Indicator Ventures is a US-based early-stage venture capital firm that backs and supports companies leveraging ‘digital efficiencies’ to generate material time and cost savings, primarily in B2B applications. We focus on capital-efficient businesses solving high-impact problems that can scale quickly.
Indicator writes initial checks of up to $1 million in seed-stage companies, with the potential to follow-on in subsequent financings. We invest only where our team has the ability to help impact the outcome.
Like any successful start-up, an effective venture firm is built around a core team, an engaged network, and aligned incentives. We have built a talented and complementary team of investment professionals and entrepreneurs with a demonstrated track record of success. Together these assets represent something much larger than a source of capital.
Ben’s killer instinct is the product of over a decade as a marketer and operator, working with the largest brands in the world and early-stage businesses alike. He’s never settled nor satisfied, and is constantly searching for value through partnerships and strategic initiatives. It’s the restlessness within him that is able to sift through the noise, aim directly at the right problem, and deliver an impactful solution under pressure. And it’s his ability to connect the dots and see opportunity when others see a dead end that drives his creative approach.
Jonathan has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. His ability to listen and synthesize facts and expert opinions, coupled with his unparalleled resourcefulness is what underpins Indicator’s commitment to diligence and support for portfolio companies. He’s cautious to jump to a conclusion before he has interpreted all indicators, but is steadfast in his own convictions. Jonathan welcomes debate and ensures we explore all angles. Jonathan is a 5th generation entrepreneur, and it’s evident each day he comes to work and interacts with founders and teams.
Geoff has a keen eye for recognizing operational efficiencies and streamlining complex processes. If something can be run better, he finds a way. His operational mentality and quest for efficiencies are manifest in his own work, which has been instrumental for both entrepreneurs and Indicator Ventures as a firm. Geoff lives for data and analysis, but is also able to step back and see the larger vision. He’d rather be doing than talking, and is constantly exploring every possible scenario on behalf of Indicator Ventures and its portfolio companies.
Jonathan was born and raised in the start-up ecosystem surrounded by technology entrepreneurs. He has an exceptional understanding of how to build and scale products and an innate ability to network as well as discover incredible companies.
After graduating from Yeshiva University, Sy Syms School of Business, Jonathan was the Director of Marketing at Sheets Brand Energy and Sleep Strips, helping launch their national advertising campaign in over 50,000 retail locations. He parlayed his experience into founding Socialosity, a digital marketing agency connecting brands with top-tier celebrities and influencers (LeBron James, Serena Williams, Pitbull, Chris Paul, etc.) through social media. Most recently, he was Co-founder of Kodiak Samurai, a NYC-based social media agency catering to complex global brand clients including Amazon’s Audible.com, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Polaroid, among others. Jonathan has gained a deep understanding of branding and product design while working at 100 Mile Group, a New York City based brand incubator, as well as through working with numerous early-stage businesses as an angel investor, advisor and mentor.
Jonathan is originally from South Florida, though he now resides in New York City. He is a Board Member at Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, which is one of the largest public bone marrow and blood stem cell registries. Jonathan is also on the boards of IrisVR, Wade and Wendy and Mezzobit (Acq. by OpenX), a board observer of Entrypoint and Pienso, and serves as an advisor to a number of other businesses.
With a background in finance, business development and operations, Geoff spends most of his time assisting portfolio companies in these core areas, as well as managing Indicator’s internal operations.
After graduating magna cum laude from Brown University with a degree in Economics and Applied Math, Geoff spent four years in investment banking at Jefferies & Company where he helped underwrite over $10 billion in high yield bonds and leveraged loans for businesses across all industries. Following Jefferies, Geoff joined HighVista Strategies, a Boston-based hedge fund with $5 billion AUM as an associate and member of the Investment Committee. He was responsible for sourcing and analyzing investment opportunities across multiple sectors and asset classes, focusing primarily on illiquid investments including real estate, infrastructure, private equity and venture capital. Prior to co-founding Indicator Ventures, Geoff co-founded Borderless Ventures, an advisory and consulting business catering to early-stage businesses. For his clients, Geoff wrote business plans, investor presentations, and marketing plans, built corporate models, negotiated terms and helped raise over $5 million in seed funding.
