Media Temple Raises $15 Million, Hungry For New Acquisitions

Virtualization provider Media Temple has raised $15 million from a group of investors led by Triangle Capital (also includes GMB Mezzanine Capital). Founded in 1998, Media Temple is a web hosting and software service provider, helping clients host websites, email, and other forms of rich media content. This is the company’s first round of outside investment and the bulk of the proceeds will go towards increasing headcount, enhancing product offerings and yes, new acquisitions.

Media Temple, which has two data centers in California and Virginia, has been growing at a fast clip in recent years, with compounded annual growth of 70%. The company’s staff grew 30% in 2009, and is on track to increase 25% this year. Currently, Media Temple hosts over 600,000 domains and has over 87,000 clients (including projects for Sony, Adobe, Toyota, ABC). “With the opportunities presented by our new product roadmap, it became clear that now was the time to raise our first round of growth capital,” CEO Demian Sellfors, said in a press release.

In the last few years, Media Temple has also launched a new venture platform, (mt) Ventures, to enlarge its digital footprint and extend its reach beyond web hosting services. Media Temple’s expanded portfolio of companies touch areas like social networking and online advertising, with acquisitions like Krop, Virb, Vantageous, and Reinvigorate.

However, the new “war chest” as Sellfors describes it, will not be funneled to these side projects, but rather to revamp their marquee web hosting packages (the company has three primary products: Grid Service for $20 a month, Dedicated Virtual for $50 a month, and the high-powered Nitro for $750 a month). Calling it a “fairly open bag,” Sellfors says Media Temple is not looking to purchase other hosting companies but “we certainly have a big appetite.” Vaguely speaking, he says that money will be used to to enhance new technologies and for interesting projects or teams that will be additive to the company’s core mission.

Although Sellfors was tight lipped on specific targets, he did unwrap the company’s new focus: creating a comprehensive experience for the small business and the professional developer. The majority of his clients are small businesses (many are mom and pop operations with limited technical knowledge) but the Media Temple also attracts more sophisticated developers, like cloud administrators, who are very savvy in Linux and want to get deep in the nuts and bolts of their operations. Sellfors admits that that the company has not adequately serviced both markets (he calls his current products “aging”) because its been erring on the side of generic. The next stage of Media Temple, he says, will be about evolving the product line (not abandoning it) and making it more user friendly for both crowds, making it easy enough for the layman to use the basic features, but with enough turbo, gizmos and gadgets to satisfy more complex needs.