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January 25, 2014

Care.com IPO and the Upromise Mafia

I was excited to see Care.com's successful IPO yesterday for multiple reasons.  

First, it augurs well for 2014 as another strong IPO year in genearl and for technology companies in particular.  A University of Florida professor has a nice analysis of the 2013 IPO market and shows that there were 146 IPOs in 2013 (51 VC-backed, although NVCA claims 82 VC-backed), up from 94 in 2012 (48 VC-backed) which had been in turn up from 81 in 2011 (44 VC-backed).  Another excellent IPO analysis from Fortune showed that the real winners of 2013 were the class of 2012 IPOs, which have traded up 64% by year end 2013.

Second, it is another nice win for Boston.  Despite a flurry of biotech and enterprise tech IPOs and big M&A events in the last few years, there have not been many consumer wins in Boston and Care.com is a nice one for the region (see my post:  "Boston Unicorns").

But what really makes me happy about the Care.com is the people behind the company.  The five founders (Sheila and Ron Marcelo, Dave Krupinski, Donna Levin, Zenobia Moochala and Diane Musi) worked with me at Upromise and I think the world of each of them.  They started the company with a mission-driven vision and have stayed together as a tight-knit founding team from the onset.

One of the things that makes a startup region successful is when a successful exit happens and an alumni network forms that creates additional successful startups (i.e., the "PayPal mafia" effect).  This happened in my first company, Open Market (IPO'96), which spawned a dozen CEOs/founders in the area (e.g., Gail Goodman/Constant Contact, Jon Guerster/Digital Lumens, Eswar Priyadarshan/Quattro Wireless and m-Qube, Ted Morgan/Skyhook Wireless).  BostInno did a nice piece on the "Open Market Mafia" and has a whole series they call "Tech Mafia Mondays").  I am so happy to see it happening with the Upromise alumni network as well, which includes CEOs/founders like:

  • David Andre, Cartera Commerce
  • George Bell, Jumptap
  • Chris Boyce, Virgin Pulse
  • Michael Bronner, Unreal Candy
  • Michael Libenson and David Rochon, Savingstar
  • Sean Lindsay, Viximo/TapJoy

These kinds of alumni networks form powerful ties that make up the fabric of a robust startup ecosystem.

So congrats to the Care.com team!  I'm sure we will be discussing their alumni network 5-10 years from now!

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