Genesis

Sum of the parts

Like any successful start-up, an effective VC 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 Luntz

CO-FOUNDER & GENERAL PARTNER

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.

“Ben is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever met. He is a master networker and an impressive salesman, and his track record proves that he knows how to build and sell companies. He is also what you would call a “value-add investor,” meaning he’s not one to sit back and just watch you work…and he’s not the type of person to lean too far forward and tell you how to run your business…rather, Ben rolls up his sleeves and gets in the trenches with you, while providing sound advice from a “take it or leave it” standpoint. I felt like Ben was an extension of our team, considering he provided value from the day he handed me a check until the day we sold our company.”

Warner Siebert
Co-Founder & CEO @BuzzTable (acquired by Sysco)

Jonathan Struhl

CO-FOUNDER & GENERAL PARTNER

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.

"Jon and the Indicator Ventures team have been a great accelerator of Mezzobit's success, with a level of support rare among seed investors. Jon is a top notch advisor when we need a fresh set of seasoned eyes, and has made high-quality connections to blockbuster customers. He really gets what entrepreneurs are trying to do; he has a sixth sense of how to assist portfolio companies while giving them the proper amount of space."

Joseph Galarneau
Co-Founder & CEO @Mezzobit (current portfolio company)

Geoff Bernstein

CO-FOUNDER & GENERAL PARTNER

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.

“Geoff and the team at Indicator have been true partners from the day they invested. Geoff is incredibly thoughtful both in terms of making CapLinked a priority but also in terms of consistently delivering meaningful insights on our business. His keen eye for strategy and operational efficiencies is quite apparent. Furthermore, Geoff is a workhorse when it comes to business development and sales. He is constantly making referrals that convert to clients, and in the short time we have been working together has delivered significant value.”

Eric Jackson
Co-Founder & CEO @Caplinked (current portfolio company)

Philosophy

We believe Actions > Words and learning to lead is about listening. We are Partners in Perpetuity to the visionaries who transform markets. As investors, this all begins with identifying key indicators.

 

Actions > Words

After building an investment program with three individuals and our own capital, we set out to create something much bigger than ourselves. When asked about our key points of differentiation, we can point to things like our network, our team, our hustle and drive, our entrepreneurial and institutional investment experience, and our intellect. But at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. In a very short time we’ve built an organization backed by some of the smartest and most successful investors and corporate executives. And perhaps most importantly, we have significant skin in the game, creating a true alignment with all parties.

Indicators

No one knows what the next great company will be. We’ve surrounded ourselves with some of the best resources in the business, but there’s no special formula to investing. So we identify and assess key indicators that lead us to align with the most promising entrepreneurs ready to disrupt industries early on.

Learning To Lead

What we learn from our portfolio companies directly contributes to our ability to facilitate, challenge and incentivize a broader network of people. This supportive focus is an open door. We are dedicated to learning right, rather than leading wrong. Our founders have visions and we’re investing in them. We have resources, and we’re not afraid to use them.

Transform Markets

We do not live in the world of ten years ago, of five years ago, of five years from now. Technology and business/consumer response to technology evolve at an uncapped rate. Mobile devices now far outnumber humans. Data usage and creation is growing exponentially. But progress does not manifest blindly. Ingenuity and foresight have the power to overthrow established, decade-old models, pushing forward the frontlines and unlocking tremendous financial potential. We discover and invest in ground floor companies capable of affecting change in massive markets. And it’s not always the revolutionary technology that represents the largest opportunity.

Partners in Perpetuity

Venture capitalists do not build exceptional companies. Entrepreneurs do. We do not want to run, overtake or redirect any startup. Rather, we contribute our capital, sweat, expertise and extensive network of entrepreneurs, executives and corporate partners to support the founders we back. Seed-stage companies are inherently fragile, and access to capital doesn’t necessarily ensure success. One key customer, a simple overlooked data point, or even the right product positioning can make or break a company. We form true partnerships with our portfolio companies, playing a supportive role and providing meaningful value to help bridge them from fragility to stability, and we’re right by their side from funding until the day they merge, are acquired or IPO.

People

We hold an appreciation for curious, inquisitive people.

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, but has lived in New York City for over a decade. 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 BOND, Brainscape and Inkshares.

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AngelList

 

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 spokesperson for The 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 board of irisVR, and serves as an advisor to a number of other businesses.

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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 at TechStars, MassChallenge and the Boys & Girls Clubs. Geoff is also on the board of Shibumi, and serves as an Advisor to CapLinked and CFO in Residence at Unikrn.

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Greg is a mobile product and user acquisition genius. He is the Founder and CEO of 5by, an award-winning mobile platform acquired by StumbleUpon, where he remained for several years post-acquisition to serve in an executive capacity. He has helped build marketing campaigns, websites and apps for companies including FedEx, Microsoft, and AOL, to name a few. Greg has recently embarked on his next new venture.

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Daniel is an entrepreneur and ecommerce guru who is passionate about helping start-ups 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.

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Ravi is an artist at heart with a visceral understanding of the underlying business metrics that drive growth. He is the former Co-Founder and CEO of VooDooPC, which was bought by Hewlett-Packard in 2006. At HP, Ravi built a new global e-business around gaming and entertainment. Additionally, he brings critical institutional investing experience from his tenure as SVP at Intellectual Ventures, (a $5b venture fund).

