March 21, 2014 @ 12:24 am

Beringea Invests $3 Million in Detroit Institute of Music Education

New venture will attract young people, bring jobs to downtown Detroit

 

Beringea, LLC, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, has announced its fund made a $3 million investment in Detroit Institute of Music Education, Inc. (“DIME”), a music education college dedicated to teaching the next generation of modern musicians. The investment will be used to launch the company’s first U.S. music college, in Detroit.

 

“We’re excited to bring this innovative high profile, high impact business to Detroit and provide growth capital for its launch. DIME’s education model will attract creative young people from all over the country to Michigan, while creating more jobs in the education sector,” said Charlie Rothstein, senior managing director and co-founder of Beringea.

 

Founded by music industry veterans Kevin Nixon, Sarah Clayman and Bruce Dickinson, DIME offers advanced music students a college-style experience in contemporary music, with expert musicians and industry professionals teaching courses in guitar, bass, vocals, drums, songwriting and music entrepreneurship. Prospective students can pursue a bachelor’s degree or diploma in Creative Music Performance, or sign up for part-time and summer music education programs. DIME expects to enroll 150 students for its 2014-2015 school year.

 

“The music industry is a complicated business and learning by experience can be a long route. DIME brings the information, encouragement and expertise to demonstrate how to build a successful career,” says Kevin Nixon, president of DIME. “Musicians will be playing in bands, meeting industry professionals, mastering technique, promoting their own shows, developing their brand, arranging songs, and many other exciting career development activities. Most of all, DIME students will be part of a musical community of like-minded musicians and budding entrepreneurs.”

 

DIME is the third music education venture for serial entrepreneurs Nixon, Clayman and Dickinson. The trio’s most recent model grew to a multi-campus college with locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. DIME’s educational programs are built on the successful model pioneered by the founders.

 

DIME’s temporary location at 1520 Woodward Avenue, between John R and Witherell will serve as its admissions office and performance space. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the space and meet the DIME team and sign up anytime Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

 

The space will also be equipped with a live stage and sound system, and will feature regular entertainment events. Bands and artists interested in performing in this space can contact the admissions office at 313-223-1600 or www.dime-detroit.com.

 

DIME will formally open in September, when renovations are complete on the historic Bamlet Building, located at 1265 Griswold Street and owned by Bedrock Real Estate Services.  The school will occupy more than 20,000 square feet of space on four floors of the seven-story, building in Capitol Park at the corner of Griswold Street and Grand River Avenue built in 1896.

 

“Detroit has always been known for its music and innovative culture,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. “It is fitting for the Detroit Institute of Music Education to open in the heart of downtown Detroit where the opportunities to create are endless. I can think of nothing more important than locating institutions that attract young talented people to the city. DIME is a unique entrepreneurial organization that has a proven strategy to develop top-notch musicians. The combination of Detroit’s DNA and DIME’s exciting educational model is going to be a huge success for the entire community.”

# # #

 

About Beringea
Beringea, LLC provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies. The Firm, which includes Michigan-based Beringea, LLC and its London, UK office Beringea LLP, invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, clean technology, manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products.

 

With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for shareholders. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.

 

In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Beringea LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Beringea LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC342919, and its registered office is at 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

 

About Detroit Institute of Music Education

Detroit Institute of Music Education (“DIME”) is a music education college dedicated to teaching the next generation of modern musicians. Founded by music industry veterans Kevin Nixon, Sarah Clayman and Bruce Dickinson, DIME will offer advanced music students a college-style experience in contemporary music, with expert musicians and music industry professionals teaching courses in guitar, bass, vocals, drums, songwriting and music entrepreneurship. Prospective students can choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree or diploma in Creative Music Performance, or sign up for part-time and summer music education programs. Serious musicians can expect practical and real-world preparation for a career in the music industry upon graduation.

