Mission Accomplished: HipChat, Sans VC, Gets Its Billboard

Pete Curley and his two co-founders at HipChat, can cross something off their list: They got their billboard (see image on jump page).

In September, I wrote about HipChat, a provider of a private instant messaging services for companies, after the startup raised $100,000 in angel financing from the Founders Fund TechFellow’s award program. Subscribers of peHUB can read the story here.

At the time, Curley, who co-founded HipChat with Chris Rivers and Garret Heato, told me that the trio, who are still the only three employees of the company, would likely not seek any additional VC funding. The co-founders–who previously started HipCal, a provider of an online calendar service that was acquired by Plaxo in 2006–planned to use the $100,000 to pay for operations and advertising. Curley also told me that the company was mulling over purchasing a billboard off Highway 101.

They got their billboard in late April.

The cost of billboards alongside the prized 101 in Silicon Valley can be expensive–reportedly about $30,000 a month. But Curley said he worked a deal to get the billboard for about $6,500 for 4 weeks. He told me: “I designed it but the character is from a bunch of popular online comics floating across Digg, Reddit, etc.”

By the way HipChat is still not venture-backed although its customers are growing and now includes allrecipes.com, Fitbit, Grubhub.com, TED, tumblr and others. Last week, Curley presented HipChat at the Under the Radar conference in Mountain View, Calif. During the presentation for Collaboration Tools, Curley said the company was not looking for investments.

“But we do love meeting VCs, especially at their offices, and during lunch time,” he told the Under the Radar attendees.