Auxogyn Closes Series A at $20m

Auxogyn, a privately-held company focused on advancing women’s reproductive health, has closed the final tranche of its Series A financing, bringing total funding to $20 million. Investors in the round include Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, TPG Biotech and Merck Serono Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

Auxogyn, Inc., a privately-held company focused on advancing women’s reproductive health, today announced the close of the final tranche of its Series A financing, bringing the total funding to $20 million. The initial tranche was placed in May 2010, and investors in the round include Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, TPG Biotech and Merck Serono Ventures.

“Over the course of the last year, we have executed an aggressive operating plan in preparation for the commercialization of our first product, Eeva. Importantly, we expect to announce data from our five-site, 150-patient clinical study in the months ahead that will then be used as part of our regulatory filings in Europe and the United States,” said Lissa Goldenstein, president and chief executive officer of Auxogyn.

“In evaluating investments throughout the medical technology field, we were impressed with Auxogyn’s unique approach of bringing scientific rigor and data analytics backed by a robust intellectual property portfolio and top-tier clinical advisors to a market in desperate need of improved results,” said Mark Gudiksen, Ph.D., principal of TPG Biotech and member of Auxogyn’s board of directors.

“As the leader in fertility, Merck Serono is committed to investing in innovative technologies to improve the chance of a successful IVF pregnancy,” said Nilesh Kumar Ph.D., director, Merck Serono Ventures. “This investment reflects our confidence in achieving this goal.”

“Having developed its first product, initiated a substantive clinical study, and built a sound organizational infrastructure, Auxogyn has set the stage for an exciting 2012, springboarding toward commercialization in the latter half of the year,” said Beth Seidenberg, M.D., partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers and a member of the Auxogyn board of directors.

About Eeva(TM)Auxogyn’s non-invasive early embryo viability assessment (Eeva) system may improve IVF outcomes by providing IVF clinicians and patients with objective information on embryo viability. Eeva’s proprietary software automatically analyzes embryo development against scientifically and clinically validated cell-division timing parameters. With Eeva’s quantitative data on each embryos’ potential development, IVF clinicians can optimize the treatment path for their patients undergoing IVF procedures.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersSince its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in more than 500 ventures including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Verisign, WebMD and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 350,000 people worldwide. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public, and many other KPCB ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions. KPCB focuses its global investments in three practice areas - digital, greentech and life sciences - and provides entrepreneurs with company-building expertise out of its offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Shanghai.

About TPG BiotechTPG Biotech is part of the growth equity and venture investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With more than $1 billion under management, TPG Biotech targets investments in pharmaceutical discovery and development, medical technology, diagnostics, healthcare and pharmaceutical services, life sciences, as well as industrial applications of biotechnology. TPG Biotech’s investments in personalized medicine and genomics have included such companies as Genomic Health, XDx, CardioDx and Veracyte.

About Merck Serono VenturesMerck Serono Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital fund of Merck Serono, the division for biopharmaceuticals of Merck KGaA. The fund invests in emerging biotechnology companies with the potential to provide breakthrough medical solutions in Merck Serono’s focus therapeutic areas: Oncology, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Rheumatology, Fertility and Endocrinology. In addition, Merck Serono Ventures invests in companies developing innovative technologies that could enable the discovery and development of new products in its core therapeutic areas.

About AuxogynAuxogyn, Inc. is focused on advancing the field of reproductive health through its uniquely-combined knowledge of early human developmental biology, advanced computer vision technology and best clinical practices. The company’s first product, Early Embryo Viability Assessment (Eeva), provides quantitative information regarding embryo development, to assist IVF clinicians in optimizing the treatment path for their patients undergoing IVF procedures. Auxogyn is privately held and funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech and Merck Serono Ventures.


Peele Named COO of Surefire Social

Ron Peele was named chief operating officer of Surefire Social. He is also an investor in Surefire Social, an Internet marketing platform. Peele was a founding investor and CFO of Revolution Health. Prior to that, he helped launch and build the AOL/Time Warner venture capital group.

