This morning, Sketchfab announced that it was joining the Epic Games family.
From inception, Sketchfab has been a visionary company in the creator economy, pioneering the emergence of 3D as a key format on the web. It built the best 3D viewer on the market, and leveraged it to build a remarkable community of 3D creators and enthusiasts all around the world. It navigated the ups and downs of the “VR Winter” and, through entrepreneurial grit and great execution, emerged on the other side a stronger, profitable company – a journey that CEO Alban Denoyel documented with remarkable transparency.
Epic is the perfect partner for Sketchfab. It has epic (yes) plans for building the Metaverse (see Matthew Ball’s excellent essays on the Metaverse here and Epic here). The Metaverse will be a heavy consumer of 3D, AR and VR content, and Sketchfab fits perfectly within that vision. Sketchfab will continue operating largely as an independently branded service, and will be able to access Epic’s resources and distributions capabilities.
A couple of years ago, FirstMark led the Series A of Text IQ, an impressive AI startup focused on the management of unstructured data in the enterprise for legal, privacy and compliance purposes. The company was co-founded by Apoorv Agarwal (CEO, left) and Omar Haroun (COO, right), and had managed to grow both fast and profitably after raising a seed from our friends at Floodgate.
At its core, Text IQ leverages unsupervised learning to identify sensitive information (privileged documents, PII, PHI, etc.) in large amounts of unstructured data – a challenge that AI is uniquely equipped to solve.
After its Series A, Text IQ continued to make strong progress, building a great team, evolving the product into an enterprise-grade platform and securing an impressive list of Fortune 1000 customers.
Not surprisingly, this attracted the attention not just from potential Series B investors, but also acquirers.
Although this was never publicly announced, for the last 2+ years, FirstMark was the lead investor in an exciting seed-stage company called Timber, alongside a great group of folks and firms including NextView, Notation, Addition, Lux Capital, Nat Turner, Zach Weinberg and Zach Perret.
Over time, Timber developed Vector, a very interesting open source project focused on observability data. Vector is effectively a “routing layer”, a high-performance observability data pipeline that enables customers to collect, transform, and route all their logs, metrics, and traces.
Every startup is not just a business adventure, but also a human journey. Today, Sense360 is getting acquired by Medallia (NYSE: MDLA), see the press release. It’s one of those bittersweet moments where I’m very proud of the team and company, but also realize I’ll really miss working with this great group of folks.
My journey with Sense360 started before there was a team, a product or even a company.