 

DIME will formally open in September, when renovations will be completed on the historic Bamlet Building in downtown Detroit. A pop-up space, located at 1520 Woodward Avenue between John R and Witherell will open Thursday, March 20 and will serve as a temporary admissions office and performance space for the college. For more information on DIME, visit www.dime-detroit.com or call 313.223.1600.

 

About Bedrock Real Estate Services

Detroit-based Bedrock Real Estate Services is a full-service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing commercial space. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock has recruited more than 100 tenants to downtown Detroit’s Central Business District. A full listing of recruited tenants is available here. For more information, visit www.Bedrockmgt.com.

 

About Opportunity Detroit

Opportunity Detroit is a campaign that promotes downtown Detroit as a great place to live, work and play. The campaign launched as a partnership with Quicken Loans, Rock Ventures, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and dozens of non-profit, civic and business organizations in the city. It started as a commercial, and it continues to evolve as a campaign to tell Detroit’s story as an emerging high-tech hub, and the city’s ongoing transformation from a muscle economy of the past to the brain economy of the present and future. For more information visit www.opportunitydetroit.com.

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January 23, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

Beringea invests in UICO, innovator of the world’s most durable touchscreens

Beringea, LLC, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, has announced its fund has led an investment in UICO, an innovator and manufacturer of highly durable touchscreen technology, headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois. The investment will support UICO’s hiring plans and working capital needs as the company continues to grow and produce larger volume programs. Also participating in the financing round were existing investors, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Plymouth Venture Partners, and Chicago-based Hyde Park Angels.

 

UICO supplies Fortune 1000 clients with the company’s duraTOUCH® touchscreens that work in the harshest environments–withstanding temperature extremes and rough handling–and that perform when wet, and with thick gloves. The company nearly tripled production during 2013, and has established strategic relationships in China and throughout the United States to prepare for significant growth over the next year and beyond. Sectors that benefit from UICO’s highly differentiated touch technology include automotive, agriculture, appliance, medical, military, marine, industrial and wearables.

 

“UICO has a robust, growing customer pipeline in a variety of industries; its superior water and glove touch performance is appealing to many different types of end users.  The proprietary, differentiated products UICO offers, managed by an experienced team, makes this an extremely promising investment for us,” said Mark Donnelly, principal at Beringea.

 

“Our partnership with Beringea comes at a key time in our company’s growth trajectory,” added Bahar Wadia, CEO of UICO. “We are now well-positioned to capture an even larger portion of the rapidly growing global market for durable touchscreens.”

 

About Beringea

Beringea, LLC provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies. The Firm, which includes Michigan-based Beringea, LLC and its London, UK office Beringea LLP, invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, clean technology, manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products.

 

With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for shareholders. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.

 

In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Beringea LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Beringea LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC342919, and its registered office is at 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

 

About UICO

UICO is the maker of duraTOUCH®, the world’s most durable PCap touch technology. UICO’s innovative technology and solutions enable equipment manufacturers to deliver proven, best-in-class touch solutions in extreme environments of use. UICO is headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois with key suppliers and manufacturing partnerships worldwide to support a large and growing customer base of leading OEMs in automotive, agriculture, appliance, medical, military, marine,  industrial and other commercial product segments. For more information, visit www.uico.com.

 

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January 2, 2014 @ 11:07 am

Baird Capital Opens Ann Arbor Office, Sees Michigan as Ripe with Potential

When global investment firm Baird Capital announced in 2013 that it was opening a Michigan office, investors – and entrepreneurs – took notice. Not only is the firm’s Ann Arbor office its first outside of a major metro area, it’s being headed up by David Gregorka, whose entrepreneurial roots grow deep in the state.

 

Before joining Baird Capital, Gregorka was working on several projects with the Office of Tech Transfer at the University of Michigan. He assumed this position after leaving HealthMedia, a venture-backed company he co-founded in Ann Arbor in 1998 that was acquired in 2008 by Johnson & Johnson.

