Eric Wiesen Jul 02, 2014 Back to blog

The decision to fund an early stage company is a decision to be in business with a team of founders for as long as ten years, but usually at least five. One has to really like, admire and believe in a team to be in the business of funding this stage of business and becoming a board member. So it’s with both excitement and a bit of wistfulness that I watched TapCommerce join Twitter this week via an acquisition.

This is a company that I’ve known since before it got started. The founding CEO, Brian Long, was on the senior team at another of my portfolio companies, and when he left to start his own thing (along with his cofounders Andrew and Samir), we had a whole series of breakfasts where Brian pitched me on ideas (and I pitched him back on a few), always around the mobile monetization ecosystem. I recall saying to Brian – I will back you in whatever business you want to start, but it’ll work out better for us both if you start with an idea that’s good.

When TapCommerce began to tackle the mobile engagement market, it was clear almost instantaneously that product market fit had been achieved. Rarely have I seen a market so hungry for a solution as what this company provided, and rarely have I seen such rapid growth fueled by pull in the market. The team attacked this market with a level of aggression and confidence that I would love to bottle and hand out at every RRE company. Watching them execute was a pleasure. And as these things often go, major players in the market saw what was happening here and one of them came to the table with a compelling offer - compelling both for the company's shareholders but also as a platform for this team to take their mission of mobile re-engagement to a much bigger stage. 

As a venture investor it is always a bittersweet moment to see a company exit so quickly (both the seed and Series A rounds closed in 2013) as one wonders what this team might have accomplished given the tear they were on. But I am happy for and thankful to TapCommerce for the success they generated, and look forward to working together again some day.

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