Management Health Solutions Raises $7 Million

Management Health Solutions Inc., a Fairfield, Conn.-based provider of supply chain management solutions to hospitals, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Enhanced Equity Fund led the round, and was joined by return backer Radius Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

Management Health Solutions, Inc. (MHS), a leading provider of supply chain management solutions to hospitals and healthcare providers across the United States, announced today the completion of a $7.0 million Series B equity investment led by Enhanced Equity Fund, L.P. (Enhanced Equity). Radius Ventures, LLC (Radius), the company’s existing institutional investor, also participated in the financing round.

The Series B investment was used to fund the company’s recent acquisition of AtPar, Inc., a provider of mobile technology solutions that increase efficiencies in managing clinical supply inventories primarily within the hospital setting. The investment will also fund continued growth and expansion of the company’s suite of hospital supply chain management offerings.

“We are eager to begin our relationship with Enhanced Equity because their expertise in the healthcare services and healthcare information technology sectors, coupled with their vast network of industry relationships, will make them a valuable partner as MHS grows,” said William Zierolf, president and CEO of Management Health Solutions, Inc.

“Enhanced Equity’s current and ongoing commitment to MHS strengthens our financial foundation and is critical to our ability to continue to deliver innovative supply chain management solutions that assist our hospital clients in controlling the rising cost of healthcare while improving patient safety.”

Enhanced Equity is a lower-middle market private equity fund focused on growth capital investing within certain sectors of the healthcare industry. It is currently investing out of its second fund and manages funds in excess of $500 million.

“We are keenly interested in investing in healthcare enterprises that reduce system costs in delivering healthcare nationwide,” said Brett Fliegler, partner at Enhanced Equity.

“MHS’s solutions are squarely centered on increasing efficiencies within the hospital setting which, in turn, lower costs and improve capital utilization for the hospital. We see great potential for MHS to play a key role in shaping the future of clinical supply chain management in the healthcare industry, particularly with MHS’s recent acquisition of AtPar which further transforms MHS’s capabilities to develop and advance its OPTIC solution.”

The addition of AtPar’s mobile technology complements MHS’s Optimal Inventory Control (OPTICSM) model – the company’s proprietary process of clinical inventory optimization – by adding handheld inventory tracking technology to its suite of supply chain management solutions.

Enhanced Equity joins MHS’s existing institutional investor, Radius Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on leading-edge health and life sciences companies.

“MHS’s partnership with Enhanced Equity brings MHS a terrific capital partner with dedicated healthcare industry expertise,” said Daniel Lubin, managing partner of Radius and member of MHS’s board of directors.

“Having worked with MHS for two years, we have never been more excited about the importance of the company’s value proposition to our hospital partners. MHS is well-positioned to enhance its existing offering and develop key new products and services, all fueled by the ongoing commitment by Enhanced Equity and Radius.”

For additional information on MHS and their products and services, please visit www.mhsinc.com.

ABOUT MANAGEMENT HEALTH SOLUTIONS, INC.

Management Health Solutions, Inc. (MHS) is the leading provider of an integrated inventory management solution designed to dramatically reduce clinical supply inventory cost and streamline clinical supply chain operations, which enhances patient safety and improves financial performance. MHS combines ‘best-in-class’ professional services with content solutions, benchmarks, leading edge technology and mobile device management – enabling hospitals to generate a measurable return on investment. MHS serves individual hospitals and integrated delivery networks in North America. To learn more about MHS and its OPTICSM services, visit www.mhsinc.com.

ABOUT ENHANCED EQUITY FUND, L.P.

Enhanced Equity Fund, L.P. (Enhanced Equity), with over $500 million of assets under management, is focused on providing equity capital to lower-middle market growth companies (typically less than $100 million in revenues) in the healthcare industry. As part of their investment philosophy, Enhanced Equity partners with successful entrepreneurs and management teams to build value through both internal growth strategies and acquisitions in order to transform their businesses into market leaders. To learn more about Enhanced Equity, visit www.enhancedequity.com.

ABOUT RADIUS VENTURES, LLC.

Radius Ventures, LLC (Radius) is a venture capital firm focused on leading-edge health and life sciences companies. Investments are sought across the industry’s key sectors including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, services, and healthcare/life sciences information technology. Radius currently manages three funds with total committed capital of approximately $200 million. Generally, Radius invests up to $8 million in aggregate, as a lead or syndicate investor. For more information, visit www.radiusventures.com.


Tremor Media Raises $40 Million

Tremor Media, a New York-based online video advertising network, has raised $40 million in fourth-round funding. Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund led the round, and was joined by DFJ, Triangle Peak Partners and return backers Canaan Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and SAP Ventures. The company previously raised over $38 million. Past backers not mentioned in today’s release include Masthead Venture Partners and European Founders Fund.

PRESS RELEASE

Tremor Media (www.tremormedia.com), the leading video monetization and advertising company, today announced it has raised $40 million in funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund with participation from DFJ and Triangle Peak Partners. Existing investors including Canaan Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and SAP Ventures also participated significantly in this financing. The capital will allow Tremor Media to accelerate its lead in the online video advertising space and continue its rapid growth trajectory. It will primarily be used to invest in R&D to bolster Acudeo®, its leading technology platform, with new solutions for both advertisers and publishers, and to drive expansion into other media channels where digital video advertising will grow significantly.

Tremor Media, which has the leading video advertising network with the largest audience reach, has more than doubled the size of its network from 2009 to 2010*. The company became profitable in 2009, demonstrating revenue gains that exceeded more than twice the rate of growth of the overall online video market.

“Tremor Media is at the epicenter of video advertising. We have created the preferred technology and media platform for video advertisers, publishers and consumers and we are continuing to build long-term solutions that will meet the demand of the rapidly evolving digital video landscape,” said Jason Glickman, CEO, Tremor Media. “The next 12-18 months are critical for online video’s growth as massive advertising budgets shift to online video and consumption of online video rises. This infusion of capital will allow us to accelerate our lead in the marketplace and fuel our continued innovation.  It is a validation of our company’s success and indicative of the enormous opportunity for the digital video space.” 

“The online video industry is exploding and represents a major growth sector for the advertising industry. We’ve been evaluating this sector for quite some time and Tremor Media has clearly emerged as the category leader. The company has established its position through a combination of unsurpassed reach, audience targeting and ad management technology innovation that gives its blue chip advertisers tremendous buying efficiency and performance,” said Randy Glein, Managing Director of DFJ Growth Fund.  “Tremor Media understands the needs of publishers and advertisers, delivering high impact media solutions that benefit the entire value chain. The company has demonstrated phenomenal growth and financial performance and has done an outstanding job anticipating the trends that are driving video advertising forward.”

In recent months Tremor Media has announced several new products and partnerships that further differentiate it in the online video marketplace. These advances include real-time audience targeting, several engagement-driven in-stream ad formats including the proprietary vChoice unit, and the first of its kind strategic partnership with DoubleVerify for third party ad verification. Read more at www.tremormedia.com.

*ComScore Video Metrix, comScore Releases February 2010 U.S. Online Video Rankings. February 2010.

About Tremor Media

Tremor Media (www.tremormedia.com), the leading online video monetization and advertising company, provides brand advertisers with in-stream and in-banner video advertising solutions on top-tier publisher sites with a combined 189.9 million uniques, reaching 90.6% of internet users. Tremor Media’s innovative video ad formats, advanced targeting, and industry-leading measurement tools enable advertisers to deliver efficient, scalable, and engaging video campaigns with measurable impact.

