Boulder-based MeNetwork closes angel round from Omaha investors

MeNetwork, a Boulder, Colo.-based mobile marketing platform, recently raised a second angel round of about $500k, a "similar range" to its first round one year ago, the startup's CEO, Mike Corbisiero, said in a phone interview on Friday. Though MeNetwork's headquarters aren't in Omaha, one of its co-founders, Craig Paige, and two of its board

Using mobile apps (above), SMS and social media, MeNetwork aims to connect merchants with consumers.

MeNetwork, a Boulder, Colo.-based mobile marketing platform, recently raised a second angel round of about $500k, a “similar range” to its first round one year ago, the startup’s CEO, Mike Corbisiero, said in a phone interview on Friday.

Though MeNetwork’s headquarters aren’t in Omaha, one of its co-founders, Craig Paige, and two of its board members, Paige and TreeTop Ventures partner William Fisher, reside in the city. TreeTop, a startup services firm that introduces select clients to its network of angel investors, helped MeNetwork raise the round.

“(Treetop) did the due diligence over a three-month period and then decided to invest,” Fisher (below, right), a partner of TreeTop Ventures, said in an email interview on Saturday. “Once we decided to invest, I went on the board and then we presented this to other local angels and raised the capital for MeNetwork in about 10 days.”

Corbisiero (below, left) said that individuals outside of TreeTop’s network also invested, including himself and other previous investors, but less than a dozen investors participated in the round.

The new funds will be used to help MeNetwork with its next stage of growth as it develops its model and get merchants across the country using its product, Fisher said.

Corbisiero said the company is focusing on six major market launches, some already underway and others just beginning, including New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle and Austin, Texas.

To launch in major markets, MeNetwork works with partners. It did so for its recent launch in Austin, working with the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. The partners provide marketing resources and act as sales agents to sign up merchants while MeNetwork keeps its branding top of mind as the users in each city download the MeNetwork app or text a MeNetwork custom shortcode.

MeNetwork serves both merchants – Corbisiero said it has about 3,000 signed up – and consumers. Merchants use the platform by paying a monthly subscription fee, which allows them to create on-demand or planned marketing events over a specified time frame. Merchant offers are distributed by MeNetwork’s iOS or Android app, SMS or Twitter or Facebook. Consumers download the MeNetwork app on their mobile device to browse these offers or subscribe to specific merchants. In addition to signing up restaurants and bars, Corbisiero said they’ve also signed up churches and schools, most recently the College of William & Mary.

The startup has a team of five in Boulder and has plans to to expand this summer, aiming to raise a Series A round to allow for hiring in the field, Corbisierso said. Competing for merchants, MeNetwork is up against traditional advertising and other new platforms, such as Groupon and LivingSocial. Specifically on the text messaging front, TextMarks is a close competitor, but Corbisiero believes MeNetwork offers a more complete package than any of its competitors.

When asked what else is on the horizon, Corbisiero said expansion abroad is near. “We’re looking at an international marketplace, too,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of traction outside of North America.”

 

Credits: Screenshot and photos of Mike Corbisiero and William Fisher from themenetwork.com.

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