LinkedIn

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. Aditya is currently VP of Product at Troops.

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Birago has a deep understanding of hardware, IoT, VR, AR and the UI/UX that powers it. He dedicated his Masters program at MIT to studying artificial intelligence, 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.

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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 currently spends the majority of his time consulting and advising a number of Indicator’s portfolio companies and several other well-known businesses.

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Jim is an incredible resource and sets a high bar for counsel in the entrepreneurial world. He is a Senior Partner at Perkins Coie’s Venture Capital practice and the Investment Fund Formation practices in Silicon Valley. He represents start-ups, accelerators, incubators and VC funds, and has completed over 250 investment and exit transactions throughout his career.

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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.

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John has the rare qualities of both a CTO and COO, as he’s 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). He previously worked at Microsoft as well as 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 non-profits.

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Rory is a highly accomplished entrepreneur and executive with a 25+ year proven track record of founding, restructuring and operating various companies, with 4 exits and 2 IPOs. His perspective is invaluable both internally as well as to portfolio companies exploring exit opportunities. Currently, Rory is the Founder and CEO of Wall Street Survivor, one of the largest online interactive financial education sites.

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Dr. Chan founded Morningside Group, the global PE and VC arm of his multi-billion dollar family office based in Boston, China and Hong Kong. In addition to being a prolific and highly successful investor in both the private and public markets, Dr. Chan is a true visionary, philanthropist and leader in public health. He also serves as Director of the publicly listed Hang Lung Group Limited, a Hong Kong-based property holding company.

Mr. Sable is 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.

Mr. Brinker serves as News Corp’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Business & Corporate Development, as well as President of the New York Post. He is responsible for managing all aspects of corporate development, sitting between global executives and News Corp’s various media holdings. He has spent his career in consulting and executive roles with digital media companies.

Mr. Weil is the former Chairman and CEO of Scientific Games, (NSDQ: SGMS). Under his leadership, the Company’s revenues grew from less than $50 million to over $1 billion. He is currently focused on leading and growing his active SPAC program. Lorne has also served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School.

Ms. Applegate 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.

Partnerships

Established partnerships allows us to efficiently extend our network and the value we provide to portfolio companies.

Portfolio

Dedicated, focused and inspired.

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Companies

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Employees

  • Bay Area
    Carrot, Edyn, Inkshares, Islands, Lob, Shibumi
  • Los Angeles
    Caplinked, cielo24, Nimble
  • New York
    Bond, Brainscape, IrisVR, Mezzobit, msg.ai, Wade & Wendy
  • Other
    Boxes – Miami, Unikrn – Seattle

Bond

Website: www.hellobond.com
Founders: Sonny Caberwal

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 Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL)

 

Boxes

Website: www.box.es
Founders: Solomon Engle

Boxes is an application for individuals, collectors, retailers, and others to categorize and organize their personal belongings. Boxes’ social environment allows users to discover and share within the community, as well as to buy and sell within the app.

Brainscape

Website: www.brainscape.com
Founder: Andrew Cohen

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.

Buzztable

Website: www.buzztable.com
Founders: Warner Siebert, John Brennan, John Williams & Mike Cerrone

BuzzTable is a wait list app and a guest management platform for restaurants to better engage with walk-in patrons and generate customer loyalty.

Acquired by Sysco Foods (NYSE: SYY).

Caplinked

Website: www.caplinked.com
Founders: Eric Jackson & Christopher Grey

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.

 

Carrot

Website: www.carrot.com
Founders: Nikita Bier & Erik Hazzard

Carrot is developing a product that reshapes conversations on the Internet. The Carrot team has designed and launched award-winning products that have reached hundreds of millions of people organically.

Cielo24

Website: www.cielo24.com
Founder: Brian Plackis-Cheng & Vietor Davis

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

Website: www.circanews.com
Founders: Matt Galligan, Ben Huh, & Arsenio Santos

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)

Edyn

Website: www.edyn.com
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.

 

Inkshares

Website: www.inkshares.com
Founders: Jeremy Thomas, Lawrence Levitsky, Thaddeus Woodman & Adam Gomolin

Inkshares is 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

Website: www.irisvr.com
Founders: Shane Scranton & Thomas (Nate) Beatty

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.

 

Islands

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

Website: www.lob.com
Founders: Leore Avidar, Harry Zhang

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.

Mezzobit

Website: www.mezzobit.com
Founders: Joseph Galameau, Joseph Titlebaum & Ihab Rimawi

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.

msg.ai

Website: www.msg.ai
Founders: Puneet Mehta

The msg.ai platform enables brands to communicate with/market to consumers directly through mobile messaging platforms (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter DM, etc). The platform is also powered by human-assisted Artificial Intelligence so it responds in real time, in a personalized fashion, at scale.

Nimble

Website: www.nimble.com
Founders: Jon Ferrara

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.

Shibumi

Website: www.shibumi.com
Founders: Robert Nahmias, Jason Bobby, Mark DiGirolamo & Ken Pellegrino

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.

 

Unikrn

Website: www.unikrn.com
Founders: Karl Flores & Rahul Sood

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.

Wade & Wendy

Website: www.wadeandwendy.ai
Founders: Drew Austin, Josh Brandoff, Adrian von der Osten & Ian Jaffrey

Wade & Wendy are artificially intelligent assistant 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.

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