Consensus Point sets B-round, reveals Euro partnership
By Milt Capps Updated 11:25 a.m.
Consensus Point LLC, the Nashville-based predictive-markets provider, is preparing a B-round capital raise to accelerate its growth.In addition, Consensus Point got a potential marketing boost earlier today, when London-based ally Logica PLC launched its new Futurescope predictive market portal, "powered by" Consensus Point's technology.
Consensus Point enterprise technology and services, delivered in the software-as-a-service model, enable clients to use consensus – in-line with the principle of "the wisdom of crowds" or "collective intelligence" – among corporate or issue stakeholders to identify and mitigate risks, generate innovation opportunities, project demand for goods and services and shape product offerings.
The Consensus Point Foresight technology portfolio includes a simulated trading market, through which employees, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders "buy or sell" ideas and scenarios.
Consensus Point CEO Linda Rebrovick told VNC in recent interview that the company is preparing to raise $1-$2 million, as a follow-on to the $750,000 the company raised from individuals in an earlier round.
Rebrovick said she expects the money to come from Angels and venture-capital funds, possibly including one or more of the new TNInvestco funds.
Rebrovick said Consensus Point's individual investors currently include, in addition to herself, investor Crom Carmichael; Lee Beaman, president of Beaman Automotive Group; Robert Lipman, CEO of Lipman Bros. liquor and wine wholesaler; Corey Cleek, CEO of ULoop; Frank Grant, Cisco's Nashville-based sales chief; and, Kestrel Asset Private Equity Fund. At least one other local investor declined to be identified for this story.
Consensus Point Co-founder David Perry (at left) is president of the company; and, Co-founder Ken Kittlitz is chief technology officer. The pair began implementing predictive-markets technologies more than 15 years ago.
Rebrovick said Consensus Point projects having 140 employees in 2014, and currently has nine full-time employees, including herself, plus a contractor and a consultant. The company's offices are at 211 7th Ave. N., in Nashville.
Rebrovick was recruited by investors to lead the newly reconstituted firm just over a year ago, and she has since beefed-up personnel and used her personal corporate and consulting network to win, among other things, a role for the company in the Logica's latest marketing and services initiative.
Rebrovick's apparently world-class network includes former fellow Bearingpoint executive alumna Amanda Mesler, who was recently appointed Logica's first chief client officer and relocated to Europe, after serving as CEO of Logica's Houston-based North American operation.
Logica's Futurescope partners include The Economist, the London-based business magazine; and, New York City-based BigThink, which offers and online global forum connecting people and ideas.
Rebrovick told VNC the Logica connection creates "a global footprint for Consensus Point," in that Logica is believed to be the "first example of a global business service company offering a public insight and prediction market," open to 40,000 Logica employees, Logica clients, subject-matter experts and most others who register at the FutureScope site launched earlier today.
Logica will initially, use the FutureScope market to support clients exploring an array of "sustainability" issues and themes. Logica's global information technology and business services are offered to enable clients to pursue the opportunities and problems they discover.
Rebrovick said Consensus Point has experienced strong growth in the past year, but declined to provide details on revenue and profitability.
Prior to taking the CEO slot at Consensus Point, Rebrovick consulted to Consensus Point, and was a principal with founder-husband Art Rebrovick in NMG Advisers, a consulting and advisory company now based on West End Avenue. Earlier, she was Nashville-based vice president of healthcare sales at Dell Inc.; chief marketing officer of Bearingpoint, a consultancy formed by her fellow former KPMG executives; and, held senior sales positions with IBM.
Among numerous local roles, Rebrovick is a member of the board of directors of HealthStream, a former chair of the Nashville Technology Council and a member of Leadership Nashville's Class of 1993. She said she also recently joined the board of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
Also associated with the company are Chief Scientist Robin Hanson, who is widely considered the pioneer of prediction markets usage, as early as 1989; Rebecca Whitehead Munn, a former Cisco and Healthways executive who is SVP-Sales; and, Brad Wilson, vice president of Consensus Point services, as well as a former Dell and Bearingpoint executive.
Consensus Point's Forefront tech platform is used by clients including Ingenix, which claims the first comprehensive prediction market focused on healthcare. Best Buy, CNBC, General Electric, General Mills, Motorola, Overstock.com and the Department of Defense are among others who have drawn on Consensus Point, according to the company.
CFO.com recently reported on Motorola's results from using Consensus Point technology to drive its Think Tank Idea Exchange (TIX), quoting Motorola executives as saying the return on the company's overall investment – including less
than $100,000 paid for Consensus Point's Forefront technology – has proven to be five to ten times the company's spend, based on what the company described as a conservative estimate.
Among other applications, predictive markets could be used by companies seeking to identify high-leverage innovation or spin-out opportunities within its own operations or intellectual property.
Such a strategy was introduced by entrepreneur and investor Mike Shmerling in a 2008 Venture Nashville article.
Subsequently, XMi High Growth Development Fund General Manager Jim Phillips told VNC his TNInvestco-certified fund is actively exploring ways to use that innovation concept, but has provided no details. Resource: The Predict Markets Cluster, Silicon Valley. ♦