In addition, Tremor Media’s Acudeo® technology provides publishers with a full suite of products and services to monetize streaming video and maximize ROI. Acudeo delivers the industry’s most flexible and easy-to-use ad policy management tools and provides access to the industry’s leading revenue sources including turnkey integrations with all major video ad networks, ad serving, and video analytic technologies. With Tremor Media’s Acudeo technology, publishers can achieve maximum revenue while retaining total control and flexibility over their advertising inventory.

About Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund

Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund invests in revenue-stage technology companies that are expanding rapidly in large markets and are well-positioned to be category leaders. Draper Fisher Jurvetson is a leading venture capital firm with global presence through the DFJ Global Network of funds. DFJ’s mission is to identify, serve and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world. The DFJ Network has grown to encompass over 150 venture capital professionals in more than 30 cities around the world, more than 600 portfolio companies funded, and over $6 billion of capital under management. The DFJ Network has produced such notable, industry changing companies as Athenahealth (ATHN), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by eBay), Focus Media (FMCN), DivX (DIVX), Mobile 365 (acquired by Sybase), Massive (acquired by Microsoft), EnerNOC (ENOC), FeedBurner (acquired by Google), Four11 (acquired by Yahoo), xFire (acquired by Viacom/MTV Networks), Mozy (acquired by EMC), Myfamily.com (acquired by Spectrum Equity Investors), Overture (acquired by Yahoo), Parametric (PMTC), TicketsNow (acquired by TicketMaster), and buy.at (acquired by AOL).


Bezos, Others Back Qliance Medical

Qliance Medical Management Inc., an operator of insurance-free direct primary care clinics in Washington State, has raised $6 million in Series B funding. Bezos Expedition led the round, and was joined by MSD Capital, Drew Carey and return backers Second Avenue Partners, New Atlantic Ventures and Clear Fir Partners. The company had previously raised $7.5 million.

PRESS RELEASE

Qliance Medical Management Inc., which operates insurance-free, flat-fee direct primary care medical home clinics in Washington State, today announced it has closed a $6 million Series B funding round led by Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos with participation from MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm of Michael Dell.  Other participants include Drew Carey, actor and co-owner of the Seattle Sounders soccer team, and existing venture fund investors Second Avenue Partners, New Atlantic Ventures and Clear Fir Partners.

This new round brings Qliance’s total capital raised to $13.5 million, which includes initial seed investment from Qliance co-founders and other private investors, including Rich Barton, founder of Expedia and co-founder and CEO of Zillow. The company will use the proceeds to add new clinics within the state of Washington, prepare for its national expansion and further develop its technology platform. Qliance currently runs three clinics in Washington, operated by Qliance Medical Group of Washington PC: one in downtown Seattle and the others in nearby suburbs of Kent and Mercer Island. Qliance expects to expand outside the state as early as next year.

Qliance provides patients and businesses an attractive lower-cost alternative to traditional insurance plans that can save individuals and employers up to 50 percent from prior plans. Qliance does not take any form of health insurance. Instead, its patients pay a low monthly membership fee, ranging between $44 and $84, depending on age, for its core service level providing unrestricted primary and preventive care, which accounts for roughly 90 percent of the medical issues for which people see a doctor. Services include checkups, vaccinations, pneumonia, minor fractures, routine women’s health exams, and ongoing care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension or obesity. Qliance providers also coordinate any necessary outside specialist or hospital care for their patients, serving as their “medical home.”

“It’s not often you come across a business model that is truly transformational and disruptive in a sector ripe for reform, but that’s how we view Qliance in health care,” said Melinda Lewison of Bezos Expeditions. “We see significant long-term opportunity in Qliance as it’s easily scalable to other communities and health care reform has added wind to its back with the ability to compete in the insurance exchanges.”

Under the new health care legislation, H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama, states will begin operating insurance exchanges in 2014 through which individuals and small businesses will be able to buy health care. A relatively unknown provision in this new law provides for direct primary care medical homes, modeled after Qliance, to compete in these exchanges when combined with a new type of “wrap-around” insurance to cover unpredictable catastrophic and emergency care, such as cancer or serious trauma. Qliance is already in discussions with insurers to develop such custom “wrap-around” plans.

“We’re delighted such world class business leaders and founders of transformational companies recognize the potential in Qliance for transforming health care,” said Dr. Garrison Bliss, co-founder and chief medical officer of Qliance Medical Management and a 30-year internal medicine physician who left insurance behind in 1997 and pioneered the direct primary care model. “When you remove insurance from routine primary health care,  the way medicine used to be practiced, great things happen: more people can access affordable care and doctors can do what we were trained to do – practice medicine and keep people healthy.”

By providing unrestricted access to high quality primary care at lower costs, Qliance also reduces unnecessary downstream costs that burden today’s health care system when people are not treated early enough and their minor issues turn into bigger, more expensive issues.  This typically happens either because patients cannot get timely appointments in overburdened primary care offices or they avoid the doctor to save money on co-pays and deductibles. When these financial and access barriers are removed like with Qliance, people are motivated to see a doctor at the first signs of symptoms.

“Qliance is a game changer that transforms the access and quality experience of patients while also fundamentally improving the economics of health care,” said Nick Hanauer, partner at Second Avenue Partners, who co-founded aQuantive. “Participating local employers have already reversed double-digit premium increases and cut health care costs by up to half.  As these practices expand to more regions, businesses of all sizes will have a more attractive and affordable health care option to help their employees stay healthy.”

In 2007, the Washington State legislature recognized direct primary care as an innovative health care delivery model not to be regulated as insurance, paving the way for these types of practices and providing all residents access to affordable, quality health care. In 2009, the legislature went further and passed a law to allow employers and self-insured plans to pay direct primary care providers on behalf of their employees and members. Since then, Qliance has enrolled more than 70 employers that pay the Qliance membership fees on behalf of their employees.

For more information about Qliance, visit www.Qliance.com.


Ground Truth Raises $7 Million

Ground Truth, a Seattle-based mobile measurement company, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Emergence Capital Partners and OpenAir Ventures were joined on the round by return backers Steamboat Ventures and Voyager Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

Ground Truth, the mobile measurement firm that delivers precise, timely and actionable mobile intelligence, today announced it has raised $7 Million in Series B financing. Emergence Capital Partners and OPENAIR Ventures, two of the most respected venture capital firms investing in the digital and mobile media industries, joined existing investors Steamboat Ventures and Voyager Capital in the financing round.

The transaction brings Kevin Spain, principal at Emergence Capital Partners, to Ground Truth’s board of directors. Spain is an expert in consumer and enterprise technology, having spent his career at blue-chip companies including Microsoft and Electronic Arts. In his capacity at Emergence Capital Partners, Spain serves on the boards of Veeva Systems, Zuberance and SupportSpace.

“Mobile is a critical component to the growth of technology-enabled services, such as social media, cloud computing and SaaS business services,” said Spain. “Ground Truth provides unequalled insight into this vast opportunity with its accurate and precise measures of actual usage of these services on mobile devices. I’m eager to join this distinguished board of directors and accomplished management team as we deliver the data that is critical to transforming mobile into the world’s largest medium.”

