Category Archives: Intel Capital

BlackArrow took $12 Million to tackle the video advertising, relies on cable companies

A couple of months ago BlackArrow has taken a big round of money – $12 million in Series B funding.

The company offers an advertising management platform for video, allowing web sites to monitor their inventory while enabling advertisers to insert ads on-the-fly. BlackArrow’s money for its Series B funding came from Comcast Interactive Capital, Cisco Systems, Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund, and Polaris Venture Partners.

The company wants to insert targeted ads into on-demand viewing by placing a piece of hardware between cable operators and consumers. Prior to the user watching an on-demand show, BlackArrow helps deliver a brief ad, tailored to the theme of the show and the user’s apparent preferences. For example, a teenage boy might be delivered an ad for an upcoming game like Halo 3.

While DVRs like the TiVo will still allow users to fast forward past advertising, BlackArrow will open up the field for cable companies to profit from acting as remote ad servers. BlackArrow will count on the cable companies to offer their own DVR technology. The advantage for the consumer is that one does not have to worry about buying or installing a DVR. A majority of viewers still haven’t anyway.

The company is known to have spent more than a year in stealth mode developing its product, and online sources originally suggested that the original aim of the company was to destroy the ad-skipping capabilities of the TiVo. It later turned out it is no longer the case, if it ever was.

The previous round is known to be $5 million, which has been taken back in 2006 and was led by Mayfield Fund. The company’s total funding should already be $17M. The company has offices in both locations San Mateo, CA and New York.

More about BlackArrow

We are independent advertising-technology company that provides multiplatform ad-management for viewer-controlled video.

We’ve seen the future, and the future is now for on-demand video programming with dynamic, personalized advertising. In the world of viewer-controlled video, where the consumer controls the play, pause, fast-forward and rewind buttons, BlackArrow provides the answer for a dynamic video ad-management that supports broadband, video-on-demand (VOD) and DVR playout.

One with the ability to reach the right audience with a laser-focused message — across any on-demand platform. And rapid-fire reporting to provide powerful “apples-to-apples” analytics across playout environments, helping you evaluate and optimize brand campaigns in entirely new ways.

BlackArrow is your partner on the path to multiplatform monetization. With the new world order of on-demand video comes a corresponding set of new advertising and revenue opportunities.

Management team

Dean Denhart: president and chief executive officer

Dean Denhart has extensive technology leadership expertise in telecom, media and technology-related industries across large, medium and start-up companies. Denhart has been directly involved in the acquisition and operation integration of over 18 technology companies with expertise in off-shore, joint ventures and partnerships. As president and CEO of BlackArrow, Denhart is responsible for all business operations, technology development, financial management, business development and governance of BlackArrow. Previously, Denhart oversaw the strategic development of product and technology at Knight Ridder Digital. Denhart was also CIO and executive vice president of product and technology for HomeStore, an online real estate marketing company. Prior, he served as vice president of AirTouch Communications’ software systems group, held a vice president of network systems role during a 17-year tenure with SBC Communications/Pacific Bell, was CIO of Telecel (a wireless company) in Portugal and was an integral research and development executive at Bell Communications Research.

Other management team members are as follows.

  • Sharon Mandell: senior vice president and chief technology officer
  • Tracy Martin: chief financial officer
  • Chris Hock: senior vice president, product management
  • Patrick Carter: vice president, operations
  • Courtenay Harry: vice president, advertising business development
  • Bill Niemeyer: chief of analysis and research
  • Kelly Ryan: vice president, content business development
  • David Stengle: vice president, distribution
  • Thérèse Bruno: senior director, marketing

The Investors

Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Today, networks are an essential part of business, education, government and home communications, and Cisco Internet Protocol-based (IP) networking solutions are the foundation of these networks. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create Internet solutions that allow individuals, companies, and countries to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and strengthen competitive advantage. The Cisco name has become synonymous with the Internet, as well as with the productivity improvements that Internet business solutions provide.

Comcast Interactive Capital
Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC) is a venture capital fund focused on broadband, enterprise and interactive technologies. CIC is affiliated with Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA), a diversified global leader in cable, broadband services, telecommunications and entertainment. CIC’s primary goal is to generate superior financial returns from private equity investments in early-stage technology companies. To achieve this goal, CIC works to foster the success of its portfolio companies by bringing to bear the unique resources, experience, and insight of both CIC and the Comcast family of companies.

Intel Capital
Intel Capital (Nasdaq: INTC), Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet and semiconductor manufacturing. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$6 billion in approximately 1,000 companies in more than 40 countries. In that timeframe, about 157 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and another 187 have been acquired by other companies. In 2006, Intel Capital invested about US$1.07 billion in 163 deals with approximately 60 percent of funds (excluding Clearwire) invested outside the United States.

About Mayfield Fund
Mayfield Fund provides “venture capital with impact” by partnering with exceptional individuals to create industry-leading companies. Mayfield has domain expertise in communications/wireless, consumer/media, enterprise software and semiconductors. The firm has over $2.7 billion under management and a team of eleven investing professionals. Since Mayfield’s founding in 1969, the firm has invested in more than 470 high-growth companies, taken more than 100 public and more than 150 have merged or were acquired.

Polaris Venture Partners
A national venture capital firm with over $3 billion under management, Polaris invests in seed, early stage and growth equity businesses in the technology, life science, digital media, enertech and consumer sectors. Through a philosophy of lead investing and active, long-term partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams, Polaris has helped a number of companies achieve outstanding success. Among them are: Accordant Health Services, Acusphere, Advanced Inhalation Research (AIR), Akamai Technologies, Allaire Corporation, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, American Superconductor, Archivas, Aspect Medical Systems, Avici Systems, Centra Software, Classifieds2000, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Cushcraft Corporation, deCODE genetics, Exchange.com, GlycoFi, Matrics, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Paradigm Genetics, Powersoft, Solidworks, and TransForm Pharmaceuticals.

