June, 2011

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Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

June 28th, 2011

Vision Critical Debuts on Honomichl Top 50


VANCOUVER, BC – June 28, 2011 — Vision Critical, a global research and technology firm and pioneer in the market intelligence field, was named as a Honomichl Top 50 U.S. market research firm. Vision Critical, the global leader for providing on-line marketing research communities, made its debut as the 27th top market research firm in the US, as published in the 41st annual business report of Marketing News, an American Marketing Association publication.

“Vision Critical is proud of its transformative force within market research and thrilled to be recognized for our contributions among this prestigious list of market research firms,” said Angus Reid, chief executive officer and chairman of Vision Critical. “We attribute much of our growth and success to our ability to foster deep connections for brands. Using our innovative approaches to cutting-edge research, we ensure our customers have access to real-world, authentic brand insights so they can make strategic and insightful decisions regarding their brand’s lifecycle.”

Vision Critical enjoyed a 30 percent increase in US revenues and a 29 percent increase in ex-US revenues in 2010, bringing its total worldwide research revenue to $62 million. This is a sharp contrast to the average revenue of the Honomichl 50, which had a cumulative average revenue increase of 3.3 percent.

The “Top 50 US Market Research Ranking and Review” is published each year by the AMA and Inside Research, founded by Jack Honomichl, a leading market research industry authority. Rankings are based on previous year revenues.

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Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

June 23rd, 2011

Nest Collective Founders: One of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2011

Neil Grimmer, a veteran of design company IDEO, and Sheryl O’Loughlin, former chief executive of Clif Bar, started Nest Collective in 2007 to build a group of consumer packaged goods companies aimed at improving children’s health and nutrition. They partnered with Revolution Foods, which supplies healthy food to school cafeterias, to develop a line of healthy lunchbox snacks using whole grains and organic ingredients under the Revolution brand. Then they acquired Plum Organics, a leading maker of organic baby food, in 2009. The goal is to deliver healthy food that’s as convenient as junk food alternatives, says Grimmer, who used his background in designing packaged goods to revamp the brands. “It’s about creating a system of healthy offerings that can reach them throughout the day,” he says. Getting healthy food to children at a young age can set the stage for lifelong nutrition: “What you feed your child from zero to 2 years old sets their eating patterns for life,” he says. —JT

To view the full Bloomberg Businessweek article, please click here America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2011

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Matthew Cowan

Managing Director

June 10th, 2011

J. Hilburn Tailors $5M Series C Led by Bridgescale Partners

Fastest Growing Men’s Luxury Apparel Brand Closes Round of Financing From New and Existing Investors

DALLAS, TX – J. Hilburn, the fastest-growing luxury men’s brand in the US, today announced it has closed $5 million in new financing led by Bridgescale Partners with participation from prior investor Battery Ventures. J. Hilburn will focus this latest round of funding to expand interactive technologies, product development and to grow its base of more than 1,000 personal style advisors nationwide.

J. Hilburn today also announced the launch of a new Tailored Suiting Collection, made-to-order in Europe and handcrafted using luxury Italian wools. The collection offers a personalized fit, individual styling and unrivaled quality. Beyond suiting, J. Hilburn offers handcrafted custom dress shirts and trousers as well as ready-to-wear items like cashmere sweaters, polos and fine accessories, available online or from a local style advisor. In 2010, J. Hilburn sold 60,000 luxury dress shirts, more than any other custom clothing maker in the world.

“We are on a mission to redefine what men expect from a luxury brand, and our growth validates that we’re on to something,” saidHil Davis, CEO, J. Hilburn. “Our revenue has grown two and a half times year over year and we’ve added 10,000 customers in the last six months. This investment provides additional fuel for our continued growth.”

“J. Hilburn’s approach, which combines a direct sales model, high-quality products and a sophisticated e-commerce plan, makes it not only unique, but also a compelling investment,” said Matthew Cowan, Managing Director of Bridgescale. “Based on this powerful mix of old and new distribution models we believe J. Hilburn is poised for continued, exponential growth and on its way to becoming a billion dollar global brand.”

About J. Hilburn

J. Hilburn is a luxury men’s brand that delivers custom apparel made from the world’s finest materials at off-the-rack prices. Our clothes are made from the finest Italian fabric and hand constructed for every customer. The J. Hilburn experience is unlike any retail experience in the world in terms of quality, service and value. Our network of more than 1,000 trusted personal style advisors across the country serve as style concierges for every customer, ensuring the highest quality of service, customized fit and personal attention. J. Hilburn is disrupting the entire retail industry by compressing its supply chain, delivering high quality custom fit clothing at mass scale and wrapping it with service and personal attention that no other retailer can provide. If you’re ready to join the revolution, go towww.jhilburn.com to learn more.

