El Toro Louisville

Staff Photo

El Toro is an adtech company located in NuLu that applies new digital targeting strategies and massive amounts of data to an old concept — target marketing.

Louisville Future sat down with Stacy Griggs, CEO, and Sean Stafford, El Toro co-founder, to talk about the company—what is does, its unique culture and how it’s growing in interesting directions. (What’s with that picture of all the bourbon? We’ll get to that shortly.)

When asked about the tech behind what they do, Griggs said “We are a data analytics company that uses IP targeting to connect businesses and partners. We collect about two trillion points of mobile location data every week from people’s phones when they opt in. If you download an app on your phone, that app makes money by serving ads. We partner with about 10,000 different apps.”

The result? An 8-petabyte data lake on consumer insights, retail shopping patterns, etc., and nine patents on processes for mapping IP addresses to home addresses, device IDs to home addresses, and so on. El Toro’s notable clients include Ford, Toyota, Walmart, and the University of Louisville.

Giving back

The folks at El Toro make it a point to enrich the community around them. For example, they are partnering with other local tech businesses and Bellarmine University to coordinate a $1 million grant from the NSF to recruit low-income, high-achieving students into the STEM field.

Griggs is the inaugural chair of city’s TechFirst committee, the goal of which is to congregate technology business leaders to develop meaningful growth initiatives within the region’s technology industry.

Company culture and growth

El Toro recently moved into a 30,000 sq-ft building in NuLu, which they share with other local tech companies Interapt and EdjAnalytics.

El Toro’s new office offers employees many of the perks that Silicon Valley tech companies offer—a gym, a café, a bring-your-dog-to-work policy—but there are a few benefits that you won’t see anywhere else.

One is a conference room that houses an entire wall of premium bourbons and ryes. “It’s partly an employee benefit but the real reason we have it is that we sell to ad agencies all across the U.S. When they come here, the first thing they want to do is try some bourbon. So we figured it would be a lot less expensive to have our own bar,” Griggs said.

The newest onsite benefit (which turned into a business spinoff) is an on-premises licensed and insured high-end hair salon. Sean Stafford led the effort; “I was the President of Sales for the last seven years. But I’m very much a start-up guy and I wanted to launch something new, something that can be a disruptive force. TRIM NuLu was what we called the salon in our building,” he said. “It started as a benefit—saving employees from having to take more time off to get a haircut. But then the concept grew and became TRIM.co.”

With TRIM.co, any companies that want to offer this service can sign up for it. The company supplies the space, TRIM.co supplies the talent and all the materials, including an intuitive app through which services are booked. So far, Texas Roadhouse, Humana, Signature Healthcare, and Yum! are onboard.

Going forward

The innovative company is going full speed ahead. “I think we can build a billion-dollar business. I think we already compete very effectively with companies like Google and Facebook, so we just need to keep executing, keep innovating, and keep building,” Griggs said.