– Amperity, a Seattle-based machine-learning marketing startup, named tech veteran Eric Best as their new chief customer officer today. The startup has remained in stealth mode since being founded by Appature co-founders Kabir Shahani and Derek Slager in February. (You may recall that Appature sold to IMS Health for a blockbuster sum in 2013).
Amperity has steadily added to the team in the past months, fueled by $9 million in venture funding from Madrona Venture Group and angel investors such as NFL football quarterback Joe Montana; Concur co-founder Rajeev Singh; former drugstore.com CEO Dawn LePore; Isilon Systems founder Sujal Patel and others. Thee Amperity website still indicates “coming soon,” but encourages visitors to stay in touch.
Best previously founded and served as the CEO for Mercent, a marketing technology startup that also was backed by Madrona. Two years ago, Mercent was acquired by CommerceHub, and Best served as CommerceHub’s chief strategy officer during their IPO. He has also founded a variety of tech startups throughout his career.
As CCO at Amperity, Best will oversee customer and partner engagement. Shahani said he’s respected Best for many years, and so he reached out a few months ago to get his advice on customer engagement.
“As he learned more about what we’re doing and saw the progress, he got excited enough to jump on-board himself and lead our customer efforts,” Shahani tells GeekWire. “To build a great company, I firmly believe you need extraordinary talent at every spot on the board and being a founder and CEO himself several times, Eric certainly fits that description.”
Best, meanwhile, tells us that he was inspired by both the people and product at Amperity.
“My motivation to join Amperity is driven by the combination of respect for Kabir and Derek as like-minded entrepreneurs, confidence that I can leverage my domain expertise with consumer brands here, and the opportunity to utilize machine learning to solve complex real-world problems for our customers,” said Best, adding in a press release that the opportunity they are attacking is “massive.”
– Getty Images announced that Comedy Central’s Steve Grimes has joined the firm as managing editor and senior vice president of consumer media. Grimes will lead the development of Getty’s new consumer sector, a user-centric platform that targets the 97 percent of Getty’s visitors who want to use images for personal instead of commercial use.
Grimes was previously senior vice president of multiplatform programming and strategy at Comedy Central, where he led efforts in non-linear programming, including apps and online video streaming. He was awarded two Emmy awards there, one for his work on The Daily Show.
“Leveraging content to tell great stories and engage consumers is at the heart of what I love to do, and I can’t wait to delve into Getty Images’ immense collection to bring these stories to life for everyone, whatever their interests and wherever they may be in the world,” Grimes said in a news release.
– Ignition Partners, a business software venture capital firm based in Bellevue, announced that investor and tech entrepreneur Nick Triantos has joined their team as a venture partner.
Triantos joins Ignition from SRI International, the software research firm behind products like Siri and the computer mouse, where he was managing director of their venture capital team. He has previously founded two technology startups.
“There is so much happening in the areas of AI and machine learning,” Triantos said in a news release. “I look forward to focusing on this area, and am excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work with great entrepreneurs.”
Triantos will operate out of the firm’s new Los Altos office, although the firm also has offices in Bellevue, Wash., and Palo Alto, Calif.
Scheuing joins Changepoint after a three years as CEO of Tideland Signal, company which offers marine navigation aid tools.
“I joined Changepoint to be part of a company where I believe the possibilities are limitless and our products directly impact how people do business,” Scheuing said in a news release. “I’ve been following the company’s success for some time and am confident in our ability to help our customers run more agile businesses.”
Changepoint, previously based in Canada, recently moved its headquarters to Seattle.
– Dexter + Chaney, which develops cloud-based construction management tools, promoted two executives this week. Scott Rosenbloom, previously director of strategy and corporate development, will become the company’s VP of strategy and Curt Westberg, previously VP of sales, will move to VP of customer.
Rosenbloom served an eight year stint in Microsoft’s sales division before joining Dexter + Chaney in 2014. His new role will include overseeing the company’s tech integrations and product development.
Westerberg, who has been with Dexter + Chaney for over two decades, will oversee client and customer relationships.
—Versium, a Redmond-based maker of automated predictive data applications led by former InfoSpace executive Chris Matty, named Todd Sherman as vice president of sales and Ira Snyder as vice president of engineering. Sherman most recently served as chief marketing officer at Bellevue-based Point Inside. Before that, he worked at Mercent, and served as director of strategic alliances at Amazon.
Sherman, who graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering, was instrumental in creating Amazon’s third party retailer program.
Snyder, meanwhile, most recently served as vice president, automotive product development, for UIEvolution Before that, Snyder spent 25 years at Microsoft in various positions in robotics, analytics, mobile and TabletPC.
The appointments follow a $2 million venture funding round that Versium closed in May. Versium also said it plans to double its employee base this year, following “triple-digit year-over-year revenue growth” in the first half of the year.
“The momentum we’ve seen over the past six months is a testament to our team’s commitment and ability to provide our enterprise and marketing agency customers with easy-to-use, self-service predictive solutions that lower customer acquisition costs and improve marketing efficiencies,” said Matty in a statement.
—Peter Boit, executive vice president of enterprise and partner business at Smartsheet, has left the Bellevue-based company. Boit worked at Smartsheet for just over three years, and before that held positions at Juniper Networks and Microsoft. A Smartsheet spokesperson declined further comment.
Post updated with information on Peter Boit’s departure from Smartsheet, and to correct location of Changepoint’s headquarters.