Cursive Labs, a San Diego-based venture studio, recently announced the closing of its $2.2 million Series A round. The company’s mission is to create a better way to start and scale valuable technology ventures. By incubating and growing several of its own ideas with its world-class internal team of technology and marketing experts, Cursive diversifies its risk across multiple companies while instilling objectivity and processes when determining whether to invest more heavily in a venture or to shutter it.
Co-founder Ryan Bettencourt stated, “We really believe in the venture studio model because it is a great way to leverage a proven team across a broader set of endeavors. This inherently creates a dynamic learning organization whose customer-centric approach leads to the deployment of superior products in the market.”
While the “technology incubator” or “startup foundry” model is not new, Cursive’s team and investors believe its approach is unique. In addition to adhering to a strict, metrics-driven process of taking its ventures through their Ideation, Incubation & Growth phases, the company is governed by a highly prescriptive economic structure that strives to create ongoing capital distributions to shareholders while also creating additional working capital to fund Cursive’s current and future ventures.
Adds co-founder Jon Belmonte, “Cursive’s approach reflects a total commitment to making objective decisions based on real customer and revenue traction. This ensures we are only spending time on ideas and endeavors our customers find valuable. And our reinvestment approach creates a more evergreen way to build repeatable company creation and more exit opportunities for shareholders.”
Participants in Cursive Labs’ Series A round include prominent investors Crescent Ridge Partners Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Howard Lindzon of Social Leverage, Keshif Ventures, Bootstrap Incubation and others that have been key to growing the San Diego and Southern California startup ecosystems in recent years.
“I’ve known the founding team for several years and am confident in their ability to build something truly unique and valuable here,” said Allison Long Pettine, Founding Partner of Crescent Ridge Partners Ventures. “They have the right mix of vision, expertise and ability to execute that has been developed through their past wins. I share the team’s enthusiasm and optimism this is a model that will create successful technology companies quickly and efficiently in San Diego.”
The company already has two products in the market - exit discovery platform Spoutable and event affiliate platform Bumblecast. Spoutable has already graduated to the Growth phase having shown impressive operating metrics, customer adoption and revenue growth with its unique digital advertising platform.
Cursive Labs’ co-founding team is made up of experienced entrepreneurs, including the former CEO/COO and the former head of technology of Active Network (ACTV: $1B take-private in 2013) and leadership from digital-telepathy, KidZui (acquired), CellarThief (acquired) and Blurtopia.