The Competition

Video advertising is promising to be huge opportunity online and the sector is extremely competitive with new players entering every couple of weeks. Venture capitals also do think the online video advertising holds the chances to be the next big thing on Internet to bring billions of revenues in and are pouring big money into start-ups with the hope they come up to the groundbreaking technology that might shake the sector and make them the huge ROI.   

No matter what standard for video ads the sector might adopt – pre-roll ads, post-roll ads or overlay ads, the undisputed leader remains Google’s YouTube with its huge number of eyeballs. That’s why the smaller players are focusing not on the reach but on different approaches and technologies to more effectively serve, track and measure these video ads. The video ads are in their infancy on Web and there is plenty of room for innovation and growth and all those small start-up companies hold their good chances for success.

Some companies, as we know them, include BrightRoll, XillianTV, YuMe, Podaddies, VMIX and MeeVee. BrightRoll video ad network itself has raises $5 Million while YuMe raised $9 Million for yet another video ad network. VMIX, yet another video network company has also raised a whopping amount of money $16.5M to expand its business.

More

http://www.blackarrow.tv/
http://mashable.com/2007/10/15/blackarrow-funding/
http://venturebeat.com/2007/10/14/blackarrow-ad-management-for-modern-tv-unstealths-with-12m-financing/
http://adsense.blogspot.com/2006/05/introducing-video-ads.html
http://adwords.blogspot.com/2006/05/click-to-play-video-ads-for-adwords.html
http://adsense.blogspot.com/2007/05/adsense-coming-to-video-near-you.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/technology/22google.html
http://mashable.com/2007/08/21/youtube-reinvents-video-ads/
http://mashable.com/2007/05/11/youtube-ads-2/
http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/22/video-ads-youtube-tech-media-cx_lh_0223video.html
http://venturebeat.com/2006/11/08/skipping-the-ads-black-arrow-raises-1475m-to-defy-you/
http://www.cisco.com
http://www.civentures.com
http://www.intelcapital.com
http://www.polarisventures.com

More deals in the enterprise search sector

A couple of weeks after Microsoft announced its $1.2 billion acquisition of FAST Search & Transfer, enterprise search competitor Endeca is getting a $15 million cash infusion from both Intel Capital and SAP Ventures. This is on top of the $50 million Endeca has already raised in the past few years from Lehman Brothers, Granite Global Ventures, Ampersand Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Venrock Associates and DN Capital.

“In just more than seven years, Endeca went from one customer and modest revenue to 500 customers and $100M-plus in sales. The next target is the elusive $500M milestone,” said Bruce Richardson, chief research officer at AMR Research, in his January 11, 2008 report entitled Endeca Set to Lead the Information Visibility Revolution. “What makes Endeca unique is its ability to provide visibility for everyone that needs it, whether for finding a part or selling to a customer or prospect… It could be years before Endeca faces products comparable to its own.”

“Visibility into enterprise-wide information assets is a key area of interest for customers,” said Jennifer Scholze, Investment Partner at SAP Ventures. “By taking a fundamentally new approach to accessing and analyzing enterprise-wide data, Endeca is poised to disrupt multi-billion dollar markets and is uniquely suited to address the core opportunity of the information economy.”

“No company better understands the importance of enterprise data to today’s information-centric businesses than SAP. Our collaboration will open new doors and accelerate the realization of our vision to arm all knowledge workers with the critical enterprise data they need to inform daily decision making, regardless of source or format,” said Steve Papa, chief executive officer of Endeca. “As an SAP customer and now a key part of their investment portfolio, Endeca is on a favorable path to learn from — and work closely with — the most influential information applications company of our time.”

“Information access platforms play a crucial role in linking vast collections of data,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital. “Our investment in Endeca will further their capabilities by capitalizing on Intel’s next generation multi-core platforms in this market segment.”

“Endeca’s success to date would not have been possible without the innovations Intel has brought to market. Multi-core computing will play one of the greatest enabling roles for adoption of next generation information access technology,” said Steve Papa, CEO of Endeca. “This investment from Intel Capital has the potential to accelerate Endeca’s success in gaining adoption for information access.”

More about Endeca

The Endeca Information Access Platform is a new platform built specifically to address an emerging market that is poised to fundamentally change the way people access and interact with information. The platform is designed to help people explore, analyze, and understand information in ways not possible with search engine, database, and business intelligence solutions. Powered by Endeca’s MDEX Engine™ technology, it unites the ease of search with the analytical power of business intelligence, bringing Endeca’s trademark Guided Navigation® user experience to new classes of applications. As a result, organizations can increase revenue, decrease costs, and streamline operations by helping their customers, employees, and partners answer high-value questions with unprecedented ease and confidence.

The Endeca Information Access Platform aids information-based problem solving across a wide variety of business processes, including eCommerce, marketing-campaign analysis, product design and parts reuse, knowledge management, customer service, and more. To meet highly specific industry and application requirements, Endeca offers a range of market solutions, each designed to accelerate time-to-market and maximize return.

Discovering our name

The company name “Endeca” is derived from the German word “entdecken” meaning “to discover.” Viewed in the context of information integration and navigation, Endeca technology not only allows users to find what they are looking for, but also to discover the possibilities they never knew existed along the way.

Over 500 leading global organizations including ABN AMRO, Boeing, Cox Newspapers, The (US) Defense Intelligence Agency, Dell, Ford Motor Company, Hyatt, IBM, John Deere, The Library of Congress, Texas Instruments, and Walmart.com rely on Endeca to power business-critical applications that increase revenue, reduce costs and streamline operations.

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Endeca has operations in North America, Europe and Asia. It has 500 employees and over $100 in sales for the last year. The company was founded in 1999.

About SAP Ventures

Since 1996, SAP Ventures has been investing in companies that offer exciting new technologies and applications. Leveraging years of experience and drawing on a network of powerful business relationships, SAP Ventures helps entrepreneurs and management teams recruit the best people, make the right technology decisions, win new business, and build their own partner networks. The goal of SAP Ventures is to grow businesses that create shareholder value for everyone involved.

