Intersouth Partners was initially introduced to the founders of SmartPath through the Research Triangle entrepreneurial community. That relationship would endure, as Intersouth subsequently funded founders Ken Romley and Dave Babson, who were soon joined by Mike Doernberg, through three start-up companies, starting with Burl Software, which was acquired by MicroFocus in 1994.
This founding team has energy, said Mitch Mumma, who worked with the founders on all three companies. They’re true entrepreneurs and they like building companies. We supported the management team when they were very early in the process each time we trusted them, we liked them and we believed in them as individuals.
Next up for the founders was the Marathon Group, out of which SmartPath was borne. When they sold the Marathon Group to Merant (NASDAQ: MRNT) in 1999, a piece of the marketing resource management technology was spun out into a new company, which ultimately became SmartPath. Intersouth was involved in the spinout as a shareholder, and provided both A and B rounds of funding, along with friends and family of the company.
SmartPaths MRM solution allows companies to more effectively manage the planning and budgeting, development, management, distribution and measurement of all their marketing initiatives facilitating speed to market with more effective use of resources.
John Glushik of Intersouth served as a board member for SmartPath and worked with the founders as they built the company into a recognized industry leader. The company was lauded by analysts and landed dozens of recognized clients, including Victoria’s Secret, the National Geographic Society, Novartis, Kohler and GlaxoSmithKline.
In late 2003, as SmartPath searched for partners to help drive the sales of its MRM solution, the company started to field acquisition offers. In March 2004, DoubleClick announced its intent to acquire SmartPath. The acquisition, finalized later that same month, was the third successful exit for the management team with Intersouth as its backer.
“As a board member, John was instrumental in helping us create value and ultimately in finding and delivering on the right M&A opportunity,” says SmartPath CEO Mike Doernberg. “The way you know you have a good partner is how well they handle the tough times and there are always tough times. Intersouth is a great partner.”