Archive for the Press & Events Category


Cisco buys Ignition-backed flash storage startup Whiptail for $415M

Written by on September 19, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

9/10/2013 – Geekwire

Cisco today paid $415 million to acquire New Jersey-based Whiptail, an all-flash enterprise class storage startup bankrolled in part by Bellevue venture capital firm Ignition Partners.

WhipTail describes itself as an all-flash enterprise class storage array, a solution that boosts storage performance. More than 100 customers are currently using the technology, including inVentiv Health, The Pension’s Trust and Ohio.gov.

Cisco’s senior VP Hilton Romanski said that Whiptail will help beef up its Unified Computing System (UCS).

“Whiptail is a perfect architectural fit for UCS because together the two combine a clustered architecture with fabric-based acceleration — all of which is automatable via the UCS Manager and UCS Director,” Romanski wrote in this blog post.

Go to full article here.

LexisNexis® Acquires Enclarity

Written by on September 19, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

9/11/2013 – Reed Elsevier

Third acquisition in a year as company strengthens its identity, fraud and clinical analytics to offer 360° view of health care providers

ATLANTA – LexisNexis® Risk Solutions today announced the acquisition of Enclarity, Inc. an industry-leading health care provider data and information solutions company.  The deal will enable LexisNexis to add Enclarity’s health care provider data to its existing analytics platforms and workflows, and help customers contain health care costs and improve the quality of health care outcomes. The acquisition follows the transfer of clinical-analytics-focused MEDai into LexisNexis Risk Solutions from LexisNexis sister company Elsevier, Inc.in July 2013 and the fall 2012 purchase of EDIWatch, a provider of fraud, waste and abuse technology solutions.

Go to full article here.

John Connors Named One of The 19 Best Enterprise Tech Venture Capitalists by Business Insider

Written by on June 16, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

5/15/13 – Business Insider

John Connors joined Ignition as a partner in 2005 after a 16-year, storied career at Microsoft where he rose to become the chief information officer and then CFO. His more recent big hits include Splunk (IPO 2012), Heroku (acquired by Salesforce.com), XenSource (bought by Citrix). He’s currently backing FiREapps, Scout Analytics, Datasphere, Opscode and Parse. He’s also on the board of Nike. When not working, you can find him working cattle on his ranch in Montana, where he grew up.

Go to full article here.

John Connors makes 2013 Midas List

Written by on June 16, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

Forbes -

John Connors, a specialist in enterprise software and services, was an investor in big data company Splunk, one of the hot IPOs of 2012. Splunk soared 109% on its first day of trading and was recently trading at a market cap of about $4 billion. He also invested in Heroku, which Salesforce.com acquired in 2010 for $212 million, and XenSource, which was acquired by Citrix in 2007. Other current investments include Parse, Motif Investing, Datasphere and Opscode. Connors was previously at Microsoft for 16 years, holding a number of executive positions including chief financial officer from 2000 to 2005. Connors’ firm Ignition Partners recently reformed as a smaller team with three general partners. He’s on the boards of Nike, FiREapps, Scout Analytics, Datasphere, Motif, Splunk, Opscode, Parse and Tier 3. Connors relaxes by working cattle on his ranch near his hometown in Southeastern Montana.

Go to full article here.

The 2013 Midas List: Hot Prospects

Written by on May 8, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

5/7/13 -

For the third year in a row, TrueBridge Capital has partnered with Forbes to cultivate the most exciting billing in venture capital, The 2013 Midas List, which rumor has it will be published shortly. We have been gathering and analyzing data throughout the year, employing the same tested and data-driven process with which TrueBridge underwrites its investments, and using our broad networks to assess the state of the venture capital industry as a whole.

As in 2011 and 2012, we have also selected the best of the best from the next generation of venture capitalists, based on quantitative data and qualitative references confirming the sentiment throughout the industry. The 2013 Midas List: Hot Prospects consists of investors who are keeping the industry on its toes and are poised to break into future Midas editions. The venture capitalists featured below all have signature investments, and entrepreneurs are highly attuned to these investors’ criteria. A combination of brilliant company recognition and plain hard work has helped these investors achieve success. Without a doubt, they are worthy of top billing; one investor from last year’s draft is included on this year’s Midas List (stay tuned!), and we expect that some of the VCs listed below will bump up a weight class or two in the future.