 

Being deeply entrenched in Michigan’s entrepreneurial eco-system is a differentiator for Gregorka. “I’ve worked with all seven research universities in the state and most of the ecosystem partners, at the state and local levels, and can bring those relationships to bear in building a network in Michigan for Baird,” Gregorka explained. “Although we chose to locate in Ann Arbor, Baird is excited by what we are seeing across the state.”

 

Baird Capital’s venture capital team invests in early and growth stage companies in tech enabled services and health care. Since its inception, Baird Capital has invested approximately 50 percent from its three funds in Midwest companies.

 

“We see a strong pipeline of potential investments in Michigan in both IT and health care,” Gregorka explained. “This strong potential is consistent with Baird Capital’s overall investment strategy. As an organization, we are committed to partnering with leading entrepreneurs and helping them build great companies.”

 

Those partnerships and relationships are key to what Baird is and does – and was a critical factor in the firm’s decision to open an office in Michigan. Gregorka intends to use his experience and existing relationships to help Baird find the best investment opportunities in the state.

 

“Being here is a chance to work with entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they’re in Baird Capital’s ‘sweet spot’ for investments,” Gregorka explained. “Being a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is something that Baird Capital, as an organization, likes to do. You never know when an entrepreneur or company that isn’t a potential investment today will become a future partner.”

 

Baird Capital was an early investor in Accuri Cytometers, an Ann Arbor company that had a very successful exit. It is currently invested in Ann Arbor-based Molecular Imaging, a contract research organization that provides services to pharmaceutical companies and conducts small animal imaging studies. The company is on the fast track to success, having just expanded operations to the west coast to run a preclinical imaging center at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, Calif.

 

Baird Capital’s investment in Molecular Imaging is part of larger pool that also includes Michigan Venture Capital Association member Beringea. Baird typically syndicates with other investors and hopes to increase the deals it does with other Michigan firms.

 

“Ultimately, finding and making investments in IT services and health care companies – both early and growth stage – is the primary focus of Baird Capital’s work, including our office here in Michigan,” Gregorka said. “As an organization, the Baird team has been in the trenches as venture capitalists and as entrepreneurs, and we know what it takes to be successful. We see Michigan as a ripe environment for future success.”

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November 13, 2013 @ 7:54 am

Beringea Portfolio Company Espresso Group Ltd. Sold to Discovery Communications Inc.

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Beringea, LLC, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, has announced Beringea LLP of London, UK, has sold its portfolio company Espresso Group Limited to Discovery Communications Inc. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

The exit is the sixth this year for the private equity group, which includes Beringea, LLC and Beringea LLP.

 

Established in 1997, Espresso Education is the UK market leader in high quality, video-rich, digital curriculum content provision in the UK, supplying almost 50 percent of UK primary schools with its services. The service is delivered in almost 11,500 schools. The company specializes in taking educational concepts and applying a “real world” context to support understanding through a combination of video and multimedia resources.

 

Beringea LLP’s Stuart Veale commented: “In the time we have been invested in Espresso we have seen the business grow into a clear market leader serving nearly 50 percent of UK primary schools.”

 

Lewis Bronze, co-founder of Espresso Education commented: “We have received excellent support and encouragement from Beringea over the period of their investment in Espresso. We are now looking forward to working with Discovery Education on the next stage of growth for the company.”

 

# # #

About Beringea
Beringea, LLC provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies. Founded in 1988, the Firm is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  Beringea, LLC’s office in London, UK operates as Beringea LLP. Beringea invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products. With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for shareholders. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.

 

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October 22, 2013 @ 8:28 am

Beringea Announces Recent Exits

This year has proved to be very active for Beringea. The private equity group, which provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies, has exited five companies. Details on the transactions can be found below.

 

The Firm, which includes Michigan-based Beringea, LLC and its London, UK office (Beringea LLP), invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products. With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for shareholders.

 

For more information on the Firm’s investment strategy, visit www.beringea.com or  download the firm overview.

 

In September, Livio Radio, a Ferndale, Mich.-based developer of software tools to support in-vehicle connectivity solutions, was acquired by Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). Beringea, LLC’s fund first invested in Livio in June 2010.

