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.
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.”
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.”