Geoff was born and raised outside of Boston, and currently lives in the city with his wife Taylor. He’s actively involved in the Boston community as a mentor at TechStars, Co-Chair of the Leadership Council at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, and on the Board of Overseers and Finance Committee at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He also sits on the Board of Shibumi, Nimble, Cielo24, and Simplifeye, as well as the Advisory Board of Caplinked.”
Having spent over a decade in experiential marketing, branded entertainment, digital marketing and social media, advising, and operating various early-stage businesses, Ben brings invaluable expertise to Indicator Ventures’ portfolio companies as well as helping inform and structure Indicators’ investment philosophy and protocol.
Upon graduating from UVM, Ben began his career at Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation) where he built and ran branded entertainment programs for Fortune 100 companies. From there, he joined Tenth Street Entertainment, where he ran a team of 20 and executed corporate partnerships and licensing deals to support and advance artists’ careers, images and business interests. Ben left Tenth Street to co-found Apex Exposure, one of the first pure-play social media agencies, later acquired by Big Fuel/Publics. At Big Fuel Ben was responsible for managing global marketing campaigns for GM, Samsung, and Starwood Resorts, among others. Throughout his career, Ben has helped a number of successful start-ups as a founder, advisor, investor and mentor.
Ben is originally from the Greater Boston area, lived in New York City for over a decade, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s highly engaged in the entrepreneurial community as well as several causes that are personally important to him. He serves as a mentor at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in NYC and is on the Board of Experience Camps, an organization supporting young people who have experienced the loss of a parent and/or sibling. Ben also serves as a Board Member at Brainscape and Inkshares.
David is an Analyst at Indicator Ventures where he actively sources, evaluates, and diligences new deals, as well as works with the the General Partners to support existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining Indicator, David worked at Examity, an education technology startup based in Boston, as a Leadership Associate where he supported all levels of the executive team on day-to-day operations, strategy and growth. David graduated from Elon University’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business with a degree in Finance, where he was a leading member of the Phoenix Capital Investment Club. He is currently an active volunteer and member of the Friend’s Council at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. In his free time, David is an avid golfer and surfer.
Michelle brings the structure and perspective of the big-corporate world to the startup and venture space. Prior to joining Indicator Ventures as an Associate, Michelle spent four years as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney, where she worked alongside CXOs from Fortune 500 and private equity-owned companies. Her expertise spans the gamut of strategy and operations initiatives, from go-to-market design to supply chain optimization to M&A, and most things in between. Michelle holds two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in Economics and Environmental Sciences. While at Berkeley, she ran an $11M housing non-profit, worked in research and taught herself to code, and became a published author on the topic of sustainable consumerism. Outside of the office, Michelle is an avid long-distance backpacker, rock climber, and soccer player.
Greg is a mobile product, growth hacking and user acquisition expert. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Islands, a digital communication platform and Indicator portfolio company. Previously, Greg was Founder and CEO of 5by, an award-winning mobile platform acquired by StumbleUpon, which Forbes remarked, “might be the fastest startup-to-sale company in the social media technology category.” Greg was profiled as a “top tech entrepreneur” by Entrepreneur.com, and has been quoted on tech industry matters by Forbes, Mashable, LA Times, Adweek, and Reuters.
Stella serves as CTO at MDC Media Partners (NASDAQ: MDCA), a large media agency which includes Assembly, Allegory, EnPlay, Trade X, Unique Influence and Varick. Stella is also an Advisor to MDC’s Venture Capital Fund. She is a co-founder at Born AI, the world’s first AI agency and was a former Vice President of Digital at Media Assembly as well as Dentsu, which was acquired by GM. Stella has a breadth of experience working on global operations and business integration issues, and she has worked extensively with big brands to help assess artificial intelligence technologies.
