Author Archives: Plymouth Ventures

Plymouth Ventures III Makes 2nd Investment

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 27th, 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 III Makes 2nd Investment

Plymouth Ventures today announced that it has made its second investment out of Plymouth Venture Partners III, which had its final closing at the end of June. The investment was made into the Chicago-based 3D virtual simulation technology company InContext Solutions as part of a $12+ million Series D round. www.incontextsolutions.com The round was led by Beringea LLC and involved follow-on investments from Plymouth Venture Partners II and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

With the latest funding efforts, InContext Solutions plans to rapidly grow and expand its virtual simulation and research presence worldwide. Their marquee shopper marketing platform, ShopperMX™, allows manufacturers and retailers to collaborate over the web within a 3D virtual store simulation. The first-of-its-kind technology takes 3D visualization to the next level with endless capabilities for testing store, aisle and category layouts, product packaging, in-store marketing or even shopper flow within a store to determine which concept is the most effective for generating demand. ShopperMX helps clients become faster, smarter and more profitable as they bring shopper and retail concepts to market.

“We are pleased to continue to support InContext, and make it our second investment out of PVP III. They have had a great roll out of ShopperMX ,” Plymouth Managing Partner Mark Horne commented. “We believe the company has the right management team and product in place to address its large addressable market. The size of the round InContext was able to attract is a strong indication of the significant market opportunity in front of the company.”

InContext Solutions was founded in 2009 with a vision to revolutionize 3D virtual simulation technology via Internet streaming and offer unparalleled virtual store research services. To date, InContext Solutions has become a partner for a large roster of companies, including seven of the top 10 global consumer packaged goods companies, six of the top 10 quick serve chain restaurant companies in the United States, three of the top five grocery retailers in the United States and three of the top 10 mass, drug and value chain retailers in the United States.

InContext has been recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Most Promising Companies,” and as a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner.

Plymouth Venture Partners III made its first investment in Certified Security Solutions, the Cleveland-based information security company that specializes in Identity and Access Management solutions.

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.

About InContext Solutions
InContext Solutions was founded in 2009 with a vision to revolutionize how virtual simulations could be used by leading businesses across the globe to research the placement of products in a retail setting. InContext Solutions provides a unique and in-depth perspective on what consumers see on the shelf, how this drives their purchase behavior and why. InContext Solutions has been recognized in the industry among “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes in 2009, as a Chicago Innovations Up-and-Comer in 2010, and featured as a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner in 2011. Recently named the 9th fastest growing privately held technology company, they continue to grow their team, knowledge and capabilities. Visit www.incontextsolutions.com

Plymouth Ventures Announces Successful Final Close for New Fund

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Plymouth Ventures announced today the final close for Plymouth Venture Partners III (PVP III).  Surpassing its fundraising target of $60 million, PVP III will continue to execute on the same strategy and focus as PVP II.

We are delighted to close so quickly on PVP III and continue to deploy capital to growth stage companies here in the Great Lakes region.  We were fortunate to have strong backing from our PVP II limited partners, who are participating in PVP III in large numbers, and from institutions – over 50% of PVP III’s committed capital comes from regional institutions.

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Evan Ufer Joins Plymouth Ventures as Partner

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Plymouth Ventures announced today that Evan Ufer has joined the firm as Partner. Evan will be a member of the Plymouth Venture Partners III, L.P. General Partner, as well as the Investment Committee. Plymouth Venture Partners III is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners I and II, and recently closed on its first investment in March.

“It’s a very unique opportunity to join an already successful, proven, and growing partnership. And the fact that Plymouth is headquartered in my hometown of Ann Arbor is an added benefit that’s a perfect move for our young family.”

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Plymouth Ventures Adds Chief Financial Officer

PlymouthVentures_iphone_144FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 15th, 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 Hires CFO

Plymouth Ventures announced that it has hired Chris Frick as its Chief Financial Officer.  Chris comes to Plymouth after 10 years of holding leadership positions in the financial management function at St. Mary’s of Michigan Health Care System.  Prior to his work with St. Mary’s, Chris was a Certified Public Accountant, and a Commercial Banker.  He has an MBA in management and BS in Accounting.

Plymouth’s Managing Partner, Mark Horne, commented, “Bringing on a full-time CFO is an important step in the growth of our firm.   It allows the partners to focus on the core activities of the firm: origination, closing, and successfully exiting investments.  Chris has shown himself to be skilled at taking ownership of key aspects of our operations.  With Plymouth Ventures III about to have its final close, it is critical to have a professional such as Chris to manage our “back office” financial activities and third-party service providers”.

Chris will work out of Plymouth’s offices in Ann Arbor.
 

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, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

Renaissance Ventures Invests in PVP III

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The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, the Ann Arbor-based fund created by Business Leaders for Michigan, announced that it has invested $4 million in Plymouth Venture Partners III.

“Plymouth has a really interesting focus,” he said. “They don’t invest in typical startups. They invest in companies with $2 million to $5 million in revenue that used to be serviced by the banks or other lenders but who can’t get a loan anymore because the banks are backing away from smaller companies.  So they fill a nice post-2008-crash niche, one that won’t end soon. So they’re unlike any other venture fund in town because they are growth-stage-oriented. For us, it is a nice contrast to the other investments we’re making.”

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Plymouth Ventures III Invests in Cleveland-based Certified Security Solutions

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Certified Security Solutions, Inc. (CSS) on Thursday announced its strategic relationship with Plymouth Ventures, a growth-company portfolio manager.

Kevin von Keyserling, CSS President and CEO added, “We are pleased to be working with Plymouth Ventures as we enter the next growth phase in our company’s progression.  Plymouth’s experienced operational team, and the financing round they led, will make it possible to fully deploy our strategy in 2014.  In addition, this allows us to better service our customers and provide them with the latest solutions to securely operate their respective businesses.”

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XanEdu to Merge with AcademicPub

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Ann Arbor-based XanEdu Inc. and New York City-based SharedBook Inc. have signed an agreement to merge the two privately held academic resource companies.

“The combined value proposition for customers is immense,” said John DeBoer, XanEdu CEO. “Separately, we each solve different industry needs. Together, we become the best end-to-end provider in the market, providing both full-service and do-it-yourself options. The combination allows us to better serve all of our higher educationconstituents — institutions, faculty, students, bookstores, publishers — as well as enter new markets.”

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Plymouth Ventures Leads Series A in 365 Retail Markets

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PVP II invests in leading micromarkets innovator, 365 Retail.

“Plymouth is very pleased to have made this investment in 365.” Jeff Barry, Partner at Plymouth Ventures, said of 365 Retail Markets. “We have known about Joe Hessling and 365’s extraordinary growth over the past three years and looked for the opportunity to partner with them. We believe this capital infusion is perfectly timed as 365 exceeded $10 million in annual revenue in 2013. This achievement is even more impressive when taking into account how quickly they’ve reached it and the small amount of capital it took to get there. The MicroMarket segment is growing rapidly and 365 is a pioneer in the industry. We look forward to a strong partnership between Plymouth and 365 as the company continues to grow.”

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Gilmore, Jasion, & Mahler selected as Plymouth Ventures Auditors

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Mark Horne, Managing Partner of Plymouth Ventures added, “GJM has the depth and expertise we need as we continue to grow our venture fund activity. We are excited to launch our next fund. It’s a great time to invest in this region, and we are seeing a steady flow of interesting new opportunities. This strong first close will allow us to seamlessly move from Fund II to Fund III, and continue to invest without interruption.”  After two months of initial fundraising, PVP III has a total of$39 millionin signed commitments.

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