GenNx360 Capital Partners buys farming equipment manufacturer Salford

U.S. private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners has acquired Salford Farm Machinery Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction. Based in Salford, Ontario, Salford is a manufacturer of tillage, seeding and fertilizing equipment. Update: The company’s partnership with GenNx360 will focus on leveraging Salford’s operational expertise and executing on identified growth opportunities, both organically and through add-on acquisitions.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — GenNx360 Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in middle market industrial business-to-business companies, has acquired Salford Farm Machinery Ltd. (“Salford”) for an undisclosed amount.
Salford is a Canada based leading manufacturer of tillage, seeding and fertilizing equipment for the global marketplace. Salford currently serves the North American and European markets from its facilities in Ontario, Canada, Iowa in the U.S., and through a joint venture in Omsk, Russia. The Company sells through more than 300 dealers and distributors in North America.

With a 30+ year operating history, the Company’s brand has become synonymous with its reputation for innovation and superior product performance. Durable and highly engineered, Salford’s patented tillage products offer the highest performance in all conditions, leading to increased farmer profitability. Salford’s R&D team has driven continuous innovation in product development over the years, with the latest ‘Independent Series’ tillage products continuing to exceed farmer expectations.

“At GenNx360, we strongly believe in the megatrends that drive agribusiness. Tillage equipment manufacturers stand to benefit from the need for higher farm productivity and crop yields,” says Matt Guenther, a Partner with GenNx360. “We believe Salford, with its strong brand, patented technology and established dealer network, is well positioned to benefit from the growth in the tillage market. We expect to build on Salford’s strengths by leveraging our operational expertise and executing on identified growth opportunities, both organically and through add-on acquisitions.”

“We are excited to partner with GenNx360 in our next stage of growth,” said Geof Gray, Salford’s President. “We are certain that GenNx360′s value creation tools and the operational capabilities of its partners will help us in getting to our goals faster and more efficiently.”

About GenNx360 Capital Partners
GenNx360 Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in industrial business-to-business companies in the middle market. It applies years of Fortune 50 operational and leadership experience to these investments to help drive growth and value creation. The firm primarily focuses on opportunities in the industrial machinery and components, oil and gas, transportation and logistics, agricultural, specialty chemicals, and aerospace sectors. GenNx360 was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Seattle and Boston.

For more information about GenNx360, please visit: www.gennx360.com.

About Salford
Salford, founded in 1978, is one of North America’s leading manufacturers of non-powered farm implements, including primary tillage, secondary tillage, seeding and fertilizing equipment. With over 180,000 square feet of manufacturing footprint across North America and Russia, Salford has the capability to design, manufacture and assemble farm equipment. The Company tailors its products to operate in diverse regional conditions. Salford’s ‘Independent Series’ range of secondary tillage products is well known for its superior product design and performance.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Iroko Pharmaceuticals to receive $75 mln from OrbiMed

OrbiMed has agreed to provide a $75 million debt facility to Iroko Pharmaceuticals. MTS Securities, a subsidiary of MTS Health Partners, advised Iroko in the transaction. Based in Philadelphia, Iroko Pharmaceuticals is a global specialty pharmaceutical company focused on analgesia.

PRESS RELEASE

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a global specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing the science of analgesia, today announced that the company has entered into a $75 million debt facility agreement with an affiliate of OrbiMed Advisors LLC (“OrbiMed”) to support general business operations and the launch of ZORVOLEX™ (diclofenac). ZORVOLEX was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 18, 2013 for the treatment of mild to moderate acute pain in adults.
“The recent FDA approval of ZORVOLEX marks an exciting time for Iroko, and through this agreement with OrbiMed, we will have the additional resources necessary to commercialize the first lower dose NSAID from our portfolio in the first quarter of 2014,” said Osagie Imasogie, Executive Chairman of the Board, Iroko Pharmaceuticals.
MTS Securities, LLC, an affiliate of MTS Health Partners, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Iroko in this transaction.
About ZORVOLEX
ZORVOLEX is the first and only FDA approved NSAID developed using proprietary SoluMatrix Fine Particle Technology™. ZORVOLEX contains diclofenac as submicron particles that are approximately 20 times smaller than their original size. The reduction in particle size provides an increased surface area, leading to faster dissolution. ZORVOLEX was developed to align with recommendations from FDA and professional medical organizations that NSAIDs be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration of time consistent with individual patient treatment goals. For more information, visit www.zorvolex.com.
About OrbiMed
OrbiMed is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with over $8 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational companies. OrbiMed’s team of more than 80 employees manages a series of private equity funds, public equity funds, royalty/debt funds and other investment vehicles. OrbiMed maintains its headquarters in New York, with additional offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Mumbai and Herzliya.
As one of the largest investment firms dedicated to the healthcare sector, OrbiMed seeks to be a capital provider of choice, bringing the global resources required to be an exceptional long-term partner for building world-class healthcare companies. www.OrbiMed.com.
About MTS Securities, LLC and MTS Health Partners
MTS Securities, LLC, an affiliate of MTS Health Partners, located in New York, provides aligned strategic and financial advisory services to companies, academic institutions and other non-profits of all sizes in the global healthcare industry. For further information, please visit www.MTSPartners.com.
About Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Iroko is a global specialty pharmaceutical company, based in Philadelphia, dedicated to advancing the science of analgesia. The company develops and globally commercializes pharmaceutical products. In addition to the Iroko products that are marketed worldwide, the company has a robust pipeline of investigational lower dose NSAID products being developed using iCeutica Pty Ltd’s proprietary SoluMatrix Fine Particle Technology™. For more information, visit www.iroko.com.

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RoundPegg grabs $2.8 mln

RoundPegg said Thursday that it has completed $2.8 million in financing. Investors were Access Venture Partners, Point B Capital and Dundee Venture Capital. Based in Boulder, Colorado, RoundPegg is a provider of corporate culture management solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

BOULDER, CO–(Marketwired – Nov 21, 2013) – RoundPegg, a culture management company that helps organizations tackle culture change, align sub-cultures and proactively integrate acquired companies, today announced details of its latest round of financing. Investors Access Venture Partners, Point B Capital and Dundee Venture Capital participated in a round totaling $2.8 million.
Since its inception in 2009, RoundPegg has experienced significant and continuous market momentum and has grown 180 percent year over year. RoundPegg anticipates close to 250 percent growth through the end of 2013 as it continues to expand its client base — which includes industry leaders eBay, Kaiser Permanente, Nike and Sungard among others — to more companies seeking to drive greater employee engagement by defining and nurturing their corporate cultures.
The latest round of investment follows the release of the company’s innovative culture management solution, EngagePegg, earlier this year. EngagePegg provides continual measurement of employees’ engagement levels, enabling companies to resolve any issues before it is too late, while tracking the effectiveness of their engagement efforts. With its latest solution being adopted in the market, RoundPegg is focusing on expanding its own workforce. In particular, the company is adding to its sales and marketing teams to address market demand for culture alignment solutions.
“Companies are placing more emphasis on the asset that their corporate culture represents; not only in attracting top talent, but also driving workforce performance and employee retention,” said Tim Wolters, CEO of RoundPegg. “RoundPegg remains committed to leading the industry in the development of groundbreaking solutions that enable organizations to better understand and manage their unique cultures as well as fully leverage its advantages. This oversubscribed round validates the strength of our solutions and our potential to bring further innovation to this burgeoning category through growth capital.”
About Access Venture Partners
Access Venture Partners (www.accessvp.com) invests in early stage technology companies based primarily in the Rocky Mountain Region. Founded in 1999, we have invested in over fifty early stage companies, participating in some of the region’s most innovative and fastest growing companies. In addition to backing some of the top rising stars, we have a history of backing the same entrepreneurs on their new ventures. Our deep and extensive network of entrepreneurs, corporate executives and investors from leading venture and growth equity firms, provide our companies with a competitive advantage at all stages of growth. We provide significantly more value that just capital and have a proven ability to help our companies grow rapidly, raise capital and achieve successful exits.
About Point B Capital
Point B Capital (“PBC”) is an emerging venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies who appreciate our entrepreneur-friendly, value-add consultative approach. PBC is a subsidiary of Point B Inc, which operates Point B Consulting, a management consulting firm founded in Seattle, Washington in 1995. We collectively augment our skills and network by leveraging the expertise, relationships, and horsepower of Point B’s world class management consulting firm to help foster portfolio company growth.
About Dundee Venture Capital
RoundPegg joins the 25+ companies that Omaha, Neb.-based Dundee Venture Capital has invested in since its start in 2010. Dundee invests in e-commerce and software-as-a-service companies with a strong founding team and a scalable solution to a unique problem. The venture capital firm’s investments are between $50,000 and $500,000. To learn more about Dundee Venture Capital, visit dundeevc.com.
About RoundPegg
RoundPegg is the future of culture management and allows companies to manage culture from the cloud. Tackling the problems that hinder business performance, the socially centered web-apps from RoundPegg make it possible to measure, manage and monitor your company’s unique culture by pulling the levers to hire, develop and engage your employees in alignment with the culture.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., RoundPegg has earned the distinction of being named a Cool Vendor by Gartner and driven ROI through culture for every customer. For more information, please access www.roundpegg.com

