Monetate's new CFO David Stetson

Tom Paine

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David Stetson

Conshohocken-based Monetate's newly appointed Chief Financial Officer, David Stetson, received an MBA from Wharton, but he is not, as he told me in a phone interview, a native of the Philadelphia area. Rather, he says he is an "eighth generation Vermonter." In fact, his most recent position, for three years, was as CFO of Vermont-based, which is similar to Monetate in that it is not a brand name that most consumers see, but provides auto dealers with the tools needed to run their websites and manage inventory and customer relationship management (CRM). Privately-held, which the Burlington Free Press calls "everybody’s favorite poster child for Vermont’s new digital economy," is a sizable operation, with some 700 employees and anticipated 2013 revenue in excess of $200 milion, according to its CEO. It has receive venture backing from prestigious VCs including a reported $30 million from Accel Partners in 2011. says it has 7,000 dealers as customers in the US out of some 18,000 dealers nationwide.

Stetson's responsibilities as Monetate's new CFO include finance, human resources and operations. Operations, he tells me, includes building the administrative and enterprise systems needed to manage Montetate's rapid growth. Stetson says just as the company is committed to using cloud technologies in developing its products and serving its customers (for example, Monetate delivers its product as a SaasS offering and uses as its CRM), he is comitted to using the Cloud for Monetate's enterprise systems. It is currently implementing a cloud-based Human Resources Management System (he won't name the vendor right now) as it seeks to manage headcount growth from its current 155 to a projected 230 or so by year end, and will be looking next at Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, which help manage and integrate several functions across the business. While SAP is probably a bit of overkill for a company of that size (though SAP might argue otherwise), Stetson did say Monetate will consider Tier II vendors such as NetSuite, Infor, and Microsoft Dynamics which may be better suited to Monetate's current scale.

Monetate's specialty is in "personalizing" an end user's experience when visiting a website. Once a snippet of code is added to the website of a Monetate customer, the company says, non-technical marketing people can then make the enhancements to websites to achieve the desired functionality without further coder intervention. Monetate's software also enables rapid prototyping and A/B testing. Although until recently Monetate has been focused almost completely on retailers, it is now seeking to expand into markets such as consumer products, travel and financial services.

Most of Stetson's career prior to was spent as a tech investment banker, including a stint as Head of Equity Capital Markets for Lehman Brothers' Global Technology Group. So he certainly has the needed experience in terms of understanding financial markets and raising equity. A company with Monetate's growth potential must be considered a possible future IPO candidate, although I doubt that it would be ready for that step for some time. And of course, its always possible that a major ecommerce player or Amazon competitor (think eBay, Google, perhaps Facebook) could look at it as an acquisition candidate. But Stetson emphasized he joined Monetate not for any anticipated exit, but rather for the journey, and the chance to work with co-founder and CEO David Brussin and a very talented team. "Nobody at Monetate is working here for a paycheck," he said, but rather for the opportunity to build something special.

Stetson says he hopes to have slightly better digs than what he had while attending Wharton, and will probably relocate his family somewhere out in the western suburbs. His favorite participatory sports are Freeskiing (a bit more difficult to do in southeastern Pennsylvania than in Vermont) and golf.

Moentate also announced last month the addition of John Healy as chief operating officer, along with Stetson. Healy came from GSI Commerce. Neither position existed previously, but were added to help manage Monetate's growth. The company said in an SEC filing in late February that it had raised another $15.2 million in venture capital. Its last big raise was $15 million in 2011, led by OpenView Venture Partners. First Round Capital was a seed investor, and Josh Kopelman is on Monetate's board. The company said it more than doubled revenue, customers and employees in 2012.


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