PRESS RELEASE

Surefire Social®, creator of an end-to-end digital marketing solution that helps businesses become more visible in search and discovery, announced today that Ron Peele has been appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer.
In addition to being named COO, Peele is also an investor in Surefire Social, where he joins former AOL executive and colleague, Chris Marentis, Surefire Social’s founder and CEO.
As COO, Peele will work to amplify Surefire’s growth by establishing a strong operations division, enhancing processes and systems and securing strategic partnerships. With Peele’s investment, the company is focusing on recruitment of key talent to its experienced team, as the company is strategically positioned for growing with existing accounts and acquiring new customers with a limited ramp-up time.
With more than 25 years of experience as both an investor and operating executive, Peele has built innovative companies that create and define new markets. Recently, Peele was a founding investor and CFO of Revolution Health, where he worked closely with Steve Case from the company’s inception. Prior to that, Peele helped launch and build the AOL/Time Warner venture capital group, which invested $250 million in a portfolio of 70 companies.
Ron Peele said, “It’s a great time for small businesses to be able to leverage the capabilities of local search and social networks to generate sales, but the digital marketing landscape can be confusing and it is constantly changing. I’m excited to be part of a company focused on providing America’s small businesses the platform, technology and coaching to stay relevant and grow their businesses.”
Chris Marentis, who founded Surefire Social in 2009, said, “As we continue our rapid growth, an experienced COO like Ron, who has invested in and transitioned new platform and technology companies into market leaders, will help drive Surefire Social’s ongoing evolution.”
About Surefire Social
Surefire Social is an integrated Internet marketing platform and services company that helps businesses optimize local search and discovery to generate sales.


ORIX Venture Finance Invests in Kemp Technologies

ORIX Venture Finance has made an equity investment in Kemp Technologies alongside Edison Ventures and Kennet Partners. peHUB reported in January that Kemp had raised $16 million in new funding, which included $7.5 million from Edison Ventures. Kemp makes server load balancer appliances.

PRESS RELEASE

ORIX Venture Finance, a leading provider of growth capital to mid- and late-stage private companies, today announced an equity investment in Kemp Technologies alongside Edison Ventures and Kennet Partners. As a result of the financing, ORIX Venture Finance Co-Head William Bishop has joined Kemp Technologies’ board of directors.

Headquartered in Yaphank, New York, Kemp provides network load balancing appliances and software solutions to small and medium businesses (“SMBs”) at a competitive price point. SMBs require effective and affordable measures to cope with network stress fueled by the growth of online transactions and proliferation of smartphones and other networked-linked devices. Kemp’s solutions enable its customers to optimize their web applications while minimizing response time and server downtime.

William Bishop noted, “ORIX Venture Finance has a lengthy track record of partnering with financial sponsors to deliver flexible growth capital solutions. We are proud of our ability to provide pure debt financing, pure equity capital or a combination of both. Our equity investment in Kemp demonstrates our continued commitment to tailoring the best possible capital solution to fuel a company’s continued success.”

Bishop continued, “Kemp’s seasoned management team, excellent growth profile and strong value proposition to the underserved SMB segment created a perfect fit for ORIX and we are excited to support the company’s growth and international expansion. We also look forward to strengthening our existing relationship with Edison Ventures and to establishing a new relationship with Kennet Partners.”

Lenard Marcus, Principal of Edison Ventures, commented, “We value ORIX’s ability to deliver unique debt and equity solutions to our portfolio companies, and welcomed their flexibility on this transaction.”

About ORIX Venture Finance

ORIX Venture Finance, an ORIX Corporate Capital business unit, provides customized financial solutions up to $50 million in capital per transaction to mid- and late-stage companies which have established customers and run-rate revenues of $10 million or greater. Since its inception in 2001, ORIX Venture Finance has invested in more than 90 growth companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. www.orixventurefinance.com. ORIX USA, the parent of ORIX Corporate Capital, is a Dallas, Texas-based financial services and investment firm with over 1,400 employees and primary offices in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Columbus and Minneapolis. ORIX USA holds approximately $6 billion of assets and manages through various subsidiaries an additional $25 billion. ORIX USA Corporation (www.orix.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of ORIX Corporation, a Tokyo-based, publicly owned international financial services company with operations in 27 countries worldwide. ORIX Corporation is listed on the Tokyo (8591) and New York Stock Exchanges (IX).

About KEMP Technologies

KEMP Technologies is a leader in affordable server load balancer appliances and application delivery controllers tailored to meet the needs of businesses that rely on the Internet for e-commerce and business-critical applications. KEMP helps companies rapidly grow their business with 24/7 high-availability, better web infrastructure performance, scalability and secure operations – while streamlining IT costs. KEMP’s highly affordable LoadMaster products include Layers 4-7 load balancing, content switching, server persistence, SSL offload/acceleration, and application front-end capabilities (caching, compression, intrusion prevention system), plus one full year of product support – delivering industry leading price/performance value. For more information, visit www.KEMPtechnologies.com, or call at +1 631-345-5292.