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Blue Point Capital Partners recaps Trademark Global

Blue Point Capital Partners said Thursday that it has completed a recapitalization of Trademark Global. No financial terms were disclosed. Headquartered in Lorain, Ohio, Trademark is a virtual manufacturer and distributor to online retailers.

PRESS RELEASE

CLEVELAND, OH–(Marketwired – Nov 21, 2013) – Blue Point Capital Partners announced today the recapitalization of Trademark Global, Inc. (Trademark). Headquartered near Cleveland in Lorain, OH, Trademark is a leading virtual manufacturer, fulfillment service provider and wholesale distributor of branded and licensed products to mass-market online retailers.
Founded in 1999, Trademark (www.trademarkglobal.com) is an established player in the highly fragmented U.S. market for hard goods sold to large online retailers, and its customer base includes 25 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. Trademark develops and supplies a full line of high-quality, value-priced products across ten major product categories, with dependable, rapid shipping capabilities, including drop-shipping services.
Blue Point, with offices in Charlotte, Cleveland, Seattle and Shanghai, is one of the largest resident private equity firms in each of its target markets. As reflected by its investment in Trademark, the firm seeks to invest in middle-market companies that fit naturally within its regionally sourced, growth-oriented investment strategy.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work alongside a strong management team in an industry that is expected to continue on its path of rapid growth,” said Sean Ward, a partner with Blue Point. “We believe that Trademark’s market leadership in many of its product categories and its reputation as a trusted and valuable vendor create a robust platform for attractive and strategic opportunities.”
Blue Point will bring operating and supply-chain resources to the Company, assisting with expanding its product offering and supporting geographic expansion, technological innovation and add-on acquisitions.
Dan Sustar, chief executive officer of Trademark, said, “Blue Point’s industry resources and strategic approach make it the ideal partner for Trademark as we continue to bring quality products efficiently to the marketplace. Blue Point is uniquely positioned to bring numerous value-add tools, including Asian capabilities and supply-chain optimization, to the table. Most importantly, Blue Point fits very well with our strategy and we look to benefit from the domestic and international growth opportunities now available through our partnership.”
Blue Point Capital Partners (www.bluepointcapital.com) is an established private equity firm managing over $800 million in committed capital. Leveraging fully staffed offices in Charlotte, Cleveland, Seattle and Shanghai, Blue Point’s entrenched regional presence affords it the opportunity to establish relationships on a local and regional basis with entrepreneurs and their trusted advisors, while simultaneously providing the resources of a large, international firm. Blue Point has a 23-year track record of partnering with companies in the lower middle market where it can bring about accelerated growth and transformative change in partnership with its companies, their management teams and Blue Point’s network of operating resources. Blue Point is one of only a few middle-market private equity firms with a presence in the economies of both the United States and China, and the firm’s experience with cross-border management and value drivers has provided a distinct advantage for its portfolio businesses. Blue Point invests in manufacturing, distribution and service businesses generating $20 million to $200 million in revenue.

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CoachUp scores $6.7 mln in Series A funds

CoachUp has secured $6.7 million in Series A financing. Point Judith Capital and General Catalyst Partners led the round with participation from Data Point Capital, Suffolk Equity Partners and return backer Breakaway Ventures. Headquartered in Boston, CoachUp is a private athletic coaching company.

PRESS RELEASE

Boston, MA – CoachUp, the nation’s leading private coaching company, has raised $6.7 million in its Series A round, co-led by venture capital firms Point Judith Capital and General Catalyst Partners.
“We are pleased to continue to support CoachUp — we love the marketplace they are building. There’s a significant opportunity for CoachUp to connect consumers with fitness professionals,” said David Fialkow, managing director of General Catalyst Partners, both a Seed and Series A investor.
CoachUp helps connect athletes with private coaches, on the web and with iOS and Android applications. Since its seed round a year ago, the company has seen a 642 percent growth in bookings and a 136 percent growth in users. In addition, the team hired key executives to accelerate growth: Gene Shkolnik, former senior vice president of product development at Kayak, joined as the company’s CTO, and Isabelle Plante, former head of marketing at Wahanda.com, joined as the company’s VP of acquisition.
The funds will be used to further build CoachUp’s national brand presence, reach new customers and expand the product offering beyond team sports to include dance, yoga and fitness. In addition, CoachUp is exploring ways to integrate athletic facilities into the mix.
Sean Marsh of Point Judith Capital joins CoachUp’s all-star Board of Directors bringing deep e-commerce marketplace expertise.
“I first got to know Jordan and CoachUp as part of Mass Challenge, nearly two years ago, and I have been incredibly impressed with the extraordinary people he has recruited to his company since then. CoachUp is building a platform that serves the passion and need of every athlete to excel at their sport, which is resonating strongly across the consumer web,” said Sean Marsh, co-founder and general partner of Point Judith Capital.
Other new investors include Data Point Capital (founded by Scott Savitz, founder and former CEO of Shoebuy.com), Suffolk Equity Partners, (investors in Alex & Ani & Warby Parker), plus angel investors such as Paul English (co-founder & CTO of Kayak.com) and Albert Dobron (managing director at Providence Equity Partners). Current investor Breakaway Ventures (Dennis Baldwin, former CMO of Reebok) also participated in the round.
“This round was a major milestone for CoachUp; confirming our position as a leader in both the coaching industry and sports/fitness tech space. I’m thrilled to welcome our newest board member, Sean Marsh. Powered by an incredible team, this round will continue to support our core mission of helping athletes reach the next level in their training and athletic pursuits,” says Jordan Fliegel, CEO and founder.
About CoachUp
CoachUp is a service that connects athletes with private coaches. We believe that private coaching is the secret to reaching the next level in sports + life. Our mission is to help people change their lives through sports and fitness.
CoachUp hit the ground running in 2012 enlisting the help of incredible investors and advisors including: General Catalyst, Point Judith Capital, Breakaway Innovation Group, Founder Collective, Cam Neely (president of the Boston Bruins), Scott Brown (former US Senator), Scott Griffith (former CEO of Zipcar), Paul English (co-founder & CTO of Kayak.com), Dharmesh Shah (founder and CTO of Hubspot), and Adam Soroca (CPO of Jumptap).
CoachUp’s CEO and Founder, Jordan Fliegel, whose life was changed when his father enlisted the help of a private coach to help him improve in basketball as a teenager. Fliegel credits private coaching for his successful academic and basketball career at Bowdoin College, and for his professional basketball career that followed.
Website: http://www.coachup.com

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High Country Venture leads Series A round for Collective IP

Collective IP has closed $2.5 million Series A financing. High Country Venture led the round with follow-on participation from Techstars founder David Cohen and various unnamed individual investors. Based in Denver, Collective IP is an innovation intelligence platform.

