Press & Events

September 19th, 2013

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

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

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.

September 19th, 2013

LexisNexis® Acquires Enclarity

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, July 2013 and the fall 2012 purchase of EDIWatch, a provider of fraud, waste and abuse technology solutions.

Go to full article here.

June 16th, 2013

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

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, 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.

June 16th, 2013

John Connors makes 2013 Midas List

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 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.

May 8th, 2013

The 2013 Midas List: Hot Prospects

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.

April 5th, 2013

Update on Ignition Fund V

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.

March 18th, 2013

Startup Grind finds Gold at Ignition Partners

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 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.

March 11th, 2013

Cruise Ship Communications for Passengers Is About to Change

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.

February 25th, 2013

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

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

Go to full article here.

February 1st, 2013

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

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

Go to full article here.

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