Category: Advertising & Marketing

Popsockets hires Bob Africa to head marketing efforts

BOULDER — PopSockets LLC, a Boulder-based designer and manufacturer of mobile-device holders, has hired Bob Africa as chief marketing officer as the company continues to experience rapid growth.

Africa has served for the last five years as president of Kidrobot, a Boulder-based company that creates and sells limited-edition art toys, signature apparel and lifestyle accessories.

Africa has more than 17 years of experience in brand building, product marketing and consumer insight experience. Prior to joining Kidrobot, he held senior leadership positions with Salomon Sports, adidas and Pearl Izumi.

Africa serves as a mentor for entrepreneurs and startups, working with both Techstars and the Boulder-based Boomtown Accelerator. He also volunteers with Achilles International-Colorado, which matches disabled runners and walkers with guides for weekly runs around Boulder.

PopSockets was founded in 2012 by David Barnett. The company’s flagship product, the PopSocket, is a collapsible grip and stand that provides one-hand holding for any mobile device. Its companion product, the PopClip, enables PopSockets users to mount their phones on their dashboards, bathroom mirrors, lockers and other surfaces for hands-free viewing.

BizWest 500 highlights largest, fastest-growing companies

Purchase this new publication by clicking BizWest 500. For a preview of the content, here’s the first page.

Welcome to the BizWest 500, an ambitious undertaking that highlights the largest or fastest-growing companies throughout the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado (and the highest-paid executives).

This special edition of BizWest aggregates content that previously had been published over a span of many months, but it also represents a dramatic increase in the data that we publish on the region’s largest private- and public-sector employers.

In these pages, you’ll find:

• The Mercury 100 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the Boulder Valley, along with five profiles of interesting companies on the list.

• The Mercury 100 list of the fastest-growing private companies in Northern Colorado, along with five profiles of interesting companies on the list.

• A list of the Top 25 highest-paid executives of public companies.

• A list of the 50 largest public-sector employers, including municipalities, counties, universities, federal laboratories, etc.

• A vastly expanded list of the region’s largest employers — 200 companies listed, compared with 50 published last year.

• A list of the largest publicly traded companies based in our region. (We’ve stretched this a bit, opting to include a handful of companies that have shifted their headquarters to the Denver area or other nearby cities, but which retain a significant presence in our region.)

All told, these lists represent the largest number of ranked lists we’ve ever published in one issue, outside of our annual Book of Lists publication.

Most companies cited in these lists responded to our surveys. Others are included based on BizWest estimates, reports by economic-development agencies, news accounts or other sources. Data for the public companies and highest-paid executives lists came entirely from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This endeavor represents many months of work by our staff, especially our chief researcher, Chad Collins. As with any undertaking of this magnitude, errors and omissions are likely. In particular, our lists of the largest private-sector and public-sector employers will continue to be refined and expanded. If you’d like to see your company included — or if you spot a mistake or other omission — please contact Chad at ccollins@bizwestmedia.com.

It should be noted that we’ve opted to include aggregated numbers for some employers, such as major health systems, as well as numbers for some of their constituent institutions, i.e., a hospital within the system.

If you have a suggestion for the BizWest 500 next year, please feel free to contact me at the number below.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or cwood@bizwestmedia.com.

CEO Roundtable: Advertising industry adjusting to impacts of social media

BOULDER — In the era of social media’s clicks, likes, retweets and viral videos, the advertising industry’s biggest challenge is helping companies convert them to product sales.

But not all likes turn into sales, and the digital platform is blurring the lines between conventional advertising, marketing and public relations efforts.

A group of 14 industry leaders discussed this and several other topics during BizWest’s Advertising, Marketing and PR CEO Roundtable held Wednesday at the offices of Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti LLLP in Boulder.

Once well-defined tactics for driving sales and developing company brands are getting muddled by the interaction of social media.

“Managing the conversation amid chatter on social media is a difficult challenge,” said Pam Stewart, founder and president of Boulder-based Essenza Communications. “Things get very murky on social media.”

Walt Freese, president and CEO of Boulder-based Sterling Rice Group, said clients more than ever are looking for integrated services and that is forcing agencies to evolve their business model. It’s also causing agencies to complete with the tech industry for workers who can crunch analytics to measure the success of online campaigns.