PRESS RELEASE

Collective IP, Inc., the global leader in innovation intelligence, featuring the world’s most comprehensive and accurate organization of technologies emerging from research institutes and companies, has completed a $2.5 million Series A financing, bringing the total amount raised to date to $3.6 million. The funding was led by High Country Venture with follow-on participation by Techstars founder David Cohen, and additional individual investors.
“This round will enable us build out the next generation of our platform, based directly on feedback from our fast growing community of users,” says Adam Rubenstein, Founder and Chief Operating Officer. “With over one hundred Fortune 500 companies and technology transfer teams participating in the direction of Collective IP, each side of this marketplace is communicating the value of our platform. Our unique organization of global innovation connects buyers and sellers in the $100 billion per year technology licensing market. The next generation of our platform will include enhanced tools to quickly identify, analyze, manage and market new innovations and the people behind them.”
Collective IP provides a novel search engine and a unique marketplace connecting business development with technology transfer and corporate licensing professionals, around the most valuable assets in the world. Unlike other technology aggregation sources that often display dated, partial or static sets of assets, Collective IP offers the most dynamic, comprehensive and accurate catalog of technologies from global institutions and companies. The Collective IP platform allows for the most rapid and exhaustive identification of relevant opportunities, providing users with an unparalleled view of global licensing opportunities.
“In almost every industry, the ability to quickly identify, understand and acquire innovative technologies and invention is the key to opening up new markets and revenue streams,” said Chris Marks, Managing Director at High Country Venture. “The Collective IP platform represents a new paradigm in connecting buyers and sellers around global asset identification. We are very excited to be partnering with the Collective IP team as they bring this transformative platform to market.”
About Collective IP
Collective IP, Inc., the global leader in innovation intelligence, features the world’s most comprehensive and accurate organization of technologies emerging from universities, companies and research institutes. The Collective IP marketplace provides technology transfer and corporate licensing professionals with a unique asset marketing platform, and a novel search solution for business development professionals who focus on asset identification within companies and technology transfer organizations. The Collective IP platform provides unrivaled access to licensing and acquisition opportunities around the globe, saving time and money for those engaged in the opportunity identification of time decaying assets, due diligence, competitive intelligence and intellectual property strategy. For more information visit http://collectiveip.com
About High Country Venture
High Country Venture manages two venture capital funds (Colorado Fund I and II) investing in early stage growth companies located in Colorado. HCV has approximately $50 million under management and is affiliated with Tango, a private investment company located in Boulder, Colorado. For more information visit http://highcountryventure.com/

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Matrix Partners back local search platform Locality

Locality, formerly known as Centzy, said Thursday that it has closed $4.3 million in Series A funding. Matrix Partners was the lead investor. Also, Jared Fliesler, general partner at Matrix, has joined the company’s board of directors. Based in San Francisco, Locality, which is also backed by Lightbank, ffVC, Cowboy Ventures and Founder Collective, is a local search platform.

PRESS RELEASE

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) November 21, 2013
Locality (formerly Centzy), provider of the most useful, comprehensive search experience for local services, today announced its expansion into more than 10,000 U.S. cities. The company connects millions of consumers with the right local merchants for their needs. Whether it’s finding a stylist who can give great highlights before a big date or identifying the best spa nearby within a consumer’s budget, over 1.5 million people use Locality one or more times each month. Unlike other local search services that provide basic business listings and user reviews, Locality specializes in data that comes directly from merchants, such as their menu of services, pricing, and business hours, generating the most complete results available online covering 60 services in 15 categories.
As Locality continues to aggressively broaden its reach, the company announced that it has raised $4.3 million in Series A funding. Matrix Partners led the round and general partner Jared Fliesler has joined the company’s board of directors. Locality will use the funds to build out its platform in an ambitious effort to cover every service at every local business nationwide and develop new ways for consumers to easily connect to local merchants.
Locality’s vision is to build the most comprehensive marketplace for consumers to find, compare, and select local services. With Locality, local merchants are “always open” to answer the most commonly asked questions about their businesses. Locality aims to help merchants extend their reach and build a larger audience of high-intention consumers. Over time, Locality will make it even easier to search and discover new products and services, connecting potential customers with merchants and closing the loop on their purchases.
No One Covers Local Like Locality
Locality takes a radically different approach to local search. It is the only platform to provide a deep and normalized look at entire service categories within a searchable metro. 90% of Locality’s pricing, available services, and hours data is not available anywhere else online. For example, in a recent random sampling of 700 nail salons across the nation, Locality provided operating hours data for twice the number of nail salons as Google.
Locality’s proprietary data collection system ensures that all merchants within a defined area are included in searches and that all listings remain current. The company provides actionable information to millions of potential customers with strong purchase intent — people searching for specific services as part of their daily lives. For example, it’s 7pm and Bob is just finishing his workday. His regular cleaners closed at 5pm, but he really needs to find a next-day wash and fold. Bob can easily search on Locality for a quality, affordable dry cleaner nearby that offers this specific service and is still open. Locality gives consumers the best insight into all of their options.
“Locality does for local services what Kayak does for air travel. We show consumers every service that’s available around them in a way that makes it easy to find the right one for them,” said Jay Shek, co-founder and CEO of Locality. “Whether it’s finding the best yoga class in a new city or searching for a spontaneous mani-pedi near the office, Locality connects consumers to services for everyday life, giving them the power to find services wherever they are, whenever they need information.”
Act Locally, Grow Organically
Locality’s user base is growing rapidly and organically as consumers discover its value. Since its public launch last year, Locality traffic has grown over 10x as consumers use it in big cities and small towns all over the U.S. In fact, 75% of Locality’s traffic comes from outside the nation’s top 10 cities.
“Locality changes expectations of what local search can provide,” said Mr. Fliesler, Matrix general partner and former Square, Google and Slide executive. “Despite the number of companies competing in the local market, no one can do what Locality does and offer consumers this level of detail in local search. The unique and extensible data collection system that the team built allows Locality to scale and enter new markets at an unprecedented rate, and I can’t wait to help Jay and his team design incredible product offerings on that platform.”
“We are fortunate to receive such strong support from Matrix as a firm and from Jared in particular. Jared has great insight into how to build and market successful products in the local space from his time at Square,” added Mr. Shek. “His outstanding, relevant experience makes him the perfect fit to help us turn Locality into the ultimate local marketplace for consumers and merchants.”
To help accelerate growth, Locality is moving its headquarters to San Francisco. The company will maintain a satellite office in New York.
To find out how to join the Locality team in San Francisco or New York, please visit http://www.locality.com/team. To find the right local services for you, go to http://www.locality.com.
About Locality
Founded in 2011, Locality has developed the industry’s most comprehensive local search experience, covering 60 different services available in more than 10,000 cities. Locality’s proprietary data collection system helps consumers find the information they seek to connect with merchants that best meet their needs. The company is funded by Matrix Partners, Lightbank, ffVC, Cowboy Ventures, and Founder Collective. It is based in San Francisco with offices in New York. To learn more, please visit http://www.locality.com.
About Matrix Partners
Matrix Partners is a premier venture capital firm that has generated outstanding returns for more than three decades. By focusing on early-stage investments and emphasizing long-term relationships with entrepreneurs, the firm has delivered several of the industry’s top performing funds of all time. Matrix Partners has offices in Cambridge, MA; Palo Alto, CA; Mumbai, India; and Beijing and Shanghai, China. Matrix Partners has invested in several game-changing, industry-leading businesses such as Apple Computer, Care.com, Gilt Groupe, HubSpot, JBoss, Netezza, Phone.com, Polyvore, Starent Networks, Sycamore Networks, Veritas, Zendesk, and Zong.

