This morning Flowtown announced it has been acquired by San Francisco marketing automation company Demandforce.
If you’re part of any startup community across Canada then you’ve likely heard of Flowtown and co-founder Dan Martell. He’s an informal angel investor who advises (and helps launch) startups and small businesses using metrics driven marketing tactics. He started the Maple Butter blog and he’s particularly fond of Canadian startups.
Martell waves his Canadian flag stronger than most expats doing business in Silicon Valley and has never forgotten his New Brunswick roots. As a result more than half Flowtown’s team is Canadian and they continued to operate a Canadian division after headquartering in Silicon Valley.
Co-founded by Ethan Bloch and Martell, Flowtown is an impressive story.
Founded in 2009, they built the company to 26,000 businesses, near profitability, a team of 8, and a $750K seed round in less than 11 months only to face the decision to shutdown the company or start from scratch on an entirely new product. The original Flowtown product was a social discovery service built on user data from social networking sites. In October of 2010 the Wall Street Journal published an article slamming Facebook for leaking user data and as a result Facebook data dried up. And so did Flowtown’s social discovery service.
Bloch and Martell pivoted to the Gift Marketing space with a new version of Flowtown which allows businesses to easily give gifts to their fans, followers and customers.
The pivot worked. Less than one year since restarting Flowtown has been acquired by a premier SMB marketing company. Flowtown’s products, technology and team will be joining Demandforce.