Leadership + Execution Plans + Capital = Growth Results
My Partners and I announced our investment in Datavail this past week. We’re excited about the company and its prospects and at a very superficial level I am pleased to finally join the Board of a company headquartered within a 35 minute drive from my home. While we don’t select our investments based on location, Datavail board meetings will be significantly more convenient, and easier on my body, than flying to wonderful cities like London, Tokyo or Seattle!
Our Growth Equity portfolio is focused on companies where the risk is isolated to execution; the cut and thrust of driving a proven product with a clear value proposition into a meaningful market opportunity. Datavail fits squarely into this definition. Success in this stage of company comes from having world class executives develop and execute on a clear growth plan (organic and/or inorganic), while maintaining margins and operating leverage.
I first met Mark Perlstein in January around the annual VCIR conference. What struck me most about Mark was his business agility and clear headedness about his business. Like a quarterback who knows his playbook cold, and who likes to drive his team to perform within a defined game plan, Mark outlined his vision for Datavail to me with a clear headed determination to win. This is not the first rodeo for Mark. Prior to being asked to take the reins at Datavail he served as the President of Ciber’s IT Outsourcing division where he was instrumental in tripling revenues to levels in excess of $100 million.
Since joining Datavail two years ago, Mark has added world class executives around him and refined the sales execution plan and regional market launch strategy. In August, Datavail was included on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America (ranked number 1,842) and 35th among the 89 metro Denver companies that made this year’s list. In July 2012, Datavail announced its acquisition of Seattle-based Blue Gecko and the Company is executing plans to launch a market presence in New York. It was easy for me to buy into Mark as a leader who could deliver results.
During our discussions over the months that followed we developed a shared understanding of where the Company could invest to drive further growth, while improving operating efficiencies. Through that process I grew confident that the Datavail team, under Mark’s leadership, had a clearly defined execution plan where effort would be channeled to business activities that would impact the outcome. That sealed the deal for me and my partners backed the investment into Datavail. The existing investors, including Boulder Ventures and Montis Capital, stepped up in support of the company.
Looking forward, we expect the company to drive into the Seattle market off the Blue Gecko acquisition, launch NY by year end, and launch several additional markets in 2013, and continue to evaluate additional opportunities like Blue Gecko as they come into focus.