Richard Webb founded Red Ocean in 2005 to fund disruptive ventures and more recently co-founded Startmesh, a global Technology Venture Catalyst to mentor and develop mid-stage start-ups with disruptive and innovative data, resource, media, and commerce enabling platforms. During its first two years Startmesh has grown to serve a portfolio of 22 start-ups in 17 cities (in all continents), and its team of over 65 people. He has incubated and/or founded over 15 ventures, some which have been successfully sold to larger organizations or floated on public stock exchanges.
He is currently the CEO/Co-Founder of Startmesh, the Chairman of The Inspiration Room, the CEO/Founder of South Bondi, the Chairman/Co-Founder of Badalya, and is also a holds a number of non-executive director roles with his portfolio companies.
“We believe that the accelerating pace of change in technology, climate, and marketplaces are facilitating the next major societal shift. The best chance we have to re-skill the world is our innovation ecosystem, with it’s mix of advice, capital and services. This ecosystem needs fuel in the form of capital and experienced advice to succeed. Unfortuantely investors believe that this asset class has too high of a level of executional failure, a lack of transparency, and insufficient liquidity options. Startmesh set out to solve investor concerns and in so doing established one of the world’s first global technology venture catalyst. We specialise in five industry verticals and encourage our portfolio companies which have validated their idea in their local market to expand globally with our unique process and team based in all continents of the world.”
His venture fund, Red Ocean, was an early investor in Effective Measure. Founded in 2008 he joined the Board at inception as a non-executive Director and assumed the role of Chairman and CEO of the company between 2011 and 2014. Effective Measure now operates in 41 countries and has become the world’s largest Profile Validation Platform, auditing over a billion unique device profiles and helping the largest publishers, ad networks, advertising agencies and advertisers globally through its unique technology and insights of predictive consumer behaviour. Deloitte recognised Effective Measure as the 63rd fastest growing technology company in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014. Once a year Deloitte publishes the Deloitte Technology 500 ranking, and in that announcement Effective Measure was recognised for posting revenue growth over the previous three years of 485%. Effective Measure was also recognised by Red Herring Magazine as one of the top 100 technology companies in the Asia Pacific Region in 2012 and by Ant Hill Magazine as one of the Coolest Companies in Australia in 2010.
Prior to his involvement in Effective Measure he was the CEO of the largest publicly listed education and technology company on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Renaissance Corporation. During his time there he prepared the company for the end of its exclusive role as the distributor and largest retailer of Apple Computer products, by consolidating its many disparate entities under a single brand, YOOBEE, and significantly reducing its cost base. YOOBEE was awarded the new brand of the year in New Zealand in 2011. The company successfully sold the technology distribution division in 2012 and the retail and education division in 2014.
Prior to his time at Renaissance he was the CEO and Founder of the publicly listed global interactive communication group, BlueFreeway. During the company’s first two years under his leadership the company grew to 540 staff servicing over 1,500 publishers and advertisers through direct sales offices in 25 cities and 19 countries, exceeding its first year IPO prospectus earnings forecast by 20%. In 2008, the company was successfully sold to specialty media and communications company, IPMG, which sought to diversify its mature print media portfolio with high growth digital media assets. The BlueFreeway assets continue to represent the largest area of growth for IPMG today.
Prior to starting up BlueFreeway, Richard was the CEO of Citect; the world’s largest publicly listed independent industrial automation software company. During his time there, the company developed and launched a number of patented cloud-based products and expanded its geographic footprint to over 85 countries, delivering record revenue and profits. He successfully sold Citect to the French publicly listed conglomerate, Schneider Electric in 2006, tripling the company’s share price during his tenure.
Prior to his role as CEO of Citect, Richard was the CEO of Red Sheriff; the world’s largest Internet Audience Measurement company. Under Richard’s leadership Red Sheriff grew its revenue thirty-fold, authored and secured technology patents which today serve as the underlying base for the collection of most meta-data, raised product development and geographic expansion capital in New York and London, expanded its global presence from a start up in Australia to become the world’s largest web analytics and market intelligence vendor servicing over 1,200 clients in 52 countries. He successfully sold Red Sheriff to Nielsen and post the sale Richard assumed the role of President for Nielsen for the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions.
Richard has held more than 115 company board directorships in 26 countries and continues to actively support new technology startups globally. He has also served as the Managing Director – Oceania for Sensient Technology Corporation (NYSE: SXT), CEO – Asia Pacific for Cott Corporation (NASDAQ: COTT), and has held various senior management roles in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East with PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) and Anheuser Busch (NYSE: BUD)
Richard holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Management (Thermodynamics) from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Syracuse University in New York. He is a licensed professional engineer in New York and Florida. He has four children and is a dual US/Australian citizen.