Kara Swisher

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Video: Omniture Founder Josh James Talks About $10M Funding of Hot Start-Up–and Hotter Legal Cat Fight With Adobe

Earlier this week, I headed over to a fancy hotel dining room in San Francisco to meet with Josh James, the founder of the Web analytics powerhouse Omniture, to hear about his latest still-unnamed venture and its new $10 million funding.

That funding announced tonight includes Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, as well as well-known investor Ron Conway and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, among others.

While moniker-less, James certainly had a lot to say about the company, but also about the legal battle it has caused with his former bosses at Adobe Systems, which acquired Omniture for $1.8 billion in September of 2009.

James left Adobe less than a year later to start his next entrepreneurial effort, which is focused on creating an executive dashboard offering that compiles all kinds of company performance information.

Shacho is the company’s temporary working name.

To do so, the Utah-based James bought business data firm Corda Technologies, also located there and set to adding staff to the 100-person operation and getting organized.

That included a fundraising effort with a spate of big angels ponying up.

James is also at work on a bigger round of upwards of $30 million.

But it’s not all big funding and roses–James has also gotten into a big legal fight with Adobe over the circumstances of a job offer he made to hire a former Adobe employee.

Here’s James talking very forthrightly–I like his style–about all that and more in a video interview I did:

And here’s the official press release:


Resources Will Fuel Aggressive Growth for New Company Focused on Fixing the Business Intelligence Paradox

PROVO, Utah–May 19, 2011–Shacho Inc. (a temporary working name) announced today that Josh James has raised $10 million in angel funding from some of the most esteemed visionaries and leaders in the technology industry. These angels include individual investors, venture capital firms that often participate in early-stage rounds, as well as individuals who were on the board of directors of Omniture. Omniture is a SaaS company co-founded by James who served as its CEO until selling the business to Adobe in 2009 for $1.8B.

A partial list of angel investors, includes:

· Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com

· Ron Conway/David Lee, SV Angel

· Lars Dalgaard, Founder and CEO, SuccessFactors

· Andreessen Horowitz, LLC

· Mark Gorenberg, Managing Director, and Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

· Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO, Rakuten (Japan)

· John Pestana, Co-Founder, Omniture

· Dan Rose, Vice President, Facebook

· Paul Sagan, CEO, Akamai

· S. Steven Singh, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Concur

· John Thompson, Chairman, Symantec; CEO, Virtual Instruments

The angel round will be used to aggressively fuel James’ yet-to-be-unveiled venture that is solving what James calls a paradox in today’s business intelligence market.

“We are fortunate to have attracted such high-caliber angels whose experiences and insights will help accelerate our aggressive plans for growth; and given what we are planning to do, it’s apropos that we have CEOs and founders of the four largest SaaS companies,” said James. “Today’s business intelligence solutions leave executives with blind spots because the information they receive is not real time and it’s often inaccurate and incomplete. We are on an aggressive path to fix this pervasive problem that has yet to be addressed.”

John Thompson, Chairman of Symantec and CEO, Virtual Instruments, said, “Small companies are hotbeds for innovation. I am pleased to lend my experience in enterprise software and in growing global companies to this exciting new venture.”

WPP, the world’s leading marketing communications services firm, is a strategic investor in this round. WPP Chief Executive Officer Sir Martin Sorrell said, “Josh understands the issues and challenges of senior-level executives as well as the need for SaaS based solutions that generate clear ROI for clients. WPP is pleased to be among his investors.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald