Keith Bates, CEO
Keith has been an investor and entrepreneur in the technology industry for over 15 years. In his career before founding Windigo Bay Group, he ran three companies as CEO and raised over $12 million in venture capital for them.
He was a top early-stage venture capitalist (focusing on mobile, consumer and software) and later did another stint as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) at Ventures West; he has also advised three other leading venture firms, plus individual angels, on their investments.
As a VC and entrepreneur, Keith's investees were sold for over $130 million, with IRRs over 65 percent. Keith's VC investments in Plazmic won the CVCA Deal of the Year Award.
As CEO of Plazmic, Keith led the development of the revolutionary Media Engine platform. Used by Disney, Plazmic's technology was later embedded in over 100 million BlackBerry devices. The Media Engine and its authoring tool allowed non-coders to create rich Flash-style content and make it into network-connected downloadable apps. Plazmic raised over $9 million in VC and was bought by RIM in a very successful exit, for $26.6 million. At time of sale, Plazmic had 36 employees in Canada and Japan. Plazmic played a meaningful role in RIM's subsequent growth, and Plazmic investors went on to profit again, this time from RIM's multiplying share price.
Later, as CEO of Kibboko, Keith oversaw the development of a radical new approach to content recommendation. Kibboko's Scout recommendation system was the subject of nine patent applications and garnered over 30 million unique visitors. It was designed to compete with Outbrain and Taboola. See Scout in action below. Kibboko raised almost $4 million in VC.
Keith has done deals with Disney, Reuters, Sony, Cineplex, AOL, Sun Microsystems, Torstar, Gannett, Accent Health and many more. He is a co-inventor on four patent applications. Early in his career he handled deal-making for two award-winning feature films (RoadKill and Highway 61)—running rights acquisitions, financings, distribution and ancillary rights deals. His full profile can be seen at LinkedIn here. Keith lives in Toronto, Canada and has a law degree from Dalhousie; he articled at Davies Ward & Beck with a focus on mergers, securitisations and corporate transactions. Contact him here.
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