, etc. The bid management solutions industry has moved away from “bid” to consider other more practical factors such as quality, workflow, automation, and ease-of-use. This type of trend is typical of a maturing market. The fact is, the variables to success have shifted exponentially towards more of an enterprise based approach that I cringe these days when folks discuss bidding.

The good news didn’t end there, Marin hit the news media with another whammy, announcing that it now manages more than billion in annual paid search spend through the Marin platform. What do we think? 1.5% of those billings plus a small amount of service related fees, not too shabby. I would have paced the announcements a bit, to be honest.

The funds will be used to focus growth Internationally with plans to open offices in Singapore and Shanghai, and expand into France, Australia and Brazil in 2011. Marin services 800 clients on search campaigns in 160 countries, expanded its service to Facebook last August.

In my opinion, Marin is laying the foundation for two possible scenarios IPO in the next 12 months or possible buy out.

Below is the release along with coverage on Marin.

Marin Software Secures $16 Million Series E Financing

Marin Software, provider of the leading online advertising management platform for advertisers and agencies announced it has secured an additional $16 million in Series E financing. Crosslink Capital led the round with participation from Marin’s existing venture capital investors including Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Focus Ventures and Triangle Peak Partners. The company also announced that Eric Chin, partner at Crosslink Capital, will join the Board of Directors as an observer and that former Shutterfly VP of Finance John Kaelle has joined the executive team as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

News Facts:
Marin Software will invest the Series E funding to support the growth of its global customer base which includes many of the world’s leading advertisers and agencies spanning diverse industries such as: retail, education, financial services, insurance, travel, lead generation, automotive, B2B, and local. Marin Software currently serves 800 clients worldwide and manages 600 million keywords and more than $2 billion in annualized paid search spend for its customers.

As the leading global provider of online advertising management solutions, Marin’s technology is used to manage search campaigns in 160 countries and 25 currencies. The company will also use the funding to support continued international expansion. Marin Software recently announced its expansion into Asia with new offices in Singapore and Shanghai, and plans to expand into France, Australia, and Brazil in 2011.

In the past year, Marin Software expanded its product offering beyond paid search and now offers advanced applications for managing Facebook ads, as well as Marin Retargeting, a complete workflow, analysis, and optimization solution for advertisers and agencies seeking to manage display retargeting as an integrated part of the online media mix. In addition, Marin recently launched Marin Professional, which offers the power and ease-of-use of the Marin platform for search marketers who spend less than $100,000 per month.

John Kaelle has joined Marin Software as Executive Vice President and CFO. Kaelle joins the company from Shutterfly, where he was Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. During his tenure at Shutterfly, Kaelle managed company growth from 150 to over 600 employees, revenue growth from $54 million to over $300 million, and a successful IPO in 2006. Prior to Shutterfly, John held executive roles at Thomas Weisel Partners and TriNet Corporate Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust. John earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, and holds a master’s degree in taxation from Golden Gate University and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Over the past few years, Marin has delivered tangible business benefits to a growing list of advertisers and agencies through the expansion and development of our enterprise-class advertising management platform,” said Chris Lien, founder and CEO of Marin Software. “This latest funding will enable Marin to accelerate our investment on behalf of our customers worldwide as we deliver innovations in product development and client services. Marin is committed to providing our customers with the most powerful and easy-to-use advertising management platform in the world.”
“With $2 billion of global search spend under management, Marin Software is a leading innovator in the online advertising industry,” said Eric Chin, partner, Crosslink Capital. “We believe the company’s strong customer momentum, track record of product innovation and global reach position Marin for continued success, and we look forward to working with the Marin team.”

“Marin Software is an emerging leader in advertising management software, and it has achieved this position in a relatively short period of time through cutting-edge technology innovation, strong client services, and complex global deployments,” said John Kaelle, EVP and CFO of Marin Software. “I look forward to working hand-in-hand with the executive team at Marin to help drive the company’s financial success in this time of rapid global growth.”

About Crosslink Capital:
Founded in 1989, Crosslink Capital is a leading stage-independent venture capital and growth equity firm with over $1.5 billion in capital under management. Crosslink was among the first and largest investment firms in the U.S. to integrate public and private technology investing. This strategy allows Crosslink to partner with its portfolio companies on a long-term basis. With more than 20 years behind it, Crosslink Capital has invested in over 90 private equity portfolio companies, including Miller Heiman, Omniture (acquired by Adobe Systems) Pandora, SeaMicro, Twin Creeks Technologies, Virage Logic, and Yipes (acquired by Reliance Communications).

