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Entrepreneur Stories

intent_media
We help retailers leverage the
value of approximately 97%
of their traffic.
Intent Media gives retailers the means to monetize prized consumer intent
data without cannibalizing their core businesses.
- Richard Harris, Intent Media

Richard Harris, Damon Tassone, and Josh Feuerstein are proving that building a company with the potential to unlock half the value of ecommerce on the planet doesn’t have to kill you. In fact, it can be a lot of fun.

Unscripted Intent

The founders of Intent Media know what clicks. From meeting at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in the mid-1990’s, to the founding of Site59.com, through executive roles at Travelocity, and a plethora of unique experiences in between, Richard Harris, Damon Tassone, and Josh Feuerstein have combined drive, energy, knowledge and intuition for their greatest collaboration to date – Intent Media.

After cutting their teeth at BCG, this dynamic trio became part of the founding team of Site59.com in 1999. The site was an online travel agency that delivered last minute deals while solving one of the most complex and technical problems in the travel industry --helping providers such as airlines and hotel operators get rid of distressed inventory.

Through its deep distribution relationships and innovative back-end technology, Site59 became a must-have acquisition for Travelocity, which purchased the company in 2002. Richard, Damon and Josh agreed to stay on board to assist with a company turnaround and unlock new revenue streams by developing a white label offering.

In the years that followed, the guys would occasionally get together to talk about what they’d like to do next, but it wasn’t until 2007 when they made a pact to leave Travelocity by a specific date (June 1, 2008) that the seeds for Intent Media were sown.

Richard was first; then Damon, then Josh made the departure from Travelocity, and on Monday, June 2, 2008 the men met on the roof of the Soho House in New York. As they sat around brainstorming ideas for a new company, with shiny new laptops, pens, and empty notebooks, they noticed Sir Richard Branson sitting next to them. They told the Virgin Group chairman that they were starting a company at that exact moment and asked for his advice. Branson leaned over and said “Have lots of fun and make lots of money,” and then blessed their laptops before departing.

A few months later, Richard, Damon and Josh began informally talking with Matrix Partners. The connection was immediate, and they collectively began to develop ideas for the company.

“When the time came for us to seek out investment partners, Matrix was first on our list because of the early relationships we developed,” said Damon. “We knew that Matrix shared our values and our view of the world.“

“When I met Richard, Damon, and Josh, I was struck by the strengths of each as an individual, but perhaps what was more impressive was how well they functioned as a team,” said Antonio Rodriguez, Matrix general partner and Intent Media board member. “They didn’t just stumble upon an opportunity. Intent Media is remarkably well thought out, and these guys have executed well. I believe they will dramatically alter the fundamental economics of monetization on the Internet through the combination of what they know about e-commerce and media.”

And since that first Soho House meeting, Richard, Damon, and Josh have built what they believe will become their defining company. They are tackling a completely novel challenge both conceptually and technically, and they’re doing it by embracing the characteristics that make them so unique as entrepreneurs. Josh notes that you can’t script culture, but the guys have been incredibly successful at scaling a company that is open, humane, and collaborative, where very smart people come together to share ideas and get things done.

As to what Intent Media does, Richard puts it simply, stating “We help retailers leverage the value of approximately 97% of their traffic. Intent Media gives retailers the means to monetize prized consumer intent data without cannibalizing their core businesses.”

Today Intent Media is thriving, taking a counter-intuitive idea and generating millions of dollars for the biggest brands in existence. And they’re having lots and lots of fun.

Richard Harris, Damon Tassone, and Josh Feuerstein

Co-Founders

Intent Media

Intent Media helps retailers extract both the transaction and advertising value of their traffic. We show relevant, targeted advertising on retail sites, but exclude visitors likely to buy from the site from seeing ads.

Matrix Partners Board Members

Antonio Rodriguez