About VigLink

Word-of-Mouth Marketing At Digital Scale

At VigLink, we believe the future of marketing lies within the untapped potential of digital content covering commercial products across the Web. We empower influential publishers who produce this content to connect enthusiastic consumers with the products they love from the brands who value them the most. We accomplish this directly through publishers’ words, without need for an ad.

By identifying commercial products mentioned within a publisher’s content, VigLink automatically invigorates those terms by transforming them into hyperlinks whose destinations are determined in real-time, advertiser-bid auctions. Yes, hyperlinks, the defining feature of the Web from the very start. The literal “H” in HTML. Every time a clicked link takes a person from one destination to another, value is created. However, that value has never been fairly priced or available for purchase at scale. Until now.

Founded in 2009, VigLink is located in heart of San Francisco and backed by top investors including Google Ventures, Emergence Capital, and RRE. VigLink manages a publisher network of over 2 million sites and apps, as well as an advertiser network of over 70,000 brands and merchants.


Meet Our Innovative Team

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Tyson Clark

Google Ventures

Tyson spent his career in enterprise technology, focusing on companies in the SaaS application and data center infrastructure spaces.

Prior to joining GV, Tyson was a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where he was on the corporate development team and advised enterprise portfolio companies. He led acquisitions in the enterprise SaaS space for Oracle’s corporate development group, and worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where he oversaw IPO and M&A transactions for a variety of cloud companies.

Tyson spent six years in the United States Navy, serving on submarines as both as a nuclear propulsion officer and Navy scuba diver.

Tyson holds a B.S. in industrial engineering from Stanford (with honors) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

William Johnson

President and Director of VigLink

Will Johnson is the President and Director for VigLink. Previously, Will served analytic and operations-lead roles at Google.  His passion for the intersection of technology and commerce led him to VigLink five years ago where he leads revenue and finance and advises on market strategy.  He holds degrees in economics from Harvard and Oxford Universities and is a twice-retired professional athlete.

Kathi Rawnsley

Company Counsel

Kathi is a startup & venture lawyer. She founded Lowenstein’s Palo Alto office almost 10 years ago and prior to that was Regional Counsel for the Americas and Acting General Counsel at Intel Capital. Kathi is an active participant in the National Venture Capital Association’s Venture Capital General Counsel group and has assisted with the Model Legal Documents Project (the most successful and often used model documents for venture deals). She is a member of the Executive Board of the Greater Bay Area Chapter of JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. For fun, she sometimes teaches startup and venture law at Santa Clara University School of Law School as an Adjunct Professor.

Kevin Spain

Emergence Capital

Kevin is a General Partner at Emergence Capital Partners. His deep knowledge of the enterprise and consumer technology sectors comes from time spent at blue-chip software companies and from his experience as an entrepreneur. He currently sits on the board of Veeva Systems, Zuberance, SupportSpace and GroundTruth.

Prior to joining Emergence, Kevin was a senior member of Microsoft’s Corporate Development group. In this role, he shared responsibility for sourcing, structuring, and negotiating Microsoft’s acquisitions, strategic investments, and joint ventures. Under his leadership, Kevin’s team participated in over $500 million in transactions spanning all of Microsoft’s business groups.

Kevin earned an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program.

Niel Robertson

Technology Entrepreneur

Niel Robertson is a technology entrepreneur, advisor and investor. He co-founded and pioneered the APM (Application Performance Management) space with Service Metrics, the ERP Change Management space with Newmerix and crowdsourced labor markets with Trada.

He founded the first industry crowdsourcing group, the Crowdsortium, and has co-founded or is a director to four other companies (Ramen, tenXer (sold to Twitter), Collaborate.com (sold to Exodus), and VigLink). Previously he was CTO in Residence at Mobius Venture Capital, a Venture Partner with Fidelity Ventures (now Volition), and Venture Partner with General Catalyst.

He has served on boards with many of the US’s leading venture firms (FRC, Google Ventures, Emergence, RRE, True, Foundry Group, Fidelity Ventures) and raised over 70M in capital. He has also been an active angel investor, technology columnist, speaker and community builder. Niel holds a bachelors in computer science from MIT and has been granted two patents for his work in APM and Crowdsourcing.

Will Porteous

RRE Ventures

Will Porteous is a General Partner and the firm's Chief Operating Officer. Will focuses on early and expansion stage investments across RRE’s multiple technology verticals, with a concentration on enterprise systems, digital media and mobile technology. Before joining the venture capital industry, Mr. Porteous held senior management positions in marketing and product management with SupplyWorks and NetMarket, the e-commerce pioneer now owned by Cendant Corp.

Mr. Porteous is a Director of Buzzfeed, Connected Data, Crossboard Mobile, and Spire. He is a former Director of Whiptail Technologies (acquired by CSCO), Frictionless Commerce (acquired by SAP), Skyhook Wireless (Acquired by Liberty Media), Tacit Networks (acquired by PKTR), and Xobni (Acquired by Yahoo!). He also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School and as Chairman of the Dockery Farms Foundation which he founded.

Mr. Porteous holds an MBA from Harvard University, an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA with Honors from Stanford University.

