Today is a big day for our portfolio company Tremor Video as they achieve an important milestone – they had their Initial Public Offering and their stock is now listed on New York Stock Exchange under the symbol $TRMR.
This is big achievement for the Tremor Video team, including Waikit Lau and Steven Lee who were the original ScanScout founders, later joined by CEO Bill Day, then eventually merging with Tremor Media which was founded by Jason Glickman. The combined company has survived and thrived over the years, grew sales to over $100 million last year, and they’ve really earned their leadership role in the online video market.
ScanScout was the first company I joined the board of and started working with when I joined First Round in 2006. I learned a lot and had the chance to work closely with Waikit and Steve and the early team, and incredible seed investors and partners including Ron Conway of SVAngel who introduced us to the company, David Lee who at the time was working at Google Video before YouTube, and Chris Dixon who was an early and active seed investor
Here are are some lessons learned and observations on the road from ScanScout to $TRMR:
1) Enterprise sales businesses can take a lot more time and money to develop, but when they do they can create real value.
2) Markets like Online Video Monetization can take a while to develop. Now it’s a fast-growing multi-billion dollar market, but back in 2006 ScanScout was definitely early.
3) At ScanScout and for many Online Advertising businesses, it’s nice to have both Direct/Brand sales and Partner/Backfill revenue. There were many times in the early quarters where both were needed in combination and balanced and supported each other.
4) The power of Private to Private mergers. Tremor Media and ScanScout really made sense – it was 1+1=3. And they also acquired Transpera, another First Round company. It showed great vision. Startups don’t consider it often enough. This really a topic for another whole blog post.
5) This is another exit for the NYC tech community, and now Tremor Video has joined some great company exits like Makerbot, Tumblr, Buddy Media- and there a lot more in the wings.