Part manufacturers’ rep, and part angel investor, Temprano will work with a limited number of European software companies to bring them to North America and successfully build up their businesses here.
Luke Walling, well-known in the channel from his work at security software firms AVG and Avast, has launched a new company designed to leverage his channel experience. Temprano Techvestors will work with European software firms to bring them into the North American market and build up their presence in the U.S. and Canada.
Temprano, based in Newton, N.C., and with 12 employees out of the gate, combines elements of a manufacturer’s rep, a marketing consultancy and an angel investor in one organization. They handle all go-to-market related activities, from providing capital to dealing with U.S. taxation to website building.
“It sounds like we are a consulting organization, but we go much further than that,” Walling said. “We effectively become their outsourced reps here. We do their marketing, build their sales channel – the whole nine yards.”
Temprano Techvestors has an exclusive North American relationship with its clients.
“We work on a margin and equity basis, taking an equity share up front rather than charging fees,” Walling said. “Our model takes the risk out of the engagement for the companies we work with.”
Temprano is particularly focused on smaller tech companies in central and eastern Europe.
“There are many new companies building tremendous products in very small local markets,” Walling stated. “They are successful in those markets, but carrying the business forward to another, larger, market is something they just don’t know how to do. This is especially the case in central and eastern Europe. They have long had deep pools of technical experts, but the marketing people needed to leverage this just weren’t there. Their engineers need help bringing things to market.”
Temprano’s first partner is a security firm – not a huge surprise given Walling’s background
“We are looking at establishing a maximum of two relationships this year, and three to five for 2017,” he said. “Beyond that, we don’t think we could focus on each client to the degree we want. We are very cognizant of the need to be able to focus.” To this end, Temprano will work with a single client exclusively in each sub-sector of the market.
“The bulk of what we do at the start is digital – Web, electronic or SaaS products,” Walling said. “Over time, depending how we grow, we may change that. Our strategy is to get local coverage in all key markets, all centralized from one operations centre in North Carolina.”
While Walling said they expect to meet new faces through their marketing initiatives, he expects to leverage the relationships that come from 18 years in the channel.
“I have built up friendships with hundreds of people across North America,” he said. “It is challenging for partners to add a technology that solves a meaningful problem and also adds margin, so bringing these offerings we will carry into the channel is of great value.”
Distribution is not in their plans – unless its through a distribution agency Temprano sets up itself.
“The likelihood of getting significant revenue from distribution up front is much lower,” Walling said. “In the longer term, we envision having a distribution component of our own with all of our own brands and others we aren’t exclusive on. This would be a value-added type of distribution component.” This would in part be an extension of the sales and technical training that Temprano will be offering partners on their clients’ behalf.
Ironically, while Walling is best known for his channel management jobs with Avast, and particularly AVG, the work Temprano is doing is an extension of work that his own company, Walling Data Systems, did for over a decade.
“I started out Walling Data as a white box system builder focused on consumer sales, and from there moved into B2B as people brought the white boxes to work,” he said. “From there we evolved into essentially a software distribution company, focusing on European software companies.” Both Avast and AVG were clients in those days. AVG ultimately bought Walling Data in 2010 and Walling went to work for them. Now, he is back in his original role, with a new company and expanded functionality.