VentureSouth portfolio news - summer 2018

KIYATEC led the big news this summer, with the admittance of the first patients to its first clinical trial. Learn more here and in Bloomberg.

Other portfolio companies continued their impressive momentum too:

Kwipped - featured in Hypepotamus, a tech start-up site, and are entering the metrology equipment market.

Proterra - announced a sale to Toronto Transit Commission, are offering high-powered charging systems, are helping create double-decker electric buses, and are delivering buses in Dallas, to the Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, and in Chicago. Keep rollin'.

Spiffy - New portfolio company (announced here) launched its Spiffy Blue, an on-board diagnostics sensor that will monitor your vehicle's health information. This announcement was also picked up by the Triangle Business Journal.

New portfolio company Emergo Therapeutics was featured in The Triangle's WRAL TechWire - another stellar entrepreneurial management team that we're pleased to add to the VentureSouth portfolio.

TiO - has teamed up with Level Homes in the Triangle. Their product was also added to a new home for a wounded veteran and his family through Operation Coming Home.

Threatswitch continues to roll out new features - this month smart filtered views.

Livi is a life-saver - and available on Amazon.

And Reveal Mobile and Proaxion are on the main stage at the CED Tech Conference in September.

VentureSouth investment in Spiffy

Today VentureSouth is pleased to announce its members have invested in Spiffy.

Spiffy's press release on its $9 million funding round is below (and picked up in PE Hub, Markets Insider, WRAL Techwire, and other places). The Triangle Business Journal has more.

A cliche of angel investing is you "back the jockey not the horse." The Spiffy team is one of the most impressive group of entrepreneurs we have ever had the opportunity to back.

Scot Wingo's track record of ecommerce success is unequalled in the Carolinas; coupled with Karl Murphy's operational capacity and expertise in the car maintenance world, and the wider team's breadth, depth, and capability, the team scores higher in our diligence evaluation than virtually any other company we've seen. We look forward to working with, and learning from, them as they grow Spiffy.

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Get Spiffy, Inc. (Spiffy), an on-demand car care, technology, and services company, today announced the closing of a $9m fund raise led by Bull City Venture Partners.

The new capital infusion will enable Spiffy to broaden car care services, expand geographies, and develop additional channels.

All existing Spiffy investors, including IDEA Fund Partners, participated in the funding and new investors were added including strategic investor MANN+HUMMEL. Other investors included Visionary Private Equity Group, the North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN), and VentureSouth.

"Since our first investment, Spiffy has grown from three to five markets, added several new services like mobile oil change, and dramatically expanded their fleet business. With this financing, we are excited to continue to support Spiffy on their very impressive growth trajectory," said Jason Caplain, general partner Bull City Venture Partners.

"Just as e-commerce changed the retail landscape, on-demand services are changing consumer expectations around every touchpoint in a service interaction. Investing in Spiffy gives us the opportunity to explore the fascinating intersection of our products and their on-demand services," said Charles Vaillant, MANN+HUMMEL Chief Technology Officer.

"We continue to experience over 100% y/y growth and incredibly high customer satisfaction. We look forward to using the proceeds of this round to roll out more 5-star services, geographies, and channels," said Spiffy CEO, Scot Wingo.

Dr. Ron Zamber, Chairman of Visionary Private Equity Group commented, "VPEG is excited to be an investor in Spiffy as they are capitalizing on their unique approach to market in a methodical and precise manner. Beyond the rapid rise in on-demand services, Spiffy via Spiffy Blue (a proprietary on-board diagnostics solution) is also well positioned to capitalize on the explosion in the IoT market which is predicted to generate $300 Billion annually by 2020 being led by manufacturing, transportation, and logistics."

About Spiffy

Spiffy (www.GetSpiffy.com) is an on-demand technology and services company with the mission to redefine the car care experience everywhere. Anyone can schedule a service in less than two minutes with the Spiffy app. Spiffy currently operates in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Los Angeles, California and Dallas, Texas. Spiffy washes, details, and changes oil using the Spiffy Green environmentally-friendly system that is the eco-friendliest way to care for your vehicle. Spiffy's innovative technology allows clients to schedule, track and pay for services at the time and location of their choosing. The Spiffy Blue on-board diagnostics solution puts Spiffy technology in customers' hands nationwide.