Birago has a deep understanding of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, VR/AR and the UI/UX that powers it. He dedicated his Masters program at MIT to studying AI, HCI and User Experience. He is the President and Founder of the MIT Media Lab Alumni Association and has worked with companies including Google, Motorola, and Cisco, among others. Birago is a mentor at Google’s 30 Week accelerator program and speaks regularly at conferences around the world. Birago is Co-founder and CEO of Pienso, an Indicator Ventures portfolio company democratizing Machine Learning.
Neil is a frontier technology expert with a passion for design thinking and data-driven decision making. Neil was formerly at Draper Labs and Bridgewater Associates, after having received his M.S in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Neil works with a variety of large corporations on projects, initiatives, and strategy related to VR/AR, Internet of Things, and the transition from products to services. Neil is currently a Senior Product Manager at Ebay where he leads efforts on Ebay’s Structured Data team. He is also the founder of BostonAR, a nonprofit augmented reality accelerator dedicated to growing the frontier technology ecosystem in Massachusetts.
Zack has nearly 15 years of experience as a strong growth and product practitioner. He has been influential in scaling multiple high growth startups from early stage to successful acquisition. Currently, Zack is the CEO of Dribbble, a place to show and tell, promote, discover, and explore design. He was formerly the Head of Growth and Marketing at AutoDesk Marketplaces, Chief Growth Officer at Creative Market and VP of Growth at Hired. Zack is a speaker at startup conferences around the globe, and recently named a Top 50 Growth Expert by Tradecraft.
Kyle knows a thing or two about technology and building businesses. He entered the entrepreneurial world at the age of 14 so that he could buy parts to build a computer. He started two businesses after college and then got into venture capital, mobile apps, big data, and eventually IoT. Today, Kyle is the Chief Labs Officer of ReadWrite Labs, an accelerator program for hardware developers in the IoT space that is focused on connecting technological experts, thought-leaders, corporate/startup executives, and investors as they build emerging technologies through fostering dynamic relationships. Kyle spends his time between San Francisco and Asia.
Aditya is an experienced technology, product, strategy, operations, and commercialization leader in the fields of VR/AR, IoT, and enterprise software. He has held key roles at a variety of complex organizations from startups to large enterprises, particularly General Electric. Most recently, Aditya was VP of Product at Troops, the leading integration platform between Salesforce and Slack. Aditya is currently the VP of Product at Simplifeye, an Indicator portfolio company making dental offices operate more efficiently.
Daniel is an entrepreneur and ecommerce guru who is passionate about helping startups succeed. He is currently the CEO of Cory Vines, which Forbes dubbed the “Warby Parker of activewear.” With a CPA and prior experience at Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Daniel also brings a strong background in finance and accounting.
Eric is a master of process, fundraising, operations, and networking. He has been an entrepreneur, investor, consultant, and advisor to many startups and high growth companies including American Express, Betfair, Professional Poker League, PayPal, BensFriends.org, CBS Sports, and StubHub. Eric is the Co-Founder of Medaptive Health, a digital health company that develops technology to improve the lives of people facing challenging health conditions. He also spends time consulting and advising a number of Indicator’s portfolio companies and several other well-known businesses.
Steven is a tech industry veteran, a prolific angel investor and highly engaged at the leading edge of innovations through his company affiliations and in multiple capacities which include board member, chairman and advisor. Prior to establishing his private investment group he was founding Executive Vice President at Juniper Networks, former Vice President at Cisco and former Managing Director and General Manager at StrataCom. He began his technology career as a programmer and remains most intrigued by initiatives related to the commercialization of software platforms with particular interest in the scaling of operations and sales. He also is President & Founder of the Brain Science Foundation (BSF) a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for brain tumors and brain cancers as well as to advancing the understanding of brain function as it relates to these maladies.