 

In August, Relume Technologies, an Oxford, Mich.-based manufacturer of outdoor LED products and smart grid control systems for outdoor lighting applications, was acquired by Revolution Lighting Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RVLT), a leader in advanced LED lighting technology. Beringea, LLC’s fund first invested in Relume in December 2009.

 

In June, Pioneer® Surgical Technology, a Marquette, Mich.-based company that manufactures and distributes metal and synthetic products in the orthopedics, biologics, spine, trauma and cardiothoracic markets, was acquired by RTI Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ: RTIX), a leading provider of orthopedic and other biologic implants. Beringea, LLC’s fund first invested in Pioneer in 2008. Under the terms of the merger agreement, RTI paid $130 million in cash to acquire all the outstanding stock of Pioneer.

 

In May, Beringea, LLP exited its investment in Fjord, a market-leading international service design consultancy based in London, UK. The company was sold to Accenture. Beringea, LLP first invested in Fjord in December 2008.

 

In April, Beringea LLP exited its investment in London, UK-based restaurant chain Tossed. Beringea, LLP first invested in Tossed in April 2010.

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July 24, 2013 @ 11:28 pm

Beringea Attributes 25-Year Success to Seeing Things a Little Differently

Ask Beringea founder and managing partner Charlie Rothstein what makes doing business in Michigan different and you’ll get a quick, candid answer.  “We don’t follow the herd and trip over competitors like you would on the coasts.  We collaborate and we cheer for each other, and that makes us different than the rest of the world.”

 

Looking beyond the Great Lakes has provided Beringea with terrific perspective and unparalleled opportunities for investing, but the firm’s roots in Michigan are the strong foundation on which it’s continued to thrive.  Beringea chose to call Michigan home because unlike others, it saw the state as offering amazing potential for those willing to take a chance and start here.

 

“People outside of Michigan wondered what we were doing starting here,” Rothstein said, recalling Beringea’s humble beginnings in his basement 25 years ago.  “That always struck me as the wrong question because the answer is so obvious: In order to be successful, you have to see things different than the rest of the world.  In Michigan, we don’t give up when things are tough, which is a huge advantage for entrepreneurs that will get knocked down a lot in the early stage of business.  Knowing these companies will get off the mat and persevere makes them a really attractive investment opportunity.”

 

That eye on Michigan’s strengths has helped Beringea find great investment opportunities that those outside of the state are missing.  Recently, it backed Fiber Byproducts, a Michigan company that recycles wood waste.

 

“Fiber Byproducts is based on a smart, simple concept that’s in great demand,” Rothstein said.  “The company takes scrap wood from construction business that would otherwise go to waste and recycles it for wood pellets used in heating stoves as well as mulch, wood chips, and other consumer products.  Investing in Fiber Byproducts gives Beringea the chance to support a company that’s innovating a clean, cheap, sustainable fuel, and commercializing a Michigan-made product.  Fiber Byproducts is a great investment because it created an in-demand product but needed capital to take business to the next level.”

 

Identifying and embracing those attractive investment opportunities has helped Beringea become a partner of choice for entrepreneurs in a range of business sectors including media, healthcare, clean technology and IT. Today, the firm has offices in Detroit and London, more than 60 companies in its portfolio, and more than $525 million under management.

 

Recently, the firm’s portfolio has been boosted by a few major wins.  Beringea investment Pioneer Surgical Technology was acquired by RTI Biologics Inc. for $130 million. Earlier this year, the firm was also part of a $5 million investment round in Abe’s Market, an online store for natural and organic products.

 

Looking forward, Rothstein is as enthusiastic about the future now as he was 25 years ago.  “We are seeing an economy nationally and locally that has stabilized,” he said.  “In Michigan, we’ve laid the groundwork and now’s our opportunity to show that we’re home to great VCs and great companies.”