VentureSouth investment in Threatswitch

We are delighted to announce officially VentureSouth's investment in Threatswitch. You can learn more from the Charlotte Business Journal here (thanks Caroline Hudson for your interest!) and below is a copy of the press release.

This is an exciting transaction for VentureSouth. The first and most important reason is to be able to work with John Dillard and his team of "JCs" - Jessica, Jonathan, James - and others, to make NISPOM compliance easier and all of us a little more secure!

We're also delighted to have led the round based on a major investment from VentureSouth Charlotte, which is really hitting its stride; to have invested with the Venture Capital Multiplier fund and other new partners; and to have oversubscribed the round in record time, so John can move from fundraising to execution quickly.

This investment demonstrates the power of the VentureSouth model: lots of angels bring capital and expertise + thorough but rapid diligence + efficient investment structuring = capital deployment + wealth creation + job growth.

Best of luck John...

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VentureSouth invests in Threatswitch, a Charlotte-based compliance software platform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mac Lackey

Charlotte, N.C. – VentureSouth and Threatswitch are pleased to announce that the angel investment network has led an investment in the Charlotte-based software platform.

VentureSouth is an angel investment firm that invests in early stage companies across the Carolinas. Its Queen City affiliate, VentureSouth Charlotte, was launched in 2016 and its members have already invested in over a dozen companies.

The most recent was in Threatswitch, a security and compliance software platform for defense contractors and other heavily-regulated companies. VentureSouth led, and were the largest investors in, an oversubscribed investment round of $1.2 million. The round included both existing investors and new supporters including the North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, Chapel Hill investor Alston Gardner, and Washington, DC-based Riverbend Capital.

John Dillard, Founder and CEO of Threatswitch, announced the investment. “We are delighted to have completed a substantial capital round to grow our business, and to be working with VentureSouth. Their thorough but efficient diligence process, their investment structure, and their connections and fundraising guidance have already been immensely valuable to Threatswitch. I’m excited about using this capital to continue growing a great business.”

Mac Lackey, Venture Partner at VentureSouth and leader of VentureSouth Charlotte, commented that “Having been an entrepreneur in Charlotte my whole life, I was excited to launch a VentureSouth group here. Since our first meeting in 2016, our members have been able to build a diverse portfolio of investments, including several in Charlotte. John and the Threatswitch team are talented entrepreneurs of the caliber we need to continue growing Charlotte’s entrepreneurial community.”

VentureSouth has invested over $25 million in 60 companies to date. To learn more about VentureSouth please visit www.venturesouth.vc; to learn more about Threatswitch please visit www.threatswitch.com.

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KIYATEC's clinical trial milestone

We are proud to celebrate KIYATEC's announcement that it has begun admitting patients to its first clinical trial.

You can learn more about the new trial studying KIYATEC's ability to predict treatment outcomes for certain cancer patients in its press release, on KIYATEC's website, and in other coverage.

This is a major milestone for KIYATEC, and the culmination of several years of painstaking and groundbreaking work developing and validating its technologies and predictive capabilities.

As the coverage in Bloomberg notes, it is also a great story of collaboration between hospital systems, state/funding entities, private capital like VentureSouth's members ($1.5M invested and counting!), scientific talent, the National Cancer Institute, and many more.

Many years of hard work are ahead, but being able to predict which drugs will be most effective on an individual's cancer will be worth the effort. Keep up the good work!

VentureSouth portfolio news - Spring 2018

The VentureSouth portfolio continues to blossom in the spring of 2018. Here are a few highlights from the last few weeks.

Zipit - announced that it has joined Amazon Web Services' partner network.

Atlas Organics - continues to grow in Chattanooga, this time on commercial food waste collection with EPB. They received the James B. Thompson Small Business of the Year Award for their growth and innovation in Spartanburg, and were featured by GVL Today* for an article informing readers how to compost in Greenville. 

*GVL Today is a product of 6AM City, another VentureSouth portfolio company. You should definitely be on their list...

Baebies - March's BaebieTalk newsletter tackled Pompe and raises awareness of Fabry Awareness Month, and the May letter covered more on baby diagnostic issues.