Emergence Capital Partners invests in early- and growth-stage cloud-based business and consumer services companies such as Salesforce.com, aQuantive, HireRight, DoubleClick and SuccessFactors.

OPENAIR Ventures is well-known in the mobile industry for its deep bench of C-level executives with decades of experience building companies that have become household names in mobile, including Sprint, AT&T and Aircell.

“The product vision and execution of the Ground Truth executive team are as impressive as the opportunity the company is pursuing,” said Ron LeMay, managing director, OPENAIR Ventures and a 35-year-telecom industry veteran. “Reliable, third-party measurement will herald the next evolution in mobile media. While many have tried to present various figures as facts, only Ground Truth’s patent-pending True View™ methodology can deliver the fact-based data this industry needs to expand and fully capitalize on the mobile media economy.”

Ground Truth plans to use the capital to expand its operations in the United States and internationally as it builds its mobile media measurement business. The firm, which launched publicly less than three months ago, has already achieved substantial momentum, having signed dozens of clients and data provider partners including mobile operators, publishers and mobile infrastructure providers. Ground Truth also recently announced that it has appointed five luminaries in the measurement and interactive media industries to its board of advisors, including executives from Hitwise, comScore, Razorfish, Yahoo!, Donovan Data Systems and Audience Science.

“We have delivered on a number of significant objectives as we built Ground Truth from a brilliant idea to market-changing product with a tremendous quantity and quality of supporters; from our clients and data partners to our investors and board of advisors,” said Sterling Wilson, president and CEO, Ground Truth. “The addition of Emergence Capital and OPENAIR Ventures–from both a capital and advisory perspective–will provide the infusion for Ground Truth to significantly expand its offerings to both clients and data partners around the world.”

About Ground Truth

Ground Truth is a mobile measurement firm that delivers the precise, timely and actionable mobile intelligence required for operators, advertisers and publishers to measure, optimize and grow their businesses. As the sole provider of actual usage data aggregated from millions of subscribers using True View™, a patent-pending census-based methodology, Ground Truth sets the benchmark for Mobile Internet measurement. Ground Truth is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and is venture-backed by Emergence Capital Partners, OPENAIR Ventures, Steamboat Ventures and Voyager Capital. For more information about the company, please visit www.groundtruth.com.

About Emergence Capital Partners

Emergence Capital Partners is the leading venture capital firm focused on cloud-based business and consumer services companies. In 2002, Emergence Capital was the first to recognize the power and potential of SaaS to disrupt the technology industry and invested in some of the most successful companies including Salesforce.com and SuccessFactors. Their mission is to help build market leading companies in true partnership with forward thinking entrepreneurs. Today the firm has over $325 million under management from premiere institutional investors. For more information, visit www.emcap.com.

About OPENAIR Ventures

OPENAIR Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm focused on making equity investments in innovative companies that are advancing the next generation mobile and wireless market. Leveraging its collective decades of wireless, venture capital and private equity experience, the OPENAIR Ventures team is uniquely positioned to assist entrepreneurs in building market leading companies. For more information visit www.OPENAIRVentures.com.


Marketo Raises $10 Million

Marketo, a San Mateo, Caif.-based provider of lead management software, has raised $10 million in Series C funding. Mayfield Fund led the round, and was joined by return backers InterWest Partners and Storm Ventures. The company previously raised $22 million.

PRESS RELEASE
Marketo, the revenue-focused marketing automation company, today announced that it has closed $10 million in Series D funding to further accelerate the company’s already impressive growth and customer success. The investment was led by Mayfield Fund, with participation from existing investors InterWest Partners and Storm Ventures. With the $10 million investment, Marketo has now raised a total of $32 million.

“This additional funding is a great vote of confidence in Marketo’s vision of how companies can accelerate their revenue growth, as well as in the long term potential of our company,” said Phil Fernandez, president and CEO, Marketo. “We are by far the fastest growing company in our market category, and we plan to use this funding to invest even more heavily in ensuring the success of our customers and to further accelerate our growth.”

More than 500 companies have selected Marketo’s powerful and easy marketing and sales solutions since March 2008, giving the company the leading share in the lead management automation market for the period. In addition, Marketo was voted the ‘Best Marketing Automation Application’ and the ‘Best Mass Emails Solution’ on salesforce.com’s AppExchange.

“We encouraged Marketo to take this funding because we are very excited about the amazing momentum the company is experiencing and believe that with this additional capital the company can grow even faster,” said Robin Vasan, managing director, Mayfield Fund. “Marketo is redefining the way marketing and sales teams work, and work together, to create a faster and more predictable revenue cycle.”

About Marketo

Marketo is the revenue-focused marketing automation company, revolutionizing how marketing and sales teams of all sizes sell and succeed at every stage of the revenue cycle. Delivered in the Marketing Cloud, Marketo’s powerful and easy solutions provide the fastest time to value and ignite explosive revenue growth from the earliest stages of demand generation and lead management to the pursuit of revenue and customer loyalty.

Known for providing breakthrough innovation and the utmost in usability, Marketo was voted ‘Best Marketing Automation Application’ and ‘Best Mass Emails Solution’ by Salesforce customers on the Force.com AppExchange. As of March 2010, more than 500 enterprise and mid-market clients in 14 countries have selected Marketo.


Healthline Networks Raises $14 Million

Healthline Networks, a San Francisco-based provider of online health information services, has raised $14 million in third-round funding. Investor Growth Capital led the round, and was joined by return backers Peacock Equity Fund and Reed Elsevier Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

Healthline Networks (www.healthline.com), the leading provider of intelligent health information services, today announced that it has raised $14 million in a third round of financing led by Investor Growth Capital (IGC), the wholly owned venture capital arm of Investor AB (Investor). The round also includes strategic financing from GE/NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund, a joint venture between GE Capital’s Media, Communications & Entertainment business and NBC Universal and Reed Elsevier Ventures.

Healthline will use proceeds from the third round to expand research and development, engineering, sales and network services to meet the growing demand from a broad spectrum of consumer-focused media and healthcare businesses looking to improve the way consumers find, understand and manage health-related information. The company will also work to expand its advertising platform and services.

“Consumers have become increasingly engaged in their own healthcare, and smart organizations are looking to capitalize on this trend,” said Phil Dur, Managing Director, IGC, who has also joined Healthline’s board of directors. “IGC’s investment in Healthline, given its innovative search and advertising technology, is consistent with our track record of partnering with industry-leading companies. We’re looking forward to assisting Healthline with its efforts to continue to provide products that not only help consumers, but media and healthcare partners as well.”

Since its launch in late 2005, Healthline Networks has built a consumer-health destination Web site, www.healthline.com, which is a Top 10 health information site, as measured by comScore MediaMetrix. Healthline has also developed proprietary medical search technology and a health advertising platform. Additionally, Healthline has entered into over 40 technology, content and advertising network partnerships with leading publishers, health plans and online media companies including AARP, ABCNews.com, Aetna, AOL, Elsevier, GE, Health.com, Ingenix, iVillage, Medhelp, United Health Group, U.S. News and World Report and Yahoo among others.

“This financing round is an important milestone for Healthline as we continue our journey to become the global leader in health information services,” said West Shell III, chairman and chief executive officer of Healthline. “We doubled the business and achieved profitability last year, reaching almost 100M consumers a month across our network. This latest financing, led by IGC with continued support from existing investors, will accelerate Healthline’s growth and scalability, and allow us invest more heavily in our innovative technology solutions that transform the way consumers interact with health information.”

