CEO David Dunham
Updated 14 May 2018: VNC learned Grabbr recently closed a capital raise at about $1.1MM, clearing the decks for a planned fresh $5MM A-round, for which CIM Securities LLC has been chosen to advise. Meanwhile, Business Williamson reported Ingram Industries has taken what VNC understands to be a minority stake in the company. Daniel Langston has been designated to serve in the role of CEO. -Ed.
DAVID DUNHAM, co-founder and CEO of a Franklin-based social-marketing referral platform, says the startup has previously raised $2.2MM and recently began a further $1MM Series Seed raise.
That Seed is likely to be followed by a $3MM Series A round.
Meanwhile, the company is also earnestly exploring a possible Reg A+ securities offering, Dunham said. That process is likely to begin by the end of 1Q 2018, with an as-yet undisclosed target range.
The company is in the process of rebranding to Grabbr from its original BookGrabbr Inc. brand, a move that reflects its expanded interest in Music, Financial, Medical and Retail verticals, as well as publishing. The emerging Grabbr site is here.
The Grabbr platform allows marketers of goods and services to create and launch customized marketing campaigns that engage customers and referrers via a current 195 social media platforms, as well as via targeted emails and texts, QR codes, BlueTooth and NRC Beacon proximity assets.
Recipients who share information about a given sponsored offering with others in their personal networks then earn rewards determined by each campaign owner.
The company says its proprietary "MAXalgorithm" allows the platform to provide data quantifying the impact and "true monetary value" of individual social channels employed for a given campaign.
In addition to the CEO, Grabbr's co-founders are his son Joel Dunham, who is its chief strategy officer; and, COO Daniel Langston. Together, the co-founders have controlling interest in the company, which has attracted about 20 investors.
The company's advisors include investment bankers with Wellington Shields and attorneys with Wilson Sonsini, as well as attorney Alex Davie of Riggs Davie in Nashville.
The startup currently banks with Regions and with Pinnacle Financial, and its accounting is with Monroe, La.-based Gardner Langston CPAs, in which COO Langston's father is a partner.
Reg A+ securities crowdfunding allows companies to conduct mini-IPOs that, with varied tiers and conditions, may raise as much as $50MM per year. Such offerings are conducted under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act (2012, as amended in 2015).
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance's Securities division received notice of 14 such filings in 2016 and has received 21 filings to date this year, a spokesman for the state agency told Venture Nashville today.
A November 2016 SEC report showed aggregated classes of Reg A+ raises had averaged $18MM each to that point. Earlier this year, Manhattan Street Capital reported 32 companies had successfully raised $396MM under the JOBS-authorized program, with the majority of that raised by arguably more mature companies within the Reg A+ Tier 2.
VNC research suggests the numbers of Reg A+ filings is widely expected to rise as entrepreneurs and others become more familiar with its workings.
Dunham, who's been in the Nashville area 29 years, said he expects its near-term investor recruitment to come from Angel ranks, and he confirmed that Nashville Capital Network is among targeted networks.
He noted that he and his team have strong ties to corporates, as well, and when asked, he confirmed that Ingram Content Group is a logical potential partner.
Dunham said his company's near-term capital raises will used to add as many as 10 developers to its staff, reflecting demand for API connectivity with major corporate partners; and, for ramping-up its sales and marketing program.
The CEO said the company now has 6 FTE inhouse, plus about five developers. According to LinkedIn, Alex Ramos is the company's chief technology officer.
BookGrabbr's current customers include Chicago-based ReaderLink, as well as Barnes & Noble and Babies'R'Us, said the CEO.
The ReaderLink site avers, "ReaderLink is the largest full-service distributor of hardcover, trade and paperback books to non-trade channel booksellers in North America, including the biggest names in retail across multiple retail channels."
The Grabbr website includes favorable comments from Lou Ferrigno (Ferrigno Fit), Michael Hyatt (former Chairman and CEO Thomas Nelson Publishers) and Liz Perl (CMO, Simon & Schuster).
David Dunham, 65, is an alumnus of Baylor University. Prior to his latest round of entrepreneurial pursuits, he served as SVP and Group Publisher with Thomas Nelson Publishers. His LinkedIn is here.
After resigning from Thomas Nelson a decade ago, he formed The Dunham Group, a strategy and development agency that served the publishing and entertainment sectors.
Joel Dunham, who also previously worked at Thomas Nelson, served with Dunham Group as VP sales and development, according to his LinkedIn.