410 Labs (Shortmail, Replyz, Mailstrom) a Baltimore, MD based multi-product startup co-founded by Baltimore’s Dave Troy and Bethesda’s Matt Koll, both seasoned founders and startup executives, told us just over a month ago that they had raised a round of funding. A few weeks later we heard them pitch the University of Maryland Dingman Center’s Capital Access Network in College Park, MD. The cat is finally out of the bag as they say, so here are details on who invested in the company and more. The overall raise amounts to a Series A raise of roughly $750,000 from a lot of different people. We are happy to see two more SocialMatchbox alumni succeed in raising venture capital for their startup. You may recall that Dave and Matt presented Replyz, a Q&A startup in 2010. The company has evolved from a single product startup to a lab based format that plans to provide a number of options including Mailstrom (email analytics), Shortmail (shortened email format) and Replyz (web Q&A).
The round was lead by:
* True Ventures, the VC fund based in Great Falls, VA that also has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco. As far as we know, this is the first investment made by True Ventures in the Mid-Atlantic so this is quite a big deal. Besides Shortmail, they made an investment in AppSavvy, a Manhattan based startup team that essentially spun out of Silver Spring, MD based Freewebs (Webs.com) several years ago, but otherwise True Ventures has a track record of investing only in bay area companies.
* 500 Startups (Dave McClure), Mountain View, CA. 500 Startups also invested in a lesser known startup called AwayFind that was founded by College Park, MD based team. AwayFind is also an email related play. 500 Startups and True Ventures have been known to invest together. It is also worth pointing out that Shortmail Founder Dave Troy and 500 Startups founder Dave McClure are both Johns Hopkins University alumni, so there is a Baltimore connection here. Paul Singh, a Northern Virgina and George Mason University alumnus is also a principal at 500 Startups and was close to AwayFind co-founder Jared Goralnick prior to their receiving funding. Dave knew both guys which certainly helped.
* Fortify Ventures, of Sterling, VA
* The Maryland Venture Fund
Individual investors included:
* Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and Co-founder, LivingSocial
* Abdur Chowdhury, Chief Scientist, Twitter; Co-founder, Summize
* Jeff Ganek, Founder and former CEO, Neustar
* Mark Walsh, CEO and Co-founder, Genius Rocket
* Adam Lehman, COO Lotame
* Tom Loveland, CEO and Founder, Mind Over Machines
* Greg Cangialosi, CEO and Founder, Blue Sky Factory
* Paul Silber, CEO, In Vitro Technologies; Founding Member, Blu Venture Investors
* Ed Chalfin, ICD, Baltimore Angels
* Aris Melissaratos, Senior Advisor for Enterprise Development Johns Hopkins University
* Chris Shafer, Baltimore Angels
This is a large group of investors, but a group that has a lot of connections.
410 Labs’s flagship product, Shortmail, seeks to reduce the footprint of email. Replyz offers users the opportunity to get an answer to a question they pose online. Mailstrom is an email analytics tool. Founder Matt Koll says the team intends to throw up a number of different products and see which ones stick, contrasting the 410 Labs focus to one shot product offerings by other startups. Both co-founders, Matt Koll and Dave Troy know what they are doing. Matt has search experience that dates back to the 80′s when computer search was just being developed and has had a number of successful exits including the acquisition of Wondir by Revolution Health a few years back. Dave Troy has had exit success before, but is probably better known for the event organizing that he does in Baltimore. When Dave is not working on 410 Labs he has been known as the guy who puts on TEDx Baltimore, various bar camp style events, and as a political insider who has an active voice in Baltimore political circles. This is a team to keep an eye on.