“I fear strategies and meaningful messaging are being lost in the effort to achieve tweets, clicks, likes and friends,” said Stacy Cornay, owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising in Longmont.

Terri Douglas, co-founder and principal at Catapult PR-IR in Boulder, said there is still value in investing in telling a company’s story well to promote its brand. But that is becoming more difficult to achieve.

Matt Bennett, founder and principal of Meld Strategic Communications LLC, said clients are looking for more than strategies.

“They want you to get to know their company and products, come up with a strategy and then do the work behind the strategy,” Bennett said. “That’s when client referrals come through.”

The power of a video going viral was proven last week, when a video of a woman wearing a mask of Star Wars character Chewbacca gathered more than 136 million hits as of two days ago. Now it’s hard to find the $25 electronic-talking Chewbacca masks in stores anywhere. They’re selling for $100 to $170 on sites like eBay and Amazon, according to a Fox news outlet in Texas.

“That is proof of the power and value of a viral video,” said Eric Fowles, founder and CEO of Voltage LLC, a digital agency in Louisville.

But not every video will have the same result, said Doyle Albee, president of Metzger Albee Public Relations in Boulder. “This result was a long time coming. Chewbacca has been around for several decades building to this opportunity.”

The Boulder brand

The number of advertising agencies in the Boulder region has been growing over the decades and many of its agencies have achieved international status.
“It is easier now to land large clients,” Doyle said. “Boulder is on a level, if not superior playing field. Companies in the United States and globally are willing to look to Boulder agencies.”

Jason Cormier, co-founder of Boulder-based Room 214 said, “It’s now Boulder, Portland and Austin.”

Leif Steiner, principal and creative director of Moxie Sozo said prospective clients and potential employees in other countries “are reaching out to us.”

But Boulder’s high cost of living and expensive housing options are pressing local companies.

Steiner is working on buying housing to rent to employees, and many agencies allow employees to telecommute.

Doyle opened a co-working space in Denver that allows him to recruit creative talent from the Denver area, and Douglas created a flexible work environment allowing workers to telecommute.

Chris Hess, founder and president of Mondo Robot in Boulder, isn’t a fan of the virtual office. “There’s something about coming into the office to collaborate. A lot of good things happen when sitting next to each other,” he said.

Bob Morehouse, CEO of Vermilion Design, said that company culture goes a long way toward retaining good talent, something that has become harder to do as generations shift. “As we move from Gen X, Millennials do not have similar loyalties,” Morehouse said. “We are constantly asking what is the culture that will retain talent.”

Cormier said Room 214 has become very transparent with its employees. “We share the financials. We let them see where we are at and if we are close to bonuses or not.” He also said providing training helps retain younger employees.

Participants in Wednesday’s CEO Roundtable included: Doyle Albee, president, Metzger Albee Public Relations; Matt Bennett, founder/principal, Meld Strategic Communications LLC; Jason Cormier, co-founder, Room 214; Stacy Cornay, owner, Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising; Juli Dimos, managing partner, Voco Creative; Terri Douglas, co-founder/principal, Catapult PR-IR; Eric Fowles, founder/CEO, Voltage LLC; Walt Freese, president/CEO, Sterling Rice Group; Chris Hess, founder/president, Mondo Robot; Kimberly Mallek, co-founder, Mighty Fudge Studios; Bob Morehouse, CEO, Vermilion Design; Don Poe, co-owner/vice president, People Productions; Leif Steiner, principal/creative director, Moxie Sozo; Pamela Stewart, founder/president, Essenza Communications. Moderator: Christopher Wood, BizWest Media LLC. Sponsors: Jon Banashek, Heidi Potter, Jack Storti, Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti; Jim Cowgill, EKS&H.

Sovrn Holdings completes acquisition of London-based OnScroll

BOULDER — Sovrn Holdings Inc., an online advertising and publisher platform business based in Boulder, on Wednesday announced it has completed the acquisition of London-based OnScroll.

Terms of the deal between the privately held companies were not disclosed.

Sovrn acquires OnScroll’s in-view ad technology, an experienced team and a customer-base in the United Kingdom.

“With this deal, Sovrn gains an incredibly smart and dedicated group of people committed to helping publishers capture more value from the attention they create,” Walter Knapp, Sovrn’s chief executive, said in prepared statement.

