Personalization Company Sailthru Acquires TechStars Alum Frame
New York startup Sailthru has acquired Frame, a TechStars NY alum, for an undisclosed amount.
Frame had raised a $225,000 seed round after it graduated from TechStars Seattle in 2010. Angel investors David Tisch and David Cohen (both of Techstars) Todd Warren, and Walt Winshall, as well as Seattle-based seed fund Founders-Coop and Zelkova VC all participated.
Frame, which has the least SEO-friendly name in the history of all startups,* enables iPad ecommerce on Shopify stores. The company's product isn't in line with the core offerings of Sailthru, which offered iOS integration for brands willing to build it in themselves. Frame's simple deployment layer is a way to expand Sailthru's offerings.
Sailthru launched as an email provider that personalizes based on behavior, but has evolved into, in the company's words, a "next-generation platform for customer insights and personalized communication." That could mean any myriad of things, but in this case, it refers to the company providing the little content recommendations you see on the bottom of blogs like Business Insider. They're personalized, so the idea is that the recommendation at the bottom of this story might be to a story about RIM for me, but to one about Bank of America layoffs for my finance friends.
That idea goes beyond publishers into email marketing and other forms of communications brands have with consumers. The company is has moved beyond its base of publisher clients, which include BI, New York Observer, Thrillist, New York Post, and Aol, to include ecommerce companies like Fab.com, Oscar de la Renta, and Totsy.
Sailthru has raised $9 million in venture backing, $8 million of which closed in September last year from Aol Ventures, RRE Ventures, DFJ Gotham Ventures, RAP Investments, Thrive Capital, and Lerer Ventures. The company is up to 65 employees and will add another ten next week, a "handful" are Frame employees. Co-founders Kareem Amin and Nicolae Rusin will join Sailthru.
Sailthru has experienced 12 percent to 20 percent month-to-month revenue growth over the last year, founder Neil Capel says. The company is cash flow positive will continue to be acquisitive, he adds. "Whether it's email or something else, we're getting too much of it and brands need to be delivering relevant content," he says.
*Challenge: Prove me wrong with better examples of hard-to-Google startups.