Expedia and Microsoft Veterans Building New Service That Takes Fresh Approach to Legal Industry; Benchmark Venture Partner and Zillow CEO Rich Barton Joins Avvo Board
Seattle, Wash — Avvo, Inc. (www.avvo.com), an online company focused on the legal industry and started by former Expedia and Microsoft executives, today announced a $3 million round of Series A financing from Benchmark Capital. The new funds will be used to expand operations and build a world-class team.
Avvo is dedicated to helping consumers better navigate the highly confusing legal industry. The company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Mark Britton, previously served as executive vice president of Worldwide Corporate Affairs at InterActiveCorp Travel and Expedia, and has been a lawyer for 14 years. Paul Bloom, co-founder and vice president of products and marketing, held key general management and marketing roles at Microsoft, Classmates Online and Apex Learning.
“The need for legal services is widespread and important, yet navigating this complex industry is still too difficult and confusing,” said Mr. Britton. “Our goal is to bring together the brightest minds in the industry to solve this problem. We cannot think of a better partner to join us at this time than Benchmark Capital, which has a proven track record of understanding and investing in innovation.”
Avvo also named Sendi Widjaja vice president of development and elected Rich Barton to its board of directors. Mr. Widjaja spent 10 years with Expedia and Microsoft in various development and managerial roles. Most recently, as senior director of development for Expedia, he led the development team for the company’s next-generation e-commerce platform. Mr. Barton, a venture partner at Benchmark Capital, founded and served as chief executive officer at Expedia until 2003, and he is currently the chairman and CEO of Zillow, Inc.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Mark, Paul and Sendi again on another big opportunity,” said Mr. Barton. “Just as Expedia helped transform the way people plan and purchase travel, and Zillow is working on a similar transformation in real estate, a major opportunity exists in the legal services market to transform the way consumers participate in that market.”
Avvo is an Internet company dedicated to helping consumers better navigate the highly confusing legal industry. Founded in early 2006 as LegalRev, Inc., Avvo is privately-held, with funding from private investors and Benchmark Capital. For more information, visit www.avvo.com.
About Benchmark Capital
Benchmark Capital was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs build great technology companies. Benchmark’s partners take a team-oriented, labor-intensive approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm’s portfolio companies. Benchmark’s portfolio includes franchise companies such as eBay, Equinix, Handspring, JAMDAT, Juniper Networks and Red Hat. Managing more than $3 billion in committed venture capital, Benchmark focuses on investing in entrepreneurs with original ideas. For more information on Benchmark, visit its website at www.benchmark.com.