The tech investment fund C2 Ventures (C2V), founded by mobile ad tech entrepreneur Chris Cunningham, said Monday that one of its previous investments – Boostr – raised $7 million, at a valuation that triples what it had last year.
Boostr founder and CEO Patrick O’Leary did not disclose terms of the deal or the company’s exact valuation.
Boostr is a software solution for sales planning and revenue management.
C2V, which is backed by a deep bench of programmatic and digital media execs including Snap VP of sales Peter Naylor, former IAB President Patrick Dolan and Spotify engineering VP Brian Adams, invested a low six-digit seed round in Boostr last year.
C2V is investing in the new round in Boostr as well, Cunningham said. It’s the fund’s first investment in a larger venture capital round.
Boostr’s new investors include MathCapital, a fund started by ad tech vet Eric Franchi and MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki, as well as about 20 industry heavyweights, including Jon Steinberg (founder and CEO of Cheddar), Michael Kassan (founder and CEO of MediaLink) and Bill Wise (co-founder and CEO of Mediaocean), who’s also part of C2V.
Wise’s direct investment in Boostr isn’t unusual, Cunningham said. Seventeen investors in the C2V fund have made personal investments in companies in the portfolio.
Boostr hopes to use the new funds to build out its capabilities so it can handle planning and revenue management for streaming and cross-channel companies, as its digital media clients, including BuzzFeed, Complex Networks and Vevo, expand across channels, O’Leary said.
Boostr is currently adding audio selling integrations, so media companies that sell podcast ads using tech like Megaphone or Pandora’s Adswizz can consolidate on the platform, O’Leary said. Those additions should be live in Q3, as well as out-of-home features for selling billboard space or doing attribution based on a media company’s location data.
Next year, O’Leary said the company plans to launch connected TV and paid social extensions.
Boostr has a team of 60 right now, and plans to grow to 75 by the end of the year, O’Leary said.
Boostr isn’t the only C2V investment that could raise more money at a higher valuation in 2020. Paladin, a software solution for law firms, law schools and corporate legal departments, is also adding investors with a boost in its share value, Cunningham said.
C2V also said Monday it has invested about $200,000 in Somatic, a robotic cleaning company.
Somatic mixes software and hardware, which is attractive to C2V. Its other investments in that vein include an interactive workout mat called Otari and Rens, a sneaker company that uses recycled materials.
The new investments by C2V and increased activity by other funds show that there are green shoots for tech startups, following a months-long quiet spell, Cunningham said. From March until June, C2V’s new deal flow shrank to almost nothing, down from an average of five to ten startups per day before the coronavirus outbreak, he said.
“There are consumer and workplace behavior shifts that will be long-lasting even after the pandemic is gone,” Cunningham said.
For many businesses, those changes represent an existential crisis, he said. “But there are some awesome startups coming through the ashes.”