About Healthline Networks

Healthline Networks is a leading provider of intelligent health information services, enabling almost 100 million consumers a month to make more confident, informed healthcare decisions. The company’s proprietary consumer healthcare taxonomy, the largest of its kind, powers a suite of intelligent health search, content and advertising services. Combining advanced search technology with deep medical expertise, Healthline partners with a network of over 40 trusted destination sites that include publishers, portals, search engines, employers and health plans. Headquartered in San Francisco, Healthline is backed by Aetna, GE/NBC Peacock Fund, Investor Growth Capital, Kaiser Permanente, Reed Elsevier, U.S. News & World Report, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. For more information visit http://www.healthline.com.

About IGC Investor Growth Capital

Investor Growth Capital (IGC) (www.investorgrowthcapital.com) is the wholly-owned venture capital arm of Investor AB, a publicly traded investment company. IGC was formed in the mid-1990s to invest in high quality, growth oriented companies, primarily in the IT and Healthcare industries. Today its 30 investment professionals are developing a portfolio whose value exceeds $1 billion from offices located in New York, Menlo Park, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Beijing. Investor AB is a leading shareholder in a number of European multinational corporations, including Astra Zeneca, Ericsson, Atlas Copco and SEB. For almost a century Investor AB’s business philosophy has been to build best-in-class companies in sectors where the group has strong knowledge and a networking advantage. IGC shares that approach and benefits from Investor AB’s extensive global network of companies and senior managers.

About Peacock Equity

Peacock Equity (www.PeacockEquity.com) is a $250 million equity capital fund founded by GE Capital’s Media, Communications & Entertainment business (www.geMCE.com) and NBC Universal (www.nbcuniversal.com). Introduced in April 2007, the joint venture focuses on companies developing technologies, platforms or business models that are a strategic fit for NBC Universal and have high growth potential. Peacock Equity’s capital investments, which include advertising services, digital content and communities, wireless, health and international platforms, range from $3 to $15 million each.

About Reed Elsevier Ventures

Reed Elsevier Ventures is the venture arm of Reed Elsevier Group plc and was established in 2000. The Venture team is responsible for making investments in innovative companies that have the potential to provide the Group with new technologies, products, services or customers. Reed Elsevier’s trusted brands, customer reach and ever increasing digital delivery make the Group an ideal commercial partner for emerging best-of-breed companies seeking market acceleration and a strong relationship with a leading global publisher. The team is comprised of experienced investors in the US and European venture capital markets. Reed Elsevier Group Plc is a world-leading publisher and information provider.


ShoeDazzle.com Raises $13 Million

ShoeDazzle.com, an online shoe shopping assistant, has raised $13 million in second-round funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by return backer Polaris Venture Partners. The company previously raised $7 million, and was founded by LegalZoom co-founder Brian Lee and reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

PRESS RELEASE

ShoeDazzle.com, the online monthly fashion styling service, has announced the completion of its $13 million growth financing, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners of Menlo Park, California, and existing investor Polaris Venture Partners of Boston, Massachusetts. The funding will allow the company to launch related products that will continue to dazzle its members and to accelerate its leadership position in a new business category created by ShoeDazzle.com. This capital infusion brings the total funding raised for ShoeDazzle.com to over $20 million.

ShoeDazzle.com offers fashion-loving women customized, current styles selected for them by celebrity stylists for $39.95 a month. ShoeDazzle was founded in March 2009 by CEO Brian Lee, who previously co-founded LegalZoom.com, and Kim Kardashian, celebrity and former fashion stylist.

Pioneering a new and innovative online shopping model, ShoeDazzle has already reached profitability in its first year. “Blending online expertise and celebrity fashion, ShoeDazzle.com captures the essence of shopping on Rodeo Drive, while remaining fun, affordable and effortless for its clients,” said Kardashian.

“ShoeDazzle is a fashion lover’s dream come true. Not everyone can be a celebrity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be treated like one. We provide a unique celebrity stylist and boutique feel to every member of our society,” said Brian Lee, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ShoeDazzle. “Funding by Lightspeed and Polaris will allow us to accelerate our already rapid growth and to expand our product offering and service to create a complete fashion experience and leverage our platform to help women express their full style potential.”

“I am very excited about the trend towards online shopping as entertainment,” said Jeremy Liew, Managing Director at Lightspeed Venture Partner and newest board member to ShoeDazzle. “In the real world, shopping is fun, and discovering great new products is exciting. ShoeDazzle brings that experience online.”

“ShoeDazzle is breaking ground on a new way of shopping that gives every woman the fun and attention of their own personal shopper at an amazing price point,” said Jason Trevisan of Polaris Venture Partners and ShoeDazzle board member.

About ShoeDazzle.com

Founded in 2009, ShoeDazzle is an online, monthly fashion styling service that matches fashion-loving women with personalized style by using proprietary technology and celebrity stylist recommendations. With a simple, affordable price, and the convenience of current style delivered to members’ doors, ShoeDazzle is growing an interactive buying community of fashion loving members. The company offers its own branded products, as well as products from select fashion partners. For more information, visit www.ShoeDazzle.com, or www.facebook.com/shoedazzle.

About Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a leading global venture capital firm with over $2 billion of committed capital under management. Lightspeed’s investment professionals and advisors are located in Silicon Valley, China, India and Israel. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed more than 150 companies, many of which have become leaders in their respective markets, including Blue Nile, Flixster, Ciena, DoubleClick, eHealth, Zynga, Rock You!, Openwave, and Waveset. For more information, visit www.lightspeedvp.com.

About Polaris Venture Partners

Polaris Venture Partners is a partnership of experienced investors, operating executives and entrepreneurs. The firm’s mission is to identify and invest in seed, first round, and early stage technology and life science businesses with exceptional promise, and to assist them in growing into sustainable, market-leading companies. Polaris is based in Boston, with offices in San Francisco and Seattle, with assets over $3 billion under management, and current investments in more than 115 companies. For more information, visit www.polarisventures.com.


SolarBridge Technologies Raises $15 Million

SolarBridge Technologies, an Atlanta-based provider of microinverter and monitoring solutions for the solar energy market, has raised $15 million in Series B funding. Rho Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backer Battery Ventures. The company previously raised $12 million.

PRESS RELEASE

SolarBridge Technologies, the leading developer of module-integrated microinverter solutions that reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) in solar installations, announced that it has secured $15 million in series B funding. The company has raised more than $27 million to date.

Rho Ventures, a new investor in the company, led the financing round. Battery Ventures, which led series A funding, also participated in series B. The funds will enable SolarBridge to finalize testing and certification, deploy additional beta sites, and ramp up production. They will also be used to expand its operations, sales and marketing teams.

“I am very pleased that SolarBridge’s innovative, module-integratedmicroinverter attracted both new and previous investors to this up round of funding. The interest that our integral, alternating current photovoltaic (ACPV) solution and monitoring system has generated in the investment community is a direct reflection of the significant opportunity we have in the solar market,” said Ron Van Dell, president and CEO, SolarBridge. “Our microinverter will dramatically reduce the LCOE for solar installations by improving system reliability, increasing energy production and simplifying the installation process.”

With the closing of the series B funding, SolarBridge adds Joshua Ruch, managing partner and co-founder of Rho Ventures, to its board of directors.

“SolarBridge has a proven management team with extensive experience in developing and commercializing power electronics, one of our firm’s core investment sectors,” commented Ruch. “SolarBridge’s solution is unrivaled by anything else we have seen. We are very confident in the company’s ability to ramp to volume production and quickly grow revenue with this fundamentally disruptive solar technology.”

About SolarBridge Technologies:
Founded in 2004, SolarBridge Technologies develops module-integrated microinverter solutions that reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for solar installations by dramatically improving reliability, increasing energy production and simplifying installation. The company’s comprehensive integral ACPV solution features patented technologies that dramatically improve the reliability of PV inverters, historically the most common failure point of solar installations. The company is headquartered in Austin, TX and has an R&D center in Champaign, IL. For more information, visit www.solarbridgetech.com.


Cellular Dynamics Raises $40 Million for Stem Cells

Cellular Dynamics International, a Madison, Wis.-based manufacturer of human heart cells, has raised $40.6 million in Series B funding. Return backer Tactics II Stem Cell Ventures led the round, and was joined by Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments and Sixth Floor Investors. Cellular Dynamics previously raised $18 million.

PRESS RELEASE
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI), already the world’s highest volume manufacturer of human heart cells, has closed on a $40.6 million Series B private equity round. This financing enables the company to increase production capacity for its iCell(TM) Cardiomyocytes, human heart cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and to launch additional human tissue cell products for biomedical and pharmaceutical drug development and safety research. CDI also plans to use the proceeds to rapidly expand its commercial organization to meet the growing demand for these iPSC-based products. CDI has raised a total of $70 million since 2004.

“CDI has now secured the highest-level of funding in this new industry,” said Robert Palay, the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We have strong demand from pharmaceutical companies for live heart cells derived from iPSCs because the high purity and quality of our cells result in more accurate preclinical drug testing. Prior to our product introduction, new drugs were tested primarily on either human tissue cells from cadavers, cells derived from tumors, or animal cells, none of which accurately mirror what happens in a live human body. We believe access to iCell Cardiomyocytes will help speed the discovery of safer and more effective medicines.”

CDI will also apply the new funding toward expansion of its product lines beyond the current iCell Cardiomyocytes product offering. “We intend to launch liver, nerve, and blood vessel cell products over the next 18 months,” said Chris Parker, CDI’s Chief Commercial Officer.

CDI’s breakthrough is in the production process, which can produce large quantities of human heart cells while fully maintaining their purity, quality and consistency. The company’s iCell Cardiomyocytes product line is the first commercial product based on stem cells grown from adult tissue using CDI Founder James A. Thomson’s iPSC technology.

CDI grows its fully pluripotent stem cell lines from individual skin or blood samples from adults. “Our iPSC approach gives our pharmaceutical customers the opportunity to test their drugs’ specific effects on different people’s heart cells, allowing them to look at the effect of drugs on people based on factors such as gender, heritage and other biological differences,” added Parker. The company’s iPSC technology isolates and cultures skin or blood cells from human donors and then coaxes them to turn back their developmental clock and become iPSCs, which then can be further directed to morph into any of the human body’s 200+ cell types.

“Today, iCell Cardiomyocytes help pharmaceutical companies speed the discovery of safer, more effective drugs. Our vision is to one day manufacture personal stem cell lines for any individual, and to grow large quantities of that person’s heart and other cells for their own bank of cells. I can foresee a day in the not-so-distant future when doctors will be testing medicines for safety and effectiveness on your own cells before giving you a prescription. CDI is working towards the day when such personalized drug testing leads to safer, more effective treatments,” said Palay.

The recent Series B Preferred Shared financing was led by Tactics II Stem Cell Ventures, which also led CDI’s prior capital raises. Other investors in the recent financing include:

Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments, L.L.C., and
Sixth Floor Investors LP

Newly elected board of director member, Leonard Loventhal, an officer of Sixth Floor Investors, commented, “While many in the emerging stem cell industry are chasing distant cellular therapeutics, CDI has developed industrial expertise in high-volume, high-quality manufacturing of human iPS cell-derived tissue products. When combined with their strong intellectual property position, full freedom to operate, and the capital resources of this investor consortium, CDI is uniquely positioned to provide its pharmaceutical customers with iPSC-derived products immediately useful in drug discovery and safety testing.”

“We’ve known the CDI’s management team for decades,” explained Mathew Zell, Managing Director, Equity Group Investments LLC. “We are impressed with its track record of creating value in the life science industry and with the exciting progress at CDI in particular. We believe the launch of iCell Cardiomyocytes is just the first of many important new products.”

Jamie Thomson, CDI’s Chief Scientific Officer, further commented, “I am gratified that CDI has been able to secure funding to expand the availability of iPS cell-derived human tissue cells to the research community. CDI has been successful in manufacturing fully functional cardiomyocytes and other tissues from its fully pluripotent iPS cell lines. My view is that the immediate contribution iPSCs provide is as a model for drug discovery and toxicity testing, with therapeutic use perhaps decades down the road. CDI has attained this first goal, providing highly purified human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes in the quantities and quality required for drug testing and is already well underway to offering multiple other tissue cell types.”

About Cellular Dynamics International

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer and marketer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine applications. CDI harnesses the power of pluripotent stem cells and their ability to differentiate into any cell type for world-class drug development tools. In addition, it is the leader in iPSC technology, the production of pluripotent stem cell lines from adult tissue. CDI was founded in 2004 by James Thomson, a pioneer in human pluripotent stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Tactics II Ventures, a Wisconsin-based venture capital fund. CDI’s facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin. See www.cellulardynamics.com.


TheWrap Secures $2 Million

TheWrap.com, an online news site focused on the entertainment and media markets, has raised $2 million in Series B funding led by return backer Maveron Capital. The company was founded Sharon Waxman, former Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times.

PRESS RELEASE

TheWrap.com, the fastest growing news organization covering the business of entertainment and media, has raised a $2 million B round capital investment from parties including Maveron, a venture capital firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, and a majority of the Company’s A round investors.

The B round investment will be used to accelerate the continued expansion of TheWrap.com and to provide flexibility to take advantage of new market opportunities. This latest investment follows TheWrap.com’s Series A funding in January 2009 from Maveron and a group of private investors.

“We’re extremely pleased with the growth TheWrap.com has demonstrated since its launch,” said Ben Choi, Maveron Principal and TheWrap.com board member. “This new investment and our continued support is a direct result of that success and Sharon’s leadership.”

“It’s been an exciting 15 months for TheWrap.com,” added Sharon Waxman, TheWrap.com Editor-in-Chief. “This capital will allow us to take advantage of opportunities in a very rapidly-changing media space, and will help us expand our revenue streams beyond display advertising, events and licensing.”

About TheWrap.com:
TheWrap.com, founded by award-winning journalist Sharon Waxman in late January 2009, has experienced phenomenal growth, now reaching over 1 million unique visitors per month. As a comprehensive source for entertainment business news, TheWrap.com continues to deliver high-profile newsbreaks, investigative stories, and authoritative analyses as a reliable and independent source for media and industry professionals. Visit www.TheWrap.com daily to stay abreast of the breaking industry news that matters most.

