Chase Franklin, Former Qpass Founder and CEO, Takes Charge of Daptiv

9/21/09Follow @gthuang

Score one more for the Qpass mafia. Chase Franklin, the co-founder and former CEO of digital commerce firm Qpass (sold to Amdocs for $275 million in 2006), has joined Seattle-based Daptiv as its chief executive, effective immediately. Daptiv makes collaborative business software, and raised $9 million in Series B funding back in August 2008. Its investors include Bay Partners, Kennet Partners, King Street Partners, and Wolf Bay Holdings.

Franklin was most recently chief of strategy for content and media at Amdocs (NYSE: DOX). His claim to fame is leading Seattle-based Qpass from its founding in 1997, and evolving the company from a consumer brand to an online commerce platform for personal computers, set top boxes, and mobile devices. After the bubble burst in 2000, Qpass faced a dilemma when it couldn’t go public, and it needed to decide in which direction to move—keep pushing its product across different market segments, or pick one and stick with it.

Former colleagues credit Franklin with making the tough choices, and making them quickly: Qpass focused on mobile, where wireless carriers would pay the company to help them generate more revenue from subscribers through digital products like ringtones and games. The company was first to market in mobile services and payment processing, and never looked back.

Before his Qpass days, Franklin spent more than a decade at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), leading product development and management for Microsoft Office, interactive television, and MSN properties. He is regarded as a gifted strategist in the software world. He is also one of about 30 former Qpass employees whom we tracked down in their present jobs last month—and he brings the number of ex-Qpassion CEOs to 11.

Brent Frei, the co-founder of Bellevue, WA-based Smartsheet and Onyx Software, knows a thing or two about collaborative software (Daptiv’s space). Though he says he doesn’t know a lot about Daptiv’s new CEO, Frei has high praise for Qpass employees who served during Franklin’s tenure. “They stuck it out through thick and thin, and they are high-quality folks,” Frei says. “That alone would suggest that he’s got some strongly positive substance.”

In a statement, Franklin said Daptiv is “widely recognized as a leader in collaborative project and portfolio management solutions for the enterprise.” He added, “The Daptiv team has a significant foundation in its technology and customer base on which to build as we progress in our vision of helping organizations better manage their work.”

Daptiv was founded in 1997 and says it has more than 700 corporate customers, including Amgen, BASF, BP, and Honeywell.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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