We just announced that we raised a Series Awesome. Yes, the documents actually say that :). Most people are probably wondering what prompted us to do this such a short while after we closed our seed round literally 5 months ago from today. Here’s why:
Bigger Opportunity Than We Thought
Andy at Betaworks put it the best: “Onswipe is a lot like Aol in 1995 in terms of opportunity.” The Internet was just a year old and if someone was able to own the space, they could build a massive company. We feel the same holds true with the tablet market. It’s growing faster than we ever thought and we realize that there’s a unique once in a generation opportunity to define the way the world interacts with the web. What you’re seeing and what’s talked about today is a small small part of our overall vision. The sky is the limit. We get a chance to rewrite all the rules and change everything.
Going for the big win
We’re not doing something small and we’re not interested in selling the company. We’re lucky and realize the opportunity ahead and found people to back us that believe in the same. We have money from investors behind companies like Twitter, Tumblr, Groupon, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, and more. We love what we do and we know that a monstrous opportunity is ahead, so we’re going to need a lot of capital to take advantage of it.
It seems we’ve found a secret sauce about how to develop relationships with publishers and brands. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we believe we can own the market by elveraging this. We have a distinct philosophy of partnering with publishers instead of becoming YAV “Yet Another Vendor”. Part of it is tech and part of it is good ole’ relationship building.
Ability to recruit top engineers
We’ve been really lucky that we have been able to build a killer engineering team. Talent is hard to come by and we have a specific skillset we need. With $5 million in cash, we can really scale up our engineering team to build what is the best Front-end HTML5 team in the world.
More demand than we ever imagined
Apps are bullshit and publishers don’t want to be beholden to them. Advertisers want something more like print and less like bottom of the barrel CPM or Google Adwords. Our landing page has been and still really is pretty vague. People sort of know what we do, but the notions behind it have gotten a lot of people excited.
All in the family
We’re lucky, we have a great group of investors. Alex at Spark has been like a cofounder+board member to the team and there with us along the way. The best companies are built upon relationships and we’re happy to continue our relationship for the long haul with Spark. Everyone else involved is a close knit group of individuals that have been there for us along the way. We’re proud to say that 100% of investors with pro-rata rights took their pro-rata. We’re also welcoming new investors in the round. Paul from Lightbank tweeted out a ballsy quote at demo day and we quickly connected as Paul and the team at lightbank know how to build monstrous companies. Lerer Ventures, Yuri Milner, and Thrive Capital are also participating as new investors that we’re thrilled to have on board.
The time is now and the time is ours. A lot of people may tell us congratulations, which is nice, but in reality we have a lot of work ahead. No retreat, no surrender. Thank you everyone for believing in us.
Jason L. Baptiste