Brent Hill

Jun 11 2018

Social Selling and E-Commerce: Our Investment in DirectScale

Direct selling has been a significant part of the American economy for over one hundred years. From the early days of traveling salesmen pitching cure-all elixirs and bibles, the industry evolved as brands like Stanley Home Products, Tupperware, and Mary Kay Cosmetics brought the ‘party plan’ into American households. More than 20.5 million people participated in the direct selling industry in 2016, with 5.3 million people building independent businesses as ...
Nov 28 2017

The Video Advertising Journey – Our Investment in ViralGains

Spending on digital video ads has continued to rocket forward. In 2017, an estimated $23.8B[note]https://www.statista.com/statistics/272856/worldwide-online-video-advertising-spending-forecast/[/note] will be spent on video advertising worldwide, representing 82% growth over the same figure in 2015. With click through rates on pre-roll ads at 0.4% (i.e., 1 click every 250 ads[note]https://www.iab.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Innovid_2016_Advanced_Video_Benchmarks_Final_US_Updated_2_26_16.pdf[/note]), marketers have accepted that video advertising is largely used for “building awareness,” and not “direct response.” But what happens when brands employ better data for ...
Nov 3 2017

Fighting the Internet’s Bad Guys: Why We Invested in AppDetex

In the 10 years since the first iPhone was released, the number of applications in the Apple mobile app store has swelled to over 2 million. There are another 2.2 million apps on the Google Play store. There have been 268 billion total mobile app downloads, which have generated over $77B in mobile commerce every year. Consumers’ time spent in mobile apps has increased 114 percent since 2014. Unfortunately, while ...
Sep 12 2017

Why We Invested in Fountain (Formerly OnboardIQ)

Between contract workers, the new on-demand and “gig economy,” and traditional hourly workforces, nearly 60% of the American workforce is employed on an hourly basis. Despite the growth in hourly workers, software solutions for the Human Capital Management (HCM) market have historically focused on salaried employees. Incumbent applicant tracking systems are designed to enable recruiters to hire a specific individual for a specific salaried job. But hiring is different for ...
Apr 27 2017

Our Investment in Kidizen

In late March, we announced our investment in Minneapolis-based Kidizen, leading a $3M Series A round. We first heard about Kidizen when we traveled to Minneapolis for office hours with the companies participating in the Techstars Retail Accelerator.   As an early-stage investor in marketplace companies, we’re very curious about new and novel ways that buyers meet sellers, both in B2B and B2C contexts. CEO Dug Nichols and co-founders Mary Fallon ...
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