Eliza is instrumental in supporting Indicator’s financial due diligence for potential investments, as well as supporting existing portfolio companies’ CFO needs, as more times than not early-stage businesses have not filled this role. She has served as a freelance CFO as well as CFO at Nomad Financial, a financial services provider for businesses. Additionally, Eliza has worked for several large media businesses, including CORE Media Group, Endemol, and Warner Music Group. Previously, she was an Investment Banking analyst at Goldman Sachs.
John has the rare qualities of both a CTO and COO—he is able to explore and comprehend something highly technical, articulate it, and drive business operations on top of it. He was the Co-Founder, President, and CTO at BuzzTable (acquired by Sysco). Currently, John serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at ConsenSys, where he explores opportunities in the crypto and blockchain space. He previously worked at Microsoft and BAE Systems, where he oversaw and developed a web-based collaboration app for U.S. Government intelligence analysts. John also co-founded OpenAction.org, a visualization technology for nonprofits.
David is the Chairman and Global CEO of Young and Rubicam, a $5B+ subsidiary of WPP. He has a reputation as one of the industry’s most innovative and progressive new media strategists, and is constantly tapped for his marketing and digital expertise around the world. Previously, he was the COO and Vice Chairman at Wunderman. He currently serves as a Director of the American Advertising Association and the Chair of UNICEF’s New York Board.
David serves as Snapchat’s Head of Business and Corporate Development for the company’s Content division. He is responsible for Snapchat’s content holdings, which range from the Discover platform to its Live Stories efforts. Previously, David served as News Corp’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Business and Corporate Development, as well as President of the New York Post. He has spent his career in consulting and executive roles with digital media companies.
Elliot has more than 35 years of experience as an investor, founder and senior executive, and is recognized for his expertise in business strategy, strategic business development and company building. As an investor, Elliot has achieved one of the most impressive track records, with over a 6X multiple on invested capital, 35% IRR and a .750 batting average. Some of the market leading investments he’s made include Echo Nest (acquired by Spotify), Vela Systems (acquired by Autodesk), Acacia Communications (#1 technology IPO in 2016) and many others. Elliot has been involved with four businesses as a senior executive and/or founder, two of which went public. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor at Magic Leap and a Board Member at OnShape and Seniorlink, among other engagements.
Jeff has served in the Office of the Chairman of Gordon Brothers Group since 2001. Prior to that, he spent over 20 years on Wall Street, where he was a general partner and senior managing director at Bear Stearns, running the retail investment banking group and serving as vice chairman of the Valuation Committee, and previously worked in corporate finance at Lehman Brothers. He has served as a Director for a number of public companies, including 10+ years on the Board of Nortek (NSDQ:NTK, recently acquired by Melrose Industries PLC for $2.8B). Jeff has been active in a number of community organizations and currently serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and Facing History & Ourselves.
Lynda has been a professor at Harvard Business School for over 25 years. She is an expert and author on entrepreneurship and technology innovation. She has one of the most incredible networks around, having led Harvard’s Executive Leadership program with students including leaders of various countries, global CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs. Lynda served on the Tech Advisory Board for NASDAQ, and has advised the White House and World Bank on technology issues.
Jim is an incredible resource and sets a high bar for counsel in the entrepreneurial world. He is a Partner in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where his practice focuses on corporate and securities law. Throughout his 18 years of legal experience, Jim has represented corporate, angel, and venture capital firms and has completed over 250 investment and exit transactions. His clients include companies across a diverse range of industries, including digital media, internet, medical devices, mobile, security, and software.
Bond is on a mission to make personalized communication easier, at scale. Bond enables real handwritten notes using both hardware and software that learns and recreates human gestures. From self-service to secure API + CRM integrations, Bond integrates into any workflow – enterprise and consumer – to send handwritten notes on personalized stationery, in seconds, on demand.