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VC-backed Box raising $100 mln – VentureBeat

According to VentureBeat, Box is currently raising $100 million in funding. The site referred to a public document filing last month as proof. VentureBeat also noted that it wasn’t clear whether the round was completed or not. Headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., Box is a cloud storage provider. Its backers include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, US Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Scale Venture Partners, NEA, SAP Ventures, General Atlantic, Bessemer Venture Partners, SAP Ventures, Intel Capital, The Social+Capital Partnership and Meritech Capital Partners.

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VC-backed Boulder Ionics Corp attracts $500K

Boulder Ionics Corp. has received $500,000 in funding The investor was Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, which is managed by Southern Cross Venture Partners. Based in Arvada, Colorado, Boulder Ionics is a producer of high-performance electrolytes and electrochemical-grade ionic liquids for advanced energy storage devices. It is also backed by Pangaea Ventures and CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund.

PRESS RELEASE

ARVADA, Colo. – Nov. 19, 2013 – Boulder Ionics Corp., producer of high-performance electrolytes and electrochemical-grade ionic liquids for advanced energy storage devices, today announced a $500,000 investment from the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund. Proceeds will be used to support a collaborative research program and license arrangement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, and to create an Australian subsidiary of Boulder Ionics. This new investment complements the company’s prior $4.3 million Series A financing round along with grant awards totaling almost $2 million from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
“Bringing Southern Cross Venture Partners, SB China Venture Capital (SBCVC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) into our investor group paves the way for our next round of funding and enhances our ability to establish relationships with the key players in the Asia-Pacific energy storage market,” said Boulder Ionics’ CEO Dr. Jerry Martin. “With Southern Cross, SBCVC and CSIRO as part of our team, we are accelerating our commercialization of advanced electrolytes for next-generation energy storage devices.”
“With offices in Silicon Valley and Sydney, Southern Cross Venture Partners is uniquely positioned to facilitate this collaboration between Boulder Ionics in the U.S. and Australia’s national industrial research organization, CSIRO,” said John Scull, managing director at Southern Cross. “Furthermore, our strategic partnership with SBCVC in Shanghai sets up an opportunity to help bridge the company into Asia.”
“SBCVC is excited to partner with Boulder Ionics and CSIRO as part of this initial investment,” said SBCVC Managing Partner Dr. Alan Song. “The opportunities for production and distribution of advanced lithium battery chemistries in China are huge. SBCVC’s deep networks across the region can help the company to quickly expand its potential market.”
About Boulder Ionics (www.BoulderIonics.com)
Boulder Ionics Corp. is a rapidly growing producer of high-performance electrolytes and electrochemical-grade ionic liquids for demanding energy storage devices. Founded in 2011, Boulder Ionics is privately held with corporate headquarters and pilot manufacturing facilities near Boulder, Colo. Using its proprietary high-throughput synthesis platform, Boulder Ionics is the first company to manufacture ultra-high-purity ionic liquids at prices that allow for commercial adoption. The company’s advanced Iolyte® ionic liquids and electrolytes displace conventional carbonate-based solvents and lithium salts by offering increased safety and broader operating temperatures in applications including ultracapacitors, lithium-ion batteries and next-generation metal-air batteries.
About Southern Cross (www.sxvp.com)
Southern Cross Venture Partners was launched in 2006 by veteran venture capitalists with a history in founding and operating companies in the technology sector. Southern Cross currently has three funds under management: the $A170 million Southern Cross Fund No. 1, the $A40 million Southern Cross IIF Fund and the $A200 million Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund. We back and assist entrepreneurs to build successful companies with global potential.
About the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund
The Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund, managed by Southern Cross Venture Partners, is a $A200 million, 13-year co-investment arrangement between ARENA and SBCVC.

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Xenex Disinfection Services snags $11.3 mln

Xenex Disinfection Services has raised $11.3 million in funding. The investors included Battery Ventures, Targeted Technology Fund II and existing investor RK Ventures. According to the company, the capital infusion will be used for product development, international expansion and increasing the company’s U.S. sales force. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Xenex is a provider of UV room disinfection systems for healthcare facilities.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Xenex Disinfection Services, the world leader in UV room disinfection systems for healthcare facilities, today announced it has secured $11.3 million in funding. The new funding includes participation from Battery Ventures, Targeted Technology Fund II and continued investment from existing investors including RK Ventures. The capital will be used for product development, international expansion, and increasing the company’s U.S. sales force.
Solving a Global Health Crisis
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, each year in the U.S., at least two million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections. Xenex’s portable UV room disinfection system uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to destroy the viruses, bacteria, mold, fungus and bacterial spores in the patient environment that cause healthcare associated infections (HAI). Its intense, broad-spectrum light penetrates the pathogens’ cell walls, causing the DNA to fuse instantly, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate. Uniquely designed for ease of use and portability, a hospital’s environmental services staff can operate the Xenex device without disrupting hospital operations and without the use of expensive chemicals. With a five minute disinfection cycle, the device disinfects dozens of rooms per day, including patient rooms, operating rooms (ORs), equipment rooms, emergency rooms, intensive care units (ICUs) and public areas. The Xenex device contains no mercury or hydrogen peroxide and is the only “green” technology used in automated room disinfection.
“Healthcare associated infections are a global health crisis. In the United States alone, 278 people lose their lives every day from an infection they unnecessarily acquired during their hospital visit. The Xenex technology is proven and is rapidly gaining acceptance. Xenex is the only company whose customers have published peer reviewed outcome studies showing a reduction in infection rates after implementing Xenex’s disinfection technology,” said Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex. “We want to get our devices into hospitals as quickly as possible to help solve this enormous problem.”
Published Studies Validate Xenex’s Efficacy on Deadly Pathogens
Peer reviewed studies have proven that the Xenex technology is highly effective at eliminating bacteria, viruses and even C.diff spores in the hospital environment. “Proper disinfection that eliminates the pathogens that cause HAIs is what must be done, as we can no longer rely on antibiotics to protect the public from these increasingly deadly ‘nightmare’ bacteria and microorganisms. The most important step in infection control begins with a clean environment and that’s what the Xenex technology accomplishes,” said Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer of Xenex. “We are in a war against deadly superbugs – and Xenex is a proven weapon in this battle.”
Nearly 200 hospitals and Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities in the U.S. are using the Xenex room disinfection system, which has proven to be 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently studied the efficacy of Xenex’s pulsed xenon UV light room disinfection system on C.diff and VRE. One study found that the Xenex technology was superior to bleach, the disinfectant most commonly used to combat C.diff, for cleaning rooms. Other studies reported a reduction in the number of patients contracting C.diff and VRE infections after the Xenex system was used to disinfect patient rooms. A study published in the August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control reported that Cooley Dickinson Hospital experienced a 53 percent decrease in the rate of hospital-acquired C.diff infections after implementing the Xenex system. A study published in Journal of Infection Prevention reported that Cone Health experienced a 56 percent reduction in its rate of hospital acquired MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) after implementing an infection prevention program that included Xenex’s room disinfection system.
Xenex Debuts New Product Design
Xenex recently unveiled the next version of its automated disinfection device. What makes the product revolutionary remains unchanged – its patented pulsed xenon lamp system – but includes many new user enhancements, including a simpler intuitive user interface, a new dent-resistant body made of brushed aluminum, “swerve-free” shock absorbing wheels and a concave top.
About Xenex Disinfection Services
Xenex’s patented pulsed xenon UV room disinfection system is a pesticidal device used for the advanced cleaning of healthcare facilities. Due to its speed and ease of use, the Xenex system has proven to integrate smoothly into hospital cleaning operations. The Xenex mission is to eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses and spores that can cause hospital acquired infections in the patient environment, and to become the new standard method for disinfection in healthcare facilities worldwide. For more information, visit www.xenex.com.