About Maveron:
Maveron is a leading venture capital firm founded by Dan Levitan and Howard Schultz. Maveron’s mission is to partner with entrepreneurs in the creation of extraordinary consumer-based companies in order to generate outstanding financial returns. Current representative Maveron investments include fast-growing consumer companies, such as Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pinkberry and LiveMocha, and powering technology companies such as VideoEgg. Monetized investments include eBay, Capella Education Company, Shutterfly, Cranium (acquired by Hasbro), Qsent (acquired by TransUnion), Good Technology (acquired by Motorola) and lucy activewear (acquired by VF Corporation). Based in Seattle, Washington, Maveron has approximately $750 million under management and 23 active portfolio companies nationwide. For more information about Maveron, visit www.maveron.com.


Implanet Raises €8 Million

Implanet SA, a French developer of surgical implants for orthopedic and spine surgery, has raised €8 million in new VC funding. Backers include CM-CIC Private Equity, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Wellington Partners and Seventures Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

Thanks to promising commercial debut of its products (Surgical implants for Orthopedic and Spine surgery) and its Healthcare Information Technologies service offer (fully integrated and automated patient/product tracking and supply chain) IMPLANET S.A. raises an additional EUR 8 million (USD 11 million).

IMPLANET is proud to welcome a reference new institutional investor, CM-CIC Private Equity which brings EUR 4 million.

Led by Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, historical shareholders, Wellington Partners, Seventures Partners et Auriga Partners along with founders, management and several domain reference private investors such as Marie-Helene PLAIS-COTREL (ex Sofamor-Danek) continue to support IMPLANET since inception in 2007 and together provide EUR 4 million.

Erick CLOIX (CEO IMPLANET) declares: “This new round of financing concludes a first cycle of 3 years during which 30 million Euros were invested to prepare and develop a novel type of Healthcare Company addressing, at last, the paradigm shifting challenges of quality, security and financing of healthcare everywhere, particularly in Europe and the USA. The current economic and financial crisis along with the US health care reform in the USA is a catalyst for our technologies, our services and our business model. The new 2010-2012 cycle which opens for us looks formidable with opportunities and conquests.”

About Implanet

Implanet is a Medical Device and Healthcare Information Technology company based in Bordeaux, France. IMPLANET was incorporated in early 2007 and currently employs 45 full time employees and is already present within 8 countries. IMPLANET designs and manufactures surgical implants (HIP, KNEE, SPINE, and ARTHROSCOPY) exclusively in France and in Europe. These products are tested and registered under CE & FDA guidelines and standards by independent US and French registered testing laboratories. IMPLANET designs and develops unique healthcare information technologies applications for the tracking and tracing of Medical devices/Drugs and patients as well as healthcare supply chain optimization for both suppliers and hospitals under the brand name BEEP N TRACK . IMPLANET is also sole proprietor of various invention patents in France, Europe the USA and Asia on its surgical products and its Information Technologies.


Alter-Eco Raises $2 Million

Alter-Eco Inc., a San Francisco-based maker and sourcer of organic, fair trade food products, has raised $2 million in Series A funding. Backers include Good Capital, Serious Change Fund and Renewal2 Investment Fund.

PRESS RELEASE

San Francisco-based Alter Eco, Inc., makers of high quality, nutritious, and ethically sourced foods from around the world, today announced the completion of a $2 million Series A financing. The financing was led by San Francisco-based Good Capital, New York-based Serious Change Fund, and Vancouver, BC-based Renewal2 Investment Fund, and also included participants from Investors’ Circle. Proceeds from the financing will be used to scale nationwide distribution and marketing of Alter Eco’s award winning organic, Fair Trade products including dark chocolate bars, quinoa, rice, sugar and olive oil.  

“This is an exciting moment in the history of Alter Eco and a significant opportunity for us to build on the success we’ve had over the last four years,” said Mathieu Senard, co-founder and CEO of Alter Eco. “We’re thrilled to have the resources and backing from new investors to bring our delicious, honest foods to more consumers and build Alter Eco into a household name.”

Alter Eco products are ethically and sustainably sourced from artisan farmers around the world.  The company works closely with its small-scale farming partners, such as the ANAPQUI quinoa cooperative in Bolivia, to ensure high quality and sustainable production, ethical treatment of workers, and fair wages. In addition, Alter Eco develops reforestation projects in partnership with PurePlanet.org, providing carbon credits to offset its entire supply chain while generating extra revenues for local farming communities. This commitment to both quality and sustainability has yielded numerous awards for the company’s products including the recently launched Dark Chocolate Quinoa Bar, which won Best Organic/Fair Trade product at the 2010 San Francisco Chocolate Salon.  

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Alter Eco, as the company is a standout in the natural foods industry with their commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing,” said Wes Selke, Investment Manager at Good Capital.  ”They’re on the cutting edge of creating wonderfully delicious food products that build significant value for their entire supply chain.”

In conjunction with the financing, Alter Eco will be welcoming Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, as a new member of the board of directors. “Ben will be an invaluable asset to our team as he brings enormous expertise in product development and grassroots marketing,” said Edouard Rollet, co-founder and COO of Alter Eco. “With this addition to the board and the hiring of Kate Tierney as our VP of Sales last year, I believe we have the right team to succeed in the marketplace.”  

About Alter Eco, Inc.

Founded in 2005 in San Francisco, Alter Eco is a team of Fair Trade visionaries and food-loving explorers on a mission to connect consumers to artisan farmers and their foods from around the world.  The company offers a range of high quality, organic, Fair Trade, and carbon neutral food products including dark chocolate bars, packaged and bulk quinoa and rice, sugar, and olive oil that are available nationwide through Whole Foods and other natural food stores.  Alter Eco envisions a world in which all stakeholders benefit from the production and distribution of delicious foods and is working towards this vision through its commitments to sustainable production, ethical sourcing, and carbon reduction.  More information can be found at www.altereco-usa.com.


Q&A On Millennium’s Oversubscribed Fund

Millennium Technology Ventures, a VC secondaries fund, today announced an oversubscribed final close on it on its latest fund.

As first reported by peHUB on April 7, Millennium topped its and $250 million hard cap by $30 million. The firm closed Millennium Technology Value Partners II LP with $280 million in commitments.

The fund itself was around two times oversubscribed, making it the largest dedicated pool of capital focused solely on direct secondary liquidity, according to a press release from the firm. Its initial target of $200 million was stretched to accommodate as many investors as possible, but ultimately had to turn some away. The $280 million sum does not include the firm’s GP commitment.

Millennium’s last fund was a 2006 vintage with $130 million in commitments. The firm’s partners also managed a vintage 2000 traditional venture capital fund after managing several small funds within Blackstone Group. In total, Millennium has done around 300 transactions in eight years. Millennium differentiates itself by working directly with companies to provide various forms of liquidity to shareholders. The firm has used this unique strategy to make investments at brand name startups like Facebook, Zappos, eHarmony, iPass and LiveOps.

I spoke with Samuel Schwerin, a managing partner with Millennium, on the fundraise.

peHUB: How was raising fund this different from past funds?

Schwerin: There’s a great degree of sophistication in the institutional investment market regarding secondary investing.

Those LPs, in part because of the economic environment an they really appreciate secondary investing. I don’t think they understood that 10 years ago. We found that investors really spent time and energy diligencing the secondary market overall and the various components of it. We were very encouraged by their appreciation of the secondary direct market and Millennium’s approach. We’re working directly with the companies to become their partners over time. LPs were quite discriminating and did their work and we felt validated by the quality of investors that came into our most recent fund.

