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Emergence Capital Partners With AOL to Spin Out CrunchBase and Invests in Stand-Alone Company

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - September 22, 2015) - Emergence Capital Partners (http://www.emcap.com), the leading venture capital firm focused on cloud companies, announced that it has funded the spin-out of CrunchBase (http://www.crunchbase.com) from AOL (now part of Verizon). Emergence Capital recognized the potential for CrunchBase to increase its scope and impact as the go-to private company database, and the firm is leading an investment round to accelerate the realization of the expanded vision. Emergence recruited Salesforce.com product visionary, Jager McConnell, to join CrunchBase as its new CEO. AOL will continue to hold a significant economic ownership interest in CrunchBase, and Mark Roszkowski, SVP, Head of Corporate Development, AOL, will serve on the board of the stand-alone company.

CrunchBase was founded in 2007 as a crowd-sourced database to track start-ups, and it has developed into a leading platform for private company information with over 860,000 company and people profiles, based on data published by CrunchBase at https://info.crunchbase.com/.

After being acquired by AOL in 2010 through the TechCrunch acquisition, CrunchBase has grown significantly in the last five years, and has the potential for even greater success with dedicated capital and resources. “We see a substantial opportunity for growth for CrunchBase as a stand-alone company with Emergence Capital’s support,” said AOL’s Luke Beatty, iBrands President. “Emergence is known for its concentrated focus on cloud applications and go-to market expertise, making the firm the ideal investment partner.”

Emergence set out to find a proven product executive to spearhead the expanded vision for CrunchBase, and the team is excited to welcome Jager McConnell, former VP Product at Salesforce.com, as the new CEO. Jager brings significant product, data, strategy, marketing, and sales leadership to CrunchBase. He will work with Matt Kaufman, now Head of Operations for CrunchBase, who has led the company through its impressive growth over the last several years, as well as with the employees that join the new company from AOL.

Emergence Capital has been investing in leading Software as a Service (SaaS) applications for over a decade, with an impressive track record for helping early stage companies such as Box and Yammer define compelling subscription business models. Santi Subotovsky, Partner, Emergence Capital noted, “At Emergence, our mission is to invest in the cloud visionaries who are building the most important business applications. The more we learned about CrunchBase, the more excited we became about its potential. Emergence loves working with early stage companies to build market leaders. We believe wholeheartedly in the potential of Jager McConnell’s leadership and the CrunchBase team, and we are excited to team up with AOL to invest in this rich platform.”

“CrunchBase is one of the best datasets in the world, and I’m thrilled to help build out the next generation of this platform,” said Jager McConnell, CEO, CrunchBase. “We are ready to work with the global CrunchBase community and our partners to provide even more value to the millions of people who rely on CrunchBase information every day.”

CrunchBase will continue to be headquartered in San Francisco.

About AOL - AOL is a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code. As one of the largest online properties with over 350 million monthly global consumers of its premium brands, AOL is at the center of disruption of how content is being produced, distributed, consumed and monetized by connecting publishers with advertisers on its global, programmatic content and advertising platforms. AOL's opportunity lies in shaping the future of the digitally connected world for decades to come. AOL is a subsidiary of Verizon.

About Emergence Capital (@emergencecap) - Emergence Capital, based in San Mateo, Calif., is the leading venture capital firm focused on early and growth-stage enterprise cloud companies. Its mission is to invest in the cloud visionaries who are building the most important business applications. The firm's investments include market leaders such as Salesforce.com (CRM), SuccessFactors (SFSF, acquired by SAP), Veeva Systems (VEEV), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft) and Box (BOX). More information on Emergence Capital can be found at http://www.emcap.com.