Email Advertising Startup LiveIntent Raises $20M More


LiveIntent, a startup that provides tools for advertising in email newsletters and alerts, is announcing that it has raised $20 million in Series C funding.

The company launched at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in 2010, though at the time its goal was helping publishers “create meaningful connections on social networks.” Now it offers an ad exchange for real-time, automated buying and selling of ads in email. (Its website declares, “Email is no longer about sending email,” and you can see a sample ad to the left.)

I asked CEO Matt Keiser via email how LiveIntent fits into the broader email marketing landscape, he replied, “We do not plan to fit in [see what he did there?], we are changing [the] landscape of email marketing with real time programmatic buying and selling.”

The company says that it reaches more than 55 million consumers each month while working with brands like La Quinta, Kraft, Chrysler, as well as publishers like The Weather Channel, Hearst, and AOL (which owns TechCrunch). It also says that it has tripled revenue and doubled its workforce in the past year.

The plan for 2014, Keiser said, to continue growing and “leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to deliver timely targeted ads.”

“Since every commercial entity is becoming a publisher in their own right, the market is only getting bigger,” he added.

The Series C was disclosed in part through a regulatory filing, but the filing didn’t show that the round had closed, the total size of the round, or who was investing. The new funding was led by Bullpen Capital with additional money from Alpha Capital, Valor Capital, and Brazilian investors VR.

LiveIntent has now raised more than $32 million in funding.

Longtime Online Exec Tina Sharkey Joins Sherpa Foundry as CEO

Umpqua Bank- San Francisco

Tina Sharkey, the former CEO of BabyCenter, is joining a new venture aimed at helping corporations get better at taking advantage of their digital assets.

Sharkey, who is a well-known Silicon Valley investor and exec, will become CEO of Sherpa Foundry, which was co-founded by Shervin Pishevar and Scott Stanford.

She will be responsible for overall management and operations for Sherpa Foundry, including developing initiatives and leading relationships with its corporate partners/members, which have yet to be announced. The goal, Sharkey said in an interview, is to bridge big and often slow-moving companies with more nimble and perhaps chaotic startup environments, by helping them gain a digital edge with their existing assets.

(As someone who knows: Good luck with that!)

“This was the opportunity to take everything I have done in my career and bring it together,” she said. “I think that I can help our members look inside their portfolios and find what they can’t innovate inside their own walls and create new opportunities.”

This inside-outside approach is well suited to Sharkey, who has worked in both smaller and larger business settings.

Sharkey left BabyCenter, a wholly-owned division of Johnson and Johnson, a year ago. Previous to that, she had a varied career, including as a co-founder of iVillage, as an exec at AOL and even as the first digital exec at Sesame Street. She is also a director of HomeAway and Brit + Co.

Sherpa Foundry is part of a two-pronged effort by Pishevar, formerly of Menlo Ventures, and former Goldman Sachs tech banker Stanford.

Its other arm, Sherpa Ventures, is an early-stage venture fund, which has started off its efforts to raise $150 million for its initial fund with a $15 million commitment from private equity giant TPG Capital.

Sherpa Ventures has already made more than two dozen investments in startups since its creation earlier this year. They include BackOps, a cloud-based company that offers back-office services like accounting, human resources and financial reporting; and Munchery, a gourmet-meal delivery service.

Sharkey now rounds out the group, said Pishevar and Stanford in a statement:

“Being the CEO of Sherpa Foundry requires someone with the unique founder-sense to grow entrepreneurial endeavors of scale coupled with the discipline, network and wisdom that comes from leading global corporations. Tina brings this along with an acute sense for what it takes to build enduring and loved brands. We’re very fortunate to have her join us.”

Timehop, The Place To Reminisce Online, Raises $3M Led By Spark Capital


While present-focused social networks like Facebook and Instagram make plenty of room for the narcissists in us, there’s not really a dedicated and focused place to reflect on the past.

Timehop, which started out as 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo, has evolved into a mobile-first startup that surfaces old memories from your social networks. The app will pull up status updates from a year or more ago, reminding you of friends you’ve lost contact with or thoughts you had a year ago on this day.

The New York-based startup says it just rounded up another $3 million in funding led by existing investor Spark Capital. O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures, which had also previously backed the company, participated as well. Andrew Parker, a principal at Spark, joins Timehop’s board.

Timehop’s CEO Jonathan Wegener says that the company will use the round to build out the team beyond seven people and focus on mobile apps. Timehop just shut down its e-mail service last week.

“The big, long-term vision is to be a place to reminisce online,” Wegener said. “Basically in this world, all social networks are real-time. They’re about what’s happening right now, but there’s no place online to discuss the past.”

While the Series A crunch has made fundraising tough for all kinds of consumer-facing mobile and web products, Wegener said it was Timehop’s stickiness that made a compelling case. He said one-third of Timehop’s user base opens the product on any given day, which is a very respectable retention figure.

“Users who try to the product fall in love with it. This helped us make the argument that people are working Timehop into their everday lives,” Wegener said. “At first, people don’t understand why they would want this. But they get really addicted to it. They see it as a mirror of their own life, and a reflection of their past self.”

He said he’s used the app to remember which friends he’s lost touch with over the years. The app will pull up old group photos, reminding Wegener to reach out and reconnect.

Timehop’s earlier investors also included angels like Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, Naveen Selvadurai and Alex Rainert, Groupme’s Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht, Rick Webb and Kevin Slavin.