ATIBA Software is the majority owner of newly formed SLK Digital LLC, which seeks to buy digital businesses and assets, Atiba founder-owner JJ Rosen confirmed for VNC.
FiledBy, an online portal for authors and allied creatives, is SLK's first acquisition and SLK is its sole owner, Rosen confirmed. He declined to discuss other SLK owners or the details of the FiledBy transaction, as did FiledBy co-founder Peter Clifton and John Chadwick, who is the managing director of Claritas Capital, which invested in FiledBy three years ago. Claritas advised Rosen on the transaction, he said.
FiledBy is currently positioned as a nexus for readers, authors, illustrators, photographers, editors, narrators and other book contributors, according to the site.
Now, in order to grow revenue from the FiledBy platform, Rosen said he intends to "partner with other companies to syndicate both our data and feature set to other sites, license the platform" and market it as software as a service (SaaS).
More broadly, SLK is interested in acquiring interests in further "website properties that already have revenue and can benefit from technical efficiencies to become profitable," Rosen explained. Atiba's recent clients have included SESAC, NewsChannel 5 (WTVF, CBS) and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Rosen, 41, and Atiba aren't strangers to deals: Rosen's Angel-style personal investing has included Entrada (revenue-cycle), Industrial Data Systems, Plumgood Foods, Fantasy Brand Marketing, GiveAGift, BlueJar and GoodJob, he confirmed. In addition, Atiba previously acquired Genisys Systems Group (networking); and, over the years Rosen has recruited such entrepreneurs as Chip Gallent, Scott Smith and Joe Baltimore, as previously reported by VNC. Atiba now has about 40 employees.
Rosen confirmed that veteran Atiba employee Will Daly will oversee FiledBy's day-to-day operations. FiledBy was previously a development client of 19-year-old Atiba and FiledBy's primary designer is Nashville-based Cabedge, led by Chris Blanz, Rosen explained. SLK was chartered with the state in May, according to records online.
Both Clifton's and FiledBy co-founder Michael Shatzkin's LinkedIn pages indicate they remain associated with FiledBy as co-founders. Former FiledBy marketing director Chase Pattison left the company in 2010 to join Entrada, which is also a Claritas portfolio company.
Prior to conceiving FiledBy in 2007, Clifton's career included serving as president-CEO of a division of Ingram Content Group and as CEO of RR Bowker's PubEasy e-commerce unit. He has also held roles with SegaSoft and HarperCollins and spent more than a decade in new-media with John Wiley Sons.
"We are big fans of JJ and Atiba, and are glad SLK now owns FiledBy," Chadwick told VNC, after deferring to Rosen on questions about the FiledBy transaction.
Claritas' current portfolio includes several digital media companies, among them Edo Interactive and Dobie Media; the VC firm also previously invested in and exited StudioNow (which sold to AOL) and MyOutdoorTV (sold to Outdoor Channel Holdings, scroll down here).
Claritas eyes further digital-media targets: "We have several [prospects] in our pipeline, with one in due diligence," said Chadwick. Claritas' are "pretty evenly divided right now between health care and technology companies, with digital media being one subcategory of technology."
Neither Chadwick nor Rosen would comment on the likelihood of Atiba-Claritas collaborating further on digital-venture investments, although Rosen indicated Claritas is likely to advise SLK on future acquisitions.
Asked the origins of the acquisition company's name, SLK, Rosen explained that the initials were chosen to honor a beloved young family member, who had recently passed away.
Rosen's roles within the entrepreneurial community include mentoring via JumpStart Foundry. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and of University School of Nashville. VNC