Frank Artale, Ignition Partners

Although relatively new to professional venture investing, Artale has been around the software industry for years. His experience as the founder of Consera Software and time spent building giants like Microsoft , XenSource, and Citrix have given him deep insight into the rapidly growing cloud and virtualization spaces. Before joining Ignition Partners, he was a member of Accel’s venture development team and advised companies such as Cloudera, Couchbase, and Xensource before ultimately joining the executive team at Xensource. He has quickly burst onto the enterprise investing scene, making investments in Bromium, a next-generation virtualization company, ServiceMesh, the fast-growing definer of hybrid IT, and the aforementioned Cloudera, which is now a $700 million company. Watch out for Artale and his reputation as an operator; entrepreneurs love working with him. He is the kind of guy who returns calls within the hour and has a widespread network from the Bay Area to Seattle to New York. We will certainly be tracking the moves that he makes.

Go to full article here.

Update on Ignition Fund V

Written by on April 5, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

4/5/13 –
Today Ignition Partners announced the closing of Ignition Venture Partners V (“Fund V”), a $150 million fund whose primary focus is early-stage investments in business software and cloud computing companies. All of the Ignition partners in existing funds look forward to continuing to work together on the more than sixty existing investments in Ignition venture funds. Almost half of these active companies continue to have a significant presence in the Seattle area and support more than 2,400 local jobs.

It has been an exciting year for Ignition with our venture funds successfully exiting ten companies in the past twelve months and delivering more than $450 million in liquidity to our investors including: Splunk’s IPO (NASDAQ: SPLK), Zenprise’s acquisition by Citrix, and StorSimple’s acquisition by Microsoft. Over the life of Ignition’s venture funds more than 25 companies have been sold or gone public including Splunk, Heroku, and Zenprise, and there continues to be strong growth across the portfolio into 2013.

“The entire Ignition team looks forward to working with all sixty plus existing companies across its portfolio and partnering with new companies coming into the fold through Ignition V,” said Steve Hooper, a founding partner at Ignition. “Ignition operates as a team and as such welcomes and looks forward to working with Nick Sturiale as the newest Partner at Ignition.” “Every member of the Ignition team is committed to continuing to work with all of the companies across the Ignition funds to realize the best possible outcome for each of them,” said Jonathan Roberts, a founding partner at Ignition.

Effective with the closing of Fund V, Ignition Ventures now operates out of an office in Bellevue, WA and Palo Alto, CA with the addresses below:

350 106th Ave NE
1st Floor
Bellevue WA 98004

421 Kipling Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301

About Ignition

Ignition helps entrepreneurs build innovative, category-defining businesses of lasting value. The firm has offices in Bellevue, Wash. and Palo Alto, Calif.

Startup Grind finds Gold at Ignition Partners

Written by on March 18, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

Startup Grind: 3/18/13 –

We are lucky to have Michelle Goldberg come visit us from Ignition Partners on March 27 at 6pm (register). Not only is she a veteran of the VC industry but she is a huge fan of entrepreneurs. She acts as a mentor to entrepreneurs and executives in digital media and the consumer internet. Michelle has a fascination with how the internet works and brings her experience investing in SEO, social media, advertising analytic and digital commerce to understanding the trends that will next fuel the web. She loves to advise companies and fund entrepreneurs who are defining digital and what it means to our on and off-line lives.

Everyone should be able to get some very interesting insights from Michelle because she has seen many different deals over the past 13 years and is willing share things that were successful for her and things that we not. Michelle currently sits on a number of boards, including SEOmoz, Glympse, Visible Technologies, and Ice.com and is an observer on Avvo and Trover. Michelle is a Founding Advisor to Julep and Jenni Hogan Media. Also Michelle was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal, she was a “40 under 40” Honoree. Enough about all these awards, she obviously knows what she is talking about when it comes to helping others start, grow or fund their company.

