Deal Watch: MyStrands raises $25 million

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, August 01, 2007

MyStrands.jpgMyStrands, my tastes, their ads

Oregon’s snazziest young high-tech company is Corvallis-based MyStrands and the 50-employee operation has a cool $25 million to prove it. Never heard of them? You’re probably not in their target market — at least not yet.

There’s a theory out there in the technosphere that personalization is the new search, the new killer Web ap. That means MyStrands has a shot at becoming the next Google. Long shot? Maybe.

But MyStrands’ sizzle is a complicated algorithm that detects patterns in the things you like (right now their technology is applied mostly to music) and makes recommendations of other things you might like. It taps the wisdom of the masses by also analyzing the listening patterns of the friends in your social network. And it’s mobile. A new service, PartyStrands, allows you to send a text message to a club’s DJ requesting a favorite song.

And the sizzle will find other applications. “We think the technology can help companies provide personalized advertising,” says MyStrands spokesman Gabriel Aldamiz-echevarria. That is, ads that know your preferences, your friends’ preferences and where you are located.

The $25 million MyStrands investment came from a trio of investors in Spain, where a third of the employees reside. Company founder Fransciso Martin, an artificial intelligence entrepreneur from Barcelona, came to Oregon State University for a post-doc and developed the MyStrands idea in Corvallis, where company headquarters will remain.

Aldamiz-echevarria says the MyStrands deal did not capture the attention of any Oregon investors. We hope there are no regrets.

—  Christina Williams

7-Jun Q2 ‘07 Murphy Co. (Eugene) veneer operation (WA) / Weyerhaeuser Co. ND
11-Jun Q2 ‘07 Mentor Graphics Corporation (Wilsonville) Sierra Design Automation (CA) $90m (cash+ stock)
13-Jun Q3 ‘07 Kellwood Company (MO) Hanna Andersson (Portland) / Castanea Partners; Dorset Capital; mgmt team $175m
13-Jun Q2 ‘07 PremierWest Bancorp (Medford) Consumer Finance Division business (Eugene) / Pacific Continental Bank ND
15-Jun Q2 ‘07 (CA) SnapNames (Portland) ND
15-Jun ND WebTrends (Portland) Webcontrol (Sweden) ND
15-Jun Q2 ‘07 BASIS International Ltd. (NM) AddOnSoftware (Beaverton) / MicroAccounting Sytsems ND
18-Jun Q3 ‘07 Restaurants Unlimited Inc. (WA) Pacific Coast Restaurants (Portland) ND
18-Jun Q3 ‘07 Precision Castparts Corp. (Portland) Caledonian Alloys Group Ltd. (Scotland) ND
19-Jun Q2 ‘07 Cardno Limited (Australia) WRG Design (Portland) ND (stock+cash)
20-Jun Q2 ‘07 Wacom Co. Ltd. (Vancouver, WA) Touchscreen Konnection Oasis (TX) ND
20-Jun Q2 ‘07 Toby’s Family Foods (Springfield) Genesis Juice (Eugene) ND
21-Jun Q2 ‘07 TRM Multitech Services (Canada) photocopier business (Canada) / TRM (Portland) $398,645
25-Jun Q2 ‘07 infoUSA (NE) (Portland) ND
25-Jun Q2 ‘07 LTC Global Solutions (Medford) Gelbwaks Insurance Services (FL) ND
26-Jun Q2 ‘07 Delphon Industries (CA) UltraTape Industries (Salem) ND
27-Jun Q2 ‘07 Aequitas Catalyst Fund (Portland)/Aequitas Capital Management Paramount Graphics (Beaverton) $10.8m

5-Jun Axial Vector Engine (Portland) / Raymond Brouzes, CEO private lender $250,000 (secured credit line)
6-Jun Daverci Solutions Inc. (Hillsboro) / Marc Cameron, CEO ND $3m (series A3)
12-Jun MathStar, Inc. (Hillsboro) / Doug Pihl, CEO public offering $32.4m (equity)
14-Jun Corrigo, Inc., (Wilsonville) / Rick Michaux, CEO Sierra Ventures $10m (series 5)
14-Jun Oregon State University (Corvallis) / Edward Ray, President Hallie Ford, co-founder, Ford Fnd. $8m (donation)
18-Jun MyStrands (Corvallis) / Francisco Martin, CEO Antonio Asensio, CEO, Grupo Zeta $25m (series B)
25-Jun Or. Investment Fund (Portland) / Michael Arpey, mang. director Or. Public Employees Retirement Fund $50m
25-Jun Tektronix, Inc. (Beaverton) / Rick Wills, CEO private institutional investors $354m (sr. convertible notes)
26-Jun Virtugo Software (Beaverton) Foundation Cap.; OVP Venture Partners $4m
27-Jun YMCA of Columbia-Willamette (Portland) / Bob Hall, CEO Watumull Properties.; Winkler Dev. $9m (sale-leaseback)

1-Jun Phillips Edison & Company (MD) Sandy Marketplace (Sandy) - ND
4-Jun Oregon Liquor Control Commission Wilhelm Warehouse (Milwaukie) - $6.2m
4-Jun Cascade Industrial LLC (MN) industrial land (14.23 acres) (Gresham) Sandy Boulevard Dev. $2.9m
4-Jun Vander Houwen Properties LLC industrial space (Portland) Beall Macadam LLC $2.07m
5-Jun Solena Cellars; John Niemeyer Hyland Vineyard (100 acres) (McMinnville) - ND
13-Jun Felton Properties (Portland) office building (Beaverton) McGill Commercial LLC $10.3m
18-Jun Arden Realty (CA) 6 buildings (Portland) Blackstone Group LP ND
18-Jun Bean Investment Real Estate (Portland) Sunrise Meadows apartments (NV) - $103m
18-Jun Cherry Creek Prop. LLC (Lake Oswego) gas station (Albany) Camden Holdings LLC (CA) $1.48m
20-Jun Corbett Summit LLC 2 office properties (Portland) Michael and Mary Murphy (CA) $2.47m

List researched by Mark Druskoff

ND=Not disclosed

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Three problems with Obama's immigration order

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02