 

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Social recruiting platform HiringSolved grabs $1 mln

HiringSolved has closed $1 million in funding from unnamed investors. Based in Chandler, Arizona, HiringSolved is a global social recruiting platform.

PRESS RELEASE

CHANDLER, ARIZONA – November 21, 2013 – HiringSolved, the only global social recruiting tool that delivers candidates across all skillsets and industries, has successfully raised $1 million in funding. The funding will be used to continue development of HiringSolved’s proprietary SaaS-based platform, make additional engineering-side hires and expand the company’s reach via additional sales and marketing efforts. The round represents HiringSolved’s first external funding round, and was completed in just 30 days.
“When we first started HiringSolved, we had aggressive goals for growth given our deep experience in recruiting and where we felt the market for social recruitment tools was heading,” said Shon Burton, CEO, HiringSolved. “The demand has exceeded our expectations, and we’re now seeing 250% month-over-month growth. This funding round will ensure that we can continue to deliver on the unmatched speed and level of detail that our platform delivers to some of the biggest organizations and top recruiters in the country.”
Founded in 2012, HiringSolved harnesses the power of social media to deliver actionable intelligence to recruiters and hiring managers. The fastest tool on the market, HiringSolved is the only social recruiting platform that can deliver access to all skillsets and industries globally. Whether it’s a VP of Sales in Silicon Valley or a junior Ruby developer in Romania, HiringSolved is fast becoming the “secret weapon” of in-house hiring managers and external recruiters who need to get in front of top candidates first. HiringSolved customers include blue chip brands like Cisco, among many others.
“During my lengthy career as a technical recruiter, I have used all sorts of recruiting tools to fill my open roles, but I have never seen one that can bring back such complete, and useful data in a blink of an eye,” said Bradley MacDonald, Technical Lead Recruiter, Cisco Systems. “HiringSolved helps us be a step ahead in identifying and contacting the right candidates for a wide range of positions across the organization.”
For more information or to request a trial of HiringSolved, please visit http://hiringsolved.com.
About HiringSolved
HiringSolved (www.hiringsolved.com) is the only global social recruiting tool that delivers candidates across all skillsets and industries. The fastest tool on the market, HiringSolved harnesses the power of social media to deliver actionable intelligence to recruiters and hiring managers – helping them quickly match top talent to any open position, anywhere in the world.
Much more than just a search engine for talent, HiringSolved specializes in distilling the wealth of information available, presenting recruiters with a ready-made candidate profile. HiringSolved customers include blue chip brands like Cisco, among others.
HiringSolved is headquartered in Chandler, AZ. For more information visit http://hiringsolved.com

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BIME nets $4 mln

BIME Analytics said Thursday that it has raised $4 million in Series A funding. Paris-based Alven Capital Partners was the lead investor. Headquartered in Montpellier, France and Kansas City, Missouri, BIME is a provider of cloud business intelligence solutions.

PRESS RELEASE

MONTPELLIER, FRANCE and KANSAS CITY, MO, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 – BIME Analytics, the pioneer in true cloud business intelligence (BI), today announced it has secured a Series A round of funding totalling $4 million, which is led by Alven Capital Partners in Paris. This round immediately follows the company’s expansion, with the opening of its US headquarters in Kansas City, MO.
“We owe our rapid growth to the success of our unique technology. The rise of Big Data is a reality, and businesses of any size are using cloud-based tools like BIME to become truly data-driven,” said Rachel Delacour, CEO and cofounder. “We help businesses turn the entire web into a seamlessly connected data warehouse. BIME now has the capital and talent to keep innovating and expand globally, particularly in the dynamic US market.”
BIME intends to use the Series A proceeds to invest in continued enhancements to its industry-leading true cloud BI offering that turns the entire web into a seamlessly connected data warehouse, allowing companies to query data sources across the entire web in real-time, and to expand sales in North America.
“Business analytics is one of the fastest-growing segments of modern IT. Every enterprise that is serious about harnessing the value of Big Data needs to tap into dozens of live data sources and be able to ask questions in the moment. BIME empowers them to do so, with a lightweight yet infinitely scalable service,” said Jeremy Uzan, Investment Director with Alven Capital Partners. “Our funding makes sure BIME can build on its success and establish itself as the most agile player for true cloud BI.”
In October, BIME opened the first office outside of France in The Crossroads section of Kansas City, MO, which has been ranked by The Kauffman Foundation as third among large metro areas for start-up activity in the past decade. BIME will start with an initial team of seven employees, focusing on sales and support, and plans to accelerate headcount growth in 2014. The company will also increase staff at its French headquarters in Montpellier, doubling the overall company size by the end of this year.
BIME has won praise among analysts as the only true cloud BI architecture that frees companies from expensive capital expenses and time-consuming set-up and training. The current version BIME v5 consists of an HTML5 framework, an in-memory calculation engine built for speed and a powerful feature set. BIME was the first vendor to offer a BI front-end for Google BigQuery. It has been recognized by Forrester, Design for Experience, and Dresner Advisory Group for its capabilities.
“Organizations are constantly trying to play catch-up with dozens of data sources — from transactions and sales over web logs and CRM entries to social media comments or other user-generated content. BIME takes away the pain of linking such data and extracting meaning from it,” said Nicolas Raspal, CTO and cofounder. “With BIME, even a small team can get a fast start to change their data world. They can link dozens of datasets on the fly, get answers in seconds and share them through live dashboards.”
BIME v5 has a unique compression scheme allowing more data to fit in-memory while saving compute time. It also offers smart automatic caching to serve assets and minimize database calls and processing — from its small Déjà Vu cache all the way up to the powerful capabilities of Google BigQuery to delve into billions of rows. That way, users can see and begin analyzing results in a matter of seconds and see changes as the underlying data sets change instantly.
Its Grand Prix calculation engine scales automatically so new servers may launch, join or leave the cluster as needed. BIME sets itself apart through an unmatched number of connectors to a wide range of data sources, from spreadsheets on a laptop and large relational databases to datasets in the cloud such as Dropbox, Google Analytics, Vectorwise, Amazon Redshift, SAP HANA and salesforce.com.
About BIME:
Founded in 2009, BIME powers the first pure cloud BI service for the age of Big Data. With dual headquarters in Montpellier, a hotbed of academic R&D in the South of France, and Kansas City, MO, a fast growing high-tech community in the midwestern United States, BIME delivers simple-to-use yet powerful data analysis, visualization and dashboarding as a fast, easy to set up and low-cost service that lets companies and teams of any size mine their business. BIME is available in four languages, including Chinese, and has customers from Brazil to Australia. It was the first vendor to offer front-end BI capabilities for Google BigQuery and has received numerous cloud innovation awards.

 

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Legal cannabis company GrowLife to receive up to $40 mln

GrowLife has secured a commitment from private investment firm CANX to receive up to $40 million. Based in Woodland Hills, Calif., GrowLife develops, markets and deploys products and services that meet the needs of legal cannabis growing and retail operations.