About Intel Capital

Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing, and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$6 billion in approximately 1,000 companies in more than 40 countries. In that timeframe, about 157 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and another 187 have been acquired by other companies. In 2007, Intel Capital invested about US$639 million in 166 deals with approximately 37 percent of funds invested outside the United States.

Interesting information has popped up online while we were researching on the deal for more details. It seems that their product empowers IBM while IBM appears to be developing their own in joined forces with Yahoo!: http://omnifind.ibm.yahoo.net/  & http://omnifind.ibm.yahoo.net/productinfo.php

Other commentaries we have dug up from Web reveal some rumors that Endeca was pretty close to do an IPO last year. The same sources claimed something must be going not very well with the company since they have chosen to go in bed with bigger names in the business and raise VC money rather than going the IPO road. 

More

http://endeca.com/
http://endeca.com/corporate-info/press-room/pr/pr_2008-1-23.html
http://endeca.com/corporate-info/press-room/pr/pr_2008-1-23-SAP.html
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/23/intel-and-sap-put-15-million-into-enterprise-search-company-endeca/
http://endeca.com/_assets/pdf/AMR_Endeca_Revolution.pdf
http://www.sapventures.com
http://www.intelcapital.com
http://web2innovations.com/money/2008/01/08/microsoft-bets-on-enterprise-search-offers-to-buy-fastno-for-12b/

More deals in the storage space, Fabrik acquires G-Technology

Just it was a couple of weeks ago when we reported and analyzed the two major acquisitions within the online storage sector IBM announced it has acquired XIV, an Israeli company for what is believed to be $350M and some months ago EMC Corporation has snatched up Mozy for $76M. A few days ago eSureIt, yet another online storage and backup service has raised $5 million in Series A round of funding as the money came from OpenView Venture Partners, a small Boston based investment fund. Today we have dug up yet another deal from the same industry.

Fabrik, a storage hardware and service provider, announced today that they have acquired G-Technology. Deal terms were  not disclosed. G Technology sells external drives that focus on high performance for rich media. Their products are focused on Mac users. G-Technology is also releasing a couple of new products today, including a 1 TB mini Raid USB drive that is bus powered.

Today’s storage consumers have a wide range of options, from plug-in drives to LAN-attached storage to on-demand services. At the same time, an explosion of personal content, from photos to videos to music, is driving the demand. Fabrik is perhaps trying to tie together these options, offering physical storage, on-demand storage, disaster recovery and content-sharing services. This is Fabrik’s third acquisition after previously acquiring Filmloop and SimpleTech.

In February 2007, Fabrik purchased the consumer business of SimpleTech, which now offers a leading portfolio of online services, home network solutions, storage devices and memory for the consumer and small business markets. Serving the creative professional market, G-Tech complements this offering by delivering a respected brand in the Apple Mac community, known for making professional-quality, specialized solutions with unmatched performance, reliability, compatibility and style. Specifically designed for HD video editing, 3D rendering and other demanding applications, G-Tech’s product family further expands the company’s footprint to include a wide array of USB, FireWire, eSATA, SCSI and Fibre Channel systems ideal for both small creative studios or big production houses.

Fabrik is said to be on a $200 million revenue run rate for 2008 and are profitable after raising around $50 million in capital. 90% of the revenues are coming from the U.S. Rumors are that the company is on track for a public offering or a very large acquisition. Cordono, the company’s CEO, says they won’t raise more capital for now, unless its for further acquisitions.

“Fabrik intends to not only to maintain, but accelerate the growth of the G-Tech product line, which represents a strategic part of our overall portfolio,” said Mike Cordano, Fabrik CEO and co-founder. “We are excited about the extension of our market position as G-Tech has done a phenomenal job developing solutions specifically for the Mac and content creation industry. Based on this success, we plan to keep G-Tech’s brand and identity intact, providing working capital, marketing power and resources needed to help grow the business both domestically and abroad.”

Roger Mabon, CEO of G-Tech, sees the acquisition as beneficial for his company as well.

“Fabrik represents a great opportunity for us. Combining Fabrik’s vision, financial resources, and operating team places us in a powerful strategic position. There is no better scenario for our business, the market and the employees at G-Tech,” said Mabon.

Competition / The market

Fabrik won’t be the only one going after this opportunity. The company will compete head-to-head with storage giants like Seagate (whose eVault service uses a SaaS model) and pure-play storage companies like XDrive. Computer makers like Dell are also moving in: Dell said back in November that it plans to acquire storage vendor EqualLogic for $1.4 billion in cash, and it already offers an on-demand backup solution called DataSafe.

Other online storage companies include: Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service), Cnet’s All you can Upload, AllMyData, Box.neteSnips, Freepository, GoDaddy, iStorage, MofileOmnidrive, Openomy, Streamload, Strongspace, iBackup, Zingee, Xdrive and Carbonite, which is known to have raised $21 million in venture financing.

It is also rumored that Google is planning to launch gDrive. Microsoft is also jumping into the same bandwagon and more information can be found over here. Zmanda is an open source back up solution as well.

The online storage space is hugely overpopulated and crowded area. Who is next, we aksed a few weeks ago? A comparison chart over some of the companies above can be found over here: http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=93730415&size=o

More about Fabrik

Our digital content and devices play an integral role in our daily lives. We’re giving you the tools, the ‘fabrik,’ to connect it and protect it as never before.” – Mike Cordano, CEO, Fabrik Inc.

Mission
Fabrik’s mission is to simplify a user’s digital experience whether at home, on the Web or on the road by delivering a blend of online services, software and devices that help them store, access, manage, protect and share their growing collections of content.

Services and Solutions
What sets us apart is our unique approach. We are not like traditional storage players. Our core DNA is in software and Web services, giving us the talent to execute and the ability to provide integrated, end-to-end content management and backup solutions.

Store
Our broad range of solutions includes innovative portable and external storage and backup solutions, and network attached storage devices for creative professionals, consumers and small business users. By blending simplicity, style and function, Fabrik’s storage solutions have become one of the leading brands on the market today.