We all should be so lucky to be able to call Michelle a mentor of our organization or a champion of your company’s technology. She has both the technology chops and the connections to help you and your company or idea get to the next level.In addition to her work as an advisor and VC, she is an active fundraiser in early childhood education and sits on the board of the University Child Development School. Michelle is also a member of the WWF, not that one, this one- Washington Women’s Federation. She has a soft spot for women who are leaders in their organization and understands the issues that come with being a women in todays high tech world.

Go to full article here.

Cruise Ship Communications for Passengers Is About to Change

Written by on March 11, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

Forbes 3/8/13 –

Imagine that you are on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, perhaps hundreds or thousands of miles from land, and want to make a phone call or access the Internet. Did you ever wonder how your wireless device works when there are no cell towers or traditional infrastructure available like at home? And more importantly why it does not work better, faster or cheaper for voice and data applications?

The ability to communicate while at sea is incredibly complex and has only been possible and reliable within the past ten years. Unfortunately, the connectivity comes at a steep price because of the high investment required by the cruise lines and satellite carriers who must price access by the amount of bandwidth that is used. It turns out that this is a highly inefficient and costly method to allow passengers and crew to communicate, and the formula is about to change.

While the state-of-the-art has dramatically improved there are still many technical obstacles to achieving the same level of interconnectivity that we experience on land through wired or wireless networks. Cruise ships are seeing dramatic increases in traveler demand for communications services caused by the use of smartphones, laptops and tablets as part of their vacation experience. The bottom line for the consumer is that current cruise communications networks aren’t designed to meet these voracious demands for mobile connectivity.

Consider the following statistics from MTN Communications, one of the biggest sellers of telecom equipment to the cruise ship industry:

Internet Logins – In the past five years, Internet logins on the MTN network almost doubled from approximately 15 million to 27 million per year;
Voice Usage – Based on revenue data over the past five years, voice usage increased approximately 50 percent;
VSAT Bandwidth – In the past five years, bandwidth demand among MTN VSAT (high-speed) customers increased six-fold from 75 Mbps to 475 Mbps per year

Limited bandwidth is still the main reason network speeds, quality of service and data rates are better on land than at sea, coupled with the failure to integrate other technologies that could optimize the transport of large amounts of data by using different networks.

I travel on Holland America Lines which is typical of the cruise industry in terms of its communications capabilities. Virtually all of the fleet has WiFi throughout their ships but it is painfully slow at times which is due to the number of users and available bandwidth. There are also severe limitations on the types of files that can be accessed in order to protect the network and compensate for the bandwidth limitations. Internet access costs between $.25 and $.75 per minute, depending on the selected plan.

Cellular voice and data is available on all ships but is very costly, up to about five dollars a minute through your local carrier, or up to ten dollars a minute if you use Intelsat satellite links through the ship’s voice network. Data connections through cellular can also be very pricy unless you have a data plan. Verizon is the only American carrier that offers a good deal for their customers that use tablets or smartphones on ships. They have a monthly cost of $25 for each 100 Mbytes.

While AT&T has a similar plan it doesn’t allow for data access at sea, which means you can pay around $20 per megabyte. That translates to a high cost for using email and sending pictures, to say nothing of downloading documents. If you try to save money by using a VoIP service such as Skype to make and receive calls you will have limited success because of the latency issues with voice transmission through a satellite, whether you establish a WiFi or cellular connection.

Go to full article here.

Airbiquity Partners with China Unicom to Provide Connected Vehicle Services in China

Written by on February 25, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

2/25/13 -

SEATTLE, Wash. and BARCELONA, Spain – Airbiquity, a global leader in connected vehicle services, and China Unicom of Shanghai, today announced a partnership to provide telematics services for the Chinese automotive market, leveraging Airbiquity’s Choreo connected vehicle service delivery platform and China Unicom’s telecom infrastructure and service provider capabilities. The goal of the partnership is to provide comprehensive and advanced connected vehicle services for Chinese automotive line-fit and aftermarket programs.

