A Video Conversation with Kevin O’Nell, CEO of PeopleLinx (Part II) - Interviewed by Jeff Mack

Kevin O’Nell

Click here for Part I

Tapping into the power of social selling

Kevin O’Nell is the CEO of PeopleLinx, a Philadelphia-based startup that drives social selling behaviors. PeopleLinx helps salespeople understand, navigate, and win customers through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The company’s technology incorporates CRM (customer relationship management) tools, notifies users when to interact with prospects, and monitors team performance. Prior to directing PeopleLinx, Kevin served as COO for Ecount (later Citi Prepaid) and senior product leader at Capital One. He is also a senior advisor for MissionOG, a venture funding firm.

Kevin O’Nell spoke with Jeff Mack for this interview.

What led you to found MissionOG, and then leave it to start PeopleLinx?

KEVIN O’NELL: My last venture was Ecount, which was a payments company based here in Philadelphia. In 2011, I left Ecount after selling to CitiBank, and a group of us—five—joined together to create MissionOG. Our thesis was that venture capital for B2B companies, and B2B FinTech [financial technology] companies specifically, was broken. MissionOG is now a fund operating here in Philadelphia. I opted to leave MissionOG and become the CEO of PeopleLinx about a year ago.

Q. What was the original mission of MissionOG?

In 2011, a number of us left Ecount, which was the venture that we sold to CitiBank. We had a thesis that venture capital is broken and that as the number of dollars needed to start a venture was going down, venture capitalists weren’t looking at B2B ventures as uniquely as we thought they should. It’s easy to add money to a B2C venture: sign up 5,000 users, we’ll give you a little money; sign on 50,000, we’ll give you a little more; sign up 500,000, and we’ll give you some more. Business-to-business ventures are a little different. When you walk into Verizon, the entrepreneur has certain hurdles they have to get over on day one. So, we thought, in addition to money, expertise would be incredibly valuable. We created MissionOG to be an early stage BtoB investment fund that would bring the expertise of five entrepreneurs, as well as capital.

Q. Can you tell us about some of MissionOG’s successful investments?

OneTwoSee was one of Mission’s early investments. It’s run by a local entrepreneur named Chris Reynolds, and it’s a really exciting business based right here in Philadelphia. It’s the second-screen technology used by Xfinity and by the NHL for sports, and it brings stats to the games in real time. CloudMine is also a great Philly success story. Founded through the dream and program of a bunch of guys right out of college, it built itself through DreamIt, was invested in by MissionOG and a number of other early stage investors, and recently raised a new series of investment from Safeguard. Pay4Later is a great investment completed by MissionOG as well. It’s located in Europe, and it’s a payments platform that creates a marketplace in real time when you check out making a purchase online, so it brings together lenders and merchants for the ease of the consumer.

Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn


Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world's leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.

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Jeffrey E. Mack, Executive Managing Director

Jeffrey E. Mack is a senior leader in Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's Philadelphia operation. Jeff has been a significant member of the commercial brokerage community in Philadelphia since 1979. He co-founded Smith Mack & Co. in 1984 and has continued to lease and sell more suburban office space than any other individual agent. He served as past chairman of the Philadelphia Board of Realtors, commercial and industrial division. NGKF acquired Smith Mack & Co. in 2012.

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