Reveal Mobile - Brian Handly, CEO of 2017 investment Reveal Mobile, has a regular feature in Forbes. Last month's covered how mobile data helps measure retail foot traffic.

Emrgy - its hydropower design and frictionless magnetic gearbox was featured in Clean Technica and CEO Emily Morris was interviewed by Renewable Energy Magazine

TiO Home - informative and detailed feature in Florida Today

Avadim - announced that its patent applications have been allowed in the U.S. and Japan relating to a method for reducing the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Kwipped - launched a new version of their website to simplify their users' experience. CEO Robert Preville sat for an interview with PYMNTS for their latest "Topic TBD" podcast. They pitched at the Silicon Valley Open Doors Tech Conference at the end of May, Robert was interviewed by Business North Carolina to discuss their participation there, and they were featured on WECT news regarding the Silicon Valley conference.

KIYATEC - expanded its leadership team with the appointments of Vice Presidents of Clinical Affairs and Commercial Operations

Brightfield Transportation - Tuck Social Venture Fund (TSVF), a student-led impact investing fund at Dartmouth, has invested in Brightfield

 

VentureSouth portfolio news - January and early February 2018

2018 has started at a blistering pace. We were delighted to start the year with a good exit at FarmShots, but our portfolio companies continue to develop quickly. Updates include:

An exit! FarmShots acquired by Syngenta!

Investing in early stage companies pays off in many ways. The most tangible is when they are bought by bigger companies. We're delighted to start the year off with "an exit" - with FarmShots acquired by Syngenta.

You can see Syngenta's press release here, and a nice profile of Josh and the FarmShots team in the Triad Business Journal.

VentureSouth members invested in FarmShots in September 2016, attracted by Josh's technological skills and persistence, FarmShots' technology and market opportunity, and the cost saving and efficiency improvements for farmers.

Financial terms have not been disclosed, but we are happy to say that the investment definitely hit our return targets! This investment is a case study on how angel investing should, and does, work - so look out for more on our blog to come.

Though our part on the entrepreneurial journey is over, we wish Josh and Syngenta the best of luck in continuing to develop a great business.

Portfolio news - Wrapping up 2017

2017 was a very productive year for VentureSouth portfolio companies. We are proud of their progress and achievements, so wanted to pass along a few additional awards, links, self-promotion, and recognition of them.

Bring on 2018!

Portfolio news - November 2017

With a portfolio of 40 active companies, it can be hard to keep track of all their achievements. Our team of intrepid news searching scripts this month bring you:

Baebies: Completed its $10 million Series B raise, helped by a large strategic investment from BOE Technology Group.

Kwipped: Announced the completion of a further round of growth financing. We are pleased to be participating again, alongside the Wolfpack Investment Network.

Proterra:  In addition to providing the keynote content at the VentureSouth Summit, Proterra is sending buses to San Jose airport and Greensboro NC, and showing them off in Iowa, California and Shreveport. They're driving a market continuing to grow at 28% / year; Vox's recent industry review is a great primer.

Brightfield was featured in Motor Week for establishing more than 100 solar/EV charging stations across NC.

Reveal Mobile remains a "top 10 startup to watch." Learn more from Brian Handly in Forbes too.

And Target Pharma shared more of its plans for the rest of the year with the Triangle Business Journal.

Portfolio news - October 2017

In what is rapidly becoming the Proterra and Avadim show, below are links to some of the newsworthy items for late September and October.

Proterra: after several years and much effort, here come the first two Proterra buses in Greenville. And these are now officially world-record-breaking buses; take a seat Tesla.  And Proterra also announced partnerships with LG Chem, purchases by Van Hool, and more.

Avadim: Avadim announced a partnership with another market leader - this time Cardinal Health, to provide Avadim's line of topical bionome therapies. But not everything goes according to plan...

TiO Home announced a partnership with On Top Of The World Communities - a 3-year, 1,200-home program beginning in January.

Kwipped was featured in Total Station Markets, Chemistry World, MSN Lifestyle, the Journal Of Clinical Research Best Practices, and Irish Tech News - quite a selection. It also passed $75MM in listed assets.

Target Pharma: announced the extension of its partnerships with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Intercept, and a new partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim.