Seth Levine

Managing Director at Foundry Group

Seth's career spans venture capital investing as well as operational, transactional and advisory roles at both public and private companies. Some of his investments include iSocket (acquired by Rubicon Project in 11/14), AdMeld (acquired by Google in 12/11), and Spanning (acquired by EMC in 10/14)

Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, Seth began his venture capital career at Mobius Venture Capital. Before Mobius, he joined FirstWorld Communications where he led their IPO in 2000 and negotiated equity investments from Microsoft, SAIC and Lucent Technologies, totaling over $260 million. Previously, he led the mergers and acquisitions practice for the business development group of ICG Communications and served as an investment banker in Morgan Stanley's telecommunications corporate finance practice.

Oliver Roup

Founder and CEO of VigLink

Oliver brings over 15 years of software experience to VigLink. Previously, he was a Director at Microsoft in charge of product for various media properties including XBOX Live Video Marketplace, Zune Marketplace and MSN Entertainment. Oliver was also an early employee at Internet Radio pioneer Echo Networks and has worked for Paul Allen at Vulcan, for iPlayer at the BBC and for the Founders Fund. Oliver has issued and pending patents covering micro-transactions, media and metadata. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from MIT and his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Board Alumni

Board Alumni

Rich Miner

Rich Miner is a Managing Partner of Google Ventures. He has spent the past 25 years growing businesses with innovative communications and interface-intensive applications. Rich joined Google through the acquisition of Android, a mobile platforms company that he co-founded. During his first three years at Google, he helped lead the development of the Android platform and ecosystem.

Prior to Android, Rich was a Vice President at Orange, where he led R&D activities in North America and also started and was a principle in Orange Ventures. He came to Orange through the acquisition of another company that he co-founded, Wildfire, which made a voice-based personal assistant. He met his Wildfire co-founder when he helped incubate Avid Technology in his university lab.

Rich is based in Boston, Massachusetts and received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Josh Kopelman

Josh Kopelman is a venture capitalist and Managing Partner at First Round Capital.

Previously, Kopelman founded Half.com, which was acquired by eBay in 2000. He remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit and growing eBay’s Media marketplace to almost half a billion dollars in annual sales.

In late 2003 Kopelman helped found TurnTide, an anti-spam company that created the world’s first anti-spam router. TurnTide was acquired by Symantec just six months later.

Eric Wiesen

Eric Wiesen is a General Partner at RRE Ventures. Eric is currently focused on three areas: marketing/advertising, financial services and next-generation consumer products & manufacturing.

Prior to RRE, Eric worked for Updata Partners where he focused on growth-stage software investments. Earlier, Eric was an attorney in the corporate group at Fenwick & West, a leading Silicon Valley law firm.

Eric is a two-time entrepreneur. His first company, launched while he was an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, built and sold hardware and professional services to the 3D Graphics and animation communities. Later, Eric co-founded an enterprise software consulting firm specializing in CRM systems. He also served as a staff attorney at a non-profit in New York and was a White House intern in the Clinton Administration.

Eric holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, a JD from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.

Additional Investors

Additional Investors

Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman is an entrepreneur and serial investor, most recently serving as the CEO of LinkedIn. He stepped down from the CEO position a second time in June 2009.

Prior to LinkedIn, Reid was Executive Vice President of PayPal. During his tenure at PayPal, Hoffman was instrumental to the acquisition by eBay and was responsible for partnerships with Intuit, Visa, MasterCard and Wells Fargo. Reid also has held management roles in large technology companies, including Fujitsu Software Corporation and Apple. Currently, in addition to LinkedIn, Reid serves on the Board of Directors for SixApart and Mozilla Corporation.

Jeff Clavier

Based in Palo Alto, California, Jeff Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in close to 100 consumer internet startups (Fund I, Fund II, Fund III) in areas like social media, monetization, search, gaming or B2B/B2C web services. These investments are typically located in Silicon Valley, New-York and Boulder. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success.

Deep Nishar

Deep Nishar is responsible for setting and executing the global product strategy at LinkedIn. He went to LinkedIn from Google, where he helped shape the company’s strategy in Asia-Pacific. Deep was also responsible for building Google’s global mobile business. Deep holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated with highest honors as a Baker Scholar, a MSEE from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a B. Tech with Honors from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Deep holds 3 patents and was awarded the Google Founders Award, an accolade given to employees who have made extraordinary contributions to the company for his work on the Google Ads System Automation.

Hadi Partovi

A graduate of Harvard University, Hadi established himself as an Internet leader during the browser wars: he was Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer. After the release of IE 5.0, Hadi co-founded Tellme Networks and spearheaded the company’s shift from consumer services to enterprise call-center automation and delivering directory and customer-care services for AT&T, FedEx, E*TRADE, and more. Tellme Networks was later acquired by Microsoft. Hadi was subsequently General Manager of MSN.com, where he delivered 30% annual growth and incubated Start.com (now Live.com).

After MSN, Hadi joined his twin brother Ali Partovi to co-found iLike, which was acquired by MySpace. Hadi is currently SVP of Technology at MySpace.