PRESS RELEASE

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — GrowLife, Inc. (OTCBB: PHOT), a diversified company operating in the legal cannabis industry which develops, markets and deploys products and services addressing the needs of legal cannabis growing and retail operations, including hydroponic growing equipment and retail support software, is pleased to announce that the Company, through a Joint Venture (JV) has received a commitment to receive up to $40,000,000 to be used primarily on acquisitions, GrowLife Infrastructure Funding and Technology program (GIFT), and other expansion initiatives.
The GIFT program allows fully-licensed and compliant growers and dispensaries in well regulated cannabis markets including locations in WA, CO, MA, NV, IL, AZ, OR, CT and Canada to spread the cost of infrastructure builds over time. More on GIFT here http://yhoo.it/1fzRcaV
“This financing arrangement created through a Joint Venture with Nevada based CANX USA LLC (CANX) strengthens our ability to assist growers already active in the legal cannabis arena with rapid expansion ahead of what we anticipate will be a flood of corporate interest in growing,” stated Sterling Scott, CEO, GrowLife Inc. “And it also firmly launches GrowLife into a vertical with a much higher ceiling of opportunity.”
“It is with abundant gratitude that we acknowledge the relationships and insights of GrowLife’s Director of Business Development, Randy Breitman, in engineering the engagement of the CANX team of business professionals with GrowLife in the emerging legal cannabis industry, and in achieving an unprecedented commitment of capital and resources for GrowLife going forward,” added Scott.
Under the terms of the JV, CANX will provide GrowLife with immediate funding of $1,300,000 to support an initial GIFT program transaction with additional funding up to $40,000,000 to be provided under the terms of the JV. CANX has also agreed to provide $1,000,000 in immediate growth capital funding to GrowLife under the terms of a convertible note offering. GrowLife will own a non-dilutable 45% share of the joint venture company, Organic Growth International LLC (OGI), and GrowLife may acquire a controlling share of OGI under the terms of the JV. CANX has incentives under the JV to increase the value of assets and market value of GrowLife by and through ownership of initial common stock warrants with additional warrants awarded over the stages of the JV based upon performance metrics tied to OGI performance and the value of GrowLife’s ownership interest in OGI.
“We believe that this Joint Venture allows GrowLife to participate in the most lucrative of legal cannabis opportunities, and to be an early entrant into a space that we believe has enormous upside and growth potential; and to do so without any immediate dilution to our shareholder base,” added Scott. “In fact, by providing warrants to our JV partner for their capital outlay, we ensure that the shares provided are tied to capital opportunities directly through the warrant conversion, the revenue possibilities to GrowLife of GIFT transactions and a range of other growth oriented activities under the scope of the JV.”
“With the new opportunities available to GrowLife through our relationship with CANX, particularly as they affect possible acquisitions and funding for GIFT program transactions, we believe it is prudent at this time to withdraw our previous revenue forecasts and schedule for retail store opening,” added Scott. “Clearly, GrowLife is a Company with a firm and growing foothold in the all-important hydroponic industry. But now, in moving forward, it is also a company that will focus on legal cultivation financing and enhanced regulatory compliance.”
About CANX USA LLC
CANX USA LLC is a Private Investment Group formed by individuals with specific expertise in agricultural, supply chain, retail, real estate, technology and marketing. CANX provides investment capital, Mergers and Acquisitions expertise and other business consulting services. The Company’s goal is to facilitate game-changing acquisitions and upgrade technologies for its partners and investments.
About GrowLife, Inc.
GrowLife, Inc. (PHOT) (www.growlifeinc.com) develops, markets and deploys products and services addressing the needs of legal cannabis growing and retail operations, including hydroponic growing equipment and retail support software. The Company provides these solutions in our nationwide retail network, as well as online sites Greners.com, Phototron.com and RockyMountainHydro.com. The Company also operates the political and social forum, Cannabis.org

 

 

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SciAps gets $2.5 mln in financing led by new investor Gefinor Ventures

SciAps Inc., a Boston-based instrumentation company specializing in handheld and portable analytical instruments, has received $2.5 million investment led by new investor Gefinor Ventures, with follow-on participation from existing investors Rand Capital and Coastal Ventures. SciAps was founded in 2012.

Press Release

SciAps, Inc. (SciAps or the Company), a Boston-based instrumentation company specializing in handheld and portable analytical instruments, recently announced that it has received a $2.5 million investment led by new investor Gefinor Ventures, with follow-on participation from existing investors Rand Capital, and Coastal Ventures.

Founded in 2012, SciAps is an instrumentation company specializing in portable, durable, field- tested instruments that are used to identify compounds, minerals, and elements, both on-site and in real-time. The Company’s products use laser technology to quickly identify compounds, minerals, and elements of interest to the user. SciAps’ analyzers are used for a wide variety of end-use applications, ranging from alloy analysis, mining and exploration, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, plastics and polymers, law enforcement, and hazmat first responders.

“Our mission is to provide durable, field-tested, portable instruments to identify any compound, any mineral, any element; anyplace on the planet,” said Don Sackett, President of SciAps. “This latest round of investment completes the funding for some great new portable products we’ll be demonstrating early next year. It’s really an exciting time to be introducing new technology to the portable analytical instruments markets.”

“We are excited to welcome SciAps to Gefinor Ventures’ family of leading technology companies,” said Christopher Davis, Principal at Gefinor Ventures, who has joined the SciAps Board of Directors. “SciAps has the right blend of unique technology, market knowledge, and global reach to achieve rapid growth.” Daniel Penberthy, Executive Vice President with Rand Capital, has also joined the SciAps Board of Directors.

Founded in 2012, SciAps is headquartered in Woburn, MA. Manufacturing, service and customer support are operated from the Company’s fully ISO-certified facility in Laramie, WY. SciAps maintains worldwide sales and service alliances, with installation and training available in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sciaps.com.

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White Wolf Capital in recapitalization of Aero Precision

White Wolf Capital has recapitalized firearm component manufacturer Aero Precision. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Press release

White Wolf Capital LLC (“White Wolf”) is pleased to announce a recapitalization of Aero Precision, Inc. (“Aero Precision”). Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Elie Azar, Managing Director of White Wolf, noted “We are excited to partner with Aero Precision’s management team. The transaction will provide access to additional capital and resources to support further growth.”

Scott Dover, CEO of Aero Precision, commented, “The benefits of this transaction are compelling. Aero Precision has built a world class manufacturing platform and we look forward to benefiting from White Wolf Capital’s extensive industry experience. Our combined team is well positioned to expand our product and service offerings and identify new business development initiatives.”

Joe Hoff, Managing Director of VERCOR served as the exclusive financial advisor to Aero Precision.

About Aero Precision
Aero Precision is a high-volume manufacturer of firearm components. Aero Precision also operates an online retail store from which it sells firearm components, accessories, branded products, apparel and related supplies. Aero Precision is located in Tacoma, Washington. For further information, please visit: http://www.aeroprecisionusa.com.

About VERCOR
VERCOR is a leading middle market mergers and acquisitions firm, serving business owners who are interested in selling all or part of their company or who are seeking a private equity recapitalization. For further information, please visit: http://www.vercoradvisor.com.

About White Wolf
White Wolf is a private investment firm that began operations in late 2011 and is focused on management buyouts, recapitalizations and investments in leading middle market companies. In general, White Wolf seeks both mezzanine and private equity investment opportunities in companies that are headquartered in North America with $10 million to $150 million in revenues and up to $15 million in EBITDA. Preferred industries include: manufacturing, business services, information technology, security, aerospace and defense. For further information, please visit: http://www.whitewolfcapital.com.

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CoachUp raises $6.7 mln

CoachUp, which helps connect athletes with private coaches via the desktop and a mobile app, has raised $6.7 million in Series A funding co-led by Point Judith Capital and General Catalyst Partners. Other new investors in the Boston-based company include Datapoint Capital, Suffolk Equity Partners and individual investors, including Paul English (co-founder and CTO of Kayak.com) and Albert Dobron (managing director at Providence Equity Partners). Current investor Breakaway Ventures (Dennis Baldwin, former CMO of Reebok) also participated in the round. The company told peHUB that it had previously raised $2.2 million in seed funding from General Catalyst and Breakaway in November 2012. As part of the Series A round, Sean Marsh of Point Judith Capital has joined the board, which also includes David Fialkow of General Catalyst.

