Tagle – A profile of a #yyc startup

Mark Rosenberger is in ur computer organizing ur info. 

Rosenberger is the founder of Tagle, a Calgary-based startup that wants to aggregate and connect all your stuff. Stuff meaning your emails, your various social media flotsam and jetsam and your photos, videos and documents. The trick is connecting it all when it’s scattered across your hard drive, inboxes and all over the internet.  

At this point Tagle is a downloadable Windows application. The interface is simple, a sidebar and a search window. It’s built in .net and Rosenberger has developers in Russia, India and China working on the project. 

He raised $500 000 in Nov. 2007. The money was raised from a couple of angel investors and friends and family. 

And while they’re busy working on the technology behind it they’re also busy figuring out the most important part of any new company. Monetization. 

“We’re still in discovery phase. We’re testing Google Adwords, trying to find a market.”

While they’re doing that Tagle is in the midst of starting a has a relationship with Drop.io (an online collaboration/storage system). Tagle would take takes a cut of the revenue from the people they pushed towards premium accounts. Essentially acting as a value added add-on for existing services. 

“I think we’ve got some great technology we just have to go out there and prove it to users. You build something cool and the people who use it are nowhere near what you think.”

Rosenberger is a first time entrepreneur. A mechanical engineer by training he quit his job to start Tagle with no funding lined up. His wife wasn’t working had to support his young familiy

“It lit a fire under my ass. Thinking what the hell did I do?”

They’re still a ways away from figuring out how Tagle is going to make to make money but Derek Ball, the CEO of Tynt and an advisor to Rosenberger sees great potential. 

“Where Tagle gets exciting for me is it has the potential to let me know where all my info is regardless of where I store it. It’s not there yet but it has the potential to do it and the potential to do it automatically.”

Ball is a serial entrepreneur with Tynt being his 8th company. 

“The process that he’s gone through is completely normal. 98% of the companies today are not selling the product they originally chose to make. Nokia originally sold rubber boots.”

“Tynt started off doing something for teenage social networks and we’ve moved onto a tool for content publishers.”

Tynt tracks copy and paste activity on a website and automatically adds a link back to your content when it is pasted somewhere else. 

Sept. 2008 was a wakeup call for Tynt. They had burnt through their first round of fundraising and while they had built the technology they did not have the revenue. 

“Ran the tank not quite dry to get to the point where we had change business models. We had to ask ourselves: What do we have here that’s valuable?” 

And as Tynt gets ready to bring big customers online an example has been set. Where Tagle ends up is not certain but as Derek Ball said “you have to make something people care about.” If Tagle can do that Rosenberger should be all right.