Zui Founders Unveil Team Group, Offering Startup Services and Funding

8/14/13Follow @bvbigelow

[Corrected 8/14/13, 11:45 am spelling of partner Tom Broadhead.] It wasn’t long after San Diego Web entrepreneurs Cliff Boro and Tom Broadhead sold their kid-friendly Internet startup Zui (founded as KidZui) to Saban Brands of Los Angeles that the wheels began turning.

The Zui deal was announced last September. By January, the business partners were making a small investment in another Web startup. Boro and Broadhead had enjoyed some modest success before selling Zui, most notably by selling Infogate to AOL Time Warner in 2003. So they had begun the post-startup journey to a higher plane of existence as venture capitalists, right?

Not exactly.

After operating in quiet mode for nearly a year, Boro and Broadhead are now taking the wraps off Team Group, a San Diego firm with two lines of business and an approach that is akin to sweat equity for venture investors. One business, called Team Ventures, invests small amounts of capital in seed-stage Web startups. A related business, Team Services, manages the human resources, accounting, cash management, and other administrative, financial, and strategic tasks for early stage entrepreneurs.

So far, the firm has made four investments: DealStruck, a San Diego startup developing a crowdlending platform; Chatmeter, a San Diego startup that provides local brand management; 6Sense Insights, a San Francisco data analytics startup; and a mobile startup in San Diego that remains in stealth mode.

Team Group also has seven clients on the services side, Boro says. While the average size of the firm’s investment is about $100,000, Boro adds, “Our principal investment is us, working alongside the entrepreneurs.”

TeamGroup LogoTeam Group represents a new iteration of CVT Ventures, a venture capital and startup development group that Boro and Broadwell had established with Vidar Vignisson, a Zui co-founder they had worked with at Infogate. CVT still exists, but Boro says, “Vidar went on to do different things” and CVT is no longer making investments.

“We’ve structured Team Group a little differently,” Boro explains. At CVT, one of the partners typically took … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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