Acquired by Newell Brands (NYSE: NWL)
Boxes is a platform that brings collectors together from all of over the world to give them an experience comparable to physical trade shows where they are able to catalogue, trade, buy and sell their collectables.
Acquired by Loot Crate
Brainscape is a web and mobile education platform that optimizes learning for the 600 million people who study in school, at home or in the workplace. Based on the concept of “smart flashcards,” millions of teachers and students use Brainscape to create, share and find curated topics, then study using an adaptive learning system rooted in cognitive science. Brainscape’s marketplace of content contains hundreds of thousands of topics easily accessible to all.
CapLinked connects influencers and professionals who want to securely share information with multiple enterprises, making it faster, safer, and easier to manage business transactions in the cloud. Globally recognized customers in over 40 countries use CapLinked for capital raises, asset sales, mergers & acquisitions, real estate deals, investor & board reporting, business development negotiations, and other types of complex business transactions. The Wall Street Journal called CapLinked “the go-to place for setting up and closing deals,” and Inc. Magazine named CapLinked to its list of 5 Back-Office Tech Innovations.
cielo24 delivers searchable captions as a highly scalable and on demand web service for large media partners in the online education, enterprise, and entertainment markets. Their solution drives ROI through broader viewer reach and accessibility, increased engagement, and audience retargeting through its intelligent media data. cielo24 has provided searchable metadata for 100K’s of videos, for market leaders including Kaltura, Coursera, Vice, Wall Street Journal and many others.
Circa delivers news in a unique format – native to mobile devices with an experience intuitive to mobile users. Through comprehensive yet to-the-point updates paired with an engrossing mobile experience, Circa redefines how news is produced, delivered and consumed. Unlike most news sites and readers, which take articles written for the Web and reformat them for mobile devices, Circa’s content is born on mobile. Circa’s mission is to pursue a more pure definition of news with truths divorced from conjecture, opinion or biases analysis.
Acquired by Sinclair (NASDAQ: SBGI)
Founders: Jason Aramburu
Edyn has built a smart, connected system to help conserve water and improve crop health and yield. Designed in partnership with Yves Behar, Edyn’s smart garden system lets you know what’s happening in your garden at all times. Inserted in the soil, the Edyn Garden Sensor gathers and analyzes data about changing weather and soil conditions. The Edyn mobile App displays this data as a real-time snapshot of your garden, and pushes alerts and suggestions to maximize plant health. The Edyn Water Valve uses this data to intelligently control your existing watering system, watering your plants only when needed at an optimized level.
Entrypoint helps content creators bypass the arduous process of making interactive 360 video and Virtual Reality content by providing a self-service platform that allows users to “drag and drop” elements into an interactive video. Once the video creation process is complete, the platform outputs a simple URL, which eliminates the need for viewers to download mobile applications which is currently how most major publishers are sharing VR content.
Everbloom is a next-generation cryptocurrency exchange that brings the power and security of decentralized exchanges to market participants in a reliable, trustworthy, and easy to use manner. Everbloom will incorporate institutional trading tools and provide a new approach to cross-chain trades, all while maintaining a high standard of complete transparency.
Inkshares is a social platform that powers book publishing through crowdfunding, effectively filling the gap between self publishing and traditional publishing. They utilize crowdfunding as a barometer for demand, while also generating rich demographics to be leveraged for future marketing. This unique model allows Inkshares to provide all the services and distribution as a full stack publisher but with significantly greater upside (royalties) to authors. Moreover, the social nature of the platform allows authors to create a direct connection with their audience, something they can’t do through traditional publishers.
IrisVR is the first professional-grade, cloud-based suite of Virtual Reality software products designed to fit into professional workflows for architects, engineers, designers, and owners. Their inaugural software product is a simple drag and drop interface that immediately renders 3D files into a Virtual Reality environment, allowing users to visualize unbuilt space via a virtual walkthrough. With IrisVR, the AEC industry can save billions of dollars by leveraging this new technology pre-construction.
