Tom Adams was a seasoned entrepreneur and investor with many years of experience in ecommerce, online communities, and online media.
As an investor, he specialized in early-stage Internet, software and consumer technology companies. For example, he led the funding of Activeye, a security software company, from the seed round through the Series B, to acquisition by Honeywell. Tom also led the initial round in Medallia, a customer experience management software company based in Silicon Valley.
In 2009, he saw an opportunity in online media and founded (along with 3 partners) Ongo, a subscription-based online news aggregator. He negotiated the terms and raised a $12MM Series A round from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Gannett. In addition, he negotiated content license agreements representing over 100 national and international publications. He subsequently assumed the role of Chief Marketing Officer, with responsibility for online and offline marketing, public relations, and business development.
Tom was an executive at eBay. As one of the initial 30 employees, he established the Internet marketing and business development groups responsible for implementing strategic alliances with online and offline media companies. Tom personally developed eBay’s marketing partnership with AOL encompassing three separate agreements with a value of over $150MM. He was part of the M&A team that acquired Butterfield & Butterfield, a 135 year old San Francisco auction house and developed the company’s strategy for selling fine art online.
Tom held similar positions with WhoWhere?, an online email provider and homepage directory service. He was one of the first 20 employees and was critical to developing its strategy and market position. As a direct result, the company emerged at the forefront of the industry and was purchased by Lycos. Tom was also an early employee at Netcom, one the first Internet service providers to go public. While at Netcom, Tom developed the customer valuation model and established the sales and business development strategy for the company.
Tom was a professional staff member for the U.S. House Banking Committee for six years. He led investigations into the failure of several banks and savings and loans including Lincoln Savings and Loan, Silverado Savings Bank and the Bank of New England. He also managed congressional hearings on affordable housing and the economy. In addition, he drafted provisions of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 that strengthened the financial reporting and audit requirements for financial institutions.
Tom grew up in Washington D.C. He attended the University of Maryland where he earned his B.S. degree in Finance. He earned his MBA from Stanford University in 1995 and continued his work there as a loyal alumni volunteer and donor. He supported many causes throughout his life, including early education nonprofits and progressive political campaigns. He is remembered for the wide net he cast in support of family, friends, and colleagues.