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Cloudmark – Profile

July 9, 2004

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HQ: San Francisco, CA
Founded: 2002
Management: Superband concept: take the reunited Guns & Roses or Asia as your analogy. Here Jordon Ridder – the pudgy co-founder of Napster – has hooked up with the highly-sweatered Vipul Ved Prakash, former Napster programmer and author of the open-source Vipul’s Razor anti-spam software. They are presided over by CEO Karl Jacob – former CEO of Keen, an advice site. We met with Jacob before he took the helm at Keen – he says the right things and has the experience of a grizzled Internet exec. But he can’t be too keen on the way Keen turned out — Jacob got the boot.
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Jordon Ritter
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Vipul Ved Prakash
Investors: Raised $4.5M in seed capital from Ignition Partners in 3Q2003.
Model: Cloudmark is Napster meets the spam Orkin man. The company applies the peer-to-peer model to killing spam. Spamnet is getting rave reviews and 1M downloads to date. In contrast to leading spam products like Symantec Brightmail, Cloudmark is acclaimed for not doing heavyhanded white lists and black lists.
Competitors: This space is crowded with the likes of Mailfrontier, Qurb, TSA, Sunbelt Software, DigiPortal Software, Vanquish, SpamInspector, and Brightmail (recently acquired by Symantec).
Additional Dirt: Lots of white meat on the table for these guys. Even though they are selling to the online subscription- averse consumer market, they have a relatively easy upsell from trial to member at $40 a year. Even at expected low single digit conversion rates, viral traffic should put them quickly into the 100k’s of subs.

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