Share
Our unique online service, Fabrik Beta, provides revolutionary change in the way we manage, access, share, and connect with our content. With photos, music, documents and videos scattered across multiple devices, Fabrik Beta finds your content and presents it to you in a single, elegant view – no matter where it resides. Based on an innovative platform, it combines the flexibility to access content anytime, anywhere, with the power and functionality of a traditional desktop application. Just imagine the possibilities when blending it with our devices and other online services!

Backup
In the event of a fire, theft or other major loss, what good is a backup on your external drive when it’s gone? Revolutionizing the way consumers protect their digital content, Fabrik delivers both local and online backup in one solution. With multiple layers of protection, users can easily protect digital memories and content they just couldn’t do without. Fabrik Ultimate Backup works in the background, uploading important files securely, remotely and automatically.

Move
We also offers a full line of high-speed memory upgrades, including the latest DDR, DDR2, DDR3 and SDRAM technologies that support business and consumer applications including desktops, laptops, consumer electronics, servers, networking and telecommunications. With more than 2,000 memory upgrades available, our easy-to-use Upgrade Navigator ensures you get the right memory for the right solution.

The CEO

Mike Cordano is the CEO and a cofounder of Fabrik. Along with his vision for the company and his passion to provide users with simpler ways to get more out of their personal media, Mike brings proven success and expertise in delivering products and services to consumers around the globe. Prior to co-founding Fabrik, Mike served as executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Maxtor Corporation, a worldwide leader in data storage products. At Maxtor, Mike provided leadership to all sales, product marketing, corporate marketing, public relations, technical support, customer service and business planning organizations. In addition to his other corporate wide duties, Mike was responsible for the formation and management of the branded products business unit at Maxtor. With the creation of strong product categories such as Maxtor OneTouch, the branded products business became the leading provider of external storage expansion and data backup products for the consumer and SOHO markets. Mike’s background also includes several regional and international management assignments, which solidified his leadership skills on a local and global scale. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado.

Other executives are Mike Williams and Mark McEachen. The board of directors includes Keyur Patel, Mike Cordano, Ross Levinsohn and Jim McLean.

Fabrik Inc., founded in 2005, is a privately owned company with offices in San Mateo and Santa Ana, California. Fabrik is backed by investments from Comventures, Intel Capital, and a $24.9 million Series D investment round that came in just recently and was led by 3i.

More about G-Technology

G-Technology Inc. manufactures the industry’s most comprehensive line of external disk storage solutions designed for professional content creation applications. Our USB, FireWire, eSATA, SCSI and Fibre Channel systems support all levels of audio/video production. G-Tech’s focus on technology, quality and design has resulted in disk storage solutions with unmatched performance, reliability and style… G-Tech corporate headquarters is located in the heart of the Santa Monica Studio District in sunny Southern California.

“G-Tech’s mission is to provide the creative community with quality products that incorporate superior industrial design, functionality, usability and performance at affordable prices,” said Roger S. Mabon, VP of Sales and Marketing for G-Technology, Inc. “Our first – and award winning – product, a FireWire 800 RAID solution called G-RAID, meets all of these criteria and is in a class of its own.”

G-Technology was founded by Roger Mabon four years ago and is said to be self funded company.

More

http://www.g-technology.com/News/pdf/Fabrik-G-Tech.pdf
http://www.g-technology.com/
http://www.fabrik.com/
http://www.myfabrik.com/register/press_release.php
http://www.fabrikultimatebackup.com/
http://www.myfabrik.com/
http://gigaom.com/2008/01/15/fabrik-acquires-g-tech-aims-to-consolidate-consumer-storage-offerings/
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/15/fabrik-acquires-g-technology-expect-2008-revenues-of-200-million/
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/02/12/filmloop-betrayed-by-investors/
http://www.crunchgear.com/2006/11/21/fabrik-launches-myfabrik-google-yawns-has-sandwich/
http://gigaom.com/2007/11/06/for-emc-dell-hell-in-equallogic/
http://web2innovations.com/money/2008/01/03/two-major-acquisition-deals-within-the-online-storage-space/
http://web2innovations.com/money/2008/01/05/online-storage-sector-is-hot-yet-another-player-is-entering-the-game/
http://www.g-technology.com/News/pdf/G-Tech-G-RAID-FINAL.pdf
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080115/aqtu065a.html?.v=2
http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/01-15-2008/0004736905&EDATE=
http://www.crunchbase.com/company/fabrik

LogMeIn files for an IPO hoping to raise $86M

It seems it is time for small-sized Internet and technology IPOs. After Internet Brands, Inc. went public on NASDAQ it is now turn of yet another second-tier technology company LogMeIn, Inc. to do the same looking for pretty much the same amount to raise. It has filed to trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol LOGM.

In times when the IPO market isn’t what it was even a few months ago the remote computer access service provider LogMeIn has filed to raise up to $86.3 million through an initial public offering, according to a filing late last week with the SEC. This happens despite the fact a growing crowd of other technology companies are being forced to pull or postpone their IPOs. Some popular and web 1.0 Internet companies that have recently pulled off their IPOs include GoDaddy, Classmates and Accoona (Planned on $80.5) among others. By contrast, looking to capitalize on the Apple halo effect, three former company executives, including co-founder Steve Wozniak, took their new company, Acquicor Technology, public 2006 in an IPO raising $150 million. The money they raised is purely based on their reputation, as Acquicor Technology, is officially designated as a “blank-check” company, meaning they don’t have any principal activity or business model yet and can do whatever they want with investor money, when raised.

LogMeIn intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes, including the development of new services, sales and marketing activities and capital expenditures. They may also use a portion of the net proceeds for the acquisition of, or investment in, companies, technologies, services or assets that complement their business. They also intend to invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term investment grade and U.S. government securities.

