C2V Oct 2019 Notes from the Trenches

Welcome all!  As many of you likely saw on our social media we’re recently back from the land of milk, honey, and blonde people named Jarmo (or one of maybe 6 other names). We’re all kinds of fired up about the potential we saw, so without further ado, let’s get into it!   


Crossing the Finnish Line (see what we did there?)

The Nordic startup ecosystem has been on our radar for some time now and this trip only served to confirm many of our theses, including:

  1. Some of the best ideas do come from meetings held in cramped, 170-degree, wood-paneled rooms (punctuated with dips in the 50-something-degree Baltic).

  2. That Finland is, in fact, the Anthony Michael Hall to neighboring Sweden’s Billy Zabka

  3. This is a great thing for C2V.

Why is that? Glad you asked. 

As one of the most highly educated, but equally stoic and introverted countries in the world, Finland punches well above its weight in producing highly talented engineers and cutting-edge innovation, but founders, companies and well, the whole country really, struggles to promote itself, which keeps most of the best Finnish ideas from ever reaching the US or any other market that has more than 5.5 million potential customers. 

Here we are with our friends from StepOne Tech (Finnish cleantech startup).

Seems like an ideal match for C2V, no?  We thought so too. 

We’ve already seen a wide array of promising opportunities in cleantech, enterprise SaaS, consumer health tech, AI, wellness, education tech and more, as well as a highly supportive ecosystem that actively promotes (and funds!) promising ideas, particularly in the critical drawing board-to-MVP stage. 

Stay tuned for more on our investment activities in Nordic companies making their first forays into the US in future newsletters. We have two great ones percolating and many more where those came from.


The Fund

If you missed our last edition, we launched our fund in early September and have made our first four investments, the first of which we featured last month.

Portfolio Company Spotlight

This month we’re featuring two more of our investments, Magellan AI and boostr.

Magellan

Magellan is a data and analytics SaaS platform for advertisers and content providers in the podcast space, led by founder and CEO Cameron Hendrix.  Magellan uses a proprietary, machine learning-powered system to analyze more than 12,000 podcasts per month and organizes the data for use by both podcast advertisers and content publishers. 

Nine of the top ten podcast publishers, including NPR and iHeartRadio, use Magellan AI to uncover sales leads and evaluate content acquisitions, using tools that allow them to track trends in ad spend and find brand messaging that aligns with their content. 

Tools for advertisers include data on competitor ad placements, smart identification of the best matches based on content and existing advertiser profiles, and airchecks to track execution (e.g., ad placement, length of reads, relative positioning).  

boostr

boostr is a new CRM & Order Management solution built specifically to support media and ad sales.  The idea was borne out of the leadership team’s frustration with the limitations of the tools they were using themselves as media sales executives, so the group, led by CEO and Founder, Patrick O’Leary, set out to build the solution themselves. 

With a design tailored to the specific workflows and complexities of the digital ad sales market and features including an integrated, omni-channel OMS and pre-built integrations with dozens of essential productivity platforms (email, messaging, project management, etc.) and ad-tech systems, boostr is focused on increasing productivity and improving revenue management and forecasting as core pillars of increasing sales growth, along with AI-enabled lead generation features. 

boostr’s improvements over legacy products have been widely recognized, with a rapidly growing customer base across digital, broadcast, OOH and print that numbers more than 70 (including BuzzFeed, Vevo, Cheddar, Bustle, Tastemade and many others) and was the winner of the 2019 AdExchanger Awards’ “Best Early Stage Technology Company.” 


Other C2V Highlights

Oh yes, there’s more…  

C2V Studios

In addition to promotional segments for startups like Journy and Narrative, which we featured in previous editions, we continue to produce unscripted content aimed at sharing the advice and experience of those who spend their days (ahem) in the trenches, like these intrepid founders:

Stories Summit

We continue to add brand partners, speakers and content for our April Summit. Head this way for more on the event and partnership opportunities. 

Inspiring Words From the Trenches

As a reminder, you can always get the latest words of inspiration and stay up to date with us on our social channels.

Until next time,
Chris & Matt