The partnership will increase the breadth of services for both companies in the field of connected vehicle solutions, and help automotive manufacturers throughout China to quickly implement industry-leading telematics solutions.

Planned services offered through the partnership include infotainment and smartphone integration, commercial vehicle fleet services, CRM, and other traditional telematics services.

“Airbiquity is delighted to partner with China Unicom of Shanghai to expand its connected vehicle services within China,” said Kamyar Moinzadeh, president and CEO of Airbiquity. “With GSM and WCDMA business in 31 provinces and regions, as well as broadband and ICT infrastructure throughout the country, China Unicom is a leader in connectivity solutions. Bringing that industry-leading level of service into the car, across China, is an intelligent next step in a rapidly expanding market.”

Shipments of smartphones in China increased 61% YoY in Q3 2012, surging way ahead of the United States and confirming the nation’s position as the world’s largest country by volume. Matched with growing automotive production and sales, China Unicom and Airbiquity will be well positioned to bring cutting-edge telematics services to a rapidly expanding market.

“With vehicle sales in China alone expected to rise from 21 million units in 2013 to nearly 34 million in 2019, the opportunity for connected car solution suppliers is huge in this region,” said Richard Robinson, director, automotive at Strategy Analytics. “Our research highlights that nearly half of the vehicles sold in China will have either embedded modems or tethered device telematics capability by 2019, in spite of the lower value ‘economy’ segment accounting for over 30% of vehicle sales.

Services are scheduled to launch later this year with two customers already under agreement.

About Airbiquity
Airbiquity is at the forefront of change in the automotive industry, integrating advances in software, communications technology and wireless services with vehicles. Its connected vehicle solutions offer automakers a flexible platform for delivering innovative applications and services that help automobiles adapt to the driver’s digital lifestyle. To learn more about Airbiquity, visit www.airbiquity.com.

Go to full article here.

FIS Advances Leadership Position in Mobile Financial Services through Acquisition of mFoundry

Written by on February 1, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

1/31/12 -
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 31, 2013 −Expanding on its leadership position in mobile financial services, FIS™ (NYSE: FIS), the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining 78 percent interest in mFoundry, a foremost provider of mobile banking and payment solutions for financial institutions and retailers. Previous to this transaction, FIS held a 22 percent interest in the company. The addition of mFoundry creates one of the leading mobile entities in the financial services space and enables FIS to leverage its technology assets across a broader client base.

“mFoundry has a well-earned reputation for innovation, powerful vision and agile development and delivers one of the most advanced mobile platforms in the market today,” noted Gary Norcross, FIS president and chief operating officer. “Consumers have adopted the mobile channel faster than any other delivery channel in existence, and delivering industry-best mobile solutions is a vital focus area for FIS. Our goal is to provide the solutions that underpin an organization’s ability to best reach and serve its customers, and the addition of mFoundry plays a key role in that strategy.”

Founded in 2004 and serving more than 850 clients, mFoundry’s customer-focused solutions have become a leading platform for mobile banking and mobile retail and have been adopted by some of the largest banks, credit unions, payments processors and retailers in the country.

Commenting on the transaction, Drew Sievers, mFoundry co-founder and chief executive officer stated, “FIS has been a great investment partner for the last several years, and the timing was right for us to combine forces to create the unparalleled industry leader in mobile delivery. This transaction enables us to capitalize on new market opportunities and bring top-tier mobile capabilities to our combined client bases.”

FIS anticipates paying approximately $120 million in cash to acquire the remaining 78 percent ownership interest in mFoundry. The transaction, subject to customary regulatory approvals and contractual closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.

About mFoundry
mFoundry is North America’s largest provider of mobile banking and mobile payments services. The leading software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud-based mobile banking offering, mFoundry works with more than 850 banks and credit unions nationwide, including Bank of America, PNC Bank, Zions Bank and more than one-third of the top 50 financial institutions in the U.S. mFoundry is headquartered in Larkspur, California, with offices in downtown San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.mfoundry.com.

Go to full article here.

