Author Archives: Plymouth Ventures

InContext Raises $15.2 million for Retail and Manufacturing VR Products

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Chicago startup InContext Solutions has raised $15.2 million from Intel Capital and others to accelerate sales and marketing efforts, expand its geographic reach and improve its VR product portfolio, including further development of solutions for head-mounted devices.

“This latest round of funding gives us strong strategic backers who share our vision of even more robust, fully immersive virtual reality solutions for retail,” said Mark Hardy, CEO of InContext.

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Plymouth Venture Partners sells stake in 365 Retail Markets

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 Ann Arbor-based Plymouth Venture Partners announced Tuesday that it sold its equity stake in Troy-based 365 Retail Markets to Omaha, Neb.-based McCarthy Capital.

“Plymouth Ventures have been a large contributor to the growth of 365, not only as a financial partner but also as personal mentors to me,” said Joe Hessling, 365’s CEO. “Our expansion from a regional player to a global leader was made possible, in part, by having the right partner at the right time. We are thankful for Plymouth’s trust in 365.”

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Midwest Entrepreneurs: Thoughtful and Serious

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Jeff Barry, Partner at Plymouth Ventures, talks about Plymouth and why he likes Midwestern entrepreneurs.

We just like Midwest entrepreneurs. You know they’re not going for the billion dollar exit. They’re measured as opposed to being binary – either getting a billion dollar exit or nothing. They build companies from a logical perspective as opposed to shooting for the stars.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 14, 2016
CONTACT: Mark Horne, Managing Partner
555 Briarwood Circle, Suite 210
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
(734) 747-9401 phone/ (734) 929-1811 fax
www.plymouthvc.com

Wellspring Announces $6 Million Series B Capital Raise Led By Plymouth Ventures
New Investment to Support Next Generation Software Platform

Chicago, IL – Jan. 14, 2016 — Wellspring, the leader in technology scouting, corporate venturing, and tech transfer software, today announced it has raised a $6 million Series B round led by Plymouth Ventures. The round also included participation by existing investor MK Capital. Wellspring will use the funds to scale sales and marketing of the company’s next generation software platform used by corporate and university clients to find, manage, and invest
in emerging technologies.

“Our mission is to manage the world’s innovations, empowering corporate leaders, academic researchers, and start-­ups to effectively partner and commercialize emerging technologies. Connecting the supply and demand for innovation is a long-­standing problem. With hundreds of enterprise clients using Wellspring software, we have established ourselves as the leaders in solving this challenge,” said Dr. Robert Lowe, Chief Executive Officer.  “Plymouth’s operational experience and additional capital enable us to scale Wellspring to the next level.”

“Every day we see the challenges companies of all sizes face in sourcing and investing in innovation,” remarked Evan Ufer, partner at Plymouth Ventures. “Wellspring has clearly demonstrated a revolutionary software solution that enables companies and universities to find each other and manage the complexity of licensing and investing. We are excited to partner with the Wellspring team as they continue to push the boundary of enterprise innovation management.”

Founded as a spin-­off by faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon University, Wellspring quickly became the preeminent tech transfer solution provider for research institutes. Wellspring subsequently acquired Flintbox, the world’s largest online exchange of early-­stage technologies. As a natural extension of their involvement in open innovation,  Wellspring developed purpose-­built software for technology scouting, corporate venturing, sponsored research, and licensing.

This new investment shortly follows the release of Wellspring’s next generation software platform which launched at the end of 2015. Wellspring’s new solution for tech scouting and corporate venturing will be showcased at the upcoming Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit on January 27, 2016 in Sonoma, California.

About Wellspring
Wellspring is a leader in software solutions for tech scouting, corporate venturing, licensing, and intellectual property management. More than 500 organizations worldwide, ranging in size from 100 to more than 100,000 employees, use Wellspring software to accelerate their innovation programs. Wellspring’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, hospitals, government agencies, and universities. The company also owns Flintbox, the world’s largest online exchange for early-­stage technologies. For further information, please visit www.wellspring.com.

About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures, a leading growth-­stage venture capital firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I, II, and III. The company invests in Great Lakes-­based, B2B product and services companies that have scalable technology, high growth and strong teams. Plymouth is led by partners Mark Horne, Jeff Barry, Kevin Terrasi and Evan Ufer. The company was founded by Ian Bund who remains active as a Senior Advisor. For more information on Plymouth Ventures and its investments, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

Media Contacts:
Joe Granda, Wellspring, 1-­312-­643-­5100, pr@wellspring.com

XanEdu Publishing Closes On New $8 Million Funding Round

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Ann Arbor-based XanEdu Publishing Inc. recently closed on an $8.1 million funding round that will be used to increase its marketing and sales teams and hire software developers to add features to the corporate learning and development business it launched in January.

“The corporate learning and development market is a $26 billion market,” CEO John DeBoer said. “We entered that market in January and are selling product now. We’ll use this funding to accelerate that platform.”

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365 Retail Markets Has Acquired AirVend, A Utah-Based Vending Machine Technology Company

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365 Retail Markets is working to reinvent the vending machine industry with its MicroMarket technology, a platform that streamlines the remote food purchasing process.  AirVend designs, develops, and distributes interactive touchscreen devices that can be retrofitted to nearly any vending machine.

 “We are always looking to grow in this space,” says Joe Hessling, CEO of 365 Retail Markets. “It’s not often technology becomes available in the food service space, but when it does we look at every opportunity.”

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CloudOne Secures $4.5M to Accelerate Growth, Broaden Hybrid Cloud Platform

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CloudOne, a leader in bringing enterprise applications to the cloud, announced today it secured $4.5 million in Series D investment to accelerate the company’s growth.