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June 27, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

Beringea Invests In Wood Processor And Recycler Fiber By-Products Corporation

Beringea, LLC, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, has led a recapitalization of White Pigeon, Mich.-based Fiber By-Products Corporation (FBP), a processor, recycler, and manufacturer of wood products. Beringea’s investment will enable FBP management to pursue an expansion of the company’s footprint and operating capacity.

 

FBP is a leading recycler of wood waste generated from a variety of end-product markets. The company provides wood waste producers a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution to disposing of their waste. FBP then processes it into consumable products, including animal bedding, boiler fuel, wood mulch and premium wood pellets used to heat homes and businesses.

 

“Fiber By-Products is a leading manufacturer of wood pellets in the Midwest region. Given that this form of heating fuel is environmentally friendly as well as a cost efficient alternative to fossil fuels such as heating oil or propane, the market is steadily growing and the company is seeing increased demand for its product. Fiber By-Products is a Michigan clean technology company that offers consumers a truly sustainable source of fuel.  We’re pleased to support them in their next phase of growth,” said David Ruby, principal at Beringea.

 

FBP was founded in 1992 by the late Dale D. Schrock with his wife Barbara on their family farm in Goshen, Indiana. His four sons currently manage the business; Chad Schrock, CEO of the company said “the family feels very blessed to see our father’s years of hard work and risk pay off. Furthermore, we are looking forward to our new partnership with Beringea. Their experience working with growing, small businesses is a perfect fit for us. We are excited to see how far we can take the company.”

 

About Fiber By-Products

Fiber By-Products Corporation is a processor, recycler, and manufacturer of wood products. Since 1991, FBP has been the link between wood waste producers and wood by-product end users. The Company provides wood waste producers an environmentally friendly and cost-effective approach to disposing their waste. Once the waste is collected, FBP recycles and processes it into consumable products, including animal bedding, boiler fuel, wood mulch and, since 2006, premium wood pellets used to heat homes and businesses. The Company manufactures and sells more than 60,000 tons of pellets annually. For more information, visit www.fiberby-products.com.

 

About Beringea

Beringea, LLC provides growth capital to market-leading businesses. Founded in 1988, Beringea, LLC is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Beringea, LLC’s affiliate in London, UK is Beringea LLP. Beringea, LLC and Beringea LLP invest in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care and life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products.

 

With capital, experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to develop strategy, evaluate growth opportunities and build value. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.

 

In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Beringea LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Beringea LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC342919, and its registered office is at 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

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February 13, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

InvestMichigan! Program Co-Managers Beringea And Credit Suisse’s Customized Fund Investment Group Announce The $180 Million Michigan Growth Capital Partners II, L.P.

DETROIT —Beringea and the Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group (“CFIG”) have launched Michigan Growth Capital Partners II, L.P. (“MGCP II”), a $180 million fund dedicated to providing growth equity to Michigan companies.  The new fund follows on the success of Michigan Growth Capital Partners (“MGCP”), L.P., launched in 2008 as part of the $300 million InvestMichigan! Program.

MGCP II will provide equity capital to growth-oriented businesses, led by talented managers at or near profitability.  Prospective businesses may participate in a range of dynamic sectors, including but not limited to: advanced materials and manufacturing, health care and life sciences, media and communications, specialized consumer goods, homeland security, IT and clean technology. The fund’s objectives include providing a compelling return to investors, retaining and attracting growth businesses to Michigan; nurturing portfolio companies at each phase of development; enhancing Michigan’s reputation for entrepreneurship; attracting leading regional and national private equity and venture capital investment funds to Michigan, and further developing Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

MGCP co-managers Beringea and CFIG have reviewed more than 1,200 deals since the InvestMichigan! Program’s inception in 2008.  MGCP has invested in 28 companies employing more than 5,000 in Michigan.

For more information on the Michigan Growth Capital Partners II and the InvestMichigan! Program, please visit www.investmichiganfund.com.

