OpenView Partners Highlights Case Study on International Investments
Boston, MA – Three years ago, Denmark-based digital publishing software company Zmags had just begun to take hold of its own market and expand in to the United Kingdom when the company’s co-founder and CEO, Jens Karstoft, was approached by OpenView Venture Partners about expanding in to the United States.
Karstoft admits that he hadn’t even been to the United States before that first conversation with OpenView, let alone thought above moving his business there.
But two years later, Karstoft calls Boston home and 50 percent of Zmags’ revenue comes from the North American market. In fact, the company’s Boston office employs almost as many people as its Copenhagen hub.
“I don’t think, two years ago, I could have envisioned us being where we are now,” Karstoft says. “We’ve gone from trying to hold our own in Europe to really considering ourselves a United States company.”
Karstoft credits much of Zmags’ smooth transition to its relationship with OpenView, which made an investment in the company soon after initiating contact with Zmags. “I think if we didn’t have OpenView, we wouldn’t be where we are now at all,” Karstoft says. “We may have tried to move in to the North American market, but we wouldn’t be as well established as we are now. If we had done this on our own, who knows where we’d be.”
In the United States venture capital world, it’s often rare for firms to invest in international companies. The North American market, after all, can be complicated and convoluted, sucking up international companies’ resources and increasing the risk that the gamble won’t pay off.
But Venture Partner Firas Raouf says that OpenView is uniquely suited to mitigate that risk. With its in-house consulting services offered by OpenView Labs and a team of venture partners with proven experience, Raouf says the firm would be crazy not to invest in companies that are perfect fits for its investment criteria.
“We’ve got the capital, the operational expertise, and the coaching model to surround CEOs like Jens with the help they need,” says Raouf. “In a way, by us having the capability internally in Labs to help a non-US company enter the US market, it lowers both our portfolio company’s and our own risk. If we didn’t have that capability, the risk exposure would be much more significant for everyone involved.”
Click here to read about how OpenView helped Zmags develop a North American presence in full.
About OpenView Partners
OpenView Venture Partners is an expansion stage venture capital fund with a focus on high-growth software, Internet, and technology-enabled companies. Through its staff of seasoned operating executives, who collectively bring several decades of technology and management experience to the firm, OpenView is able to help portfolio companies with quickly ramping up Product, Go-To-Market, and Organizational and Operational functions to best practice levels. The firm was founded in 2006 and has a total capital under management of approximately $240 million. OpenView just launched its new content site. Check out OpenView Labs for more information. OpenView Venture Partners is based in Boston and invests on a worldwide basis.
Zmags, the industry leading digital publishing platform, enables marketers to effectively capture and retain the attention of their target audience online and on mobile devices. Zmags boosts the effectiveness of social and content marketing strategies by delivering an interactive reading experience based on the familiar magazine format that inspires, entertains and increases customer loyalty. The Zmags analytics engine tracks reader behavior and provides metrics-driven insights and analysis, enabling clients to deliver a better customer experience, optimize their marketing ROI, and increase sales. Zmags is used by more than 2,500 companies in 50 countries, including 10% of Fortune 500 companies. For more information on Zmags, please visit the website.