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NameProtect sold, tech entrepreneur to focus on Jellyfish.com

Madison, Wis. - Now that two companies he once owned have been sold, and he's working on another exit strategy, Brian Wiegand's days as a self-described “serial entrepreneur” might be over.

Wiegand's second company, the Madison-based NameProtect, a developer of digital brand management services, has been sold to Corporation Service Co. of Wilmington, Del.

He will concentrate on growing his third venture, Jellyfish.com.

Wiegand started Jellyfish.com after selling his first venture, Business Filings, an online business incorporation service, to a Dutch publishing company for $14 million.

Wiegand, who resigned as an officer in NameProtect in 2003, and has not been actively involved in managing the company, said he has no plans to start another venture. “I'm starting to slow down as I get a little older,” he said, “plus I've got my hands full with Jellyfish.”
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Wiegand noted that NameProtect was venture-funded by the likes of Milwaukee's Mason Wells and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. By the time it was sold, the company had grown to $10 million in annual revenue, but it was no longer experiencing the triple-digit annual growth of its earlier days.

“The company has reached a mature stage of solid, steady [double-digit] growth instead of hyper growth, which is a good time to exit,” Wiegand said.

At Jellyfish.com, Wiegand said that he and Mark McGuire, the company president, will attempt to “manufacture some decent shareholder value” during the next two or three years, a reference to the investors who last year committed $5 million in a funding round led by Kegonsa Capital Partners and Clyde Street Investments, LLC.

The funding will allow Jellyfish to accelerate customer adoption of its new comparison shopping search engine, which shares advertising dollars with consumers and attempts to eliminate click fraud for advertisers.

NameProtect to stay put?

Thus far, Corporation Service Co. has been mum on whether it will keep NameProtect in Greater Madison, where it employs 74 people.

Malia Horine, general manager of brand services for Name Protect, referred the location question to CSC, but also made it clear that the Madison company is excited about potential synergies from the merged product lines.

A press release issued by CSC indicated that both companies will be able to offer expanded trademark and brand-related products, including trademark clearance searches, digital brand monitoring to identify and prioritize brand and logo abuse, and global domain name management and acquisition.

In addition, the privately held Delaware company, with its legal and financial clients, can offer NameProtect new sales channels.

“We're very excited about the merger,” Horine said. “Our two organizations have a lot of commonality, but very few service overlaps.”

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Jellyfish launches comparative shopping website

NameProtect releases annual list of top trademarkers

NameProtect partners with Oregon firm to boost fraud detection

Comments

Anonymous responded 7 years ago: #1

Maybe we should stop treating people like Mr. Wiegand as heros. That mentality may fit a big city culture, but here we tend to thank the people that got us to where we are today.

Anonymous responded 7 years ago: #2

Rumor has it this “serial entrepreneur” cancelled all employee stock options at NameProtect at the last minute and left them high and dry. Maybe we should stop treating people like Mr. Wiegand as heros. That mentality may fit a big city culture, but here we tend to thank the people that got us to where we are today.

Former NP employee responded 7 years ago: #3

There's a whole other side of this story that has been missed - namely, the number of employees who were left holding "cancelled" stock options. While the investors in the NP enterprise appear to have made out quite well, there are 70+ people in Madison who were told to hang in there and help build value who now have nothing to show for it.

Another Former Nameprotect employee responded 7 years ago: #4

I believe that the "seriel entrepreneurs" fought hard with the Venture capitalists to save our jobs and get some money for the option holders.

Current Anonymous NP employee responded 7 years ago: #5

The entrepreneurs were not the problem in this deal. It is my understanding that the Venture Capitalists destroyed our option plans.

Yet Another Former NameProtect Employee responded 7 years ago: #6

Anyone who thinks that the people involved in canceling the options truly cared about anything other than making themselves money is truly naive.

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