Considering the long odds facing startups, it is always very exciting when a current or former goodcounsel client achieves a successful exit. Yesterday, the world learned that ItemMaster, which developed a platform that enables brands to create and manage content for distribution to retailers, was acquired by Gladson.
goodcounsel is proud to have played a supporting role in helping ItemMaster reach this milestone.
In 2012, brothers Andrew and Thomas Parkinson (with whom I became acquainted in the early 2000s, after I founded Fox & Obel Food Market) retained goodcounsel in connection with the spinout of ItemMaster, a new venture they had incubated within grocery multinational Ahold (a/k/a Royal Ahold NV, now Ahold-Delhaize; Ahold had previously acquired Peapod, which the Parkinsons founded in 1989 and took public in 1996).
From the spinout through last summer – a period of more than six years – goodcounsel served as general counsel to ItemMaster through our “Counsel-as-a-Service” (CaaS) program, helping it close angel and institutional financing rounds and negotiate important enterprise sales agreements, including those with corporate giants like Amazon, Walmart, PepsiCo, ConAgra, Southeastern Grocers.
goodcounsel prides itself on providing startups with common-sense representation that, while being alert to risk, is highly practical and supports business growth; we look for ways to tell our clients “yes.” We also use process and technology in a way that few lawyers do. For ItemMaster, we set up several thorough but concise forms of master services agreement, which we updated regularly as we received feedback from the marketplace. We used document automation technology to ensure accuracy and consistency in the generation of these agreements. Together with our network of co-counsel, we helped ItemMaster identify and address the full range of their legal needs.
Congratulations to Andrew and Thomas, who are not only great entrepreneurs but people of the highest caliber; to Dev Ganesan, who took on the CEO reins in 2017 and led the company to and through its acquisition, CFO Kevin Clarke, Chief Customer Officer Helen Baptist, and other past and present members of the senior management team – who collectively built the company and helped it arrive at the point where its value was undeniable; and to early investors Chicago Ventures and Edison Partners, represented on the company’s board by Stuart Larkins and David Nevas, respectively.
goodcounsel wishes everyone continued success, both at ItemMaster and in their future endeavors. All of us here hope to be able to work with you again!