So you had to do less educating of the market?

It was different from raising our last fund in 2006. This time it was more about the different styles of investing in secondaries. That ranged from LP stakes to portfolio purchases, which are primarily financial investments, versus our style of working with the company and providing liquidity to stakeholders in partnership with a company. The company gets to decide where, and how liquidity is provided. We’re more of a strategic secondary investor. In 2006, those conversations were different.

What’s the breakdown of investor type in the fund?

Geographically, two thirds is North American and one third is European and Asian. Also, a very high percentage of commitments come from institutions, state and local employee pension funds and fund of funds. We reserved a very small portion of our fund for industry leaders both on the investing side and on the technology front. We’re very pleased to have some of the worlds leading technologists, entrepreneurs and investors in our fund.

What gave you that idea?

We did that in our last fund as well.

What is the deal market like for you? Are start-ups dying for liquidity?

Unprecedented. It’s never been as high as it currently is. What we see happening is an increased understanding and acknowledgment that secondary liquidity can play a strong role in the growth of technologies. We’re being pulled into many interesting conversations with these companies because we’ve been at it so long, so people want to leverage our experience. And even though we’ve seen some semblance of IPO liquidity returning, because the lack of liquidity is structural to the venture capital system, any rebound in the market won’t solve the problem of the lack of liquidity in venture. That’s been realized over the last several cycles we’ve been investing through. Even if we got back to 2007 levels, there were only 76 venture-backed IPOs, compared to a universe of 12,000 venture companies.

Has the emergence of other liquidity methods like Secondmarket made a difference? Do you compete with them?

We just try to be a solution provider. The smartest companies are going to think proactively about what their objectives are and their choices for liquidity. We have our approach, which is to work with the company and give them control of how the liquidity works. We give the underlying shareholders control of how much liquidity they want and how they want to achieve it because we work with them over time. On average, we do 16 liquidity events per company.

Also, the venture capital industry chooses carefully who gets into the best companies. The boards have choice over who gets into the capital structure. Working with us, you get an institutional investor coming in. There are fundamental differences, and there’s room for a variety of approaches. If we look at the quality of companies who have allowed investments from Millennium, we think that’s good validation. We think the amount of work our institutional limited partners did before choosing us is another good validation. 83% of all sellers come back to Millennium. We don’t think about it as competition per se.

You held a $75 million close in February. Have you deployed any of the fund yet?

We’ve been warehousing investments. There are deals ready to go but we haven’t closed on them yet.

Millennium Approaching Oversubscribed Close

5 Questions for Samuel Schwerin, Millennium Technology Value Partners


WISeKey Raises $20 Million

WISeKey, a Geneva-based e-security company, has raised $20 million in ”pre-IPO” funding at a $200 million valuation. No investor information was disclosed, except that backers came from the U.S., Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.

PRESS RELEASE

WISeKey (http://www.wisekey.com) is the one of the fastest growing eSecurity company in the world. A leading Swiss information security and identity management software and services firm headquartered in Geneva announced today that has secured $20 million pre-IPO at a $200 million valuation led by a group of USA, European and Swiss institutional and private investors.
The investment will enable WISekey to expand its operations in BRIC countries, capitalize on the global demand for its technology and the explosive growth of WISekey tools for the encryption of data and for digital identification of individuals and objects. These technologies are aimed to fight against counterfeiting, to provide security for Identity cards and bankcards, transactions on the Internet and portable phones, etc. Governments, international organizations, watch manufacturers and the telecommunication companies require our services.
WISekey is one of the 8 companies in Switzerland who are candidates for an IPO as soon the market stabilizes. The fact that WISekey took only 4 months to raise $ 20 million from the pre-IPO placement is infusing confidence in institutional investors for the duration of the IPO.
About WISeKey: WISeKey, a World Economic Forum High Growth Company, is expanding its global footprint via a group of strategic partnerships with key partners. WISeKey’s global expansion is targeting BRIC economies as a priority, with several major wins recently in Brazil, Russian Federation, India and China. This enhances existing operations in the USA and Middle East from the Swiss Hub.


Stockopedia Raises $700k

Stockopedia, a UK financial media website, has raised over $700,000 in seed funding from London-area angels.

PRESS RELEASE

As evidence that start-ups can still attract investment despite the economic downturn, UK investment website Stockopedia announced today that it had secured over $700,000 in Seed Funding from a consortium of private City individuals.

Dave Brickell and Edward Croft - Stockopedia FoundersSet up in 2007, Stockopedia is the UK’s only online financial media platform that combines social media tools with professional level research capabilities. Its founders, Edward Croft and David Brickell, both from banking backgrounds, felt that most financial websites were giving scant coverage to smaller and mid-cap companies - the ‘long tail’ of the stock market. “The City has increasingly prioritised scale in search of ever increasing profitability, which means they no longer cover thousands of smaller listed companies effectively, if at all,” says CEO Croft. “Our solution is to improve the visibility of those companies though a collaborative, social media-based approach whereby we gather financial commentary from established smaller publishers, research companies and newsletter writers, and fill in the gaps with our own news coverage.” There are over 2500 companies listed on the London market, of which more than half have a market capitalisation under £25m.

Given the rapidly growing population of over 1 million online investors in the UK, Croft and Brickell decided to develop a website which would provide these investors with the tools, information and connectivity they need to make better investment decisions. According to Croft, “the credit crunch has left many people disillusioned with traditional financial services. There is a real appetite for information as more people choose to take matters into their own hands. Rather than spamming users with irrelevant offers the way that many financial sites seem to, our goal has been to provide investors with personalised tools, data and information that is relevant to their interests” As just one example, Stockopedia recently launched the Stockopedia Stream. Similar to Twitter, this provides users with a highly personalised feed of news and information reflecting only the companies, investing topics and authors that they want to read about. Croft notes, “the reception from our users to this approach has been excellent.”

To develop its offer, Stockopedia recently decided to raise external capital and turned to private backers given the dire state of the UK venture capital industry. “In 2009, venture capital took a 35% hit in the amount of new capital raised,” explains Croft. “We weren’t impressed with the terms being offered by the VC community so we chose to look elsewhere for investors who would be excited about encouraging new ideas and entrepreneurship - and we are really pleased to have found that kind of support despite the economic climate”.

With the site now reaching close to 50,000 investors monthly, Stockopedia is firmly established as a leading UK destination for smaller company news and views. With active discussion forums and almost 15,000 followers on Twitter, Stockopedia is able to engage actively with its wide and web-savvy investment audience almost instantaneously. According to Croft, “the UK financial media sector seems to have lagged behind other industries in responding to web technologies but there’s enormous potential for companies and financial publishers to leverage social media to build and expand their audience - we are able to poll our users easily to find out their views on a given company or issues of common concern, such as the upcoming UK election”.

Stockopedia will be announcing further product launches and content partnerships in the coming months. Co-founder and COO David Brickell concludes, “We are excited about the progress we have made to date but see considerable scope for further development and growth. Raising this money will allow us to accelerate the deployment of a range of exciting new tools which, we believe, can help solve existing inefficiencies for both online investors and smaller companies”.