Sovrn will integrate the OnScroll technology into the its Meridian platform so all publishers can access OnScroll technology for display-, video- and mobile-advertising inventory as well as reporting on active reader engagement.

OnScroll co-founder Andy Evans will lead Sovrn’s team in the United Kingdom and Europe as managing director, and co-founder Babac Vafaey will be vice president of business operations for the U.K. and Europe.

Sovrn was established in 2014 when San Francisco-based Federated Media Publishing sold its name and the content-marketing portion of its business to LIN Digital Media LLC, rebranded as Sovrn and moved its headquarters to Boulder. Federated Media had built the advertising and publisher platform side of its business through the 2011 acquisition of Boulder-based Lijit Networks Inc.

Madwire moving from Loveland to Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS — Marketing-software firm Madwire LLC said Thursday it will relocate employees at three sites in Loveland to the former Hewlett-Packard Co. campus in Fort Collins.

Madwire will move its 250-plus employees in Loveland to Fort Collins, where it will lease 66,553 square feet of space at 3420 E. Harmony Road, Building 5, from Hewlett-Packard. It is three times the space it has been occupying at the three locations in Loveland.

Consolidating the workforce into one building will help streamline internal operations and further enhance the culture for the company, said spokeswoman Farra Larimore. Madwire hopes to be able to move in late spring or early summer of this year. Larimore said the space will allow Madwire to grow to 550 employees over the next several years.

Madwire was founded in 2009 by Joe Kellogg and his son J.B. Kellogg. The company reported revenue of $18.9 million in 2014, and has been on BizWest’s Mercury 100 list of fastest-growing companies in Northern Colorado for the past four years.

Madwire provides marketing software and services through a platform called Marketing 360.

Madwire’s partnerships with Google as Premier SMB Partner and with Microsoft and Yahoo as small-business partners, continues to be fuel for advancing its technology.

She added that 65 percent of Madwire’s employees live in Fort Collins, with 28 percent living in Loveland and 7 percent in surrounding areas.

Larimore said the H-P campus boasts many employee-friendly amenities such as a cafeteria, walking path, Frisbee golf course and baseball fields. Madwire will provide a 3,000-square-foot gym and fitness classes for its employees.

Joe, left, and JB Kellogg founded Madwire in 2009. Its headquarters is at 504 W. Eisenhower Blvd. in Loveland.

Joe, left, and JB Kellogg founded Madwire in 2009. Its current headquarters is at 504 W. Eisenhower Blvd. in Loveland. Joel Blocker/for BizWest

Madwire is vacating two buildings it owns and another space it is leasing in Loveland. The two buildings it owns are at 504 W. Eisenhower Blvd. and 550 W. Eisenhower Blvd. It was leasing space at 228 E. Fourth St. above the Rialto Theater. Larimore said Madwire will lease out the space at both buildings on Eisenhower and sublease space at the Rialto Theater.

 

Meztger sells interest in Metzger Albee PR, steps down as CEO

BOULDER — John Metzger has sold his ownership share in Metzger Albee Public Relations and is stepping down as chief executive of the firm he founded nearly 25 years ago.

Metzger sold his shares of the company, one of the first in the nation to cater to tech firms, to his business partner, Doyle Albee, who will take over full ownership, operations and financial control of the company. Albee joined the firm 11 years ago and became president of Metzger Associates in 2008. The firm’s name was changed to Metzger Albee PR in May 2014.

“It’s been my great privilege to work with Doyle for the last 11 years, and to now leave the firm’s future in his capable hands,” Metzger said in a prepared statement. “As one of the nation’s first business-to-business technology marketing specialists in the early ’90s, to the region’s most established PR brand today, we didn’t just watch the world change around us. I’m proud to have been on the team and directly involved in making history with hundreds of great clients, through every paradigm shift of the Digital Age.”

John Metzger

John Metzger

Metzger will carry the honorary title of chairman emeritus with the firm. He will continue to focus on supporting entrepreneurship through mentoring and board leadership with emerging technology companies.

“For the last 25 years, literally hundreds of client companies have benefitted from John’s guidance and expertise,” Albee said. “We will strive every day to ensure the firm which bears his name lives up to the standard of excellence John instilled.”

