Brad's Books and Organizations

Books

Books

Organizations

Organizations

Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

« swipe left for tags/categories

swipe right to go back »

Gnip Is On Fire

Comments (8)

One of my favorite times for me in the life of a company is when it finds its sweet spot and really turns on the juice. Over the past year, we’ve had a number of our Boulder-based investments find this magic moment, including Trada and SendGrid. The most recent Boulder-based company to really hit its stride is Gnip.

Gnip is around three years old and is a testament to our belief at Foundry Group that it often takes several years for a brand new company to really find its mojo. While Gnip is building a business based on the idea that led to its creation, like most firms breaking new ground it has had its share of bumps along the way.

The first version of the product was based on an architectural approach that didn’t aptly satisfy all players in the ecosystem and wasn’t flexible enough. This led to a reset of the business, including a layoff of almost half the team (who were quickly absorbed into a number of other local Boulder companies, including several that we funded) and a different approach to the product. This approach worked much better, but by this point one of the co-founders was frustrated with the customer dynamics (all business facing) and decided to leave to start a new consumer-facing business (he left on good terms, we are still good friends, and he’s much happier today).

At this point, the other co-founder, Jud Valeski, stepped up to be the CEO. Jud is an extremely experienced CTO / technical product manager and developer, but had never been a CEO. The investors in Gnip committed to supporting Jud in any way he needed and he’s done a spectacular job of building the product, growing the team, negotiating several significant deals including the first Twitter data resyndication deal, and unleashing a very compelling set of products on the world. His one-year CEO anniversary is approaching, and things are going great.

The last three months have been pleasantly insane. Gnip has been adding customers at rate that any investor would be proud of, is executing flawlessly on the product and operations side as it scales up, and is posting month over month growth numbers that put it in the “they are killing it” category. Oh, and they are hiring as fast as they can find great people; across the spectrum (business, sales, & engineering).

I’m super proud of Jud and the team he’s built at Gnip. I expect we’ll look back on 2011 as the year that Gnip went from a highly product development focused company to a company that was firing on all cylinders. And Boulder will have another substantial software / Internet company in the mix.

  • Todd

    Congratulation Jud and team. Well deserved!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503470871 Ryan McIntyre

    Go Gnip, Go!

  • Adam Marcus

    Couldn’t agree more. Gnip is a super interesting business and Jud is a stud!

  • http://one.valeski.org Jud Valeski

    thanks for all the support!

  • http://markfrisk.com Mark Frisk

    “Pleasantly insane.” Nice turn of phrase! Go Gnip!

    • http://thesistown.com/ buy thesis

      agree))) i liked it too. i sounds very close to what i feel!

  • http://blog.patternbuilders.com Terence Craig

    Congrats Jud! Hope to work with you guys in the near future.

  • Anonymous

     This is, indeed, a great company. But there are others out there. For example, CapControls, that has recently managed to raise 1.7 million USD in round C of funding. You can read more about this funding news here: http://www.venturecapitalreporter.com/2011/05/capcontrols-raised-1-7-million-in-round-c-of-funding/

Build something great with me