Punchtab Inc

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For the exclusive use of M. Johnston 9-812-033 OCTOBER 19, 2011 RAMANA NANDA WILLIAM R. KERR LAUREN BARLEY PunchTab, Inc. It was February 2011, and Ranjith Kumaran, cofounder of Menlo Park, California-based startup PunchTab, Inc., smiled as he recalled the recent online New York Post article “$150,000 & A Dream.” The article illustrated the entrepreneur-friendly nature of the current financing environment and the creativity investors were using to gain access to early-stage companies. (See Exhibit 1 for article.) Kumaran felt fortunate to be starting a company in this environment. He recently left his first startup YouSendIt to start PunchTab, an Internet-based turnkey customer loyalty program for website owners, mobile application …show more content…

He described the genesis for his venture: I’d been an engineer; I’d worked in sales and I’d worked in marketing. As an engineer, I needed to transfer files like source code to other team members; as a sales professional, demos to prospective customers; and as a marketer, PowerPoint presentations to the trade show floor. In many cases, I would find myself burning a CD and driving it over, which was a horrible waste of time. I am a fairly technical person, so I figured there had to be millions of nontechnical people, particularly in small work environments without much IT support, who couldn’t solve this problem of transferring a large file electronically. In May 2004, the cofounders attended TiEcon, a large annual conference in Silicon Valley held by TiE (formerly The Indus Entrepreneurs) to foster entrepreneurship. TiE was founded in Silicon Valley in 1992 by eight entrepreneurs from India, and by 2011, it was a global network of entrepreneurs and professionals with 54 chapters in 13 countries with more than 13,000 members. At TiEcon, the trio pitched their company to potential investors, but found it was too early stage to garner much VC interest. However, they did meet Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman of Cambrian Ventures, which had a $25 million seed fund for technology

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