LogMeIn is a leading provider of on-demand, remote-connectivity solutions to small and medium-sized businesses, or SMBs, IT service providers and consumers. Businesses and IT service providers use our solutions to deliver remote, end-user support and to access and manage computers and other Internet-enabled devices more effectively and efficiently. Consumers and mobile workers use their solutions to access computer resources remotely, thereby facilitating their mobility and increasing their productivity. Their solutions, which are deployed on-demand and accessible through a Web browser, are secure, scalable and easy for the customers to try, purchase and use. The company’s customer base has grown from approximately 48,000 premium accounts in November 2006 to approximately 92,000 premium accounts in November 2007.

They believe LogMeIn Free and LogMeIn Hamachi, their popular free services, provide on-demand connectivity to more users than any other on-demand connectivity service, giving them access to a diverse group of users and increasing awareness of our premium services. Our users, they claim, have connected over 30 million computers and other Internet-enabled devices to a LogMeIn service, and during November 2007 the total number of devices connected to their services increased at an average of over 60,000 per day. They complement their free services with nine premium services, including LogMeIn Rescue and LogMeIn IT Reach, the company’s flagship remote support and management services, and LogMeIn Pro, their premium remote access service. Sales of the premium services, the company claims, are generated through word-of-mouth referrals, Web-based advertising, expiring free trials that they convert to paid subscriptions and direct marketing to new and existing customers.
 
LogMeIn delivers each of their on-demand solutions as a hosted service that runs on their proprietary platform called Gravity. Gravity establishes secure connections over the Internet between remote computers and other Internet-enabled devices and mediates the direct transmission of data. This robust and scalable platform connects over 4.2 million computers to the company’s services each day.

The company sells its services on a subscription basis at prices ranging from approximately $40 to $1,900 per year. During the nine months ended September 30, 2007, the company has completed over 159,000 transactions at an average transaction price of approximately $160. During the nine months ended September 30, 2007, LogMeIn generated revenues of $18.4 million, as compared to $7.3 million over the same period in 2006, an increase of 151%.  

Principal stockholders in the company as of December 31, 2007 are as follows:

  • Prism Venture Partners IV, L.P.- 23.98% 
  • Polaris Venture Partners – 21.16% 
  • Technologieholding Central and Eastern European Funds – 15.96%
  • Integral Capital Partners VI, L.P. – 8.98% 
  • Intel Capital – 5.47%
  • Michael K. Simon – 7.92%  
  • Marton B. Anka – 6.94%
  • Kevin K. Harrison – 1.35%

As it uses a peer-to-peer data transfer model after it makes the connection between the home computer and the remote user, LogMeIn faces less of an infrastructure burden as it grows. The company has a patent-pending service delivery platform called Gravity, which reduces their bandwidth and other infrastructure requirements, which, they believe, makes their services faster and less expensive to deliver as compared to competing services.

The company sells primarily to enterprises, so the IPO may also be an effort to gain some credibility with corporate buyers. Some of that credibility may also come from a deal LogMeIn signed with Intel in December 2007. The previously undisclosed deal involves Intel investing $10 million in LogMeIn and an agreement to tightly integrate LogMeIn’s services with Intel hardware. Based on the prospecutus filed with SEC, it turns out that Intel took only 5.47% for its $10M investment. The chipmaker will also market and sell LogMeIn’s service to its customers and share that revenue with LogMeIn. Polaris Venture Partners, Prism Venture Partners, Integral Capital Partners and Intel Capital are backing the five-year-old company.

Over the past weeks I have seen lots of online ads of LogMeIn all over the Web. I guess this is meant to fuel the company’s growth as it is approaching its IPO.

LogMeIn Hamachi, the company’s popular free services is actually a result of an acquisition done back in 2006. By that time LogMeIn has acquired the based VPN provider, Hamachi as the terms of the deal were not disclosed publicly. Hamachi has by that time about three million beta users, and the company claimed it is adding 400,000 computers a month.

A disturbing fact popped up on Web while we were researching for the company. Experts by that time gave the following explanation: “the technical side of this service establishes a VPN tunnel via a gateway server on Cocos Island. If this service were to ever embrace port hopping technology like Skype-uses, you’d have a peer to peer link established from your corporate network to foreign soil. This is problematic for many businesses.”

More about LogMeIn

LogMeIn, Inc. was established in 2003 by the creators of RemotelyAnywhere, the award-winning remote control and administration software. The company develops and markets innovative remote access, productivity, management and security products that serve mobile professionals and system administrators with a suite of SSL, TLS and SSH-encrypted products.

Based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, LogMeIn also maintains a development center in Budapest, Hungary. In February 2003, the company incorporated under the laws of Bermuda. In August 2004, they have completed a domestication in the State of Delaware under the name 3am Labs, Inc. and later changed their name to LogMeIn, Inc. in March 2006.

LogMeIn, Inc. has the following trademarks or registered trademarks: Gravity™, LogMeIn® Backup™, LogMeIn® Free®, LogMeIn® Hamachi™, LogMeIn® Ignition™, LogMeIn® Rescue®, LogMeIn® Rescue+Mobile™, LogMeIn® Pro®, LogMeIn® IT Reach® and RemotelyAnywhere®.

Some of the company’s major clients include 3M, BestBuy, AMD, DHL, HSBC, IBM, Konika Minolta, Rolls-Royce and SAP.

Management Team

Michael Simon, CEO
Simon was the founder, chairman and CEO of Uproar Inc., a Nasdaq – and Easdaq – listed company that was acquired by Vivendi Universal in March 2001. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Washington University St. Louis.

Marton Anka, CTO
Anka was the original creator and principal architect of RemotelyAnywhere. Anka has been at the forefront of Internet technology since 1995. He created the first high-volume, real-time, secure-transaction platform in Java that was commercially launched in August 1996. Anka earned his diploma in Information Technology from the Szamalk Institute (Hungary).

Jim Kelliher, CFO
Kelliher has more than 20 years experience in key financial roles in the high tech industry. Most recently, he was Chief Financial Officer of IMlogic, Inc. , a venture backed start-up in the enterprise instant messaging market. Prior to Imlogic, Jim was Sr. VP of Finance and Operations at Parametric Technology and was European Finance Director of Cullinet Software. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Bentley College.

