Chatbooks Raises $11.5M Series B Round Led By Aries Capital

We reflect by sharing a few choice memories about CEO Nate Quigley, talk with him about choosing Utah-based investors, then finish with a poem.

I’m not BFFs with Chatbooks CEO Nate Quigley, but I do have a few defining memories. Here they are:

When I was a young buzzing bee tasked with covering the Silicon Slopes tech scene, Nate and his co-founder/wife Vanessa invited me into their office, played beautiful Rolling Stones songs over their record system, and told me the story of how Chatbooks came to be. This was incredibly gracious of them, not only because they took valuable time out of their own day, but because they gave me an insightful window into how an early-stage startup functions. I mean, I literally looked through a window and watched how Chatbooks employees function. To a tech writer new on the job — who hadn’t heard strange words like Series B, SaaS, or thought leader — I can’t describe how valuable this was.

I once taught a third grade class alongside Nate. Now, taught is a relative term, if I want to be more precise I should probably say I once outlasted a third grade class alongside Nate. We were paired together for a Day of Caring event at a local grade school and oh boy, was it nuts. Nate tried to read a story to the class, a fruitless endeavor that had no chance of succeeding — one girl interrupted to state she ate sugar for breakfast, another hopped in to offer the class a chance to see his rock collection. High, high comedy. It was mayhem in its finest form, young children shouting and screaming at the CEO of a local company while I sat in their midst and prayed I wouldn’t have to face their wrath. In the end, Nate improvised with a quick, condensed version of the story, we all planted seeds in plastic cups filled with dirt, and our day as semi-failed third grade teachers came to a close. Good times.

All of these memories lead us to present day, with Chatbooks recently announcing an $11.5 million Series B round led by Aries Capital, with participation from Signal Peak Ventures, Cougar Capital, and various angel investors. This comes on the heels of a $6 million Series A round last February and if the world were just, Chatbooks would celebrate by creating a live-action photo book of this gif:

.@ChatbooksApp sells it's one millionth book! Check out the video: #HoldWhatMatters

— Beehive Startups (@BeehiveStartups) [February 4, 2016]

Understand that while Nate is excited about the new capital, he is excited for a very specific reason — for every one of Chatbooks’ funding rounds, the money has come from Utah-based venture capital firms.

“We’ve been able to raise angel, seed, Series A, and Series B capital right here in Utah,” he said. “That’s pretty exciting. There has been this knock, that there’s a gap in Series A and Series B rounds….We’re one example of a company that didn’t have to go anywhere else to raise the kind of money that it needed.”

In addition to Aries, Signal Peak, and Cougar Capital, Kickstart Seed Fund and Peterson Ventures have also invested in Chatbooks with total funding now topping the $20 million mark. And as part of the Series B round, Aries founder Rick Durham will be joining the Chatbooks Board of Directors.

“There’s a huge benefit to having your partner 20 minutes away on I-15, it just makes life easier,” said Quigley. “You’re in the same time zone, you can get together when you need to, it doesn’t take acts of God to schedule a board meeting. In certain stages of the company, one of the things board members can help with the most is recruiting. And their recruiting networks are here and relevant to our company….Having our investors right here in the state has been awesome for us.”

Chatbooks raised their Series A round to prove they could succeed with digital marketing. This happened and now they set their sights on putting Series B capital to good use — more exploration of digital marketing, more exploration of product creation, and more exploration of different sales channels.

“I love the fact that we moved to Utah to start this company and we haven’t had to leave,” said Quigley. “We found all the people and the capital that we’ve needed to make the progress that we’ve had to date.”

In closing — as tradition demands — we’ll leave you with a funding poem. Ready, enjoy, and we’ll see you next time.

If Memories Could Shrink

If memories could shrink
they would fit these dimensions:
six-by-six inch squares
that rest on a mantelpiece
waiting patiently for the entire world to see.

If memories could shrink
they would pour from the caverns of our minds
like tiny marbles, each delicate swirl
a story of love or loss, small reminders
of everything we hold dear.

If memories could shrink
we would never lose them.
They would exist forever
to chart a pathway from birth to death
to whisper the tale of all we ever were.

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