Founder: Greg Isenberg
Islands is the brain child of Greg Isenberg. Greg is a venture partner at Indicator Ventures and an entrepreneur with a track record of building and selling great companies. Greg’s first company, 5by was acquired by StumbleUpon where he helped lead strategic growth initiatives as part of their management team. Greg left StumbleUpon at the end of 2015 to focus on building Islands with the original founding team from 5by.
Lob provides a suite of print and mail APIs that enables companies to send physical mail as easily as sending emails. Developers can use Lob to send transactional postcards, posters, letters, photos, checks, and greeting cards via a self-service API.
For the first time, digital publishers and brand marketers can completely control third-party interactions with web and mobile visitors and stop unauthorized data collection, thanks to Mezzobit’s Audience Value Platform. Their products not only boost revenue and cut costs, but also speed up site and ad performance, making for happier visitors and advertisers.
Acquired by OpenX
Nimble helps nurture stronger relationships for increased productivity and business success. It is the next evolution in relationship management, founded by the inventor of the original CRM system (Goldmine). Nimble gives you actionable insights to surface the data that matters to you and is key to authentic engagement and richer relationships, making sales and relationship management more efficient and effective.
Noble is a next-generation transactional bank that enables clients to clear, net and settle OTC and FX transactions in real-time. By enabling increased access to the financial markets at significantly lower costs, Noble’s value proposition to the world’s largest institutional clients fundamentally increases their competitiveness in global OTC markets.
OpenX is a global leader in programmatic advertising. OpenX creates programmatic marketplaces where premium publishers and app developers can best monetize their content by connecting with leading advertisers that value their audiences. By remaining focused on creating powerful and effective publisher solutions, OpenX has created a highly efficient programmatic platform that provides optimal value for both sides of every transaction.
Pienso is a self-serve, enterprise-ready interface for non-technical analysts, domain experts, and knowledge workers to create and manage training data in the machine learning process, and act as the human in the loop. As a versatile platform, Pienso runs stand-alone, within a user workflow, or connects to client applications via API.
Shibumi helps organizations manage strategic business initiatives, measure performance and ensure success with a focus on continuous improvement. The cloud-based application is a turn-key solution for customers ranging from sales teams looking to establish and improve territory performance to enterprise-level clients running complex business improvement programs.
Simplifeye is the only secure and real-time application suite for dental teams and other medical professionals to get in sync. Simplifeye engineering combines modern technology with existing practice management software, allowing schedule and patient information to seamlessly move between Simplifeye’s apps on smartwatches, phones, desktops and tablets.
TBH, short for “to be honest,” is a social app that lets teens send each other compliments anonymously. The app only allows its users to say positive things about other users, a limitation that, believe it or not, only seems to make the app more popular. The app has been downloaded by millions of teens within the first month of launching in only a few select states and has reached #1 in the app store.
Acquired by Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)
Unikrn is an eSports wagering service for fans and newcomers alike to gather, game and bet on eSports in a safe and legal environment. With games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2 and more, there’s always something to watch and bet on at Unikrn. Unikrn’s mission is to increase the engagement and passion already surrounding eSports.
VIDA is an e-commerce platform that takes advantage of direct-to-fabric technology resulting in the large scale production of unique apparel from designers around the world. With this process, any submitted design can go from sketch to completion in a week with any of VIDA’s manufacturers.
By carefully selecting its partnerships, VIDA is bridging the gap between artists and consumers while promoting socially responsible fashion.
Acquired by Cimpress (NASDAQ: CMPR)
Wade & Wendy are artificially intelligent assistants which leverage machine learning and big data to make hiring more human and efficient. Wade is a Machine Intelligent Assistant that helps people navigate their careers and find the right opportunity. Wendy is a Machine Intelligent Assistant that helps companies identify the right talent to fill their open roles.