What Do Tijuana and Minneapolis Have In Common?

3D Robotics Iris Quadcopter

We believe great companies can be created anywhere.

When we started Foundry Group, we hypothesized that 33% of our investments would be in Colorado, 33% would be in California, 33% would be “everywhere else”, and 1% would be on Mars.

We still haven’t done the Mars one, but we remain optimistic about the possibility.

Today we’ve announced that we’ve made new investments in LeadPages (a company in Minneapolis) and 3D Robotics (a company in Tijuana, San Diego, and Berkeley). They were joined by our friends in Boulder at VictorOps (across the street from our office) who just raised a $6.5m financing.

Need a drone? That would be 3D Robotics.

Need split-test landing pages, launch pages, sales pages, and other conversion pages? That would be LeadPages.

Need your DevOps life to be less hellish? That would be VictorOps.

I love what we do.

  • Thanks, Brad! I laughed out loud reading this title.

    I’m about to write a blog post called:

    This “Hush Hush” Fling We’ve Been Having With Foundry Group And Arthur Ventures Is Now Legal … And What This Means For You (i.e. We Have $5 Million To Make LeadPages More Awesome For You)

    Anyway, we couldn’t be happier about this partnership. Working with Foundry has been a dream of ours for a while.

    Clay Collins
    Co-Founder of LeadPages™
    (Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN)

    This tweet will go down in company history: https://twitter.com/bfeld/status/364472257105502209

    • Hah! So psyched to be working with you. That Clarity.fm call seems like forever ago.

  • RBC

    Go MSP! As with Colorado there are a lot of food entreneurs in the Twin Cities. The next time you’re there you should check get a cone, and an IZZY scoop at http://www.izzysicecream.com, and also grab some amazing organic fish at my cousin’s restaurant, http://www.spoonriver.com

  • Eric Pierce

    Thanks for this Brad. I noticed that LeadPages offers a huge discount for signing up for a year, you obviously are far more seasoned in start up ventures, but that kind of discount is a red flag if I’m a buyer. Why would they offer such a discount for signing up for a year? It might say to an uneducated buyer that 1) their profit margin is enormous or 2) they are afraid of losing people after only one month because the product isn’t that good. My guess is that they have so much more to come in the next 12 months that they want as many people on board for a long period of time as possible. So these people participate in the upcoming advancements and there is no worry of them quitting after a month because the product is still basically an MVP. Thoughts?

    • Eric, good points.

      I think that is the land grab strategy and for this type of app it has caught many of our SyncApps subscribers attention in Asia and also worked well for us back in ’10 to gain a huge number of subscribers for our MVP. Course, we no longer offer huge discounts except to nonprofits.


    • I’m a big fan of the meaningful discount for signing up for a year as a bootstrapping strategy. This is the first financing LeadPages has done and they’ve built a very substantial business without raising any money. The “pay up front for a year” has helped them do this. Expect the discount to narrow a lot going forward.

  • You guys are the kings of diversification…made me think of Mad Cramer on Mad Money:)

    Our team just pinged me on this one the other day as they try to solve a client issue in Hong Kong: http://www.leadpages.net/products/

    Looks cool Brad & team:)


  • Some differences are marked and what it can create something unique.

  • CrunkGeek

    Typo in title. Should be: “What Do Tijuana and Minneapolis Have In Common?”.

  • I feel like if I hang around you blog long enough, I’ll have a tool you’ve invested in for every aspect of our business 😛 I’ve seen multiple competitors in this space (LeadPages), but I *LOVE* the fact you can push the static pages to your own servers. I haven’t done much in depth research on the competition, but everyone I’ve dealt with locks you into their platform and has you handle custom URLs and more advanced usage through their interface, which is incredibly annoying to me.

    Can’t wait to take this for a whirl.

    Quick bit of constructive feedback: Does the 6 minute intro video seem a bit much to you? You noted they’ve built stable revenue pre-financing (IMPRESSIVE), so I guess it’s working, but everything we’ve learned (see: http://wistia.com/learning) says to do otherwise. What do you think? (*EDIT* – to clarify, I mean the length of the video. The actual video itself seems great!)

    • Also… I love the tactic they’re using in their templates, challenging the world to out-perform them and incorporating the best ones. That’s such a great strategy, and reminds me of hubspot, wistia, and others.

  • hockeyman41

    1) Clay Collins personally re-written “about me” section on the LeadPages website was so honest, he probably had you at “hello”.
    2) I thought the straightforward LeadPages video/demo (i.e.”five clicks and in less than one minute you have a new web page”) was terrific and well done.
    3) Thanks for a great blog. I hope Boulder is getting back to normal after the flooding.

  • Lead pages sound interesting. I wished they created landing pages using the company domain. Many B2B are hesitant to drive traffic to other websites and it would be immensely useful if it somehow integrated with WordPress and other CMS.

    Also, Does the 1% include non US based investments? Lots of exciting startups activities in many emerging markets