About Marin Software:
Marin Software is a leading provider of online advertising management solutions, offering an integrated platform for managing search, display, and social marketing. The company provides solutions for advertisers and agencies of all sizes, enabling them to improve financial performance, save time, and make better decisions. Marin Enterprise, the company’s flagship product, addresses the needs of online marketers spending at least $100,000 per month on biddable media. Marin Professional delivers the same power and ease of use as Marin Enterprise, through an application designed for marketers spending less than $100,000 per month on paid search. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices worldwide, Marin’s technology powers marketing campaigns for over 800 customers managing more than $2 billion of annualized ad spend in more than 160 countries.

Source: Marin Software

Social commerce biz 8thBridge gets $10M led by Trident Capital

March 22nd, 2011 No comments

8thBridge, Inc., a social commerce platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers, today announced it has secured million in a series B funding round led by venture firm Trident Capital. The additional capital garnered through this funding round will be used to expand 8thBridge’s current operations and to extend the company’s leading social commerce solutions. 8thBridge’s lead Series A investor, Split Rock Partners, also participated in this round.

“We sought out this new round of funding based upon an accelerated demand from merchants seeking e-commerce solutions that are built for the social graph,” said Wade Gerten, CEO and Founder of 8thBridge. “8thBridge became the pioneer in this new era of social commerce when we opened the first retail store on Facebook for and the first Facebook travel store for Delta Air Lines. This new round of funding will allow us to extend our lead in rebuilding e-commerce from the ground up around people instead of pages.”

8thBridge monetizes social media for some of the largest merchants in the world including, Lands’ End, Brooks Brothers, Delta Air Lines, Hallmark, HauteLook and the fastest-growing division of Avon called mark.

“The rise of Facebook as the next-generation web platform and of the data encapsulated in the Open Graph enable companies to establish new levels of understanding of and intimacy with their customers,” said Evangelos Simoudis, Managing Director of Trident Capital, who joins 8thBridge’s board of directors. “Companies must learn to effectively utilize social media in general and these resources in particular for marketing and commerce. 8thBridge offers unique solutions to power social commerce.”

“8thBridge has positioned itself as the market leader by providing the most innovative solutions for allowing customers to shop with their friends on Facebook. We expect the demand for social commerce to grow exponentially as more merchants seek to move beyond search and adapt to this platform shift,” said Michael Gorman, Managing Director of Split Rock Partners, 8thBridge board member and investor.

The funding will be used to enhance 8thBridge’s technology platform, 8thBridge StoreCast™, which powers millions of in-stream shopping experiences that include a quick checkout feature inside Facebook’s News Feed and Fan Pages. The store is brought to the customer rather than the other way around. Some of the major people-centric enhancements planned include improving the ability for you to receive highly personalized offers based on interests, providing you and your friends with more ways to take advantage of special social promotions, and making it easier for to receive rewards for advocating on behalf of your favorite merchants.

This new funding round follows the company’s recent name change in January – from Alvenda to 8thBridge. The name 8thBridge is a nod to the company’s pioneering development of social graph-based commerce, stemming from the Seven Bridges of Königsberg, the historical mathematical problem that served as the genesis of Euler’s Graph Theory.

About 8thBridge
8thBridge operates a social commerce platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers. Customers engage merchants on their own terms in a shopping experience that is portable, personalized, and participatory. Founded in 2008 in Minneapolis MN, 8thBridge is led by executives with domain expertise in e-commerce, direct marketing, and social media. History was made on July 8th, 2009 when Alvenda, currently known as 8thBridge, brought online retail to Facebook and again on August 12, 2010 for the travel industry. The Ticket Counter™ by 8thBridge was named one of the Top Ten Marketer Apps of 2010 by Advertising Age. 8thBridge, was named the grand prize winner of the 2009 Minnesota Cup and has been featured in Advertising Age, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, WWD, Bloomberg TV and TechCrunch. 8thBridge is funded by Split Rock Venture Partners and Trident Capital and is based in Minneapolis, MN. For more information on 8thBridge, visit

About Trident Capital
Trident Capital is a leading venture capital firm focused on Information Technology investments. Since its founding in 1993, Trident has managed $1.9 billion of capital and has invested in more than 160 companies. Trident’s Information Technology focus includes Enterprise and SaaS Software; Business and Information Services; Consumer Services; and Digital and Social Media. Trident brings to each portfolio company deep sector expertise, a network of relevant industry contacts, and a commitment to apply the full resources of the firm to promote the company’s growth and success. Trident has investment offices in Palo Alto, CA and Westport, CT.

About Split Rock Partners
Split Rock Partners, with offices in Minneapolis and Menlo Park, seeks emerging opportunities in software, Internet services and healthcare, primarily in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Since 2005, Split Rock has raised $575 million over two funds. Representative software and internet services companies backed by Split Rock’s team include 8thBridge, Amcom, eBureau, Guardian Analytics, HireRight,, MyNewPlace, QuinStreet (Nasdaq: QNST) and SPS Commerce (Nasdaq: SPSC). Additional information about the firm can be found at