Kevin Bardos, VP Product Development
Bardos, a 15-year high-tech veteran, manages the development team for LogMeIn’s suite of IT support tools. He led business development efforts for ERP company Scala Business Solutions (now Epicor) and was co-founder and managing director of the Central European online media agency Red Dot. Bardos received a B.A. in Economics from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada.

Andrew Burton, VP Product Marketing
With more than a decade of industry experience, Burton has driven product strategy, product marketing and product management for a number of market-leading technology companies. He was previously with Symantec Corporation, where he held a senior product management position. Prior to Symantec, Burton delivered new products and innovative solutions at IMlogic, Groove Networks (a Microsoft company), USinternetworking (an AT&T company), and Accenture. He earned his MBA from Boston College, a Masters in Information Systems from University College, Dublin, and a BS from Oregon State University.

Michael J. Donahue, VP and General Counsel
Donahue is responsible for all the company’s legal affairs. Previously, he was vice president and general counsel for C.P. Baker & Company, a Boston-based venture capital and management services company. Prior to that, he spent six years with Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP – leaving as a junior partner in 2005. Donahue has a BA from Boston College and received his JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

Kevin Farrell, VP and GM, Digital Living
Farrell has driven strategy and product management for several successful start ups and is responsible for extending LogMeIn’s award-winning remote connectivity service and future initiatives. He was formerly Sr. VP at Ensim Inc., a software startup in the hosted Web, VoIP, messaging and collaboration space after serving as VP, Product Management and Marketing for TeleGea—which was acquired by Ensim. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Computer Science from Villanova University, and a MBA from Seton Hall University. Farrell also holds several patents.

Kevin Harrison, VP Sales
Harrison drove the worldwide sales strategy and organization, including enterprise, partner, and direct sales channels, for Ximian, a leading Linux application company. Before Ximian, Harrison had sales leadership roles with MapInfo, Netegrity, and NetCentric. Harrison received a BS in Accounting from Boston College.

Richard Redding, VP and GM, Mobile
Redding worked in strategy and business development at AT&T, and previously was at Excite@Home in international business development and operations. Excite@Home was the leading broadband Internet company offering high-speed Internet access and producing a network of web properties including the Excite portal. Redding graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and has his MBA from the University of Santa Clara.

Conan Reidy, VP Business Development
Reidy is responsible for identifying key technology partnership opportunities for LogMeIn. He was previously with Symantec Corporation, where he held a senior business development position. Prior to Symantec, Reidy ran business development for IMlogic, Inc., an instant messaging management vendor, and was instrumental in the sale of IMlogic to Symantec in early 2006.

Board of Directors

Dave Barrett, Polaris Venture Partners
Dave joined Polaris Venture Partners after a 22-year operating career. Prior, Dave served as chief operating officer of Calico Commerce, where during his tenure, the company evolved from venture-backed startup to a $45M, publicly-held corporation, helped to pioneer the e-business market, and with market value in excess of $3 billion, was both one of the top-performing IPOs of 1999 and 6th most successful offering in the history of NASDAQ. Before that, he served as senior vice president of worldwide operations for Pure Atria Software Corporation, continuing in that role after the company was acquired by Rational Software Corporation for $1 billion in 1997. Prior to Rational, Dave spent twelve years with Lotus Development Corporation, where among many roles, he served as vice president of field sales and services, leading the build-out of the company’s global sales & services effort. He also served as general manager of worldwide federal systems, the company’s then-fastest growing division. Lotus was acquired by IBM in 1995 for $3.5 billion, the largest merger in software industry history up to that time.

Woody Benson, Prism VentureWorks
Benson is a general partner at Prism VentureWorks. He joined the firm in 2004 and primarily invests in digital living companies. He also focuses on mobile and on-demand business models. He came to Prism from Lazard Technology Partners, where he managed the firm’s Boston office. Career highlights include serving as Chairman, President and CEO of MCK Communications, which went public in 1999 and completed a secondary offering in 2000.

Kenneth Cron, Midway Games
Cron is chairman of Midway Games, a Chicago-based developer and manufacturer of home video game entertainment products. He has held key leadership roles in businesses that have been instrumental in transforming the contemporary technology, media and entertainment markets. His involvement steering both public and private companies to success includes overseeing and growing stable organizations into global enterprises, revitalizing large companies, and launching start-ups with eventual public offerings. As interim Chief Executive Officer of Computer Associates International Inc., Cron was instrumental in stabilizing the company following a challenging period. Prior to Computer Associates, Cron was Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal Games, Inc., a global leader in the publishing of online, PC and console-based interactive entertainment.

Irfan Salim, MarkMonitor
Salim is president and chief executive officer, of MarkMonitor, the global leader in enterprise brand protection. He brings more than 20 years of experience growing and leading world-class Internet security, fraud prevention, and domain registrar companies. Prior to MarkMonitor, he was president and chief operating officer of Internet security company Zone Labs, which was acquired by Check Point Technologies. Earlier, Salim was president and CEO of NameSecure.com, an Internet domain name registrar and services company as well as serving as president of US and European operations at security leader TrendMicro.

More

https://secure.logmein.com
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1420302/000095013508000171/b67378lmsv1.htm#116
http://gigaom.com/2008/01/14/logmein-files-for-86m-ipo-gets-money-from-intel/
http://gigaom.com/2006/08/08/logmein-buys-hamachi/
http://ipadventures.com/?p=1124
http://gigaom.com/2006/08/08/logmein-buys-hamachi/
https://secure.logmein.com/go.asp?page=pressrelease&id=49
http://redmondmag.com/features/article.asp?editorialsid=2400#neverwas
http://www.tmcnet.com/planetpdamag/articles/16929-logme-enables-remote-tech-support-smartphones.htm
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/columnists/story.html?id=6e9a2720-cdac-4366-bb94-3c71a728bcc8
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2219740,00.asp
https://secure.logmein.com/corp/pressrelease.asp?id=99
 

MyPunchBowl gets angel funding, relies on algorithm to recommend best dates

MyPunchBowl, the event planning site that has joined the new crowd of Evite rivals, has recently been angel funded. According to some sources like VentureBeat and Mashable, the exact amount of funding has not been disclosed, but it’s less than $1 million, and is enough to keep the team in development for another year, at least.

