The Rise of On-Demand Marketplace Companies
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
On September 23, Scripted.com, Crosslink Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank will host a panel discussion on the current state of on-demand marketplaces featuring some of the industry's top influencers. Marketplace businesses are changing the landscape of the workforce and there's a select group of companies that are focused on improving efficiency through technology. The discussion will focus on current industry trends, data and predictions of future growth. The panelists are:
• Melody McCloskey, CEO & Co-founder of StyleSeat
• James Currier, Co-founder of Ooga Labs
• Hunter Walk, Partner at Homebrew VC
• Gary Swart, Partner at Polaris Partners
• Sunil Rajaraman, CEO at Scripted.com (Moderator)
Panelists bios are listed below:
Melody McCloskey is co-founder and CEO of StyleSeat, the largest online marketplace for beauty and wellness services. Prior to StyleSeat, Melody led digital distribution for Current TV. In 2011, after feeling frustrated that there was no easy way to book beauty appointments while on the go, Melody founded StyleSeat with her business partner Dan Levine. More than 200,000 beauty professionals in nearly 15,000 cities use the platform today and more than 5.5 million beauty appointments were booked through StyleSeat in 2013 alone. Melody was recently named by Fast Company as one of its Most Creative People in Business 2014.
James Currier is a three-time CEO and the Co-Founder of Ooga Labs, an accelerator and investment company in Palo Alto focused on marketplaces and networks. Ooga Labs portfolio includes Angelist, Wanelo, Lyft, GoodReads, Poshmark, Path, Honeybook, Life360, 3D Robotics, and PandoMedia. Prior to Ooga Labs, James was Co-Founder of gaming company WonderHill, and of Tickle, one of the early viral media companies. James runs the NFX conference, an invite-only event which brings together the top marketplace and network CEO's and investors. James is a graduate of Phillips Exeter, Princeton and Harvard Business School, and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. More info at http://www.oogalabs.com
Before Homebrew, I led consumer product management at YouTube, starting when it was acquired by Google. I originally joined Google in 2003, managing product and sales efforts for AdSense, Google‘s contextual advertising business. My first job in Silicon Valley was as the founding product and marketing guy at Linden Lab. Before graduate school, I was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O‘ Brien. My parents are proud of my BA in History from Vassar and MBA from Stanford University.
Gary Swart will join Polaris Partners as a Venture Partner in September, 2014. He was previously the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace with more than one million clients and five million freelancers. Gary guided the company to industry leadership and through a merger with Elance, while serving as a leading voice for the future of work and the emerging online work industry.
Prior to oDesk, Gary was the VP of Worldwide Sales for Intellibank, responsible for building the direct and indirect sales organization and channel development. Previous to Intellibank, he was a Business Unit Executive for IBM’s Rational Software Product Group. Gary joined IBM through the acquisition of Rational Software where he ran Western Field Operations and held a number of other senior management positions, including Americas Medium Business Leader, Area Manager, District Manager, and Director of Telesales. Prior to Rational Gary held a number of sales, management, and leadership positions with Pure Software, subsequently Pure-Atria, which previously merged with Rational.
Gary serves as a thought leader on the future of work, how best to hire and manage teams, and on the rise of the “freelance economy.” He has spoken at the Inc. Leadership Conference, The Economist’s Ideas Economy Panel, SXSW , TechCrunch 50, GigaOM Net:Work, and at HBS – which teaches a case study on oDesk. His commentary has appeared in a variety of publications including LinkedIn, Forbes, TechCrunch, The Washington Post and The Next Web. And he’s appeared on TV and radio outlets, including CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg TV, National Public Radio, Startups Uncensored, NPR, and the Fox Business Network. Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
Sunil Rajaraman (Moderator)
Sunil Rajaraman is the founder and CEO of Scripted.com, the leading provider of original written content. Scripted provides quality written content for thousands of customers —ranging from small businesses to large enterprise— through its curated user-base of expert writers. Sunil is an avid writer himself and has written for Techcrunch, Forbes, Gigaom, and Fast Company.
Crosslink Capital is a leading stage-independent venture capital and growth equity firm with roughly $1.6 billion in assets. Crosslink, which traces its roots back to 1989, was among the first and largest investment firms in the U.S. to integrate public and private growth/technology investing in three families of funds: venture capital funds, long/short hedge funds, and a unique hybrid crossover fund. This strategy allows Crosslink to partner with its portfolio companies on a long-term basis. With more than 20 years behind it, Crosslink Capital has invested in over 100 private equity portfolio companies, at the early, mid, and late stages including Pandora (NYSE: P), Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM), Omniture (acquired by Adobe Systems), Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), Carbonite (NASDAQ: CARB), BlueArc (acquired by Hitachi), SeaMicro (acquired by AMD), Bleacher Report (acquired by Turner Broadcasting), Flurry (acquired by Yahoo), Bizo (acquired by LinkedIn) DataStax, Intematix, Prosper, and Yipes (acquired by Reliance Communications). For more information on Crosslink, visit http://www.crosslinkcapital.com/.
Since 1999, the Redpoint team has been partnering with visionary founders who create new markets or redefine existing ones. From the earliest stages, Redpoint partners have supported over 350 companies, 44 IPOs and 73 upside acquisitions. Industry-defining investments include HomeAway, Fortinet, Qihoo, Right Media, Heroku, Netflix, Tivo, Juniper, among many others. Today, Redpoint manages over $3.3 billion across multiple funds and invests in disruptive founders and companies at the seed, early and growth stages.
Silicon Valley Bank
Banking the world's most innovative companies and exclusive wineries, SVB's diverse financial services, knowledge, global network, and world class service increase our clients' probability of success. With $33 billion in assets and more than 1,700 employees, we provide commercial, international and private banking through 34 locations worldwide. Forbes Magazine ranks us among America's Best Banks and Fortune considered SVB one of the best places to work.
Founded in 2011, Scripted.com is the leading provider of high quality, original written content for companies ranging from small businesses to large enterprise. Scripted receives a new writer application every 20 minutes but vets writers across multiple criteria before they are admitted into the marketplace, and its writer acceptance rate is 14% ensuring the highest quality product. Scripted is a venture-backed (Redpoint Ventures, Crosslink Capital), San Francisco-based company.