PRESS RELEASE

CoachUp Raises $6.7 Million in Series A Round co-led by Point Judith Capital and General Catalyst Partners

Boston, MA – CoachUp, the nation’s leading private coaching company, has raised $6.7 million in its Series A round, co-led by venture capital firms Point Judith Capital and General Catalyst Partners.

“We are pleased to continue to support CoachUp — we love the marketplace they are building.  There’s a significant opportunity for CoachUp to connect consumers with fitness professionals,” said David Fialkow, managing director of General Catalyst Partners, both a Seed and Series A investor.

CoachUp helps connect athletes with private coaches, on the web and with iOS and Android applications.  Since its seed round a year ago, the company has seen a 642 percent growth in bookings and a 136 percent growth in users.  In addition, the team hired key executives to accelerate growth: Gene Shkolnik, former senior vice president of product development at Kayak, joined as the company’s CTO, and Isabelle Plante, former head of marketing at Wahanda.com, joined as the company’s VP of acquisition.

The funds will be used to further build CoachUp’s national brand presence, reach new customers and expand the product offering beyond team sports to include dance, yoga and fitness.  In addition, CoachUp is exploring ways to integrate athletic facilities into the mix.

Sean Marsh of Point Judith Capital joins CoachUp’s all-star Board of Directors bringing deep e-commerce marketplace expertise.

“I first got to know Jordan and CoachUp as part of Mass Challenge, nearly two years ago, and I have been incredibly impressed with the extraordinary people he has recruited to his company since then.  CoachUp is building a platform that serves the passion and need of every athlete to excel at their sport, which is resonating strongly across the consumer web,” said Sean Marsh, co-founder and general partner of Point Judith Capital.

“I am excited to join the tremendous team of consumer Internet pioneers Jordan has assembled on his board. I know we all are looking forward to helping Coachup reach Another Level™.”

Other new investors include Datapoint Capital (founded by Scott Savitz, founder and former CEO of Shoebuy.com), Suffolk Equity Partners, (investors in Alex & Ani & Warby Parker), plus angel investors such as Paul English (co-founder & CTO of Kayak.com) and Albert Dobron (managing director at Providence Equity Partners).  Current investor Breakaway Ventures (Dennis Baldwin, former CMO of Reebok) also participated in the round.

“This round was a major milestone for CoachUp; confirming our position as a leader in both the coaching industry and sports/fitness tech space.  I’m thrilled to welcome our newest board member, Sean Marsh.  Powered by an incredible team, this round will continue to support our core mission of helping athletes reach the next level in their training and athletic pursuits,” says Jordan Fliegel, CEO and founder.

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Report: Alternative asset managers targeting retail investors

Alternative asset managers, including many large private equity firms, are expanding capital raising strategies to target retail investors, according to a report from Fitch Ratings. Managers are doing this by launching retail-oriented investment vehicles, which over time could lead to increased regulatory scrutiny, additional operational complexity and various reputational risk considerations.

Press Release

The growing role of retail investors in the management of their own retirement assets is driving alternative asset managers, including most large private equity (PE) firms, to expand capital-raising strategies. Fitch Ratings sees the development of new retail-oriented investment vehicles as a key source of asset manager growth, but over time it may also lead to increased regulatory scrutiny, additional operational complexity and different reputational risk considerations.

“U.S. Alternative Asset Managers: An Industry Update”

Many PE firms have already attracted capital from retail investors. Publicly traded vehicles, such as business development companies (BDCs), closed-end funds and ETFs all served as initial points of entry into the retail space for alternative firms, and while total capital from these vehicles is relatively small to date, we expect product innovation to open up additional retail channels in the coming years.

Blackstone noted on its last earnings call that it raised nearly $7 billion from the retail channel over the preceding 12 months. This amount is more than 10 times the comparable level of $600 million in retail capital collected during 2009.

Defining the scope of retail investing can be a difficult matter, given the wide variance in assets and investment objectives. It is safe to say, however, that PE firms are now interested in targeting a broad range of investors, which extend beyond “high net worth” to “mass affluent” and “Main Street.” The latter two are categories that have historically been outside the focus of most alternative asset managers.

However, this shifting focus is a necessity as defined benefit plans; historically one of the largest sources of capital for PE firms, are gradually being replaced with 401(k) and other employee-managed defined contribution plans. According to Preqin, pension plans account for 43% of total retirement assets in the U.S., but we expect that share to decline over time as traditional pension plans give way to defined contribution plans for most private-sector employers.

Regulatory and operational hurdles exist, but PE firms are focused on developing products that will allow individual investors the ability to allocate retirement funds to alternative investment strategies, including PE, within their retirement plans.

While we expect retail investors to account for a larger share of assets under management over time, expansion into this new limited partner base will need to be managed carefully and will come with material product development costs. The sophistication of retail investors varies widely. Complicated fund terms, high management fees, fund under-performance and a lack of product liquidity could lead to negative attention for fund managers, potentially limiting their ability to raise new capital. The risks of a regulatory response would also rise in such a scenario.

For a detailed review of issues facing large alternative asset managers, as well as a peer analysis of PE firms, see the Fitch special report, “U.S. Alternative Asset Managers: An Industry Update,” dated Nov. 11, 2013, at www.fitchratings.com.

The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article can be accessed at www.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

U.S. Alternative Asset Managers: An Industry Update (Balancing Favorable Exit Markets Against Growing Uncalled Capital)

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=721987

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Argos Therapeutics boosts Series E

Argos Therapeutics has increased the size of its previously announced Series E financing by $17.5 million, bringing the total amount of committed funds from $42.5 million to $60 million. Argos is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases using its Arcelis™ technology platform.

PRESS RELEASE

Argos Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases using its Arcelis™ technology platform, today announced that on November 4, 2013, the Company increased the size of its previously announced Series E financing by $17.5 million, bringing the total amount of committed funds from $42.5 million to $60 million.

In August 2013, Argos announced the closing of a $42.5 million Series E financing. The additional $17.5 million investment represents additional commitments from current Argos investors and one new investor. The funds from the Series E financing will be used to support the Company’s ongoing ADAPT pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of AGS-003 for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

“This funding further strengthens our ability to advance our ADAPT clinical trial. In addition, the company is now better positioned to consider and pursue a range of options to support our global manufacturing and commercialization plans based on the potential of our Arcelis™ technology platform,” said Jeff Abbey, Argos’ president and chief executive officer.

About the Arcelis™ Technology Platform
Arcelis is a fully personalized immunotherapy technology that captures mutated and variant antigens that are specific to each patient’s disease. It is designed to overcome immunosuppression by producing a durable memory T cell response without adjuvants that may be associated with toxicity. The technology is potentially applicable to a wide range of different cancers and infectious diseases and is designed to overcome many of the manufacturing and commercialization challenges that have impeded other personalized immunotherapies.

The Arcelis process uses only a small tumor or blood sample and the patient’s own dendritic cells, which are collected and optimized following a single leukapheresis procedure. The proprietary process uses RNA isolated from the patient’s disease sample to program dendritic cells to target disease antigens. The activated, antigen-loaded dendritic cells are then formulated into the patient’s plasma and administered via intradermal injection.

About Argos Therapeutics
Argos Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases using its Arcelis™ technology platform. Argos’ most advanced product candidate, AGS-003, has initiated a pivotal Phase 3 study for the treatment of mRCC, and the Company recently completed enrollment of its Phase 2b study of AGS-004 for the treatment of HIV.

SOURCE Argos Therapeutics Inc.

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KKR Asset Management agrees to acquire Winoa Group from LBO France

KKR Asset Management, a sub-investment grade manager owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has agreed to acquire cutting technology business Winoa Group from LBO France. The deal will allow for a recapitalization of the business through reduction of debt and access to new money for growth. The transaction still needs approval by authorities.

Press Release

A consortium led by KKR Asset Management (“KAM”), a leading sub-investment grade manager that is wholly owned by KKR today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Winoa Group from LBO France.

