Fred Wilson found it. His popular “A VC” blog earned him years’ worth of pageviews and comments from William Mougayar, founder of Engag.io, who Wilson would go on to back. Mougayar and Engag.io just nabbed a $540,000 seed round to launch his new product from investors including Wilson (who was first in), Rho Canada, Real Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Michael Yavonditte and Extreme Venture Partners.
“I got inspired from my participation on the blog,” Mougayar said. “A relationship formed over time.”
During his years with Canadian SaaS platform Eqentia—the first startup the entrepreneur launched—he would pop by Wilson’s office in New York for a visit from time to time. They kept in touch, and last October, when Mougayar spawned the idea for how to compartmentalize the way social consumers engage with the web so that a broader array of an individual’s digital DNA can be made accessible from a single platform—for both user and marketers. Wilson tested it out privately in December, and it was a hit.
To both consumers and marketers, there are big advantages to a fully-unified social messaging platform. It makes managing a personal communication network simpler for people and offers advertisers a deeper impression of a consumer’s potential purchasing decisions, thanks to the enhanced depth of social content.
“Part of it is about getting lots of data,” Mougayar acknowledges.
Like Mougayar’s last gig with Eqentia, this one with Engag.io will be based in Toronto. However—joining a wave of startups increasingly looking to expand their footprint out of Silicon Valley—he said his company will use New York City for “a launchpad for the US,” adding that with the round of funding, “we’re going to have a spurt of hiring.”