Thursday, December 16, 2010
Interview with Jeremy Bloom, Integrate
Earlier this week, Denver-based Integrate (www.integrate.com) announced that it had raised a round of venture funding, for the firm's performance marketing technology. We caught up with Jeremy Bloom, the firm's founder and CEO, to hear more about the company and funding. Bloom is also known for his prior internet startup MDInfo, and is an Olympian snow skier and former NCAA and NFL player.
What is Integrate all about?
Jeremy Bloom: We wanted to simplify the performance marketing industry. What we did, is we combined the offline world with the online world into one single dashboard and put an aggregation point inside the industry.. We allow our advertisers to go to Integrate, and upload one campaign, and spread the campaign across a lot of different media channels. Offline, that might be radio, bill boards, TV commercials, and print, both newspapers and magazines. Online, that might be contextual advertising, mobile, SEM campaigns, and also whitepapers, for B2B leads. We've taken an entire industry, which was a bit disjointed in the sense that-- before you would have to go to a billboard company, and with contextual advertising, hundreds of ad networks and thousands of affiliates--and simplified all of those channels into one platform.
Where did the idea come about, and why did you start the company?
Jeremy Bloom: The idea for the company came from our previous Dot Com company, MDInfo, which is global health website. We were running lots of performance advertising on MDInfo, and were also getting lots of organic traffic there, but wanted to further our distribution. We saw a pain point in the industry, so we created the engine of Integrate for MDInfo. We watched it scale into 34 different verticals over the last year, and decided it should be a separate company. We spun it off as Integrate.
What are you using this new funding for?
Jeremy Bloom: Our focus and goal is to hire the most talented people on earth. I know that's a lofty goal, but we want to bring on creative, forward thinking people who have good experience in the ad industry into the company. I learned early on in sports, that if you surround yourself with talented people, you will have a great chance of being successful.
Speaking of sports, how has your fame in the Olympics, NCAA, NFL made it easier, or harder to find venture funding?
Jeremy Bloom: It didnít really play a role in it. I don't even know if Foundry knew who I was when I first met with the company. I also met with VCs outside the area, in Silicon Valley, and we never really talked about sports. I really kept the focus on the company and what we're doing. However, from the perspective of building the company to where it is, I think sports did play a major role, from lessons I learned as an individual athlete in skiing and dealing with defeat, to the team environment in football and what it takes to be successful, not to mention the hard work. Those same principles apply in building a company. From the funding aspect, however, and I think Seth and Brad would echo this, it had nothing to do with what I had done in sports.
Finally, what's next up for the company?
Jeremy Bloom: Really, it's just continuing to climb the ladder, and to make the platform better. We would like to further develop our offerings and stay very focused on creating a great user experience. We are having a lot of fun.