Metzger Albee develops and executes communications strategies for clients ranging from the Fortune 500 to venture-backed startups with a mix of traditional media relations and new media techniques.

Trade Desk moving Boulder operations to PearlWest

BOULDER — California-based The Trade Desk Inc. is expanding its presence in Boulder, signing on for about 13,000 square feet of office space at PearlWest, a 160,000-square-foot commercial and retail development at 1048 Pearl St. that is under construction.

Trade Desk provides a tech platform for advertising agencies to manage their display, social and video advertising campaigns.

The international company, based in Ventura, Calif., currently has 30 employees in 4,000 square feet of space at 1615 Pearl St., which houses the company’s engineering hub. The company plans to add almost 30 more employees, mostly software engineers, according to a company spokeswoman.

Trade Desk employs about 300 people worldwide at offices in San Francisco, El Segundo and San Jose, Calif.; New York; Chicago; and Detroit. It also has offices in London, Hamburg, Toyko, Singapore, Seoul and Sydney.

“Boulder is a magnet for talent in technology, and we’ve been proud to grow our team here,” said Mike Davis, Trade Desk’s vice president of innovation who leads the office in Boulder. “We are excited to expand at PearlWest and to support the strong tech community here in downtown Boulder.”

Led by Denver-based developer The Nichols Partnership and Lynda Gibbons of Gibbons-White in Boulder, PearlWest is a retail and office building that includes a community rooftop plaza that will be open to the public, four floors of commercial office space, restaurants, retail shops, a potential movie theater and underground parking with about 300 parking spaces, with 60 of them served by a robotic parking system.

Tenants taking large spaces include SolidFire Inc., 62,000 square feet; Crestone Capital Advisors LLC, an investor in the Pearl West project, 28,000 square feet; and Galvanize, 27,000 square feet. Gibbons said about 150,000 square feet of space has been leased.

Pearl West is being constructed to meet LEED Platinum requirements, the highest level of green certification issued by the U.S. Green Building Council. Work began in May 2014 and is scheduled for completion in March.

 

Mobile-friendly websites more important than you think

Last April, Google released a major change in its search engine that will dramatically impact the online traffic for mobile-friendly websites. In fact, it is pushing responsive websites to the top of search results, while moving nonresponsive websites further down.

You may have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the hype over recent mobile website trends.

Responsive (mobile-friendly) websites are a great way to improve your online traffic, considering that more than 50 percent of searches today are performed from mobile devices.  However, the benefits of a website built for all devices can have other dramatic impacts on more than just the online experience:

Gain more traffic: Simply put, responsive websites will receive more online traffic than those that are not. You have to consider this path if you are to remain competitive with your online competitors. Google called its algorithm change in April “Mobilegeddon” for good reason.

Convert more sales: With more traffic comes more sales. By having an improved user experience, people will spend more time on your website and enjoy interacting within it. This is especially crucial for eCommerce businesses where the shopping environment must be quick, organized and efficient.

Look professional: Your website is often the first impression a user will have of your business.  You want your audience to be engaged and impressed by your brand, and a website built for mobile devices can do just that. It is difficult to gauge how many missed opportunities could come from a negative website experience.

Tablet and smartphone sales are exploding and have been surpassing PC purchases since 2012.  The mobile market is not going away, and neither is Google and the other search engines. Be sure that you stay ahead of the trend and remain competitive in your industry by optimizing your website to suit the needs of your consumers.

Hans Broman, a sales and marketing strategist at iPoint in Fort Collins, can be reached at hbroman@ipoint-tech.com. 

Finalists announced for 2015 IQ Awards

BOULDER — Twenty-six companies and five individuals have been selected as finalists in 10 categories for BizWest’s 2015 IQ Awards.

The competition will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. in Boulder.

In its 15th edition, the IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards honors the most innovative new products and services developed by companies and organizations based in Boulder and Broomfield counties, in the Denver/Boulder corridor, or for local divisions of national companies that were instrumental in the innovation.

A winner in each of 10 categories will be selected by a panel of judges, and audience members will select the Innovation of the Year. Starting at 5:30 p.m., those attending can network while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and then watch the “pitch slam” presentations of the finalists.