And Baebies announced a global distribution partnership for SEEKER with Trivitron's Labsystems Diagnostics.

Portfolio news - August / September 2017

Avadim: announced its partnership with Rite Aid and other pharmacies for Theraworx Relief, and was recognized as the 2nd-fastest growing company in NC and 13th-fastest growing healthcare company on the Inc 500 - quite an achievement. Awesome work Avadim.

Plum Print: featured on Good Morning America as a way to preserve those summer memories (and release all of the guilt).

Proterra: more CATbuses as Clemson acquired its second fleet of Proterra buses, they're coming to RDU airport - learn more here and here; five Proterra buses will begin serving New York City; and this long list of partnerships just announced with DoT grants is impressive

Altas Organics: learn more about recycling with Compost House from Atlas Organics - and about the new pilot program in Henderson County.

Emrgy: See more video of Emrgy's Denver installation, including four new installations, and the team behind "the first distributed hydropower installation in the United States."

Portfolio news - Summer 2017

More milestones, awards, and good publicity over the last few weeks for the entrepreneurs working hard over the summer.

Emrgy: Emrgy's installation of a turbine in a canal for Denver Water generated plenty of local press and coverage in trade publications. You can even enjoy live footage from several news outlets.

Kwipped:

ActivEd: SCRA announced additional funding for ActivEd through SC Launch.

UVision: Enjoy Allison London-Brown's presentation of UVision and its Luminelle hysteroscope at CED's Life Science Conference earlier this summer.

Atlas Organics: After success with its residential collection program Compost House in Greenville, Atlas Organics is beginning its efforts in Chattanooga.

Baebies: Received a CE mark in Europe for SEEKER, which is great news, and announced new assays for FINDER. They also inked a new deal with Trivitron's Labsystems Diagnostics to deliver a wider range of newborn screening solutions.

Zipit: Wins a 2017 IoT Security Excellence Award from IoT Evolution magazine.

Proterra: Read about Greenville's grant application to have Proterra buses on Upstate streets.

Avadim: Announced the showcasing of PHUEL at the National Athletic Trainers' Association Clinical Symposia & AT Expo at the end of June in Houston.

Portfolio news - June 2017

June is apparently a very busy time for our companies, so much so that we need two updates this month to cover the news already this month.

Proterra: Undermining the narrative that South Carolina companies never raise venture capital, Proterra announced its latest $55 million financing (in which VentureSouth members again participated - thanks pro rata rights!)  (Forbes, WSJ.) Wonder what proportion of those that are "still in" will be buying electric buses or just creating their own hot air?

ActivEd: several big achievements, from a rollout across all Cherokee County Schools to a state-level budget proviso to fund Walkabouts in 250 more classrooms in South Carolina - taking ActivEd into over 50% of schools in the state. This is why this is important.

Pharmright: Livi is working hard - and is already improving the lives of caregivers and early adopters. You can enjoy The Medicine Shoppe's commercial here.

OB Medical: LaborView is now available in Australia and New Zealand thanks to a distribution partnership with LSR Healthcare. (It had also announced integration with Philips' legacy monitoring systems back in April.)

Kwipped: Officially announced the additional investment from The Angel Roundtable. Pleased to be working with Tony and the rest of the TAR team.

Servosity: And finally here's Damien Stevens' "Entrepreneur Minute" from a couple of weeks ago.

Portfolio news - Early June 2017

There is no quiet winding down for summer at VentureSouth - with two diligence teams working hard, multiple investments closing, and strategic planning for improvements to our processes in the fall.

There is even less of a decrescendo at our portfolio companies. Here are the most recent updates:

Pharmright: new customers flooding in during May, including new pharmacy customers like The Medicine Shoppe in South Dakota and PharmNet in Mississippi.  Vote for them in the AARP Innovation Challenge here.

Avadim: continuing its partnership expansion, Avadim announced its partnership with Briggs Healthcare and with GPA.

Vendor Registry: added Dorchester County to its portfolio of governments in SC, joining Florence County, North Charleston, City of Spartanburg, and many others.

Atlas Organics: launched its consumer food waste collection business, Compost House. See this introduction from Greenville Online.

Proterra: World's most amazing bus company Proterra added a new chief legal officer and a new CFO.

