On the questions page of Dundee Venture Captial, founder Mark Hasebroock makes sure to point out: “We invest in companies all over the country, whether you’re in Boulder, New York or right here in Omaha. We like to partner with good people.”
Today, TechCrunch covered the latest activity from Dundee VC which hit two of those qualifications right on the mark – the funded startup, Graphicly, is based out of Boulder and its CEO and chief community caretaker, Micah Baldwin, is an experienced startup leader. Graphicly describes themselves as a “place that provides both a great location to buy and read comics (and all the news from the comic press), and a comfortable place to hang out and engage with your friends and the community.”
The national news here is Graphicly’s $3 million round (they previously raised $1.2 million), but of Silicon Prairie interest is Dundee VC’s $250k contribution to the round. Hasebroock did not disclose further details but he did say Dundee VC will be joining the company’s board of directors. The round was led by Texas-based DFJ Mercury, and other participants included Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups, Michigan-based Ludlow Ventures, and a number of angel investors.*
Micah Baldwin speaking at Big Omaha 2009. Photo by Malone & Company.
After launching this past November, this is the second investment made by Dundee VC in as many months. Their first was a $500k investment in Boston-based Tripleseat, a web-based sales, lead generation and event planning service for restaurants. (Disclosure: Silicon Prairie News co-founder Dusty Davidson is also the co-founder of Tripleseat, which has a significant Omaha office, as well.)
I recently spoke with Hasebroock by email to learn more about the investment, how he got connected with Graphicly, and what lies ahead for the startup. And you may remember Baldwin from Big Omaha 2010, at which he was one of the crowd favorites with his talk on failure (see video: “Micah Baldwin at Big Omaha 2009“).
Silicon Prairie News: Why was Graphicly an attractive investment for Dundee Venture Capital?
Mark Hasebroock: Impressive team led by Micah Baldwin. Clean and dominant technology in the comic book space. iTunes for Comics is one way to think of the current model. Numerous revenue streams and opportunities. 50,000 active users. They are a TechStars 2009 grad.
(Photo by Adam Nielsen)
How did you learn about Graphicly and get connected to Micah Baldwin?
Hasebrook: Met them through Jeff Slobotski (Silicon Prairie News). Micah was a speaker at Big Omaha in 2009 and it helped facilitate discussions.
What was it like to participate in this round with DFJ Ventures and others?
We participated with a handful of other investors. We don’t need to lead a round or own a round. We like working side by side other talented investors with different backgrounds. In this case, there are investors that have distribution, marketing, technology and publishing backgrounds.
What is Graphicly’s potential?
Graphicly is in a position to capture the very young market for online comic consumption as well as related revenue channels (immersive ads, product placement). In addition, Graphicly customers are passionate and very social. We give them a community to discuss and share which helps spread the story virally.
To read TechCrunch’s coverage of the round, see: “Digital Comic Startup Graphicly Draws Up $3 Million To Take 2011 ‘Beyond The Page.’“
Learn more about Graphicly and this latest round in their press release: “Graphicly Announces $3 Million in Funding.”
*Update November 21 – By request of the subject of this post, Graphicly’s list of advisors was removed.