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What is Tango Card?
Tango Card is an enterprise software and solutions company that provides RaaS, Rewards as a Service, to enterprise customers. Companies want a simple way to recognize employees & inspire customers – they spend $50B doing this today, generating $5-$10B in margin. Solutions today are tired and not working: they offer the wrong products, inefficient delivery, and are rooted in expensive, fee-driven business models. Tango Card has created the ideal rewards and loyalty platform for the modern, mobile, social enterprise. We’re disrupting a huge industry that has been dominated by a few key players doing things the same way for a decade.

What’s your traction been like thus far?
– We have 100 live enterprise customers today. Our revenue grew 500% from 2011 to 2012. We closed a $4.125M series B round at the end of April.
– We work with some of the largest customers in the world including Microsoft, Salesforce, and Intuit and some of the coolest emerging companies like Beintoo, Extole, Plink, and TrialPay.
– We work with the top Gift Card brands in the country including Amazon, Starbucks, and REI locally and Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and others.
– We also work with many of the most respected non-profits in the country including National Park Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.

What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started Tango Card?
I wish I had known a lot more about our industry outside of the United States. This is a big focus for us now and we could have been better prepared for the opportunity had we been armed with more information earlier.

What’s a hypothesis that you’ve had that has failed? And how did you respond?
Back in 2010/2011, I believed it would be fairly easy to raise capital for Tango Card and do it with Seattle area firms. I have a solid track record as an entrepreneur (I took my last company public) and we’re focused on a very large market opportunity. It was not easy. So, instead of raising a big round, I put together small amounts of capital, added key folks to the team slowly, and focused on developing and selling our most promising products. Ultimately this strategy paid off as we made very good progress in the market and starting growing at a rapid rate ultimately helping to validate our business for investors that came in this year (2013).

How would you describe your company culture?
The three key elements of our culture are as follows:
1) We communicate openly and honestly with each other
2) We set a higher standard in everything we do
3) We delight our customers and we keep our focus externally
I should also recognize that we are still striving to model this day in and day out at Tango Card. We’re getting there.

What’s your favorite startup in Seattle? (Besides your own!)
I love Tableau Software. They focused on a theme, Big Data, way way before it was a buzz word. They have built a company that does not follow the model of losses followed by more losses followed by an IPO that funds more losses. Ultimately the team solved a huge problem for enterprise customers, did this in a way that has built real and sustainable value, and has built a great culture along the way. It’s truly a great story.

What’s your favorite thing about being a startup in Seattle?
I started my last company on the campus at Stanford. Starting and growing a company in the bay area was awesome and I loved how focused everyone was on technology, startups, and entrepreneurship in general. This is a defining aspect of the Bay Area and it’s great. What I love about Seattle is the diversity of thought here. There is, of course, a huge focus on those things here in Seattle too. But in general, folks here do a lot of cool and different things outside of work. People are super passionate about hiking, sailing, fishing, biking, cooking, music, and a range of other things. And people have at least one major focus outside of work. I believe this translates into a richer diversity of thought at work and I love that about Seattle.

What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
I love the combination of creative problem solving, hard work, and team building. Ultimately solving huge problems that no one else has ever solved is awesome.

What does the future hold for Tango Card?
As you might imagine, we are extremely excited here at Tango Card. We have a lot to do, and a massive and now global opportunity to address. We’re already working with some of the largest enterprise customers in the world. We’ll be working with existing and new customers on solutions in the US and increasingly around the globe. I’m excited about our commercial opportunities, and I’m also excited to build a great culture that makes Tango Card a great place to be.

Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners or Huskies?
SoundersFC baby!

If your company were an animal, what would it be and why?
Tango Card is a pod of dolphins. Every member is intelligent and capable of doing amazing and agile things on our own. But we all understand that our sum is more capable of more success than any one of us individually.

If you were to take your company on a date, where would it want to go?
Elliot Bay Brewery or Terrible Beauty, both in West Seattle.

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