Tech Target – Profile
HQ: Needham, MA
Management: For CEO, Greg Strakosh, who hails from the storage industry, the painfully dull coverage of TechTarget must seem porn-like. Other managers are refugees from nearby IDG, the World’s most boring, yet lucrative publisher.
Investors: Polaris Venture Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures invested $70M in June 2004. The company had previously raised $30M in series A funding. TechTarget was a spin-off from United Communications Group. EMC co-founder Roger Marino is an investor and sits on the board – ensuring that EMC will get great coverage.
Business Model: TechTarget runs 21 Web sites, sets up conferences, and publishes trade magazines for specialized fields such as data storage and information security. Expected to report $50M in revenue in 2004, up 52% from $33M in 2003. Will use cash to grow internationally.
Competitors: CNET, IDG, Ziff-Davis
Dirt: Meckler Media founder Alan Meckler recently castigated Alan Spoon, managing general partner of Polaris Ventures and former president of Washington Post Co., pigeon-holing him as a proven failure who might be dooming TechTarget by his very presence. Meckler also wonders, as do we, why TechTarget even raised $70M, now that we’re supposedly in a new era of financial probity? Enormous private rounds of this nature give us pause because they often back companies into an unfortunate situation — one where investors push hard for an IPO (and a path to liquidity), even if the fundamentals of a sustainable business are not in place.