Brad Feld

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Stratify and Iron Mountain – Perfect Partners

Oct 31, 2007
Category Investments

Today’s guest blogger is my partner, Jason Mendelson.  I’m immensely proud of Jason, my partner Chris Wand, Stratify’s CEO Ramana Venkata, his excellent management team, and all the great folks at Stratify for their fantastic work in creating the market leading eDiscovery company.

Today, Stratify and Iron Mountain announced they have entered into an agreement for Stratify to be acquired by Iron Mountain for approximately $158m in cash.  Stratify is a Mobius Venture Capital portfolio company that Chris Wand and I have had the pleasure of serving on the board for the past several years.  We’ve really enjoyed the journey that we’ve shared with Ramana Venkata, the CEO and the rest of his capable management team. 

Stratify has revolutionized the way that attorneys deal with the eDiscovery process.  For those of you fortunate enough to not know what “eDiscovery” is, think about all the millions of pages of paper, and hundreds of GB of email and files that lawyers comb through when one party sues another.  What used to be a completely manual process that resulted in spiraling costs and sometimes marginal quality, has now been partially automated by technology.  This process has been dubbed “eDiscovery.” 

Stratify’s best-of-breed patented technology uses statistical algorithms to “read” documents – in any form, in any language and automatically group like items together, discarding duplicates, segregating out irrelevant data and creating computer-generated named folders where similar-subject matter documents are stored.  Also included in their platform are analytics to study relationships between documents, emails trails and a host of other capabilities that make anyone who sees them wish for a more stringent document retention policy. 

Iron Mountain Digital and Stratify have had a burgeoning partnership, whereby Stratify eDiscovery solutions were offered in combination with those from Iron Mountain, the trusted name in information management.  It’s a natural partnership that the company holding and protecting  information assets for enterprises is acquiring the technology and expertise to make them actionable – giving  their customers the ability to analyze and leverage information in valuable ways. 

We were the only institutional investors in Stratify and therefore we played an even larger and more active role in supporting the company’s efforts than normal.  Whether it was sitting around drawing on a white board developing mock ups of screen shots, or tagging along on early sales calls trying to sell to lawyers who had never heard of the term “eDiscovery” it was a great experience.  In fact, it was fun.  It’s even more rewarding that the company became such a huge success.

Today marks a great step in Stratify’s ambitions to make enterprises’ unstructured information actionable, one vertical at a time.  I look forward to saying that “I knew them when,” as they join the Iron Mountain platform to create even a larger and more dominant footprint.  Congratulations to Stratify and Ramana with special mentions to Meena, George, Sanjeev, Steve, David, Joy, Parveen, Allyson, Rob and Wendy.  Also we wouldn’t be where we are today with the incredible assistance of Peter Falvey and Michael Barker at Revolution Partners and Jon Gavenman of Heller Ehrman / VLG.  You were all a true pleasure to work with.  Congratulations too, to Iron Mountain for their brilliant decision to join forces!

Tags: stratify, iron+mountain, mobius+venture+capital, eDiscovery