“With this investment, we combined the strength of our European-based Special Situations team, the local knowledge of our French KKR team, and the deep industrial sector expertise of the firm, particularly in France, to establish a fruitful partnership for both parties.”

The acquisition facilitates a recapitalization of the business through a significant reduction of the debt and access to new money for growth. Winoa Group, formerly Wheelabrator Allevard, is a world leader in abrasion and cutting technologies for the metal and stone industries. Founded in 1961 in France, Winoa offers its customers around the world high performance, cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions for the surface transformation of their products. The company has 12 operational plants on four continents, employs over 1000 staff and has 10,000 direct customers worldwide.

The investment by KKR has been made through investment funds managed by KAM Special Situations, which makes strategic, long-term investments in good companies whose capital structure is under pressure and whereby resources are provided to build a sustainable capital structure and improve operations with a focus on growth.

Yves Barraquand, Chairman and CEO of Winoa, said: “I am pleased to announce Winoa’s partnership with a highly reputable international investor such as KKR. This solution is really good news for Winoa and our employees. It provides a stable financial structure, additional funding to realise our growth plans and a clear governance structure centred around a committed and experienced investor.”

Mubashir Mukadam, Head of Special Situations for KKR Europe said: “Winoa is an industrial company with excellent sector-expertise and global ambitions. This is exactly the type of company that we like to support. Amidst the current dislocation in the European markets, we have made, and will continue to make, investments in such enterprises.”

Jacques Garaialde, Member and head of KKR operations in France, commented: “With this investment, we combined the strength of our European-based Special Situations team, the local knowledge of our French KKR team, and the deep industrial sector expertise of the firm, particularly in France, to establish a fruitful partnership for both parties.”

The closing of this transaction remains subject to approval by the authorities.

About KKR:

Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with $90.2 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2013. With offices around the world, KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes. KKR seeks to create value by bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR complements its investment expertise and strengthens interactions with fund investors through its client relationships and capital markets platform. KKR & Co. L.P. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KKR) and “KKR”, as used in this release, includes its subsidiaries, their managed investment funds and accounts, and/or their affiliated investment vehicles, as appropriate.

About KKR Asset Management:

Launched by KKR in 2004, KAM invests on behalf of its managed funds, clients and accounts across long/short equities and the corporate credit spectrum, including secured credit, bank loans and high yield securities and alternative assets such as mezzanine financing, special situations investing and structured finance. With more than 100 employees, including 50 investment professionals, KAM’s investment teams are closely aligned with KKR’s wealth of private equity investment and industry resources. KAM has $20.9 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2013.

For additional information, please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com.

About Winoa:

Winoa, founded in 1961 under the name Wheelabrator Allevard through a joint venture between a subsidiary of the French group Wendel and the US operator Wheelabrator Corporation, was purchased in 2005 by the LBO France investment fund, with a stake held by senior management.

The mission of Winoa is to provide easy-to-use, cost-effective and environmentally–friendly solutions on a worldwide basis for the treatment or transformation of metal surfaces (cleaning, preparation and strengthening), and for the cutting of stone. Buoyed by an active policy of organic growth and strategic buy-outs, Winoa quickly rose to become the world’s leading name for the production of steel shot and related services, commercialized primarily under the label W Abrasives. The Group has also developed Phenics, a groundbreaking on-site treatment process for metal structures.

The main market outlets are, amongst others, the automotive, steel and construction industries, all highly exposed to the current economic downturn. Since the recession of 2008 and a slow-down in demand across Western Europe, Winoa has found growth drivers by opening industrial facilities in emerging countries (particularly Russia and China), and by developing research and solutions services, both of which offer high added-value.

Key Figures*

* As at December 31, 2012, on a like-to-like basis (excluding diamond tools)

- Revenues of €370 million

- EBITDA: €50 million

- 1,077 employees, of whom 15% in France

- 12 plants on 4 continents and 5 testing and research facilities

- 80 sales offices and depots in 30 countries

- 240 agents and distributors and 10,000 direct customers

For additional information, please visit: www.winoagroup.com

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iSTAR Medical SA raises Series A funding

iSTAR Medical SA, a privately held ophthalmic device company and first spinout of Healionics Corporation, has raised a Series A financing. The financing was co-led by Capricorn Health-Tech Fund NV and Societe Regionale d’Investissement de Wallonie and included participation from Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise and Namur Invest – Preface.

PRESS RELEASE

iSTAR Medical SA, a privately held ophthalmic device company and first spinout of Healionics Corporation, today announced it has raised EUR 4.0 million from institutional investors in a Series A financing. The financing was co-led by Capricorn Health-Tech Fund NV (CHF) and Societe Regionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW), and included participation from Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise (INVESTSUD Group) and Namur Invest – Preface.

The funds will be used primarily to support further clinical studies of iSTAR’s lead product STARflo™, an innovative ophthalmic implant for glaucoma, including plans for regulatory submission and clearance in the United States. Funds will also be used to support iSTAR’s current R&D product pipeline.

The company also appointed Dr. Ekaterina Smirnyagina, Partner CHF, Philippe Degive, Investment Manager SRIW, and Dr. Max Maginness, President of Healionics, to its Board of Directors.

“This funding is a solid validation of the STAR® biomaterial technology platform and the dedicated team that introduced our first product, STARflo, to the glaucoma community,” said Michel Alvarez, iSTAR founder, CEO and Director. “I look forward to advancing iSTAR together with our new finance partners and strong board members as we bring promising new options to glaucoma surgeons and their patients.”

“We were impressed by the rapid progress the dynamic team of iSTAR has made in the last year,” said Dr. Smirnyagina. “We look forward to working together in addressing significant unmet needs in ophthalmology.”

“We are delighted to welcome iSTAR in our investment portfolio in the medtech and life sciences sector,” said Mr. Degive. “We wish great success to this young and extremely dynamic company.”

About Glaucoma and STARflo™
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. By 2020, it is estimated that 80 million people worldwide will have the disease. Elevated intraocular pressure is considered a major risk factor for Glaucoma and its progression.

STARflo is a non-degradable, precision-pore implant made from STAR® Biomaterial. It is designed to operate as a bleb-free, microporous drainage system to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients suffering from open angle glaucoma by augmenting the eye’s natural uveoscleral outflow. STARflo received CE Mark approval in 2012 and is currently available through distributors in select countries.

About iSTAR Medical
iSTAR Medical SA is a Belgian ophthalmic device company and first spinout of Healionics Corporation. Its mission is to improve the lives of patients suffering from eye diseases and disorders. iSTAR’s initial focus is to develop ophthalmic implants made from STAR® Biomaterial for treating glaucoma.
www.istarmed.com

About Our New Investors

Capricorn
Capricorn Venture Partners is an independent manager of venture capital and equity funds, investing in innovative companies with technology as competitive advantage. It is based in Leuven, Belgium and licensed by the FSMA (the Financial Services and Markets Authority in Belgium). www.capricorn.be

SRIW
The SRIW Group is a key player at the heart of the economy of Wallonia. SRIW (Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie) provides finance within and outside Belgium for businesses undertaking industrial projects or providing services that generate added value. For the last 30 years, the company has in this way been facilitating the region’s economic development, contributing effectively and in real terms to the modernization, growth and restructuring of the businesses that make up our industrial fabric. www.sriw.be

Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise
The Financière Spin-Off Luxembourgeoise is part of the INVESTSUD Group, a venture capital firm based in Wallonia dedicated to accompanying small and medium-sized companies with equity or quasi-equity funds. The Financière Spin-off Luxembourgeoise is specialized in seed and early-stage investments in technology start-ups.

Namur Invest – Preface
Namur Invest supports formation and development of SMEs in the Province of Namur. More than 150 companies have benefited from the partnership provided by Namur Invest and its subsidiaries.

SOURCE iSTAR Medical

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