W3i goes with the Grain

W3iW3i is planting a firmer flag in the city this fall, considering a 3,000 sq. ft. 3 year lease recently secured for much of the 10th floor inside the historic Grain Exchange building located downtown Minneapolis.

The Sartell headquartered outfit made its mark with desktop marketing throughout the early days when brothers Rob, Ryan and Aaron founded the company in their St. Cloud dorm room circa 2000 (freeze.com) and grew revenues into the tens of millions over the years.

The explosion of mobile adoption prompted a change in strategy, reflected by a pronounced shift into the mobile distribution business, including a dedicated fund for indie game developers.

W3i’s headcount has nearly doubled throughout the year to 140, roughly half of which are part of the mobile division, a unit Weber says has grown 330% YoY and now reaches some 14 million daily active users throughout the network.  Cumulative top line revenues for W3i were not disclosed.

Sartell and Minneapolis aside, the company also maintains a strategic San Francisco biz-dev office that is projected to grow from 6 to 15 this year.

Popularized by the launch of CoCo on the 4th floor trading deck in May of 2011, the Grain Exchange building has become the de-facto hub in the cities for tech entrepreneurs, freelancers and emerging startups.  More established firms like JAMF Software have since relocated to the edifice, in addition to startup accelerator Project Skyway and policy organization MHTA.  W3i has been and will continue to leverage the coworking opportunities offered by CoCo, Weber maintains.

“Having a permanent home in Minneapolis will be great for us,” says W3i co founder and VP Rob Weber. “There’s a lot of activity and talent nearby.”


  • http://twitter.com/casey__allen Casey Allen

    Mad props to Andy, Ryan, and Rob again for their break neck growth @ W3i. Nice to see them building the team here in the city.

    Ever since we started Project Skyway, an accelerator program for tech startups, it was a no-brainer for us to be located in this building. It’s where it’s all happening. Even moreso now.

    If you’re a software or mobile company, you can either be where the action is at — or not. I recommend you be there, either at CoCo or elsewhere in the building.

    The energy is intoxicating.

  • Pesequa

    ‘Planting firmer flags in the fall’ is the single best alliterative metaphor I’ve read all week. Butt it’s only Tuesday.