MassVentures-backed Incentive Targeting Acquired by Google

Successful exit to help spur new investments in the local tech ecosystem

 November 30, 2012 – We are pleased to announce that MassVentures-backed Incentive Targeting has been acquired by Google. Google confirmed the deal Wednesday afternoon, but did not disclose any financial terms. The Cambridge-based startup builds software for retailers to offer customers targeted promotions.

MassVentures partnered successfully with local angel groups including Launchpad and Hub Angels and it’s a great testament to have Google step in and realize the quality of the Incentive Targeting team and what they built. MassVentures has established a track record of successfully funding innovative technology companies in the state to promote job growth and innovation across a broad range of industries. Gains realized from this investment will in part be used to further fuel the technology industry in the state.

“The team is an an example of what young, Massachusetts-based entrepreneurs can accomplish when working hard and utilizing the resources available to them in the community,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President, MassVentures. “Congratulations to the entire team, the hard work and persistence delivered a great outcome!”

“We didn’t reach this milestone alone. From day one, we have relied on the support and commitment of our retailers, brands, investors, partners, and advisors, as well as the hard work and dedication of our team. We could not have done this without them, and as we look ahead, we are thrilled to be part of Google!” concludes Ben Sprecher, Josh Herzig-Marx, Win Burke, and the entire Incentive Targeting team.

MassVentures Renews Commitment to MassChallenge Entrepreneurs

October 25, 2012MassVentures has renewed its partnership with MassChallenge on the MassVentures’ Fast Track program to further fuel the success of MassChallenge 2012 companies and make it easier for those companies to grow and remain in the Commonwealth.

During the MassChallenge Awards Ceremony, Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures, announced its commitment to the finalists, “We are excited to be here again to support the companies that are part of MassChallenge. Following last year’s success, when we provided early funding to Libboo and Vsnap, we realized the value of helping these companies right out of the gate so that they can sustain positive momentum. We want these companies to focus on growth rather than fundraising and contribute to the vibrant innovation ecosystem we have here in the Commonwealth.”

MassVentures will select as many as five 2012 MassChallenge companies to participate in a review process, with MassVentures and MassChallenge announcing the company(s) that will receive a funding commitment from MassVentures in January.

MassVentures is focused on bridging the capital gap for Massachusetts entrepreneurs and driving more startup companies to headquarter within the Commonwealth. Providing early stage capital will ultimately stimulate the economy by catalyzing the creation of jobs.

“The early-stage funding MassVentures provides through the Fast Track Program is exactly what our companies need to launch their business and help vitalize the Massachusetts economy,” said John Harthorne, Founder and CEO, MassChallenge. “Working with MassVentures over the past two years has been a win-win situation for the MassChallenge community.”

MassVentures Leads $1.1 million Seed Round of Financing for Online Publishing Start-up Libboo

October 11, 2012 – MassVentures, focused on fueling the growth of innovative, technology-driven companies in Massachusetts, today announced its second investment in online publishing start-up Libboo. The $1.1 million seed round included investments from East Coast Angels, Hubspot CTO and founder Dharmesh Shah, Avid and Wildfire founder Bill Warner, and past President and CEO of Compete, Don McLagan.

Libboo, a TechStars Boston company and MassChallenge finalist, is an online platform that connects “buzzers” (passionate readers and advocates who love to raise awareness about the books and authors they enjoy) with books from talented authors, to more effectively get those authors discovered by new audiences. With its launch, Libboo introduced revolutionary ways to combine the power of reader and author to create award-winning bestsellers.

“It’s been a big win for Libboo to have partnered with MassVentures since our involvement with MassChallenge. They recognized our unique approach to helping talented authors, in an overly crowded space, gain visibility and promote their work, and have been a valuable partner in helping bring this to reality,” comments Libboo CEO, Chris Howard. “Libboo is committed to creating a place for talented authors to get discovered and rewarded for their talent. It is important that Libboo’s investors be passionate and visionary angels and VCs looking to be a part of an industry shift.”

The round will allow Libboo to continue to grow its all-star team, specifically in engineering, operations, and business development. Libboo sees its investors as just as much a part of the team as the full-time staff. Their combined strengths and drive to move the publishing industry into the future will be invaluable in Libboo’s goal to discover the next digital bestseller.

“We are excited to be increasing our investment in Libboo. We originally invested in Libboo back in January when the company was one of two winners of our MassChallenge Fast Track Program, an annual program focused on giving high-potential, Massachusetts startups the runway needed to prove out their value proposition,” said Nick Pappas, Vice President at MassVentures. “We continue to be impressed by Chris’ vision and the progress that he and the team have made over the past 10 months. We look forward to working with them in this next phase of the company’s development.”


MassVentures Continues Investment in OwnerIQ

New Round Doubles Valuation of Ownership-Targeted Media Company

MassVentures announced that it has continued investing in OwnerIQ, a leading provider of targeted digital advertising solutions, as part of a $7.5 million expansion round which doubled the company’s valuation.

OwnerIQ’s relationships with manufacturers and online retailers have enabled it to bring ownership targeting to the marketplace, where it has delivered strong results for advertisers – reaching highly targeted audiences in real time at scale. Those strong results, which leverage OwnerIQ’s unique technology, prompted the company to expand its offerings, creating new revenue streams for brands, in order to better serve manufacturers and retailers.

In recent months the company launched CoEx, the cooperative exchange that enables manufacturers to share site-visitor data easily with online retailers. More than 100 retailers and manufacturers are currently using the platform. OwnerIQ has also pioneered the concept of Branded Audience Networks, partnering with several top retailers to transform their web assets into revenue-generating ad networks.

“OwnerIQ continues to execute, delivering innovative advertising and media solutions to its customers,” comments Nick Pappas, Vice President, MassVentures. “We are pleased to support the growth and success of OwnerIQ since the early days. It is great to see a Massachusetts company taking a leadership role in this sector.”

“The online assets of brands and retailers offers advertisers a huge market opportunity and revenue stream, and OwnerIQ enables advertisers to define and reach their ideal online consumer base to help grow their businesses,” said OwnerIQ’s CEO, Jay Habbeger. “With the continued investment, OwnerIQ is well-positioned to develop its offering and take advantage of this important trend.”