And Kwipped's new equipment leasing program continues to add partners, like Balboa Capital today.

 

Portfolio news - May 2017

The spring continues to be productive for VentureSouth's portfolio companies. Here is a recap of recent progress on marketing and product development

Plum Print: received nationwide exposure in the Washington Post (subsequently re-circulated through the Rockies in the Denver Post to the Pacific in the Bend Bulletin!) - and was Sarah Michelle Gellar's top pick for Mothers Day. You can see their elevator pitch on MSNBC and on Hulu.

Kwipped: announced the launch of its equipment leasing program. If you would like to rent-to-own equipment, Kwipped now helps you find the equipment AND find ways to finance it. Learn more from Robert on the SE Tech Podcast from this month.

Avadim: announced another partnership, this time with Ocean X for a direct to consumer subscription channel.

Proterra: it wouldn't be a monthly update without something on Proterra. This month we have a new cold weather package and diagnostics kits and a test of the bus in Greenville. Not cool enough? How about (semi) autonomous buses?

Building up products, teams, and revenues are (of course) crucial for growth. But we are always mindful of exit preparation, and so are pleased to see when portfolio companies add to their patent suite - making themselves more attractive to potential strategic buyers.

Congratulations therefore to Zipit (here - receiving its 10th patent),  KIYATEC (here), Pharmright (here), and Brightfield (here) on expanding their patent portfolios in the last few weeks.

Portfolio news - April 2017

Partnerships are crucial to early-stage companies to help them scale more rapidly. April saw the announcement of three example partnerships in our portfolio:

Other companies launched new products and hit milestones on their own:

And Proterra just keeps on rolling:

Dirtbags!

Atlas Dirtbags

Atlas Organics Dirtbags hit the market! You can find the first available bags at the following locations tomorrow afternoon. Please help spread the word! Certified SC Product and STA Certified.
Clean, high-quality compost - made with all organic materials - Not made with manures - we say, “No Doo Doo, No Kidding!”

  • Carolina Garden World, 1020 S Pine St, Spartanburg, SC 29302
  • Piedmont Farm and Garden, 7043 Howard St, Spartanburg, SC 29303
  • Hub City Co-Op, 176 Liberty St, Spartanburg, SC 29306
  • ACE Landscapers Supply, 1620 N Pleasantburg Dr Greenville, SC 29609

Portfolio news - March 2017

March was another busy month for VentureSouth portfolio companies. Here are a few of our favorite stories.

The Upstate Business Journal's "Startups to Watch" featured several VentureSouth portfolio companies, including TipHive and Ellipsis.

Kwipped expanded its services to offer "white glove delivery service" to take the complexity out of shipping and returning the assets you rent from the marketplace. And, if somehow you missed it, it had a nice write up in Electrical Engineering times.

Medical device manufacturer Pharmright added to its sales team - welcome Shannon.

And in the biggest news this month, Pete Durand and Rival Health announced a merger with gBehavior to create a comprehensive wellness platform with offices across the southeast. Congratulations to Pete and the team, and good luck on the next stage of the journey.

PS - Know anyone that would like to be an Optical Development and Test Specialist?

Portfolio news - February 2017

Since the last set of portfolio news in January, VentureSouth investment companies have achieved recognition in many areas. In addition to Baebies' FDA approval, here are other examples:

Zipit Wireless: named in Gartner's Market Guide for Clinical Communication & Collaboration report.

Brightfield: profiled by UNC TV as part of their program about Asheville's Collider.

Several others added to their already impressive teams:

Kwipped: hired a CTO, Wellington Souza (and continued receiving positive press in trade magazines like For Construction Pros and Lab Manager, and local newspapers).

Avadim: hired a new chief medical officer, Dr Joseph Renzulli, and their newest board member, Humberto Antunes, won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the South Beach Symposium.

Others still announced sales growth and other partnerships, like:

Vendor Registry: is now being used by Myrtle Beach's procurement division.

TipHive: agreed a new partnership with a large Papa Johns franchisor, to help information sharing within the franchise network, and was featured in the MMM SE Tech Podcast series - to which you should subscribe.

And the final award of the night goes to Emrgy, voted the best startup in Georgia (1-10 employees) by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.