Aria Retirement Gets $4 Mln from Polaris Venture Partners

Polaris Venture Partners has invested $4 million in Aria Retirement Solutions. Aria Retirement, a provider of guaranteed retirement income services, will use the funds to expand its tech platform for independent RIAs.

PRESS RELEASE

Aria Retirement Solutions (Aria), a premier provider of guaranteed retirement income solutions, today announced that it has received a significant capital infusion from Boston-based Polaris Venture Partners, a leading investor in seed, early-stage and middle-market businesses.

The $4 million investment will allow Aria to expand its technology platform for independent Registered Investment Advisors.  In January, Aria introduced the first in a series of RetireOne guaranteed income solutions. RetireOne solutions are designed specifically to let Registered Investment Advisors control and actively manage investments on behalf of their clients.

“This is an important milestone as we build out our offerings to Registered Investment Advisors,” said David Stone, Aria’s Founder and CEO. “With this investment, we will continue to broaden our unique cloud-based technology platform, giving advisors real solutions to help clients enjoy a successful retirement by providing a guaranteed income stream.”

“Aria’s breakthrough technology is a game-changer for the insurance and financial advisory industries,” said Polaris Venture Partners general partner Alan Spoon. “Independent Registered Investment Advisors represent one of the fastest growing segments of the financial services industry and our investment in Aria reinforces our commitment to the Registered Investment Advisors segment as it serves the needs of a swelling population of retirees.”

“Our advisors want a simple, low-cost way to provide clients with guaranteed retirement income solutions,” said Tiya Lim, director of Institutional Advisory Services, Buckingham Asset Management. “This is a great alternative to variable annuities, providing a cleaner solution to help protect retirement income and give clients peace of mind.”

With approximately 76 million Baby Boomers entering retirement now and through 2029, the need for a consistent, low cost source of guaranteed retirement income is a growing issue for Americans. Two significant drops in the U.S stock market in the past decade, coupled with declining pensions and uncertainty about Social Security, have left retirees—and those approaching retirement—seeking reliable sources of income.

Aria’s first retirement income solution, RetireOne Transamerica, is based on a stand-alone living benefit (SALB) product design. This fixed contingent annuity provides the benefits of a guaranteed income insurance product centered around traditional investment vehicles such as no-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offered from leading fund families, including American Funds, iShares, PIMCO, Vanguard, and Schwab. The RetireOne Transamerica annuity is underwritten by Transamerica Advisors Life Insurance Company.

Polaris Venture Partners has made investments in several financial services businesses, including Focus Financial Partners, the leading international partnership of independent, fiduciary wealth management firms.

About Polaris Venture Partners

Polaris Venture Partners is a partnership of experienced investors, operating executives and entrepreneurs. The firm’s mission is to identify, invest in and partner with seed, early stage and middle-market businesses having exceptional promise, helping them to grow into market-leading companies. Polaris invests in businesses across a number of sectors including technology, consumer services, and life sciences. Past Polaris-backed successes include: Adnexus (acquired by BMS), Advanced Inhalation Research (acquired by Alkermes), Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Allaire (ALLR, acquired by Adobe), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), Asthmatx (acquired by Boston Scientific), Athenix (acquired by Bayer), Glycofi (acquired by Merck), Internet Brands (acquired by Hellman and Friedman), Ironwood (IRWD), LogMeIn (LOGM), Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA), Powersoft (PWRS, acquired by Sybase), Solidworks, and TechTarget (TTGT). Its current portfolio includes notable investments which include: Adimab, Art.com, AscendHealth, Cardlytics, Confluence, e-Rewards, Focus Financial, LegalZoom, LivingProof, MarkMonitor, ShoeDazzle and Quantcast. For more on the firm, its mission and its portfolio companies: http://polarisventures.com.

About Aria Retirement Solutions

Aria Retirement Solutions (Aria) provides a new generation of guaranteed retirement income solutions to independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) operating fee-only practices. Headquartered in San Francisco, Aria was founded by veteran executives from such industry-leading firms as Charles Schwab and Fidelity, with the shared vision of building a cutting-edge platform focused exclusively on fee-only RIAs. Recognizing the need that effective asset management must balance an aggressive strategy with the need to protect client assets, the Aria executive team developed a platform to support both objectives as RIAs shift portfolio strategy for clients from asset accumulation to income distribution. Through its open, multi-provider platform, Aria gives fee-based RIAs greater control of underlying assets backed with fully licensed sales and advisor support through the Louisville, Ky.-based Aria Retirement Solutions Advisor Support Center. Securities offered through Protected Investors of America, member FINRA/SIPC.