About Beringea

Beringea, Michigan’s largest and most active expansion-stage capital investor, offers advice, guidance and capital to support growing businesses. With offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s award-winning team offers its portfolio companies the resources to develop strategy, evaluate growth opportunities, and build value in a range of sectors, including health care and life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products. Beringea is the co-manager of Michigan Growth Capital Partners Funds and the Michigan Growth Capital Partners Mezzanine Fund in the U.S., as well as the ProVen VCT family of funds in the UK, among others.

www.beringea.com.
About the Customized Fund Investment Group

The Customized Fund Investment Group is one of the world’s leading managers of private equity investment programs, with approximately $29 billion of client commitments under management.  CFIG’s team is comprised of over 120 professionals, and the group’s senior investment professionals have extensive backgrounds in managing private equity portfolios at leading public and corporate pension plans. Credit Suisse’s extensive transaction experience, which includes coverage of many top-tier private equity sponsor groups, facilitates CFIG’s access to and analysis of many leading fund investment and co-investment opportunities. CFIG seeks to facilitate access to top quartile private equity managers and will bring its institutional expertise and due diligence capabilities to bear in constructing well-developed private equity portfolios for its clients. CFIG manages or co-manages over $625 million of capital dedicated to investing in Michigan including the Invest Michigan Growth Capital Fund, Invest Michigan Mezzanine Fund, Venture Michigan Fund and Michigan 21st Century Investment Fund.

www.credit-suisse.com

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January 18, 2013 @ 10:21 am

Beringea Invests In Abe’s Market, Online Retailer For Natural Products

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich – Beringea, Michigan’s largest and most active venture and expansion-stage capital investor, has invested in Abe’s Market, the online destination for discovering and experiencing natural and organic products. The investment was part of Abe’s $5 million financing round, led by Carmel Ventures with existing investors Index Ventures and Accel Partners, and new investor OurCrowd. Abe’s Market is the 28th new investment made by the InvestMichigan! Growth Capital Fund since its inception.

Abe’s Market has become the premier online destination for helping people live a better, more conscientious lifestyle. The company offers people an easy-to-navigate, inviting place to connect with, learn about and buy from passionate and innovative merchants offering thousands of natural and organic food, baby, home, hygiene, fashion, lifestyle and pet products. Abe’s Market is using the new funds to fuel its growth as an authority in the green and natural space, making key investments in marketing, talent acquisition, technology enhancements, content creation and product expansion.

“Over the past decade, consumers have begun to understand the impact natural and organic products have on health, wellness and the environment.  Abe’s is poised to capitalize on this rapid shift in mindset and is on track to become the leading online specialty natural products retailer,” said Jeff Bocan, managing director for Beringea. “The company’s extensive product offerings and helpful resources make the switch from conventional products to natural alternatives easy and enjoyable.”

“Abe’s Market stands for much more than just a business….we represent a way of life,” said Richard Demb, co-founder and CEO of Abe’s Market. “By providing a personal connection with the merchant and their products online, we are improving the buying experience and helping consumers enjoy a healthier lifestyle. This new round of funding from leading investors is a testament to the strength of what we have built and the future ahead of us.”

Abe’s Market continues to innovate within the natural living and e-commerce spaces. At the beginning of 2013, the site unveiled a new content model that offers insight from Abe’s merchants, staff, and industry thought-leaders on the news and trends happening in the organic, natural, and green industries. The company has also launched a first of its kind customizable shopping experience to help people filter through and better understand hundreds of various lifestyle and dietary qualities which make up the thousands of products offered on the site.

About Abe’s Market
Abe’s Market is the leading online destination for discovering and experiencing the best organic and natural products available. Founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Richard Demb and former Fortune 500 marketing executive Jon Polin, Abe’s Market gives healthy, environmentally conscious, and lifestyle savvy consumers a place to find incredible food, baby, hygiene, home, fashion and pet care items. The site is home to thousands of green-minded vendors, each of whom uses the platform to share the stories behind their products to help better connect with Abe’s customers and stand out to other like-minded vendors. In return, consumers get a better understanding of the health and environmental benefits each product delivers, and vendors have a business network they can tap into for new business and potential partnerships.

