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Posted on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Software firm plans to hire 35 for downtown Ann Arbor expansion after landing $9.5M investment

By Nathan Bomey


HookLogic plans to hire 35 new workers in an expansion in downtown Ann Arbor. Pictured: software development manager Matt Frech; chief product officer Jonn Behrman, vice president Rob Streeter; and general manager Gary Evans.

Alicia Nalepa | HookLogic

(This story was corrected to reflect the correct amount invested by Bain Capital. It was $9.5 million, not $8.5 million.)

HookLogic, a New York-based technology company whose software helps retailers and digital marketers influence online customers, plans to more than double its Ann Arbor office after securing $9.5 million in venture capital.

The company, which established a software development hub in Ann Arbor in 2008, plans to hire 35 new employees in downtown Ann Arbor within months, executives told in an email.

HookLogic also plans to consolidate its two downtown offices — where it employs about 30 workers — into one space. The company is currently operating out of about 5,000 square feet of space at its offices at 111 W. Kingsley and 603 W. Huron, said general manager Gary Evans.

But Evans said HookLogic is seeking about 10,000 square feet to fuel its local expansion.

"Our goal is to be in our new office space early in 2012, and we plan to stay in the downtown area," Evans said in an email.

The expansion is possible because of the company's popular e-commerce software, which helps web retail clients like and media agencies target customers with customized marketing messages.


HookLogic's software helps retailers and digital marketers influence online customers right before they're about to make a purchase.

Alicia Nalepa | HookLogic

The company's technology drew the attention of Bain Capital Ventures, a high-profile investment firm that announced its $9.5 million investment in HookLogic on Sept. 8. The funding marks "the first institutional investment in HookLogic after six years of profitable growth," according to a news release.

Bain's investment in HookLogic shines a national spotlight on the software firm because of the international reputation of umbrella company Bain Capital, which was co-founded by Mitt Romney and has several investment arms with $66 billion in assets.

"We believe e-commerce media is a truly disruptive concept for both retailers and advertisers," said Deepak Sindwani, principal at Bain Capital Ventures, in a statement. "We have followed this growing space for years and evaluated several of the players. We believe HookLogic is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity through its industry-leading technology and media services."

HookLogic began expanding its Ann Arbor-based product management team when the company in 2009 hired Jonn Behrman, a founder of an Ann Arbor-based Internet marketing firm called Beyond Interactive, which was sold off in 2000.

In 2010, HookLogic located its automotive solutions division at its Ann Arbor office, fueling local growth.

"Our goal remains leveraging the exceptional talent coming out of the University of Michigan and already in the work force locally," Evans said.

Among the new employees the company plans to hire are software developers, product specialists and sales people.

The company's connections to Ann Arbor can be traced to several employees with local roots, including CEO Jonathan Opdyke, who graduated from U-M in the late 1990s. Opdyke co-founded HookLogic with COO Vardaan Vasisht and CFO Kevin Hermida. All three worked at Beyond Interactive with Behrman.

Opdyke said in a news release that HookLogic's technology helps marketers reach customers at "one of the most valuable touch points in digital marketing — the moment of truth when shoppers become buyers."

The Bain investment was "a validation of our business model from one of the smartest, most demanding investors in the world, and an opportunity to truly change the economics behind an industry," Opdyke said. "Today, few retailers fully monetize their digital assets despite clear demand from advertisers for point-of-sale marketing."

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 5:38 p.m.

Does anyone realize what this company does??? "whose software helps retailers and digital marketers influence online customers" They most likely place re-replicating cookies (when you erase them they come back) on your computer that track everywhere you go on the internet to help put individual ads on your computer. For instance if you look at stoves once, you will get ads about stoves popping up. The New York Times did a few articles last year discussing if, and how large , invasion of your privacy it may be. The Times explained through the information acquired by these cookies, they could find out everything about a particular internet user including their name, where they lived, worked, annual income, etc. One of the things this article highlighted was the fact that young girls, (because of the information produced by their searching habits and secured by cookies) were constantly bombarded with weightless ads, and other types of ads that can undermine a young women's confidence.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

When Cisco opened a new office in Ann Arbor (by acquiring a local company), they were slated to expand to 100 - stopped at about 35. When Google opened a new office in Ann Arbor, they were slated to expand to 1000 people - and is now at 250. Let's hope this more modest goal set by HookLogic is achievable!

AnnArbor Anonymous

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Carole - The story states that the company is based in New York, with a development hub in the Ann Arbor offices. The $9.5 was awarded to the company, not to the Ann Arbor offices alone. The salaries and benefits for 35 employees in Ann Arbor alone could run upwards of $3+ million per year! Coupled with any expansions at their headquarters and any other offices, boosts in marketing/advertising, and advancements in their technology....there goes $9.5 million! 35 jobs in Ann Arbor is outstanding when you think about it.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Congratulations! I can't wait for more software engineers in town. We have a great tech community and I think it'll really be a boon to the state in the long run if we get a bigger tech community. Michigan has so much to offer, and if we have jobs to fill, people will get a chance to find that out!

the man

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Regarding the 9.5MM, the company has offices in New York and other places--not all of the money is coming right here.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

I hope with the 9.5 m dollars, more than 35 people are hired. Not real familiar with doing software, but it seems to me that that amount of funding would support more that 35. Appreciate any response.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

kodemonki: While I imagine there will be a hiring boom, I also imagine it'd be smaller, as it would be infeasible to hire 35 new employees with the 9.5 million. Yes, it'd cost about 2.5mil for 35 employees, but that's for one year of salaries. Depleting the entire investment in the course of 4 years just doesn't sound like a very 'safe' strategy. Certainly, the added employees will add their fair share of value, and more, to the company over time, but it's a gradual growth process.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Let's say the new engineers make $70k/year, 35 of them would make almost $2.5M, plus they need new office spaces, and everything that includes (furniture, computers, insurance, etc.) and then of course they need to invest in their current employees as well via training and software upgrades. This investment should cover more than just the right now, and be used as an investment in the company to grow it over several years. 35 people does not seem unreasonable to me.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

Cool! We can use all the business succes we can get our hands on. There will be room for those who don't write software if they are willingly to work. The Idea economy continues to grow.