ASCENT FUNDING NEWS
As the temperatures steadily rise in the early spring months here in Boston, we’ve been fortunate to close on a few exciting funding announcements with portfolio companies in enterprise technology sectors that we believe represent promising, high-growth investment opportunities.
Two of these companies, StartApp and CloudLock, announced their funding on the same day coincidentally – March 27th. StartApp received $4.3 million in financing, and is a company we’re very excited about – it’s already achieved more than 100 million downloads in its first six months. StartApp is a monetization platform for Android applications, and is increasing compensation levels for Android developers, who have not received the same level of income that iOS app developers have. How does this work? StartApp provides an additional search option on user devices phones when they download apps that have integrated StartApp. When users use the StartApp search tool, StartApp generates revenue that is then shared with the developer. To us, this is a disruptive technology that provides an easy and non-intrusive method for mobile developers to get paid for their work while costing users nothing. Ascent partner Geoff Oblak joined the StartApp board of directors.
StartApp was originally and continues to be backed by Cedar Fund, whom we also joined in our CloudLock investment. We invested in CloudLock because we think cloud security is an area with much growth potential as enterprises transition to provide user-centric workstyles – work from home, bring your own device, etc. This internal and external collaboration between employees has created gaps in what were once secure corporate protocols, as more sensitive data is moved to the cloud. CloudLock is a company we feel strongly will capitalize on this emerging market opportunity, as so many enterprise protocols now must be re-configured. CloudLock’s funding round was a Series B for $8.7 million, and Ascent’s Luke Burns will join the board.
Lastly, Terascala announced its funding on April 24th, and it’s another company solving an emerging enterprise technology problem. Big data is an area we’ve been closely studying for the last few years, as organizations continue to struggle with collecting, processing, and drawing insights from vast troves of data inside and outside their walls. Terascala offers a unique solution, accelerating big data applications through storage I/O optimization, which we believe is the best course of action. The amount of data created every day is staggering, and it’s only going to increase moving forward. Companies will need a solution to help them quicken the delivery and analysis of big data sets, and we’re excited by Terascala’s leadership status in this area. Ascent joined several Terascala strategic partners in this $14 million Series B; Ascent partner Walter Dick will continue to serve on the Terascala board of directors.