Former ReadWriteWeb COO Sean Ammirati Starts Commerce Focused Fund, Birchmere Labs

Former ReadWriteWeb COO Sean Ammirati has joined Birchmere Ventures as a lead partner. He will lead its lab division, Birchmere Labs, an early stage seed and studio that focuses on commerce initiatives and community-driven commerce – two areas that Ammirati sees expanding in the future. Sean has worked closely with ReadWriteWeb over the past two years, leading up to our acquisition by SAY Media this past December.

“Part of the thinking is that there’s more innovation around payments, transaction-based revenue models and startups, so we think it’s an interesting focus area,” Ammirati tells ReadWriteWeb. He likens Birchmere Labs to Betaworks in New York. The venture is brand new and as such Ammirati does not have any companies lined up. “We are being anti-stealth, and we want to be transparent about the things we are working on,” says Ammirati. “There’s too much we try to keep secret in technology. We’re actually talking to people. Being transparent is a better way to get your business going.”

As a software entrepreneur, Sean focuses on venture backed startups. He was the co-founder and CEO of mSpoke, LinkedIn’s first acquisition. He is an Adjunct of Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and also served as a research fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Industry Center.

His new work with Birchmere Labs brings together his interest in the growing commerce space. Sean penned this ReadWriteStart story about the growing commerce space last year. He suggests that consumer technology will be commercialized by enabling purchases and taking a percentage of the transactions over the next few years. The combination of commerce and mobile is where he sees the future.

“There’a ton of pop in the mobile space, and I feel like, in one way, shape or form, mobile payments are going to happen,” he says. “Like the Square stuff, maybe the NFC stuff. And there’s also the ability to to do things on top of existing platforms.” For this he points to CardSpring (not related to Birchmere Labs), a platform that makes it possible for developers to create applications for payment cards and terminals.

“In the same way people built SMS on top of Twilio, we’ll hopefully be one to build things on top of the CardSpring platform,” says Ammirati. “It’s taking something very complicated, of interacting with credit card, processing, all these payments, and being able to do something similar to Square or NFC technology.”

We here at ReadWriteWeb wish Sean all the best on his new endeavor. Thank you for helping make ReadWriteWeb what it is today.

Image courtesy of Sean Ammirati’s LinkedIn profile.

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