MyPunchBowl is known to have had a pretty good year, with several developments and feature upgrades to its event-planning service. More niche templates have been added to its collection, and they released their new Facebook application called “Party Animal.”

Partnerships with traditional media companies like the Boston Globe could also help to establish MyPunchBowl as a viable option for planning your next event.

In technological aspect they’ve been building out tools for each step of planning a party: finding supplies, inviting friends, setting a date, and the after party. MyPunchbowl has also made setting a date that much easier through the help of an algorithm that recommends the best date for your party. Connecting party organizers with suppliers in an algorithmic approach (supplies on-demand, recommendations in context of the party, individuals, events, at the right time and place etc.) could be a viable business model in our understanding and this is where the site is planning to make money from, see below comments.

More about Punchbowl Software

At Punchbowl Software, we believe that planning an event or party should be enjoyable and easy.

For the host, there are typically lots of pieces to organize: picking a date, sending invitations, choosing catering and entertainment, purchasing party supplies, and renting party equipment just to name a few. It can be a time-consuming process, and it usually isn’t much fun.

To solve this problem, we’ve created MyPunchbowl, a new web application for event and party planning. MyPunchbowl provides software for every stage of planning. With MyPunchbowl.com you’ll actually enjoy planning while saving time.

“They are the developers of one of the hottest websites in America and around the world. These are the folks that are at the vanguard of web development” – one reads at CNBC. 

For now, MyPunchbowl is avoiding monetizing the site through display ads. Instead, it plans to open partnerships with vendors, helping users secure any party supplies they need. To make money, the site is working on opening more relationships with vendors. A guest asked to bring the turkey to a Thanksgiving event, for example, might receive a targeted offering from Butterball.

According to Quantcast the site’s reach is less than 12,000 American visitors per month and compared to Evite.com’s 7 million uniques / mo MyPunchbowl looks like it has way too much to do in order to be called even close competitor to Evite, despite the press attention it gained over the past year http://corp.mypunchbowl.com/news.php

The company was founded by software and user interface experts who are fanatics about simplicity and ease of use. As they say “they were frustrated with the current tools, and knew there had to be a better way”. The funding came from Intel Capital and eCoast Angels.

As far as we know MyPunchBowl’s competitor Planypus has recently been funded as well.

Other competitors include Skobee or Renkoo although they have differentiated themselves by helping plan the casual outings for drinks or dinner. Socializr is taking a social networking approach.

The company’s founder is Matt Douglas. Douglas, whose principal offices are based in the Boston Metrowest technology center (Natick, MA), has three employees for now. Formerly of Adobe Systems and Bose Corporation, Matt Douglas has 12+ years in product management and marketing with expertise in software product development. At Adobe, Matt was responsible for Adobe Premiere where he grew revenue from $15M to $50M in four years. At Bose, he was a senior manager in the professional division where he led a hardware and software product team. Matt has a degree in music from the University of Rochester and an M.B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill. Matt’s favorite reason to party is Groundhog Day–he and his wife held their 11th annual Groundhog Day party in 2007.

Otherwise Punchbowl Software is a privately held Delaware Corporation.

The competition in the event planning sector looks intensive, but the vast majority of the startups being active in the arena have chosen specific niches, and will be trying to secure their own markets without invading each other’s territory.

More

[ http://www.mypunchbowl.com/ ]
[ http://corp.mypunchbowl.com/ ]
[ http://venturebeat.com/2007/01/15/mypunchbowl-joins-growing-list-of-evite-rivals/ ]
[ http://mashable.com/2007/10/02/mypunchbowl-funded/ ]
[ http://venturebeat.com/2007/10/02/mypunchbowl-lands-seed-funding-for-online-invitations/ ]
[ http://www.quantcast.com/mypunchbowl.com ]
[ http://www.quantcast.com/evite.com ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/05/21/mypunchbowl-the-algorithm-schedules-your-event/ ]
[ http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2007/07/22/will_boston_ever_catch_up/?p1=MEWell_Pos5 ]

Edgeio closes doors after burning $5M in one year

In a final board meeting last evening Edgeio’s board members have decided to shut down operations of the company.

This failure is sort of symbolic for the Web 2.0 sector. Why? What Edgeio is interesting with? First off it has been co-founded by Michael Arrington from Techcrunch, an influential, probably the most, blog that is symbolic itself for the web 2.0 age and Arrington himself is the editor there and one of the most influential people on Web today, according many sources, including but not limited to Wired and Forbes. He is also mentoring, advising, consulting and probably brokeraging companies across the Silicon Valley and is generally well known technology evangelist. He expanded his Crunch Network with Crunchboard, Crunchgear and Mobilecrunch and is rapidly becoming the most influential journalist in the tech scene nowadays.

Aside Edgeio Michael Arrington is also having active participations in the following companies.

  • He is an investor in a stealth company called Daylife, based in New York.
  • He became an investor in Dogster on September 14, 2006
  • He is also an investor in Omnidrive since December 2006.
  • He is also an investor in Dancejam since the spring of 2007 and
  • An investor in Seesmic from November 2007, a video upstart launched by a French entrepreneur.

Aside Michael Arrington the company was also co-launched by Keith Teare and is said to be a great tool for bloggers and buyers alike. Using content from RSS-enabled sources, Edgeio is able to take millions of listings and categorize them in a central location. Early employees of Edgeio also include Vidar Hokstadt, Matt Kaufman and Fred Oliveira. Michael Arrington was not an executive but instead he served the company as a board of directors’ member.

Edgeio is all about edge publishing. It is Edgeio’s belief that services that try to restrict how users create and consume information cannot ultimately be successful. Users own their data, and services exist not to silo that data, but rather to add value to it. That is what Edgeio is setting out to do. Good mission. Simply put Edgeio will be focusing on classified listings of any type to start.

