January is a great time to take stock of where we have been and where we are going. 2012 was a great year for ScaleVP, particularly for the things that are most important to us…our portfolio and our people.
First our portfolio: Our decade of focus on SaaS digital marketing was rewarded by liquidity in two investments. In March, the cross-channel interactive marketing leader, ExactTarget, went public providing the company with the growth capital for continued product innovation, strategic acquisitions and global expansion. We invested in ExactTarget in 2009, after working with the team to take additional private money to grow more aggressively – a strategy that worked. Scott Dorsey and his “Team Orange” are a committed group of individuals who have been a pleasure to work with.
In June, social media marketing company, Vitrue, was acquired by Oracle to strengthen the company’s presence in the cloud. Vitrue helps some of the world’s largest brands engage with their customers via social media, a new but critical piece in the marketing ecosystem. Our investment in Vitrue was led by Stacey Bishop who, following a joint research project with University Venture Fund, has expanded her focus to include productivity applications.
Partner Andy Vitus has led years of diligence and research on cloud computing and big data which, in 2012, resulted in two new investments. Boundary sits at the intersection of big data and the shift of IT to the cloud, while DataSift is at the intersection of big data and social. We are working closely with both companies’ teams to scale their businesses.
We are dedicated to the ideal that we do well when we help entrepreneurs grow promising businesses into dominant industry leaders. In 2012, we were involved on the national level helping entrepreneurs. I take personal pride in our work surrounding the JOBS Act, creating a piece of legislation that makes it more feasible for entrepreneurs to build a company, take it public and ultimately, create more jobs. Likewise, we are all so proud of my partner, Rory O’Driscoll, for his industry recognition on the 2012 Forbes Midas list and AlwaysOn VC 100 – achievements that only come from helping founders build great, growing companies. Last, we have been hosting a series of “Scaling Dinners”, bringing CEO’s together to discuss best practices facing running and growing a successful business and sharing our learning’s on our blog, as we did on the topic of the Freemium pricing model, so widely discussed these days.
Also this year, we were fortunate to have some talented people join the ScaleVP team who share our enthusiasm and dedication for our business. In a series of executives-in-residence that ScaleVP has brought on to help with market assessments, Eric Tilenius spent time with us in 2012 to look at the implications of the platform shift from web to mobile. Jaime Lovejoy joined as VP of Marketing to lead our marketing strategy and help advise our portfolio companies. In the fall, we were thrilled to welcome our new Associates, Qiyun Cai and Susan Liu. They both hit the ground running and have proven themselves invaluable from the start.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that Alexander Niehenke joined ScaleVP as Principal in December. With a deep network of entrepreneurs, Alex is a great addition to our investment team. He has the analytical savvy about next generation technology companies, complementing the ScaleVP family. He is already making a significant impact. Welcome Alex, it’s a great way to kick off 2013!