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After selling to AOL, Going.com CEO hits the open road

Posted by Scott Kirsner  February 12, 2010 07:39 AM

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When last we heard from Evan Schumacher, last June, he had sold his what-should-I-do-tonight start-up, Going.com, to AOL. The acquisition required that he and the other employees of Going.com stick around for six months. By the end of the year (roughly six months + twenty days after the deal), Schumacher had not only started his next company, Open Mile, but he'd raised several million dollars in funding from Charles River Ventures in Waltham.

Schumacher isn't saying much yet about what Open Mile will do, other than that he's returning to a field he has worked in before, with the Cambridge start-up Celarix: logistics and transportation. "We think Open Mile is going to be really disruptive to the way big shippers like Home Depot or Coke buy transportation," he says. "We're aiming to lower their costs, and increase the revenue for carriers." On Open Mile's Web site, he describes the company as a "virtual transportation broker" that will connect "premium brand shippers to thousands of small and medium-sized trucking companies" using mobile devices and the Web.

Schumacher says he plans to be a bit more forthcoming about Open Mile in April, when the site will go live with its first few real customers.

Schumacher's co-founders at Open Mile come from businesses like Going, Yantra Corp., and n2N Commerce. The partner at Charles River who made the investment was Devdutt Yellurkar. Yellurkar had been a founder of Yantra, a Tewksbury company that sold supply chain management software to customers like Best Buy and Motorola.

It was tough to tell how much of a win Boston-based Going.com was for its investors, Highland Capital and General Catalyst Partners, who put about $8.5 million into the nightlife-oriented social site. When AOL bought it, it paid a reported $10 million for Going and another company, Patch Media. Let's just say the return was something less than 2x.

Prior to joining Going as its CEO (he came in about two years into that company's life), Schumacher was CEO of Everypoint, a mobile app development company that shut down last December after raising about $14 million in venture capital from Venrock, Fairhaven Capital, and Prism VentureWorks.

The company Schumacher started with a business school classmate in 1998 was Celarix, a supply chain visibility company. It raised about $50 million from Charles River Ventures and others before being acquired for an undisclosed sum in 2003. 

Open Mile's blog is here; its Twitter account here. Schumacher's personal blog is here. The company isn't yet listed on Charles River's portfolio page.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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