Blogs and other websites syndicating their content through RSS are an ideal place to post classified listings. Not only is the publisher in complete control of the content (what to include, when to change or update it, when to delete it and how to syndicate it for other services), but the website itself gives valuable context to readers of the listing. Unlike anonymous listing services, listings on blogs controlled by the publisher give readers an idea of who they are dealing with. That additional information is an important factor for readers in deciding if and how to interact with the publisher.

Very few blogs publish classified listings today. Most blogs have a relatively small group of readers, including friends and family, and are not able to effectively reach the larger audience needed to effectively market their listings.

That’s where Edgeio comes in. They promised to find edge published listings if they include the category or tag “listing” within the post or content. The listings will be indexed through the blog’s RSS feed and aggregated with other “listings from the edge”. Users of the Edgeio service will be able to search through listings and communicate directly with the publisher. Edgeio will also make aggregated listings available though a web service to other Internet sites and services that would like to include edge listings.

Edgeio promised to never attempt to silo or control publisher data, or restrict the ways that listings can be used by others.

The company has also launched a Chinese language version of its web site named mulu100.com (which in Chinese means catalog of catalogs). The Chinese service has initially formed a partnership with edeng.cn, a China based listings site, similar in many ways to craigslist.com.

Edgeio recieved $1.5 million in angel funds from the likes of Louis Monier, Frank Caufield, the RSS Investors Fund, Jeff Clavier, Ron Conway, Michael Tanne, Auren Hoffman, Sam Perry and Bill McCabe.

In October 2006 Edgeio Closed $5 Million Series A Funding led by Intel Capital and also included an investment from Transcosmos & Business Development Inc, a Japanese public company with a Silicon Valley investment arm focused on Internet-based U.S. technology companies expanding into the Japanese marketplace.

The company burned through that money according to plan, meaning they ran out this month. The product roadmap was fulfilled; meaning development lags didn’t hurt the company. No revenues came in and the user/partner milestones weren’t met and no one else was going to put more money into the company.

Employees will be let go but will be fully paid according Michael Arrington.

When being asked from a commenter on his blog what the company spent the money for Michael Arrington jokingly replied “parties, scotch, hookers, blow. You know the usual.”

The company seems to have failed even though Edgeio got a serious amount of coverage and in-context mentions on Techcrunch over the past years. All entries can be found over here: http://www.techcrunch.com/tag/edgeio

De-facto it also affects another initiative of Techcrunch the Crunchboard.com, which will also undergo restructuring in the next days as they say. 

Michael Arrington also has said ”it is unwise for a company to spend a lot of money building out infrastructure before a product proves itself as well as they always had problems with the PayPal API, which is a total piece of crap”

Here are some more interesting thoughts for food.

Advertising on TechCrunch is not cheap – $10,000 per month and Edgeio is known to have been an advertiser at TC for quite long period of time. The site was also used in TC’s job site www.crunchboard.com, which in our understanding did also cost money for the Edgeio. Having an influential company the rank of TechCrunch adopt and use your company’s services or products in our view is more expensive than having a banner rotating on the TC’s blog network.

The company was recently caught (September 2007) to be spamming Bloggers, which was even criticized by Arrington himself calling it ”Bad Idea”.

It is really interesting to see how things in SV tend to work. You have an idea, find an angel or two, prepare for the series A funding, raise the money, give it a try, if it work things out fine, if not then also fine, you close shop, go home, take some rest and try again later with another start up.

Indeed the company looks very good and healthy to us. Well done technology, good idea/concept, good numbers, was well funded, high-profile people involved and engaged and beyond. Quantcast reports for over 150,000 unique visitors from US alone while Compete is showing very healthy number of visitors – 348,797. Edgeio has access to over 100 million listings in 1,484,953 cities and 166 countries, 9,190,705 listings from 1,405 edge-direct feeds and 2,736 listings from 134 Classified Boards.

So what went wrong?

Why the company did not take a series B round of funding or tried to sell itself before crashing down? The business plan to start generating revenues was too pushful and unrealistic, in less than one year after funding? The company seems to have been given with less than a year to break-even? By contrast I remember another company that got coverage on Techcrunch Mahalo, started out by Jason Calacanis and was said that the company is having enough money to survive for at least 5 years without making any money at all. The company could have even been sold or profitably liquidated in one way or another and not simply closed.

So is there anything behind the scene that the public is not aware of?

Well, the very simple conclusion we can draw here is that a company success is not always guaranteed solely by who the investors or founders are… The DNA of the success with a company probably lies somewhere else and is a complex of factors, interests and events. 

Via

[ http://www.edgeio.com ]
[ http://wiki.edgeio.com/display/ExternalWiki/Home ]
[ http://blog.edgeio.com/2006/10/23/series-a-financing-china-web-site-and-patent-filing/ ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/12/06/edgeio-to-shut-down-in-the-deadpool/ ]
[ http://www.crunchbase.com/company/edgeio ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/09/30/edgeio-spams-bloggers-bad-idea/ ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/tag/edgeio ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/10/24/edgeio-closes-5-million-series-a-financing/ ]
[ http://venturebeat.com/2006/10/23/edgeio-gets-5-million-to-expand-web-20-classifieds-site/ ]
[ http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2006/10/edgeio_has_been.html?campaign_id=rss_blog_blogspotting ]
[ http://gesterling.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/edgio-gets-5-million-in-vc-money/ ]
[ http://www.quantcast.com/edgeio.com ]
[ http://siteanalytics.compete.com/edgeio.com/?metric=uv ]
[ http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/CompanyDetail.aspx?CompanyID=49351685&cs=QGC8QwFIE&pc=compete ]
[ http://rexdixon.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/edgeio-secures-5-million ]
[ http://www.techcrunch.com/about-techcrunch/ ]
[ http://www.crunchboard.com/ ]
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Arrington ]
[ http://www.teare.com/category/keith-teare/edgeio ]