ForkFly startup relaunching as CloudEngage

ForkFly startup relaunching as CloudEngage

Portland startup Forkfly is starting over as CloudEngage, with $2.5 million in backing. Forkfly connected newspapers and other traditional media with online advertising.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Paul Wagner, chief executive of both companies. ForkFly wasn’t able to find a market in traditional media, he said, but Wagner feels he has an opportunity to connect consumers directly to retailers instead.

So he is starting over, folding ForkFly into the new business. Cowles Publishing Co., the Spokane company that produces the Spokesman-Review newspaper and was ForkFly’s biggest backer, is investing $2.5 million for the new beginning.

Startups frequently change course, sometimes dramatically, as they test the concept that launched their business. But makeovers this large are rare, and are even more unusual when original investors sign on for a do-over.