FSAstore.com Closes More Than $2 Million Financing

Second round financing led by Originate Ventures includes additional investment from previous investors Point Judith Capital and the Lang Fund of Columbia Business School

NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — FSAstore.com, the only e-commerce site exclusively stocked with Flexible Spending Account (FSA) eligible products and services, closed its second round financing of more than $2 Million. The financing, led by Originate Ventures, includes investment from previous investors Point Judith Capital and Columbia Business School Lang Fund, as well as additional angel investors.

The funding will be used to accelerate sales, marketing and development initiatives, as the company continues to expand to meet growing consumer demand for its products and services. FSAstore.com enables consumers with Flexible Spending Accounts to use their tax-free dollars to purchase more than 6,000 healthcare products and browse hundreds of services directly from the website. FSAstore.com partners directly with FSA Administrators (TPAs) to make a wide range of health products, tools, and services directly available to FSA holders.

“We are thrilled that Originate Ventures, a leading early stage investor in the healthcare sector, is joining our existing investors in our latest financing round, which will provide us with the resources necessary to expand our operations to meet the rapidly growing demand for our products and services,” said Jeremy Miller, FSAstore.com founder and president.

“In just two years FSAstore.com has shown impressive results in the development of its TPA network, new product initiatives such as their prescription service, and strong customer satisfaction and retention,” said Glen Bressner, Managing Partner at Originate Ventures. “We look forward to our partnership and to helping the company build toward the next stage of service to TPAs and consumers.”

“The ability to use FSA tax-free income to purchase thousands of high quality healthcare products and services is a tremendous advantage for consumers and an important opportunity for TPAs to meet plan member needs, especially during tough economic times,” said David Martirano, co-founder & general partner at Point Judith Capital. “FSA Store is ideally positioned to expand operations as interest in this purchasing option continues to expand, and we are committed to their long term success.”

About FSAstore.com

FSAstore.com is the only one-stop-ecommerce site exclusively stocked with FSA eligible products and services, eliminating the guesswork regarding what is reimbursable by an FSA. Consumers who have Flexible Spending Accounts can access more than 6,000 high quality FSA eligible products, in addition to FSA eligible services and much needed information through our FSA Learning Center. FSAstore.com accepts all FSA and major credit cards, offers 24/7 customer service, one-to-two-day turnaround for all orders, and free shipping on orders $50+. In addition there is no need to submit receipts for consumers who purchase products on FSAstore.com using an FSA card.

About Originate Ventures

Originate Ventures is a venture capital investment firm, targeting early stage product and services companies located in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region. The firm focuses on opportunities with medical devices, healthcare, consumer, information technology, Web-based and commercial products. Operating with an entrepreneurial spirit and vision, Originate’s investments range in size from $500,000 to $4,000,000.

We believe our brand building techniques and experience uniquely permit us to accelerate growth and reduce additional capital rounds, allowing founding entrepreneurs to retain more ownership. Our almost three decades of experience, in over 60 categories, also allows us to better identify and assist in creating strong brands. Finally, we take pride in being entrepreneurs first, though the partners have strong track records as business owners and management consultants. http://www.originateventures.com.

About Point Judith Capital

Point Judith Capital (PJC) is a leading early stage venture capital firm based in Boston, MA. The firm focuses on three rapidly growing sectors rich with innovation: Clean Technology, Internet Technology, and Healthcare Technology. Building positive and collaborative relationships with portfolio company management, the Point Judith Capital Partners take a hands-on approach to investing. PJC’s investment approach is based on the core belief that with the right capital and support, great entrepreneurs can build market-leading companies. For more information about Point Judith Capital visit www.pointjudithcapital.com.

CMP.LY Closes $2.4M Series A for Social Media Compliance Services

A New York start-up that helps businesses adhere to laws around marketing and communications via social media, CMP.LY, closed a $2.4 million Series A round led by Innovation Ventures and Originate Ventures and joined by angel investors Jay Baer and Steve Garfield, VentureWire has learned.

Compliance issues are becoming of greater concern to brands, says Tom Chernaik, the founder and chief executive of CMP.LY. In landmark cases, the U.S. Federal Trade Commisssion and the “court of public opinion” have already strongly weighed in on companies’ uses of social media, he notes. In one case, Ann Taylor Loft (a brand owned by ANN Inc.) gave bloggers gift cards to compel positive posts about their products. In another, Reverb Communications Inc.-an agency representing digital media brands like MTV Games and Ignition Entertainment-posted shill reviews in the iTunes store.