About Bridgescale Partners

Bridgescale Partners is a Menlo Park, California based growth equity firm providing expansion capital to U.S. and Canada-based, later-stage technology companies. The investment team has more than 50+ years of venture capital experience investing in early- and later-stage technology companies. Additionally, the team has invested in more than 100 technology companies in the software, security, digital media, Internet, and communication markets. For more information, please visitwww.bridgescale.com.

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Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

June 9th, 2011

It’s Raining Gold


As Warren Buffet once said, “When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.”

It is certainly raining gold right now in the venture backed startup world.

Fenwick & West Quarterly Venture Capital Survey just highlighted that over 67% of the financings in Q1 were up rounds. This compares to just 32% of rounds being up in Q2 2009.  To see more details on this survey, please go to: Venture Capital Survey Silicon Valley First Quarter 2011

We are undoubtedly in a buying frenzy right now. The message here for all startups- if you know you need to raise money, RAISE IT NOW.  I have witnessed over four venture cycles. These cycles do not last long. If you don’t take advantage of the hype, you will certainly miss the opportunity.  Once you have obtained these high-priced rounds, make sure you deliver for the investors- or things won’t be quite as fun.

Good luck!

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Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

June 8th, 2011

Bluecat Networks: Solving the World’s Shortage of IP Addresses

Many of today’s most popular websites are banning together to address the growing concern around a shortage of IP addresses.  The current protocol, IPv4, supports just over four billion IP addresses. With this limited number of addresses and the rapid growth of internet users and usages, the world is quickly running out of addresses.  Recently, Fast Company posted this story “Companies Join Forces to Fix Internet’s Biggest Problem in Decades”.

This IP address shortage is causing the industry to migrate towards the next generation protocol- IPv6.  IPv6 will enable 340 trillion, trillion, trillion IP addresses. Bridgescale’s portfolio company, Bluecat Networks, will provide software solutions to help enterprises transition to this next generation of protocol.

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Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

June 8th, 2011

Carrier IQ Launches Application Analytics Module for Global Mobile Operators and Device Manufacturers – Providing Critical Critical Application Performance and Usage Data

Extending the Reach of Mobile Intelligence to Well Over 150 Million Devices on Mobile Platforms Including Over 20 Million Tablet Devices, E-Readers, and Non-Handset Devices by the End of 2011

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Carrier IQ, today announced availability of a new Application Analytics module that will enable mobile operators and device manufacturers to monitor application performance and usage across multiple mobile device platforms, including tablet devices. Carrier IQ’s technology provides mobile network operators and device manufacturers with invaluable insights into the performance of various devices and networks from the user’s perspective. Carrier IQ’s solution is deployed on over 150 million mobile devices including smartphones, feature phones, data cards, radio-equipped devices, downloadable agents and now tablet devices.

Applications are increasingly impacting mobile networks and costing operators millions of dollars in customer support due to the dramatic increase of applications being downloaded onto devices. With Carrier IQ’s new solution, operators and device manufacturers can extract valuable data on application impact on network performance, battery life and drainage, as well as key usability factors to help improve the overall user experience. With more and more mobile devices hitting the market, there becomes a real need for these device types to report back to operators and device manufacturers on a multitude of factors about how they are performing.

“In a recent operator rollout of Carrier IQ’s application analytics, we were able to demonstrate that if Facebook was preloaded on a specific smartphone, 40% of the app usage from that device in the first month was with Facebook. Without the preload, it was only 5%, as users had to download the app themselves,” said Andrew Coward, Vice President of Marketing at Carrier IQ.

According to several recent analyst studies, 20% of US consumers will own a tablet device by 2014 (Harris Interactive), and over 195 million tablet devices will be sold between 2010 and 2015 (Forrester Research). Couple this data with the availability of LTE connectivity, and these numbers represent an incredible growth trajectory of mobile devices and bandwidth consumption, driving an explosion of available applications and content. With this many new devices and applications reporting in data to networks, there becomes a great need to understand how these new devices and applications are performing on the various networks both from the operator and device manufacturer’s perspective. Operators will now be able to understand the impact of applications on the device from battery life to throughput and the impact to their networks and users’ experiences.

By deploying Carrier IQ’s Mobile Intelligence Application Analytics module, operators are now able to get insight into true customer experience measurements, to quickly identify and resolve issues at both a network level and at an individual customer level. Existing customers who have deployed Carrier IQ for customer care, network planning, monitoring and device management will be able to extend their current product deployments to enable additional devices such as tablets to monitor application performance measures and usage.

Rapid adoption of new devices and product types invariably leads to unanticipated issues with network resources or user experience. As Carrier IQ extends Mobile Intelligence to all kinds of devices, the scope for analyzing usage and performance across all classes of mobile devices now becomes possible.

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