WAVE Becomes Communications Interoperability Standard for U.S. Special Operations Command

Written by on January 22, 2013 in Press & Events - No comments

Seattle, Washington – January 8, 2013 -

Twisted Pair Solutions Inc., a recognized leader in critical communication applications for secure, real-time collaboration anywhere, on any device, today announced that the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) recently entered into a multi-million dollar Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) for the use of WAVE software throughout the Command. WAVE is an already tried and trusted component of USSOCOM’s extensive communications capabilities and this ELA underscores the importance of WAVE’s role to these capabilities and its ability to support the global Special Operations Forces mission.

“We are delighted to have USSOCOM as a key customer and now enterprise-wide user of WAVE,” said Tom Guthrie, Twisted Pair’s President and CEO. “USSOCOM has been a great partner over the past 10 years, working closely with us to enhance the capabilities of WAVE to meet the needs of their mission critical tactical operations.”

Defense organizations across the world depend on their communications capabilities to successfully complete their missions. Today’s battlefield commanders rely on a network of well-informed geographically dispersed forces to achieve an information advantage that can then be translated into a competitive warfighting advantage. With WAVE software military commanders have the tools to deploy and sustain extensible communications between tactical radio systems, PCs, smartphones and tablets using battlefield and strategic networks of differing capability and performance.

WAVE is currently deployed by all branches of the U.S. Military and a growing number of coalition forces. Most recently it was identified by the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command who recommended the acquisition of WAVE or equivalent capability to support emergency response operations for military installations. WAVE holds a U.S Army Certificate of Networthiness and is on the NATO Approved Suppliers list.

About Twisted Pair

Twisted Pair is the recognized leader in critical communications. Our WAVE software empowers mobile workforces with critical communication applications for secure, real-time collaboration anywhere on any device. Built on a battle-tested communications interoperability platform, WAVE delivers voice, video, location, presence and other forms of data deployed as an enterprise product or cloud-based service throughout commercial, public sector and defense organizations. WAVE has been proven in thousands of the most complex deployments around the world to help integrate and manage a truly unified communications system so that office-based and mobile workers can simply talk, make decisions and act.

Go to full article here.

Source: Cisco Takes Secretive Role As “Unnamed Silicon Valley Industry Titan” In WhipTail’s $31M Round

Written by on December 21, 2012 in Press & Events - No comments

Tech Crunch 12/14/12 -

According to multiple sources, Cisco has taken a secretive role as the “Unnamed Silicon Valley industry titan” in a $31 million round for WhipTail, a flash storage company that also took investment from SanDisk and others

The Series C round of funding included investment from Ignition PartnersRRE Ventures and Spring Mountain Capital. Silicon Valley Bank provided debt financing. SanDisk’s investment in WhipTail was made through SanDisk Ventures, the company’s newly formed strategic investment arm. Cisco’s total investment was not available. Cisco executives did not respond to a request for comment.

My source would not identify Cisco as the mysterious Silicon Valley titan. But he did say the company has one of the largest market capitalizations in the Silicon Valley and has the same name as Sysco, the giant food distributor. Ridiculous, right?

As we enter Consumergeddon, the enterprise world is turning into a giant goat rodeo and is already filled with more snake-oil salesmen than a Texas cave filled with rattlers. So this ridiculous Sysco/Cisco mystery is right in line with the characters playing this ding-dong game.

Cisco’s secrecy is almost laughable here. It’s pretty clear that this is more than just trying to keep a low profile. Its partnership with EMC is falling apart, even despite what we hear about Cisco CEO John Chambers and EMC CEO Joe Tucci being such great pals.

Really, what we have here are two companies, rich as can be, that have porked out on high margins and eight-figure country club deals for the greater part of the last 15 years. Those days are coming to an end and both John and Joe know what’s ahead: lower margins and a host of disruptions from companies like WhipTail that have the technology to give customers better efficiencies and higher performance.

Go to full article here.

