CampusLIVE, a Boston-based company founded by 2003 graduate Jared Stenquist, recently closed a $3.1-million round of venture funding from Highland Capital Partners and Charles River Ventures.
The Series A financing is being led by Bob Davis, General Partner for Highland Capital Partners, and Jon Auerbach, General Partner for Charles River Ventures. Both will be joining the Board of Directors for CampusLIVE.
"CampusLIVE has successfully altered the advertising model for brands to connect and engage with college students," said Davis.
CampusLIVE uses social networking tools to get advertisers in front of a key demographic: college-aged consumers who live their lives and make their purchasing decisions online, rather than being influenced by traditional media including print newspapers, television and radio. By engaging this elusive audience where they live and work in a manner completely authentic to their online lives, CampusLIVE delivers measurable and actionable results to its brand partners.
"We are excited to be working with two of the premier venture firms in the world," said the 26-year-old Stenquist, CampusLIVE's founder and Chief Technology Officer. "The investment shows an incredible commitment and confidence from Highland and Charles River in both the CampusLIVE business model and our collective vision for the future of interactive marketing."
CampusLIVE plans to use the investment to scale its platform to foster partnerships with larger scale national brands looking to connect directly with the all important youth market. CampusLIVE has built a network which includes over 300 colleges and universities nationwide, and Stenquist expects to expand that network to 600 colleges and beyond by the end of 2011.
Stenquist founded the company in 2008 in his UMass-Amherst dorm room as a service to enable students to better connect with on- and off-campus resources, and his work proved immediately profitable. Sensing the broader commercial potential of his vision, Stenquist left UMass to focus all of his energy on what he believed was going to be a game changer for companies and advertising agencies. He later recruited his brother, Mark Stenquist, and UMass classmate and Sherborn native Mike Miklavic to the team. They spent their efforts evolving and improving the original vision into the broader based marketing platform that is proving so successful today.
And the company's success hasn't gone unnoticed. CampusLIVE has grown from one person three years ago to 20 today and has earned praise from businesspeople and politicians alike. Jared Stenquist was named one of BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Best Young Entrepreneurs” in 2008 and was honored by Gov. Deval Patrick as an “Emerging Entrepreneur” in 2009.
CampusLIVE has successfully executed marketing promotions and programs for established national and regional brands including American Airlines, Foxwoods Resort Casino, the United States Marine Corps, Hotelplanner.com and Ace Ticket, among others. The next few weeks will see the launch of numerous additional brands and challenges, expanding the offering significantly.