Abe’s Market is working to combine the experience of a local, organic market with the convenience of an online superstore. For more information, visit www.abesmarket.com.

About Beringea

Beringea offers advice, guidance and capital to support growing businesses. With offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s award-winning team offers its portfolio companies the resources to develop strategy, evaluate growth opportunities, and build value in a range of sectors, including health care and life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products. Beringea is the co-manager of Michigan Growth Capital Partners Funds and the Michigan Growth Capital Partners Mezzanine Fund in the U.S., as well as the ProVen VCT family of funds in the UK, among others. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.

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December 13, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

Member Beringea Announces $5 Million Investment in Skills Matter

LONDON – Skills Matter, Europe’s largest provider of open source and agile training and events, today announced a $5 million investment from Beringea, the growth capital investor that manages the Proven Venture Capital Trusts.

 

Launched in 2003, Skills Matter helps their 35,000 strong developer community learn and share skills to write better software. The new funding will be used to provide even more opportunities for its community to collaborate with the world’s top technology experts through expert talks, meet-ups, training courses and hackathons. In addition, they will now be able to offer work and collaboration space. Recent support from companies like BlackBerry, SpringSource, Novoda and others will enable Skills Matter to open dedicated technology labs in its space.

 

Wendy Devolder, CEO and founder of Skills Matter, said: “Beringea’s $5 million investment will help us achieve our mission to firmly establish the UK as the #1 place to learn and contribute to software innovation. In 2013, we’re running over 2,000 advanced technology events, bringing leading thinkers and technology experts from across the globe, to the UK to share their ideas and inventions.

 

“We are expecting to announce some more sponsors soon, who will invest in Tech City by working with us on some pretty cool initiatives to help London’s Software Community learn, collaborate and share skills.”

 

Trevor Hope, Chief Investment Officer, Beringea LLP, manager of the Proven VCTs, said: “I am very proud of our investment in Skills Matter. Advanced software skills are and will continue to be key to ensure that the UK is globally competitive. Skills Matter’s approach to sharing skills, training and collaboration is at the heart of software innovation and opportunity. Wendy is an outstanding CEO and her commitment to developing Skills Matter has allowed her to grow a highly engaged community and strong relationships with leading technologists and innovative software companies around the world. With our help we are hoping to further establish Skills Matter as the place to be for software innovation in Europe.”

 

For media enquiries, please contact Justin Griffiths & Carmen Murray, Powerscourt, +44 (0) 20 7324 0496

Notes to Editors:

About Skills Matter
A highly social tech company providing a 35,000 strong community with thousands of opportunities to learn and share skills in advanced, innovative technologies and practices for enterprise software development.

 

Since its foundation in 2003, it has been Skills Matter’s vision to provide “the go-to space for software professionals in Europe” – driving software innovation by bringing smart and creative people together in an environment that encourages conversation and collaboration, resulting in ideas. Nine years on, we run thousands of talks, meetups, conferences and hackathons, create valuable online content – our SkillsCast video’s, and produce a magazine – the open source journal, which is published quarterly.

 

Skills Matter also offers shared desk and small office facilities to those innovative software start-ups that want to be close to where the action is.

web: http://skillsmatter.com
twitter: @skillsmatter

About Beringea

Beringea is an international growth capital firm with offices in London and Michigan, U.S.A, which invests in high growth companies. Beringea’s London office manages a number of funds, including the ProVen VCTs.

web: www.beringea.com

About the ProVen VCTs

The ProVen VCTs (ProVen VCT, ProVen Growth & Income VCT, Proven Health VCT and ProVen Planned Exit VCT) are funds raised under the government’s Venture Capital Trust scheme for supporting UK SMEs. The original Ordinary share issues of ProVen VCT and ProVen Growth & Income VCT have generated higher Total Returns to investors than any other VCT share issues in their respective launch years, according to www.taxefficientreview.com.

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The MVCA is a non-profit trade organization designed to bring together venture capital industry participants in the state of Michigan. The organization's goal is to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan.
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