TiqIQ Calls Up $1.7M For Ticketing Site – Filing

TiqIQ, a New York City and Israeli based startup, has raised $1.7 million in equity financing, according to a recent regulatory filing. The company is backed by Contour Venture Partners, and Contour co-founder Matt Gorin sits on the TiqIQ board. TiqIQ aggregates event tickets and helps consumers find deals for sports, music or theater events.


TigerText Seals $8.2M

Santa Monica, Calif.-based TigerText Inc., maker of secure mobile messaging technology for healthcare enterprises, has raised $8.2 million in financing, bringing its total raised to $10 million. The Series A investment was co-led by Easton Capital and New Science Ventures. As part of their investment, John Friedman, Managing Partner of Easton Capital; and Somu Subramaniam, Managing Partner of NSV, join the company’s board.

PRESS RELEASE
SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TigerText Inc., the leading provider of secure mobile messaging for healthcare enterprises, has completed a second round of funding of $8.2 million, bringing the company’s total backing to more than $10 million.

The Series A investment is led by Easton Capital and New Science Ventures to accelerate development of TigerText Pro for Business, its HIPAA-compliant, easy-to-use messaging platform. Doctors, nurses and other clinicians in hospital and clinic settings are using standard text messaging because they need to communicate rapidly, but those systems don’t safeguard the privacy of protected health information. TigerText offers the same ease of use and rapid response by providing a private network controlled by the enterprise in compliance with patient privacy regulations.

Already, more than 20 healthcare organizations are enabling their clinicians to communicate both more effectively and more securely with TigerText’s private mobile messaging network, which works on all the major mobile platforms (Apple, Android, and BlackBerry) and on computers.

As part of their investment, John Friedman, Managing Partner of Easton Capital, and Somu Subramaniam, Managing Partner of NSV, have joined the board of TigerText, Inc.

“The addition of Easton Capital and New Science Ventures as partners significantly accelerates our development,” said Jeffrey Evans, TigerText Co-Founder. “John and Somu bring their incredibly rich experience, based on decades of advising life-sciences and technology companies, to our already strong board. Their leadership will help the Company reach its vast potential to transform the way physicians and nurses communicate, bringing in-hospital communications from the pagers of the 1980s to the smartphones of the 21st century.”

“This additional funding enables us to continue building out the unique features of the TigerText platform, the first service that meets the critical need of secure mobile messaging for healthcare enterprises,” said Brad Brooks, TigerText Co-Founder. “Our strong sales pipeline attests to the growing recognition that hospitals and physician practices need to provide doctors, nurses and other clinicians with a HIPAA-compliant alternative to unsecured texting.”

Healthcare organizations recognize the dangers, but largely haven’t acted on them. In a recent study, the Ponemon Institute found that 81% of surveyed healthcare organizations used mobile devices to collect, store or transmit protected health information – yet half of these organizations admitted that they do nothing to protect the data on these devices and fewer than a quarter use encryption.

“TigerText has staked a unique position in the healthcare space,” Easton’s Friedman said. “Not only is there a critical need for its product, but the Company also has already proven the robustness of its business model. With virtually no marketing effort, its platform has been adopted by more than 20 healthcare enterprises, with many more in its pipeline. I believe that its fantastic product and strong management team position the company to truly revolutionize communication in healthcare.”

TigerText previously closed $2.2 million of seed financing in 2010.

About TigerText:

TigerText allows hospitals and physician groups to create their own private, HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging network for physicians, nurses and administrators. This controlled platform replaces the unsecured text messaging that leaves protected health information at risk. TigerText gives health care providers ultimate control over the messages they and their employees send, with features such as: Self-Deleting Messages (both on sender and receiver handsets), Message Recall and Forward Lock. TigerText works on all smartphone platforms and also has a desktop web interface.


RentWiki Adds $3.6M – Filing

Atlanta-based RentWiki Inc. has added $3.6 million in fresh capital, according to a regulatory filing. The company, which operates a peer review and recommendation website to help people find housing, previously raised capital from Antares Capital Corp.