Engel Ventures, LLC
Welcome to Engel Ventures, an investment company, and EngelVentures.com, home to the entrepreneurial ventures and career summary of Dan C. Engel. Dan has been in the e-commerce and software industries since 1997.
Dan is currently on the Board of Advisors of CPC Search, an online ad agency whose clients include Lyft, oDesk, Taleo, PopCap, VMWare, and others; Rincon Venture Partners, a Santa Barbara-based venture capital firm focused on early stage web-based businesses which is rated the #4 firm by TheFunded, following Andreessen Horowitz; Sticky Business, a SaaS start-up providing web businesses with marketing tools to improve their online performance; TowYard Brewing Company, an Indianapolis-based brewery. Dan serves on the Board of Directors of FastSpring and Allergease, and is a Mentor at TechStars
From 2005–2013, Dan has been CEO & Co-Founder at FastSpring, a next generation e-commerce payment, merchandising & fulfillment platform for software products and SaaS services. Under Dan's leadership, FastSpring has been bootstrapped to become the #1 fastest-growing company in the Greater Los Angeles area and #13 in North America, according to the Deloitte & Touche 2011 Technology Fast 500™ awards covering the years 2006-2010 – with over 17 thousand percent growth. (View Deloitte awards publication). The founders/original investors in FastSpring earned an ROI of over 600x on their original bootstrapped investment over 8 years.
Inc. Magazine's Inc. 500 awards named FastSpring the 53rd fastest-growing private company in the US in 2011 – see ranking (previously ranked #41 on the 2010 Inc. 500). In addition, the Pacific Coast Business Times recognized FastSpring the #1 fastest-growing company on California's Central Coast – see article. During the recession (2009-2011) FastSpring grew at a compounded growth rate of over 10% per month.
FastSpring has over 2,200 clients worldwide, including Adobe Systems, Toshiba, Random House, the American Heart Association, and Smith Micro. The business model is 100% recurring revenue and FastSpring has almost zero churn, with only a handful of clients leaving the service since 2005, a testament to the company's reputation for the best customer service in the e-commerce industry.
To see additional articles profiling FastSpring's success, take a look at the In the News page.
Google & Picasa
Prior to being CEO of FastSpring, Dan was Marketing Manager at pre-IPO Google, where he led online advertising for the company's multi-billion dollar products, AdSense™ and AdWords™. Before Google, Dan was VP of Market Development at Picasa, a digital photo consumer software company that was sold to Google in 2004. Dan led Picasa's online marketing, sales, and business development initiatives, growing revenue by 7x. Today Picasa is a leading online photo destination with over 7 billion photos uploaded (exceeding Flickr) and 50 million unique monthly visitors.
A fun trivia snippet: Dan's utilization of Urchin for tracking ads at Picasa helped lead to Google acquiring Urchin, known today as Google GA.
CPC Search, Inc. & Morpheus Software
In 2005, Dan co-founded CPC Search, initially as a Pay-Per-Click keyword arbitrage business and evolving into a premiere paid search management agency. CPC Search has managed online ad and paid search campaigns for Lyft, Popcap Games, iWin, oDesk, JumpStart, Taleo, Microsoft, and various other online advertisers.
Dan is Co-Founder of Morpheus Software, a leading publisher of digital photo animation software for consumers. Dan co-created a series of animation videos showcasing Morpheus that have received over 50 million views on YouTube. Take a look at the animation blog Animania, serving some of these popular videos as well as Morpheus-made user animations. One of Dan's co-developed YouTube videos was nominated for the 2007 YouTube awards, though lost out to The Original Human TETRIS Performance in the Creative category.
GoToMyPC / GoToMeeting / Citrix
Previously, Dan did Strategic Development at Expertcity, where he marketed GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting software, generating over $25 million in revenue over 18 months, helping lead to a $225 million acquisition of Expertcity by Citrix Systems in 2003, and building what is today a leading online consumer brand. With profits of over $250 million annually, it has become one of a handful of web-based software companies that is worth more than $1 billion today.
Before then, Dan was VP of Business Development at Sanity Software, a digital photo consumer software start-up. Broderbund Software acquired Sanity Software in 2002.
At age 24, Dan was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Idealab and at Reach Ventures, two high-tech incubators, after having started an e-commerce company in college. Idealab began in 1996 as the original Internet company incubator. It raised $1 billion in financing at an $8 billion valuation, invented pay-per-click search in 1998, and launched Citysearch, eToys, Overture, NetZero, and Picasa, among many others. Dan's focus at Idealab as an EIR was the mobile Internet/wireless. He also concentrated on building wireless companies for Reach. He rejoined the Idealab family to work on Picasa.
Dan has appeared in various publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine, The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal. He graduated from Tulane University's Freeman School of Business with a BS in Management and a concentration in Finance in 1998. In 2006, Dan was named to Pacific Coast Business Times' 40 under 40 list, which highlights 40 leading business people under 40 years of age. He was featured in 2011 in a cover article in Home Business magazine. Dan is a member of YPO, a global organization for CEOs. He is also a member of xCap Angels, an angel investment group focused on making investments in seed and early-stage companies.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits and enjoying spending time with his family, Dan is interested in helping increase both corporate and individual social responsibility efforts and helping disadvantaged entrepreneurs thrive. He served in Chile as a Mentor to Endeavor, a non-profit organization which helps entrepreneurs in emerging market countries to accelerate their businesses. View articles (in Spanish) on Dan's visit ("Nuevo Guru de los Emprendedores" / "New Guru of Entrepreneurs"); an article about Dan's first company started in college; a 2008 feature in Entrepreneur Magazine; Morpheus news coverage.
Prior to building start-ups, Dan's business passion was the investment management industry. Starting in high school with Smith Barney, he had a variety of internships. Following Smith Barney, he worked with Sanford C. Bernstein (today Alliance Bernstein), creating their first web site. Throughout college, he interned at Merrill Lynch, working with Jim Mangum, a veteran value investor who became his mentor. Later, at Fidelity Investments' Fund Management and Research Company (FMR), Dan worked with some of the industry's top mutual funds managers. He had the opportunity to spend time with Ned Johnson, Peter Lynch and other investment industry legends. Today FMR manages over $1.2 trillion in assets. View an image from when Dan was pursuing a career in investment management via legendary investor Philip Carret.