Judges for this year’s event will be Susan Graf, former chief executive of the Boulder Chamber; Jerry Lewis, former owner and publisher of the Boulder County Business Report; and Theresa Szczurek, CEO of Radish Systems Inc.

Tickets, at $39 until Friday, Oct. 2, and $49 thereafter, can be purchased online here.

Chase Bank is presenting sponsor of the event. Associate sponsors include EKS&H tax accountants, Court Appointed Special Advocates, ConnectFirst and McGladrey.

This year’s finalists, and the categories in which they’re competing:

Innovative Company of the Year

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable the accelerated development and manufacturing of life-saving products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JumpCloud: The company securely manages and connects employee identities to their devices, applications and networks.

MinuteKey: A kiosk with a fully automated, self-service key-duplication machine that can be seen in such major retailers as Lowe’s and Walmart.

Incubator/Accelerator

Boomtown: The company provides resources and mentorship in the areas of branding and logo design, marketing, code feedback and usability testing, plus hosting and legal services.

Galvanize: Its campuses offer education courses such as Full Stack Web and Software Development Program, Data Science Immersive Program, a master’s in Data Science, a Data Engineering Immersive Program and workshops on Python, UX/UI, marketing and machine learning.

Unreasonable Institute: The institute unites entrepreneurs with mentors, funders and partners in specialized global educational institutes ranging from five days to five weeks and created to scale solutions to the world’s biggest problems such as poverty, social justice and lack of education. Labs and workshops focus on business validation and investment preparedness to take a business to a new level of growth.

Innovator of the Year

Dale Katechis: The founder of Oskar Blues Brewery in 41 states, Oskar Blues Original Grill & Brew, REEB Cycles, Hops & Heifers Farm and the REEB Ranch, Katechis is largely credited with being the first craft brewer to sell nitrogenated, canned beer in the United States. Oskar Blues also has led the industry in developing a resealable beer bottle and selling its beers in larger cans.

Bruce Borowsky and Zach Daudert: The pair co-founded and grew Boulder Digital Arts into the largest tech-training facility in Boulder County, helping individuals and companies keep up with ever-changing technology and all creative digital arts. They also introduced the new Code Craft web-development boot camp.

Christopher L. Peterson and Dr. Phillip Villella: The pair co-founded LogRhythm, a security-intelligence company that empowers organizations to recognize and respond to cyber threats through a platform that brings together SIEM, log management, network and endpoint forensics, and advanced security analytics.

Products and Services

Bioscience

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable accelerated development and manufacturing of products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JustRight Surgical: The company develops right-sized surgical devices that access confined spaces and operate effectively on delicate tissue bundles and fine structures, allowing smaller incisions and better visibility.

Encision: The company makes a line of innovative laparoscopic instruments designed to improve physician performance and patient outcomes, such as the AEM Burn Protection System, which eliminates stray patient burns during laparoscopic surgery.

Business

BlackSquare Technologies: The company has designed, engineered, built and now markets a patented, real time, hardware encryption and key management IT security device called Enigma.

BluFlux: The company is an RF design, engineering and A2LA-certified cellular/OTA/RF test company with a focus on helping to accelerate the release of connected products.

Atomic20: The marketing agency and shared creative workspace is dedicated to free agents and curating teams that solve design challenges.

Consumer

TECHtionary: The company offers BiEyes, an iPhone/iPad photo app that allows pictures to be taken with both cameras at the same time called SNAP or POSE. The user takes one pic and then another, and can see them in various image formats and save or share them in multiple media.

Soundwall Inc: The new medium combines art, sound and social technologies to create an immersive art experience. It offers art and creative surfaces that connect visual experience with high-quality audio.

Lunchbox Electronics: The company has created what it says is the smallest, stackable, Lego-compatible, light up bricks called Build Upons. They can light up a robot, house, spaceship or monster.

Green Business

Sustainable Power Systems: Its flagship product is a Universal Microgrid Controller, which orchestrates the operation of all components of a power system, in both standalone (off-grid) and grid-interactive microgrids.

Clean Energy Collective: A solar tech startup in 2009, the Louisville-based collective has grown to become a leading developer of roofless community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean-power generation through medium-scale solar photovoltaic facilities accessible to all utility customers.

Black Swift Technologies: The company has worked with researchers at the University of Colorado and NASA to develop a small unmanned aircraft system capable of mapping soil moisture.

