Thinking About Thinking

Why Volition Capital Invested In Globaltranz

Posted in Founder-Owned Businesses, Growth Equity, Technology, Volition Capital by larrycheng on January 13, 2011

Volition Capital announced a $10M investment in Globaltranz this week.  We couldn’t be more excited about the investment so I thought I’d share a little bit about why.  Globaltranz enables small businesses to go online to comparison shop and procure freight capacity – most notably trucking and other modes of transport.  It is somewhat analogous to how consumers use Expedia or Orbitz for airline travel, but in Globaltranz’s case, the end customers are businesses that are procuring freight.  Next time you’re driving on the road, look around at the trucks on the road – Globaltranz probably had a hand in putting cargo on that truck. 

The value proposition is very simple.  Globaltranz offers more selection and better rates to small businesses that ship goods.  In tougher economic times, the ability to save money on non-core functions like shipping is really valuable to small businesses.  On the flip-side, Globaltranz offers freight carriers (e.g. trucking companies) a low cost way to reach the small business customer.  It’s too expensive for carriers to sell small businesses direct, yet they certainly value additional volume given the fixed-cost nature of their business.  The value is very clear to all parties which is probably why the company is growing so aggressively. 

Globaltranz represents exactly the kind of company that Volition loves to invest in.  They are high growth: ~100% year-over-year growth for a number of years in a row.  They have a sizable and diversified revenue base.  They are bootstrapped: having never raised any institutional capital throughout the company’s history.  They are led by an experienced and dedicated management team.  And they have aspirations for greatness: their stated goal is $1 billion in revenue which given the size of this market is attainable.  They have accomplished a lot without any investment, and it is our hope that through our partnership and capital, the company will achieve even greater heights going forward. 

Needless to say, we are very pleased to be the first institutional investor in Globaltranz. 

Volition Capital And Cue Ball Capital Lead Stylesight Financing

Posted in Founder-Owned Businesses, Growth Equity by larrycheng on March 4, 2010

We are very pleased to partner with Cue Ball Capital on a $10 million investment in Stylesight which was announced yesterday.  Stylesight is the leading style information service and SAAS platform for the global design ecosystem.  Thousands of retailers, brands and manufacturers are using the subscription service to be inspired by real-time design images from around the world and leverage that content into a web-based design process. 

Want to know what kind of black, above knee, modern black skirts women were wearing on the streets of Sao Paolo – yesterday?  Stylesight can tell you.  Want to take those high resolution images, zoom in on the stitching, and create a story board for the front end of your Spring lineup design process?  Stylesight can do that for you as well.  In millions of different derivations, Stylesight brings the world of design to your fingertips in real-time.  As their tag line goes: “Images that Inspire.  Tools to Get the Job Done.” 

What I love about Stylesight is when prospects see the product – there is such a huge “wow” factor.  I was at a launch party for their latest release – and the expressions of amazement on prospects faces tells it all.  The conversion rate to customer after seeing the demo is pretty staggering.  With customers that love the service and a wide open market, Stylesight is becoming the industry standard, which is why they the grew so aggressively through a terrible economy last year.  Stylesight’s ambition for global leadership are firmly in place, and we’re pleased to support them.   

We are also very pleased to partner with Cue Ball Capital for the first time.  It is a privilege to be working with Tony Tjan and Dick Harrington at Cue Ball.  I personally view Cue Ball as a rising star in the Boston venture capital scene.  They have a wealth of knowledge on recurring revenue, information services businesses – and the Cue Ball Collective is for real.  There was substantial interest from different financial parties for this round, but Cue Ball stood above the rest given their expertise, value and enthusiasm.

Stylesight also happens to be the type of company we love at Volition.  When we first came across Stylesight – it was and is a high growth, founder-owned, principally bootstrapped company with a strong recurring revenue base and a diversified, very satisfied customer base.   Given our investment, it is no longer a bootstrapped company, but we all expect that the capital and partnership will lead to a much larger end outcome for all involved. 

Exciting times for Stylesight, Cue Ball and Volition.  Onwards and upwards.