Mar 21 2012

One platform to rule them all

I write often about my love of start-ups. And in truth, I really enjoy all stages of a company’s development – each for a different reason, of course (the early days, working closely with the founding team on product; mid-stage when maybe you’re helping with key management hires as the business scales; and later when hopefully the business has grown quiet large, working on strategic partnerships, overall strategy or maybe the sale of the business). And each stage has its own cadence (which, of course varies from business to business).

Most of the time, it takes years to validate an investment thesis as companies work methodically through product launches, and the stages of scaling a business. It’s only after time (and very often a few false starts) that we realize that our investment thesis was correct. But every once in a while I get to work with a company that takes off immediately after our funding it. It’s a rare pleasure to see an idea so quickly and immediately take off. And while there are plenty of companies that have a slower start to their lives that later become great successes, that early success (and here I’m talking about customer and revenue success, not funding or “user” success) often portends really good things to come.

Integrate – who today announced an $11M Series B financing with Comcast, Liberty Global and Foundry – is one of those rare companies. Launched in April of 2010, the company was scaling quickly even during the time when we were first looking at at and later working through the details of our initial investment ($4.25M which closed in the fall of that year). Founders Hart Cunningham and Jeremy Bloom have been fantastic to work with and together, they’ve built a substantial business.

Integrate brings together advertisers performance marketing campaigns in one platform. The company’s platform allows any B2B and B2C advertiser to plan, execute, track, analyze and optimize an integrated marketing strategy.  The marketplace combines thousands of quality-vetted online and offline media sources (internet, print, out-of-home, television, radio and call centers).  To me it represents the future of performance marketing. Not just in its breadth of offerings, but also in the fraud and other controls they’ve put in place to help enable a safe environment for traditional, more brand oriented, advertisers.

I’ve embedded a video below of co-founder Jeremy Bloom talking about the company and the new funding round on Reuters this morning. And I’m looking forward to continued success at Integrate and welcome Sam from Comcast and Bruce from Liberty Global to the team!