Crain’s Cleveland Business Journal is reporting that Cleveland-based Tackk recently received $1.2 million dollars in a funding round led by ff Venture Capital out of New York. The 1-year-old startup helps users create simple web pages, a la Tumblr. In fact, Tumblr-size success is the exact mark they’re shooting for.
“We invest in companies where we think they can change the behavior of millions of people. I can see absolutely no reason why you can’t have millions of people using this,” John Frankel of ff Venture Capital told the Cleveland Business Journal.
“Ridiculously simple creation + sharing,” it says on the Tackk homepage. And, it is just that simple. The homepage allows you to drag and drop pictures, edit text, and play with colors, fonts, and backgrounds without even creating an account. (Registration is required if you want your Tackk up longer than a week.) The Tackkboard allows you browse Tackks on a variety of topics, and you can like and share your favorites.
Despite the comparisons to Tumblr, Tackk isn’t necessarily seeking to become a huge social network. CEO Christopher Celeste told TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha that they were more interested in helping people create and tag content, then push it out through whatever social media or physical way they desire.
The recent seed round will be used build out a mobile platform and make it easier to browse Tackks.
According to the Business Journal, investors suggested the team move to New York to complete the next stage of development. The team said no way, and they are now building what they hope is the next great content creation tool right at home in Cleveland.
As the voice of startups everywhere else, we at Nibletz think that’s a great decision, but it’s not one that every company makes. I asked Eric Bockmuller why he would want to stay in Cleveland, when all the money is telling him to move.
Our founding team was born and raised in Cleveland, we have a connection with the city that I think only fellow Clevelanders understand. We see an opportunity to create something special that typically doesn’t happen here. We know it may be more of a challenge, but we understand that we’re not just building a great Cleveland company. We’re building a great company that lives in Cleveland but impacts the whole world.
The second part of his answer was surprising: talent.
Many startups tell us it is hard to recruit good talent outside of Silicon Valley, but Bockmuller doesn’t see it that way. With tons of talented students graduating from the universities in and around Cleveland, the Tackk team is seeing many who are willing to stay at home and build the next great tech company.
Bockmuller also acknowledges that there will be challenges. Without success stories going before them, they have fewer mentors and examples than you find in the Valley. It’s also more time consuming to meet with investors when that meeting involves a flight. But Bockmuller is an entrepreneurs and has a cheerful answer for these challenges:
There will always be the questions around talent, money and scalability being based in Cleveland and we believe the opportunity to overcome those questions is now with Tackk…it only takes one to change a region.