August 9, 2013
About three years ago I received an email from Steve Orenstein, CEO of fledgling startup Connect2Field. Steve had built a pretty cool SaaS solution for field workers – straight away I liked the space he was in, it really went well with my focus on cloud for the “real world”. While I was in Melbourne running a CloudCamp we sat down and talked in a café, and when I got home Steve approached me with the idea of coming on board as an informal adviser to the business.
At the time the business was very small – Steve was single-handedly managing a development team, doing sales and support calls, and trying to think strategically about the business. What really struck me about Steve is that he was a genuinely nice guy – keen and willing to bounce ideas off of people and actually listen and take advice.
At the beginning of last year, Steve saw that it was time to take the business to the next level – he asked me, along with a couple of other individuals, to be part of the formal Connect2Field board. I jumped at the opportunity.
Job one of the new board was to look at options for funding – Steve had already been in discussions with a strategic investor who was keen to come on board. They were interested in the opportunity partly as a standalone investment, but also because they viewed spending time within a fast growing and fast moving startup as a valuable experience for their own business. Alongside this investor, a number of others, myself included, decided to invest in the company.
All the hard work comes to fruition today with the announcement that Fleetmatics, a NYSE listed company, has acquired Connect2Field in full. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and while it’s always nice to have a successful sale, what is really exciting for me in all of this is the fact that Steve, who is unquestionably a bloody good guy, has seen his baby progress through the entire lifecycle – he helped it into the world, nurtured it along, and is now enjoying the fruits of his labor. Steve and his company will now become part of the Fleetmatics business and will, I’m sure, take Connect2Field to even greater heights.
Congratulations Steve, thanks for the opportunity to be involved and best of luck for the future!