The Daily Startup: Accel Leads Investment in Cloudera, as Hadoop Wave Rolls On

Written by on December 8, 2012 in Press & Events - No comments

WSJ 12/7/12 -

Cloudera has landed a $65 million Series E round of venture capital funding led by Accel Partners. Accel is not a new investor in Cloudera, the biggest and best-known company in the Hadoop world. It led its $5 million Series A round in 2009, and it is leading a round that includes all repeat investors, including Greylock Partners, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel and Meritech Capital Partners.

Russian incubator Fastlane Ventures has fueled up with a fresh $13 million from Kazakhstan businessman Kenges Rakishev, and will increase the number of startups it backs and nurtures next year. The infusion, which boosts the two-year-old incubator’s total raise to nearly $100 million, is the first such incubator bet by Rakishev. Fastlane Ventures uses a rapid build-to-launch model to create localized versions of companies that have been successful in the West and other parts of the world.

Also in today’s VentureWire, Redpoint Ventures is in talks with limited partners for a follow-up to its 2010 vintage fund, according to three investors. The firm aims to match the amount it raised for its oversubscribed Redpoint Ventures IV LP, which closed with $400 million…Aratana Therapeutics continues to stockpile human drugs that might also help people’s pets, licensing the animal-health rights to a pain treatment from publicly held Pacira Pharmaceuticals…and PCRX +0.12% Avelas Biosciences, maker of a fluorescent imaging probe that can illuminate cancerous tissue, has emerged from stealth mode with a $7.65 million Series A round, funding that will push the company’s technology further into clinical studies.

Go to full article here.

Online Jewelry Retailer Ice.com Launches Down Under

Written by on December 8, 2012 in Press & Events - No comments

WSJ 12/6/12 -

Online U.S. jewelry retailer Ice.com has landed Down Under through a deal with MH Carnegie-backed Ice Jewellery.

Ice, backed by U.S. firms Polaris Venture Partners and Ignition Partners, is supplying its Australian partner with more than 1,500 products sold at prices aimed to be competitive when compared to traditional retailers.

Southeast Asia and Pacific managing director Nick Molnar, 22, told Deal Journal Australia he intends to grow Ice’s position as Australia’s only pure-play online jewelry retailer before bricks and mortar retailers, such as Prouds and Angus & Coote, catch up.

He added that Ice intends to expand into Southeast Asia in the next six months, though its first focus is Australian and New Zealand markets.

Mr. Molnar, who formerly occupied the top seller spot in eBay‘s EBAY -0.48% jewelry category, is aiming for sales in excess of 200,000 Australian dollars (US$209,000) during December, the company’s first month of operation.

 

Go to full article here.

INRIX Appoints Former Microsoft CFO John Connors to Board of Directors

Written by on November 29, 2012 in Press & Events - No comments

BetaNews 11/29/12 -

INRIX®, Inc., a leading international provider of traffic information and driver services, announced that John Connors, a partner at Ignition Partners and former chief financial officer of Microsoft Corporation, was elected to the INRIX board of directors as a new, independent board member.

“John’s experience in corporate finance and building new businesses is invaluable as INRIX enters new markets and builds relationships with new customers,” said Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of INRIX.

Mr. Connors brings to INRIX a wealth of experience in corporate finance and operations from his 16 years at Microsoft as well as his current work at Ignition Partners where he invests principally in business software and services companies.  Prior to joining Ignition Partners, Mr. Connors served in various management positions at Microsoft Corporation, including as senior vice president and chief financial officer from 1999 to 2005. Mr. Connors also has served on the board of directors of NIKE, Inc. since 2005 and Splunk, Inc. since 2007.

Ignition Partners is not an investor in INRIX.

About INRIX

INRIX® is a leading traffic intelligence platform delivering smart data and advanced analytics to solve transportation issues worldwide. INRIX crowd sources data daily from approximately 100 million vehicles and devices to deliver traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services, across five industries in 35 countries.

With more than 200 customers and partners including Audi, ADAC, ANWB, BMW, the BBC, Ford Motor Company, the I-95 Coalition, MapQuest, Microsoft, NAVIGON, Nissan, O2, Tele Atlas, Telmap, Toyota and Vodafone, INRIX’s real-time traffic information and traffic forecasts help drivers save time every day.

Read full article here.

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