About Stockopedia

Launched in 2008, Stockopedia is a UK financial media website that aims to provide investors with the tools and content they need to make better investment decisions. Visit Stockopedia to review and discuss research and content on the companies and investment themes of today Stockopedia


Mirina Raises Series A-1 Round

Mirina Corp., a Seattle-based developer of microRNA therapeutics, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A-1 funding. Versant Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Alexandria Real Estate Equities, ARCH Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners and WRF Capital. The company had raised a $3.6 million Series A round in 2008.

PRESS RELEASE

Mirina Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the generation of novel microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics with improved properties, announced today that it has closed a Series A-1 financing. The round was led by new investor Versant Ventures. Previous investors Alexandria Real Estate Equities, ARCH Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners and WRF Capital also participated in the round. In conjunction with this financing, Brian Atwood, Managing Director of Versant Ventures, will join the Board of Directors. Mirina was founded in August 2008 by Accelerator Corporation, a privately held, venture capital-backed biotechnology investment and development company.

“We appreciate the strong support of our existing investors and welcome Versant Ventures to the Mirina syndicate,” said David McElligott, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Mirina. “We’re very pleased our team at Mirina has successfully executed on its milestones over the past 20 months and has generated an impressive amount of promising data. This additional investment will allow the company to aggressively pursue moving candidates toward clinical development.”

“The Mirina team has made exceptional technical progress on its strategy of translating the potential of microRNA into therapeutic products, an important new wave of technology that will impact diseases ranging from infection to inflammation and cancer,” commented Brian Atwood, Managing Director of Versant Ventures. “Versant is very pleased to be joining the Accelerator investors in this round of financing of Mirina.”

Micro RNA (miRNA) is a newly appreciated class of small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of a larger number of human genes. Many of the genes regulated by miRNA are pivotal in normal and pathological processes. Modulation of miRNA function therefore offers a new pathway for developing drugs for serious conditions such as cancer, inflammation, fibrosis, and degenerative diseases. Mirina is developing its proprietary technology to modify the qualitative and quantitative functionality of miRNA inhibitors. Mirina has tested and demonstrated the potential of this technology both in preclinical testing and IND-enabling studies. Current efforts at Mirina are primarily focused on the selection and validation of candidate models for advanced preclinical testing and progression toward clinical development.

About Mirina

Founded by Accelerator Corporation in conjunction with Elitech Corporation (fka Nanogen) in 2008, Mirina Corporation develops therapeutics using Minor Groove Binder Technology (MGB) to affect cellular processes involving microRNAs. Mirina holds an exclusive license to the technology from Elitech for use in therapeutics. Elitech developed and patented novel methods for preparing oligonucleotides appended with chemical agents – that modify binding to target sequences in RNA or DNA. By incorporating this technology into miRNA therapeutics, Mirina’s novel MGB-oligonucleotide compounds are anticipated to exhibit superior properties, such as enhanced target selectivity, better potency, and improved pharmacological activity. Mirina’s technology presents promising potential for treating a wide range of diseases including cancers, infectious disease and metabolic disorders.

About Versant Ventures

Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare-focused venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments in medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, healthcare services, and healthcare information technology. The firm, founded in 1999, consists of a seasoned team of twelve managing directors with more than 130 years of venture capital investing experience and more than 150 years of operating experience.

Versant Ventures currently manages over $1.6 billion in committed capital having recently raised its fourth fund in July 2008, and is currently managing over 75 companies in its portfolio.

About Accelerator Corporation

Accelerator Corporation, founded in 2003, is a privately held biotechnology investment and development company located in Seattle, Washington, USA. The company is building the next generation of life-enhancing biotechnology companies by providing the resources critical to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge biotechnologies. These key resources, provided by global life science leaders – Amgen Ventures; ARCH Venture Partners; OVP Venture Partners; PPD, Inc.; Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; WRF Capital; and the Institute for Systems Biology – include committed capital from top-tier venture capital firms, state-of-the-art facilities, world-class scientific and technical expertise and support, and experienced biotechnology start-up business management and support. For more information, please go to: www.acceleratorcorp.com.


XOS Digital Raises Series B Round

XOS Digital Inc., a provider of content management solutions and digital media services for collegiate and professional sports organizations, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding. NewSpring Ventures led the round, and was joined by Dublin Capital and return backers Blue Chip Venture Co. and Beechtree Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

 XOS Digital, Inc., the leading provider of content management solutions and digital media services for collegiate and professional sports organizations, today announced the completion of its Series B financing and recapitalization of the business. In addition, three professionals were elected to the XOS Digital board of directors. The proceeds from the offering will fund the ongoing development and enhancement of the XOS Digital Sports Media Distribution Platform and for general corporate purposes.

New institutional equity investor NewSpring Ventures led funding, joined by Dublin Capital and existing investors Blue Chip Venture Company and Beechtree Capital, LLC. Also participating in the transaction were several business and industry leaders in the Central Florida region.

“XOS is entering a new phase of growth and innovation that required additional growth capital,” said Chris McCleary, CEO, XOS Digital.

Terms of the offering were not disclosed.

The company also announced the election of three new board members: Christopher Noe, Glenn Rieger and Christopher McCleary. Rieger is a general partner of NewSpring Ventures and a partner of NewSpring Capital. Prior to joining NewSpring in 2004, he served in various senior leadership capacities for Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, Inc. and Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE). He currently sits on the boards of directors for XOS Digital, NitroSecurity, ProfitPoint and Smart Destinations. Rieger is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine and holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Noe is a general partner of Dublin Capital Partners, a Lenfest Enterprise fund which invests in advertising, digital media and technology businesses. Prior to Lenfest Media Group, he served as a managing director with Katalyst LLC, a venture fund and private equity services firm focused on the cable, media and IT industries. He previously held sales, business development and consulting positions with IBM, CSC Consulting and KPMG Peat Marwick. Noe holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. He also earned certification as a public accountant in Connecticut. He currently is managing director of Broadway Systems and sits on the boards of directors for XOS Digital and Iron Solutions.

“Glenn Rieger and Chris Noe each bring a wealth of targeted experience to our board operations,” said Jack Wyant, chairman of the XOS board and managing partner at Blue Chip Venture Company.

About XOS Digital, Incorporated

XOS Digital is the leading provider of advanced technology products, digital system design and integration, content management solutions, and integrated media services to sports teams, athletic organizations and sports marketers in North America. The XOS portfolio of technology products and services enhances the performance and image of more than 900 teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA, WNBA, NAIA, MLB, AFL, Euroleague and other leading sports organizations. The advanced XOS -More-
Contact:
Anna Marie Neri
XOS Digital, Inc.
407-670-5049
aneri@xosdigital.com
4.22.10 – XOS Digital Completes Equity Offering P a g e | 2
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PAGE 2 – XOS DIGITAL COMPLETES EQUITY OFFERING Digital Sports Network Platform powers the revolutionary SEC Digital Sports Network enabling the broadest, multi-platform distribution of SEC Sports media content. For more information, visit www.xosdigital.com.


OpenCandy Raises $5 Million

OpenCandy, a San Diego-based provider of distribution and revenue solutions for software developers, has raised $5 million in Series B funding. TechCrunch had the news first.

Google Ventures led the round, and was joined by return backers Bessemer Venture Partners and O’Reilly Alpha Tech. The company previously raised $3.5 million. www.opencandy.com