Terminus co-founder and CEO Eric Spett was the first employee at Kevy, a David Cummings Atlanta Ventures portfolio company. So when Cummings gave him the opportunity to start a business, he jumped into the online advertising space and quickly learned that there were no online ad-buying solutions that met the needs of business-to-business companies in the small-to-medium market segment.
As part of the ethos of “doing things that don’t scale” espoused by Paul Graham, Spett and co-founders Eric Vass and Sangram Vajre began running online advertising campaigns for SMB companies to learn the challenges facing them. This is how Terminus got its start.
Founded in March 2014, Terminus – the original name for the City of Atlanta – gives b2b SMBs the ability to conduct hyper-targeted digital ad buys at scale. When Spett and Vass began working on the idea, the duo were aware of Bizo and DemandBase. Both companies tackled similar challenges. The acquisition of Bizo by Linkedin left DemandBase as the main player in the landscape. But since DemandBase focuses solely on enterprise customers, Spett and Vass quickly saw a gap in the market for a self-service solution for SMB companies.
Today, the startup has evolved beyond “ad buying for SMBs,” it is now focused on creating an automated account-based marketing solution for SMBs.
- Ability to hyper-target digital ads that get a company’s prospects’ attention beyond the cold calls and emails.
- Ability to target an entire department at a prospect company so long as the SMB has a few contacts at that organization. This is accomplished through Terminus’ partnerships with data providers.
Spett is quick to correct the impression that Terminus is an advertising agency:
We don’t make money from the margin on our ad buy. We pass that cost through to our customer, and our income is generated from our software.”
Drawing inspiration from Cummings, Spett is intent on keeping and enhancing the culture at Terminus. Vass is equally passionate:
I only hire people that I really want to work with. I’ll spend the time to bring someone’s skills up to speed if they fit our culture here.”
That culture includes fitness, as Vass leads the running group at Atlanta Tech Village and Amanda Faillo, the company’s customer success manager, leads the Zumba classes at the Village. Terminus now has six full-time employees and revenue from customers including Salesforce and PGi.