First came WhyWait?, the restaurant reservation app; then came LocalView, a GLI Hot Dozen award-winner that was the “Kayak for local data”; then came ContentTools, which started out as ViralTools, a software company, and now provides interactive content to businesses; and now we have PowerUp Labs, a digital agency that creates custom software, digital marketing and digital strategies.
Jon Matar and Eric Littleton have stuck it out as one startup morphed into another since 2011. ContentTools, which will become one service of PowerUp Labs, creates custom interactive content that serves to capture leads and data. A quiz like “Are you maximizing the return on your team’s prospecting efforts?” for LiveHive captures the quiz-takers’ emails and gives the sales team the data from the quiz so they can actually qualify leads before sending a sales pitch; it also allows them to customize those emails to the target.
Matar said that at the end of last year, the companies they’d created content for started asking them for additional services. Matar, Littleton and their band of 11 contract employees wanted to provide those services but also didn’t want to “muddy the waters” at ContentTools. That’s why they created PowerUp Labs, which launches today, April 5.
PowerUp Labs already has four projects they’re working on, including a custom application for Louisville Metro Government that should be announced soon, and another for MobileServe.
Matar and Littleton are headquartered at Access Ventures’ co-working space in the Shelby Park neighborhood. They are looking to hire sometime soon but are unsure about the timing and the role they’ll fill.
According to Matar, the company is pulling in around $250,000 annually. Their custom interactive content doesn’t come cheap; it can range anywhere from $5,000-$25,000 a project because for some of these business-to-business enterprise companies, one closed lead could mean millions of dollars in sales.
The team has had the same investors since LocalView. Matar said that helps him “sleep at night.” He said the investors were pleased with that decision, and he figures it’s only fair because they’re now using skills and lessons learned while being funded by those investors.
Take a look at a quiz that was created with ContentTools for Scripps, owner of 27 TV stations. It predicts which presidential candidate you’ll vote for (it got mine correct, thank goodness). More than 4,500 pieces of interactive content have been created with ContentTools, and those pieces have had more than 10 million pageviews and captured over 500,000 leads.