|Born||Portsmouth, Virginia, United States|
|Residence||Dallas, Texas, United States|
|Board member of||ViewMarket, Active Retail|
Alexander Muse is an American internet entrepreneur who has founded several internet companies including LayerOne, ShopSavvy, Architel, and ViewMarket (among others). His most recent endeavor, Sumo Ventures, invests in early-stage startups.
Early life and education
Muse's first venture was an internet service provider, which was founded in 1997 and eventually acquired by DNA Technologies for an undisclosed amount. Muse would then co-found (with Brandon Freeman) LayerOne, a carrier-neutral colocation and interconnection services provider based in Dallas, in 1999. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2001, but, with a team of investors, Muse was able to buy the company out of bankruptcy on September 12, 2001. Muse served as CEO of LayerOne until 2003.
Also in 2001, Muse co-founded (with Scott Ryan) Architel, an information services technology company based in Dallas. Four years later, Muse sold LayerOne to Switch and Data (now owned by Equinix) for $22 million. That sale, in addition to profits earned by Architel, allowed Muse to focus on and fund a business incubator called Big in Japan, which he also co-founded. Big in Japan, which was founded in Dallas in 2007, would be responsible for the incubation and creation of a variety of notable companies and properties including ShopSavvy, Fancast, MotorSport Ranch, WhiteBox, SimpleTicket, and others.
One of the first companies to come out of the Big in Japan incubator was Fancast, a social video and podcast service, in 2007. The company would eventually be sold to Comcast Interactive for an undisclosed amount of money. ShopSavvy, a company that produces an Android and iOS shopping and barcode scanner app, was founded in 2008 after winning the Google Android Developer Challenge. In 2009, Muse was honored with the Netexplorateur Award at the French Senate in Paris for his work on the app. The United States Patent Office granted Muse and his co-founders two key patents related to ShopSavvy (No. 20130297390 and No. 20130297464) in 2013.
In 2011, ShopSavvy raised $7 million in a funding round led by Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin. At that time, the app had accrued around 20 million downloads and Muse had facilitated thousands of partnerships with businesses like Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Target, and others. Muse held several roles at ShopSavvy including CEO and Executive Chairman. The company would eventually be sold to Purch in 2015 for an undisclosed amount of money.
In 2014, Muse co-founded (with Robert Bennett) ViewMarket, a collection of online lifestyle brands like CultureMap, Courtem, RSVP, and others. ViewMarket purchased CultureMap for $15 million in April 2015. In June 2016, Muse sold Architel to Centre Technologies and founded a venture fund called Sumo Ventures. At its outset, the business had plans to invest in between 100 and 150 companies, most of which were early-stage companies. At Sumo Ventures, Muse's father, Ralph Muse, and his sister, Caroline Branch, serve as venture partner and CFO respectively.
Muse lives in Dallas with his two children. He is one of the founding advisors to the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and has been credited as one of the earliest proponents of the startup community in Dallas, having helped organize events such as BarCamp, Dallas Startup Weekend, and Dallas Startup Happy Hour. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Dallas Historical Society.
- Bounds, Jeff (8 March 2013). "Alexander Muse made career out of being his own boss". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Jean, Sheryl (8 February 2010). "Thinking big, being part of a team pay off for entrepreneur Alexander Muse". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Rao, Leena (2 November 2011). "Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin Leads $7M Round In Scanning And Product Search App ShopSavvy". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Rohde, David (7 August 2000). "Start-ups put twists on hosting". Network World. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Abril, Danielle (13 June 2016). "Serial Entrepreneur Sells Architel, Launches Sumo Ventures". D Magazine. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Repko, Melissa (13 June 2016). "To help Dallas' Sumo Ventures give startups a lift, Alexander Muse called in dad, sis". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Shah, Angela (13 June 2016). "Dallas's Muse Sells Architel to Houston IT Firm, Launches Sumo Ventures". Xconomy. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Bounds, Jeff (20 January 2005). "LayerOne deal nets tidy sum return". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "Business News - Adds, Moves & Changes". Channel Partners Online. 1 September 2000. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Miller, Rich (22 April 2003). "Freeman Takes Helm at LayerOne". CarrierHotels. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Joyce, Bradley (8 March 2010). "Big in Japan Announces Board of Advisors". Launch DFW. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- US patent 20130297390, Abiel Jaquez; Alexander Muse & John Boyd et al., "System, Method, and Computer-Readable Storage Medium for Payment of Online Purchases via a Portable Computing Device", published 2013-11-07, assigned to ShopSavvy Inc.
- US patent 20130297464, Abiel Jaquez; Rylan Barnes & Jason Alexander et al., "System, Method, and Computer-Readable Storage Medium For Identifying A Product", published 2013-11-07, assigned to ShopSavvy Inc.
- Kroll, Luisa (3 November 2011). "Facebook Co-founder Eduardo Saverin Invests in ShopSavvy". Forbes. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Sinsky, Regina (2 November 2011). "Facebook co-founder leads $7 million round in ShopSavvy". CNET. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "From Android app to big business? ShopSavvy raises $7M for mobile shopping service". VentureBeat. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Ha, Anthony (17 December 2015). "Online Publisher Purch Acquires ShopSavvy". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Halkias, Maria (17 December 2015). "ShopSavvy app has been sold to online publisher Purch". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Abril, Danielle (8 April 2015). "Exclusive: ViewMarket buys CultureMap in deal valued at $15M". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Shah, Angela (27 June 2013). "New Entrepreneur Center Aims to Connect, Brand Startups in Dallas". Xconomy. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- Newman, Kira M. (7 February 2013). "A History of the Dallas Startup Scene". Tech.co. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "DHS Trustees". Dallas Historical Society. Retrieved 4 January 2017.