“CloudOne is transforming how teams around the world work together to bring software and products to market,” said John McDonald, chief executive officer of CloudOne. “This investment and the expertise of Plymouth Ventures provides our team even more strength to continue broadening our technology platform and bring our customers new innovations that make it easier, faster and more economical to make products for the Internet of Things.”

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365 Retail Markets Reinventing the Vending Machine Experience and Reaping Big Business in the Process

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Troy-based 365 Retail Markets is “reinventing” the vending machine experience leading one of the fastest growing companies in Michigan to record profits.

In 2009, Troy-based 365 Retail Markets generated $42K in revenue. This year it’s projected to make $15 million.  “We skipped medium,” founder & CEO  Joe Hessling says. “We were a startup and we skipped to our current size.”

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Tungsten Corporation Acquires DocuSphere – 2nd Exit for PVP II

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 22, 2014
CONTACT: Mark Horne, Managing Partner
555 Briarwood Circle, Suite 210
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
(734) 747-9401 phone/ (734) 929-1811 fax
www.plymouthvc.com

Tungsten Corporation Acquires DocuSphere – 2nd Exit for PVP II

Plymouth Ventures is pleased to announce that PVP II portfolio company DocuSphere has been acquired by Tungsten Corporation. Based in Perrysburg Ohio, DocuSphere is a leading provider of accounts payable automation and workflow software.

Tungsten Corporation is a publicly traded company based out of London, England (TUNG: LSE). The combination of Tungsten’s supplier portal and e-Invoicing services with DocuSphere’s workflow and connectivity technology will help companies streamline their accounts payable functions from receipts of e-Invoice to payment.

Plymouth Venture’s PVP II originally invested in DocuSphere (also known as Image Integration Systems) in December of 2010, and the equity investment provided growth capital for increased sales and marketing activity, along with additional product development.

Mark Horne of Plymouth Ventures commented: “Today’s positive outcome was the result of a real collaborative effort with management, along with important support from Rocket Ventures and the State of Ohio. The DocuSphere team was able to create significant value by developing best in class technology along with an impressive collection of Fortune 500 customers.”

Bradley White, CEO and President of DocuSphere, said, “We are extremely pleased to complete this sale to Tungsten. By becoming part of the Tungsten Network, we will provide additional value and services to our customers and greater opportunities for our employees. We appreciate the partnership with Plymouth and Rocket that enabled us to get to this point, and Mark Horne’s leadership and experience was critical in getting this combination completed.”

About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I, Plymouth Venture Partners II, and Plymouth Venture Partners III. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Jeff Barry, Kevin Terrasi, and Evan Ufer. Plymouth was founded by Ian Bund who remains active as a Senior Advisor. The firm is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

Plymouth Ventures Expands Advisory Committee for PVP III

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 9, 2014
CONTACT: Mark Horne, Managing Partner
555 Briarwood Circle, Suite 210
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108
(734) 747-9401 phone/ (734) 929-1811 fax
www.plymouthvc.com

Plymouth Ventures Expands Advisory Committee for PVP III

Plymouth Ventures wrapped up the successful final close for their new fund PVP III in June and is pleased to announce two additional appointments to the fund’s Advisory Committee:

Jody Vanderwel
Since 2005, Jody has been President of the Grand Angels, the leading and most experienced angel investing group in Michigan. Jody oversees Grand Angels’ deal sourcing, investing, and portfolio management, and represents the group at networking and educational events across Michigan. Jody worked several years in private practice before joining Herman Miller as Corporate Counsel and then Vice President for Corporate Giving. Jody is currently a member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association Board, the Michigan Accelerator Fund I Advisory Board, the Baker Publishing Group Board, and the Fuller Theological Seminary Board. She also chairs the Board of Priority Health. In February Governor Snyder appointed her to a four year term on the Michigan Strategic Fund. Jody holds a B.A. degree from the University of Colorado and a J.D. degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Jody comes from a strong entrepreneurial family and has been an effective leader with growing recognition nationally in angel circles. She lives and works in Holland, Michigan.

Steve Jandernoa
Steve is a Vice-President at 42 North Partners LLC in Grand Rapids, MI. 42 North Partners is a single family office focused on alternative asset investing as well as entrepreneurial and community initiatives in Michigan. Steve is primarily responsible for direct investing activities including sourcing, executing, and oversight of an existing portfolio of operating companies. Steve currently serves on the Advisory Committee for Owners Resource Group, a private equity fund based in Austin, Texas, and is an active board observer at Advantage Business Media and Salamander Technologies. Steve’s prior experience includes seven years in public accounting with the most recent responsibilities as a Manager of Assurance Services with Ernst & Young. Steve is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan, received an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a BS in Accounting and Marketing from Marquette University.

Managing Partner, Mark Horne, commented; “We are pleased to add Jody and Steve to our Advisory Committee. They have been great supporters of our regional, growth-stage investment strategy and I look forward to working with both of them as we continue to deploy the new fund. We have a great Advisory team and each member brings a real depth of experience and a unique perspective to the Committee.”

About the PVP III Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee is made up of selected Limited Partners of PVP III and meets on a monthly basis. The purpose of the committee is to provide advice and counsel as requested by the General Partner in connection with the Partnership’s investments as well as other matters pertaining to the Partnership. Existing Advisory Committee members include Mike Monahan (Chairman), Gerry Boylan, William Foster, Chris Rizik (Renaissance Venture Fund) and Mike Kell (Venture Michigan Fund II).

About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I, Plymouth Venture Partners II, and Plymouth Venture Partners III. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Jeff Barry, Kevin Terrasi, and Evan Ufer. Plymouth was founded by Ian Bund who remains active as a Senior Advisor. The firm is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.