CMP.LY’s technology monitors and documents a company’s official social media interactions. Its platform automatically attaches and publishes required disclosures within status updates and blog posts by a marketer using it. The CMP.LY disclosure attachment may appear as a short URL in a character-limited Tweet. On blogs, where a company has paid a blogger to review their products, for example, or where a company is running a contest, the CMP.LY disclosure may include a badge (or “icon”) and short link to a detailed disclosure.

CMP.LY’s new capital will primarily go toward hiring top-notch developers and building mobile products and services tailored for health and finance industry clients, Mr. Chernaik reports. The company also plans to invest in programs to educate professionals, including brand managers, search- advertising and public-relations executives, and attorneys, about evolving regulatory issues.

Currently based in New York City’s Grind, a co-work space for tech entrepreneurs and creatives, CMP.LY now employs eight people full time and boasts twenty paying clients.

With the Series A funding, David J. Freschman, managing principal of Innovation Ventures, and Eric Arnson, managing partner of Originate Ventures, join CMP.LY’s board of directors. CMPLY’s earlier seed investors included Safir Capital, Angel Street Capital and others.

Mr. Freschman told VentureWire he encountered CMP.LY first at an event he hosts, Early Stage East, and was immediately struck by the company’s concept and technology.

“It’s an efficient, compelling proposition for professionals who have to deal with regulatory and compliance issues around social media campaigns as they become ubiquitous and necessary to doing business,” he said.


RightsFlow Purchased by Google

BETHLEHEM, PA  December 12, 2011,  Originate Ventures is pleased to announce today that Google purchased RightsFlow.

Google purchased RightsFlow (see announcement below) as part of its global strategy to extend their presence in the music and video markets, and provide a platform for new growth initiatives. RightsFlow’s team is uniquely qualified with its licensing and royalty technology platform designed for the digital music, interactive media, Internet, and entertainment markets. The leadership team, led by Patrick Sullivan, has proven to be exceptionally nimble in successfully redefining and automating a mature market. They also created a wonderful Company culture, just recognized last week as one of the top 10 places to work in NYC!

Google Acquires Music-Royalty Manager RightsFlow

By Ethan Smith

Mountain View, Calif.

YouTube said it has acquired RightsFlow Inc., a small company backed by Originate Ventures that tracks and processes royalty payments to songwriters and music publishers.

The acquisition gives YouTube, a video-sharing service owned by Google Inc., access to technology to help it manage its relationship with one of the most fragmented and unwieldy parts of the music industry: music publishing. Music publishing concerns the copyrights on songs’ lyrics and melodies, as distinct from a particular recording of a given song.

Music publishers have long made money collecting large numbers of small royalty payments. That dynamic has been accelerated as music consumption has moved from CD sales and commercial radio airplay to digital downloads and online streaming via YouTube and services such as Spotify AB.

Where a single CD sale might generate around $1 in publishing royalties, an individual song download generates a royalty of about 9 cents. A single stream of a song on YouTube or Spotify generates just fractions of a cent for the writer of the song.

Managing royalties amid such fragmentation has proven difficult. In the RightsFlow statement, Chief Executive Patrick Sullivan said YouTube “shares in our vision of solving the really challenging problem of copyright management.”

Terms weren’t disclosed. A Google spokeswoman declined to make executives available or to comment beyond statements posted on a YouTube blog and RightsFlow’s website. The statements didn’t say how, if at all, the Google acquisition could affect RightsFlow’s working relationships with other online music services.

Music publishers have long felt slighted by YouTube and other technology companies that feature music on their online services. Typically such companies have devoted significant time, energy and money to securing licenses from record companies and have sought publishing deals later, if at all. Owning RightsFlow could help YouTube regain a steadier relationship with publishers by ensuring more timely, accurate payments.

YouTube’s blog posting said in part: “By combining RightsFlow’s expertise and technology with YouTube’s platform, we hope to more rapidly and efficiently license music on YouTube, meaning more music for you all to enjoy, and more money for the talented people producing the music.”

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