SM: Let’s discuss your financial history, in the final segment of the conversation. Who financed the company at the very beginning? I assume it was some of Neal’s Capital IQ proceeds that went into Inform.
JS: It was friends and family, yes.
SM: Did you raise Venture money? How much? From whom?
JS: Inform is capitalized with approximately $15 million. Stephens Group, which makes principal investments on behalf of the Stephens family ranging from minority positions in public and private companies to outright acquisitions, and The Oklahoma Publishing Company, controlled by the Gaylord family, which makes investments in a broad range of industries, including real estate, hospitality, media, entertainment, and communications. OPUBCO invests in media and technology and owns The Oklahoman.
SM: What stage are you at now?
JS: Our most recent stage of funding was Series B, announced in early 2006.
SM: It’s interesting, I don’t see any of the well-known venture investors in your roster.
JS: We have not had the occasion to offer participation to traditional VCs yet.
SM: Well, I think one of the questions traditional VCs would have on this kind of a project is around Total Available Market. How big can this be? In my opinion, if you can figure out a way to include the smaller publishers in your target market, then you would have a much larger market.
JS: We are working on it. But we also have a lot of applications in the information services segments, on the enterprise side. Anybody who needs to do research could use a product like this, and we can cater to this audience through the major information services providers in various verticals.
SM: Jim, good luck. I like this!