Internet/Web

Conspire: The company unlocks a network by measuring the strength of its relationships — and millions of others — to uncover the best paths to people, ideas, resources and opportunities.

Fliptask: An online marketplace designed to revolutionize the way tasks and errands get done.

Earthvisionz: The company creates enterprise-level, location aware, visual data-management systems that help make smarter and faster decisions, providing unlimited data, including live feeds, overlaid onto specific geographic locations.

Social Media/Mobile Apps

SqFt: The fully transactional real estate app gives a homeowner the ability to create a professional real estate listing, send that listing out to 900 real estate sites – such as the MLS, Zillow and others – and permit buyers to schedule showings and make offers through the app.

Lassy Project: The free service gives parents and guardians the ability to notify an entire local community about their missing child or at-risk adult in seconds.

Makeena: A shopping “ecosystem” helps healthy and sustainable brands reach shoppers, and shoppers discover brands and products that meet their lifestyle preferences or dietary needs at any retailer for an affordable price. Makeena is sometimes described as “Waze meets Yelp meets eBates” for the natural products industry.

Software

Knowledge Factor: A learning software that integrates neurobiology and cognitive psychology with multidimensional big-data analytics to deliver enhanced learning outcomes and improve organizational bottom lines.

VictorOps: A real-time incident-management platform that helps DevOps pros handle incidents as they occur. The platform, called Transmogrifier, allows on-call engineers to have the solution embedded into every IT problem that comes their way. Software and sites can be kept running to begin solving problems immediately and reduce “alert fatigue” that often comes with being on call in IT.

Quick Left Inc.: Software-development services and tools specializing in web development, design, training and mobile applications. It operates Sprintly, a development management platform designed to power a more productive relationship between teams and their managers.

 

Boulder-based TapInfluence planning 40-plus hires over coming year

BOULDER — Armed with a $1.5 million bridge round of funding raised this summer, TapInfluence Inc., officials expect Wednesday’s announced addition of three new executive positions to be just a small piece of the growth that the marketing software firm is projecting for the coming year.

Chief executive Promise Phelon, hired in March, said in an interview Wednesday that she expects the 43-person company to double in size over the next 12 months. The company, based in east Boulder, is also eyeing a move to downtown Boulder in the coming months, although Phelon noted that the search for a site in the high-demand area that will accommodate the company’s growth is ongoing.

TapInfluence announced the hires of chief revenue officer Frank Sette, vice president for customer success Colleen Callahan and vice president for engineering Joe Scharf, bringing in leadership experience from notable companies such as Trulia, SendGrid and Vendini to help grow TapInfluence’s software-as-a-service offering.

TapInfluence provides a SaaS platform that helps marketers automate the process of finding key online influencers and connecting with them to create sponsored content featuring their brands. In addition to making the connections and managing workflow, the software provides analytics to measure the value each piece of content created in terms of sales and leads.

The idea of connecting with online influencers to promote brands provides client companies with an alternative to placing banner ads on websites and hoping to get clicks.

The shift in company focus to a primarily SaaS model has marked a significant shift for TapInfluence, which previously had employed more of a services-based model as it worked to connect brands with TapInfluence’s large network of influencers. The software platform automates the entire process and drastically reduces the cost of such campaigns for client brands.

Phelon said the combination of a push from consumers for social recommendations and content instead of advertising to help them make purchasing decisions, combined with TapInfluence’s software and scalability, is driving the company’s rapid growth.

Founded in 2009 by chief product officer Rustin Banks and chief marketing officer Holly Hamann, TapInfluence went through a transitional period last year as it moved to the SaaS-centric model in which the company eliminated an unspecified number of jobs, reducing the staff size to 25 at one point.

But the company has added 15 just since Phelon’s arrival as demand for the software offering has grown quickly this year, spurring the need for the bridge round of funding, which came from a combination of existing investors and large Silicon Valley angel investors.

“We had more inbound interest than we could manage, so (the funding) was to immediately grow the sales team,” Phelon said.

TapInfluence, which previously had raised a total of $9.1 million in venture capital, doesn’t disclose revenue, and Phelon declined to divulge the company’s specific fundraising plans other than to indicate another round is likely on the way.

“Our next round will be substantially larger than (the bridge round),” Phelon said.