Hadi has been an investor or strategic advisor to numerous startups including Facebook, Dropbox, BlueKai, Edusoft (acquired by Houghton Mifflin), and 2Web Technologies (now Google Spreadsheets).

Ali Partovi

Prior to iLike, Ali established himself as an entrepreneur by co-founding LinkExchange, which was acquired by Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. Ali also co-founded “DrinkExchange,” a monthly social event that spread from San Francisco to Washington, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. After leaving Microsoft, Ali co-wrote a feature film and started a band, both of which failed.

In 2002 Ali led the effort to save GarageBand.com from being shut down and has been with the company since. In 2006 Ali recruited his twin brother Hadi to help start iLike, and today they run iLike (which owns GarageBand) together. Ali is an avid music lover and wannabe guitarist.

Carlos Cashman

Carlos has worked with numerous successful start-ups as an executive, founder, investor, and advisor in the US and abroad for the last 16 years. He is currently an active angel investor and involved with several charities related to promotion of global peace and education. Carlos serves on the Board of Directors of SecretBuilders.com, an immersive online educational world for children, as well as Asset Performance Technologies, an advanced data and analytics provider for heavy industrial equipment he co-founded in 2003. In 2005 he co-founded CourseAdvisor, a leading search engine marketing firm in the post-secondary education industry which was sold two years later to the Washington Post. CourseAdvisor was designated one of the fastest growing companies in New England and voted one of Boston’s best places to work in 2007. The first company Carlos founded, Opus360, went public on the NASDAQ in 2000 and was sold in 2001 to Artemis International. Carlos attended MIT on full scholarship.

Micah Adler

An academic turned serial technology entrepreneur, Micah Adler combines leading industry insight with complex technical knowledge as the CEO and founder of Fluent Mobile.

Prior to this role, Micah was CEO, president, and co-founder of Adverplex, a search engine marketing (SEM) optimization company. His research in algorithms, probabilistic analysis and combinatorial optimization helped the company develop innovative technology to drive profitability for multi-million dollar SEM campaigns. Micah was also the co-founder, president and board member of CourseAdvisor, which was acquired by the Washington Post Corporation in 2007. He has served on the boards of directors for more than 10 Boston-area startup companies.

An internationally recognized expert in numerous areas crucial to the search, aggregation, and delivery of online and mobile content, Micah was also a tenured professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has authored more than 50 widely-cited publications; holds multiple patents; and has served on numerous academic review committees, program committees and editorial boards. He began his career at Oracle Corporation. He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in theoretical computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.



Auren Hoffman

Auren Hoffman is the CEO of Rapleaf. Rapleaf helps B2C companies give their consumers a better experience by providing automated search services for each consumer. From 2003–2006 Auren served as Chairman of Stonebrick Group and Chairman of the Connector Group (Silicon Valley 100).

Previously, he founded and sold three Internet companies before age 30: BridgePath (sold in 2002), Kyber Systems (sold in 1997), and GetRelevant (sold in 2002). He is the founder of the Dialog Retreat.

Hunter Walk

Hunter Walk most recently was a Product Management Director at YouTube where he led consumer product management, delivering billions of playbacks a day to the world’s largest video community. After joining Google in 2003, he has also managed product and sales efforts for Google’s contextual advertising business. Prior to this, Walk was a founding member of the product and marketing team at Linden Lab, the creators of online virtual world Second Life. Earlier, he was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O’Brien, broadcasting to an audience of insomniacs, truckers and college students. Hunter has a BA in History from Vassar and an MBA from Stanford University.

Stuart Larkins

Stuart Larkins is an Internet entrepreneur, digital marketing expert and active angel investor with more than twelve years of experience at leading Internet companies and start-up organizations. Stuart was part of the founding management team of Performics, a pioneer in affiliate and search engine marketing. Performics was acquired by DoubleClick in 2004, which became part of Google in 2008. He currently sits on the board of directors of ethology, Performline, and Trunk Club and is an advisor to BrightTag and TapMe.

Kristoper B. Jones

Kris is the former President and CEO of Pepperjam, a full-service internet marketing agency and affiliate network he founded in 1999 and sold to GSI Commerce (NASDAQ – GSIC) in 2009, which was later purchased by eBay (NASDAQ – EBAY). Kris is a best-selling author, serial entrepreneur, and sought after angel investor. Kris recently founded local digital deal startup referlocal.com

Raymond Lyle

Raymond is the former President of VigLink and was originally the CEO and co-founder of Driving Revenue, acquired by VigLink in Aug 2010. Prior to Driving Revenue, Raymond spent 5 years at Leapfrog Online (11th largest interactive marketing firm –Adage), where his efforts propelled them to 6th largest SEM firm in the country. From SEM he moved into the role of Director of Media Strategy, managing Fortune 100 clients such as Time Warner, Capital One and Comcast. Prior to Leapfrog Online, Raymond was Internet Marketing Manager of United.com and subsidiary Mypoints.com.

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an author, speaker and TV host. He runs an international media agency, Influence People, based in downtown San Francisco, and has a proven track record of consistently delivering desired results to his clients.


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