January 8, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II Makes Follow-on Investments in Four Portfolio Companies in Q4

Ann Arbor, MI— Plymouth Ventures had an active fourth quarter making follow-on investments in four of its portfolio companies out of Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II. These investments were in the following companies:

InContext Solutions – a software company that supplies virtual simulation software to the market research industry, based in Chicago, Illinois. www.incontextsolutions.com
365 Retail Markets – a Troy, Michigan-based software and hardware provider to vending operators that are putting in unmanned “smartshops” into locations currently served by large vending machine banks. www.365retailmarkets.com
UICO – a multi-featured touchscreen developer that provides highly durable touchscreens that can be used with gloves and while wet, based in the Chicago suburbs. www.uico.com
IDV Solutions – a visualization software company that specializes in the physical security space. Multiple Fortune 100 companies use IDV’s product to manage their physical security operations. IDV is based in Lansing, Michigan. www.idvsolutions.com

 

Each of these companies was funded in response to their significant growth opportunities. Mark Horne, Plymouth Venture’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “As the PVP II portfolio continues to mature, we are pleased to see our companies grow and develop new opportunities for investment. We love to put more money to work with these winning teams. Each of these companies has created significant value since we originally invested in them. We are excited to partner with them and continue to fund their growth.”

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

 

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June 7, 2013 @ 9:08 am

Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II Makes Investment in Micro Market Leader 365 Retail Markets

Ann Arbor, MI— Plymouth Management Company (“PMC”) announces its ninth investment from Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II (“PVP II”), leading a financing round in 365 Retail Markets of Troy, Michigan. 365 supplies hardware and software to vending operators who want to replace conventional vending banks with unmanned, small stores (SmartShop or Micro Markets), and is currently in a high growth phase. A 365 SmartShop is a 24/7 unmanned self-checkout retail outlet that can offer fresh food and beverage alternatives at a significant return on investment to vending operators. Micro Markets are quickly showing up in hotels, self-contained professional buildings, hospitals, schools/universities, assisted living facilities, gyms, and manufacturing facilities.

 

Plymouth was attracted to 365 due to its talented management team, their leading position in the Micro Market industry, and their high growth rate.

 

Mark Horne, PMC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “365 is at the forefront of the rapidly growing Micro Market business. We believe it to be the fastest growing second stage company in Michigan right now. It is great to hear from colleagues from across the country telling us that a 365 Micro Market just went up in their building. We look forward to assisting 365’s accelerated growth in this exciting new industry.”

 

Joe Hessling, 365 Retail Markets’ Chief Executive Officer, added, “As a lifelong Michigan resident and serial entrepreneur, I am thrilled to be working with Plymouth to grow this great Michigan company. We’ve grown from 15 to 45 team members in the last six months, all in an effort to service our 300% annual growth rate. The wisdom Plymouth brings, as well as their sense of community, is aligned with our desire to continue to grow in Michigan.”

 

Plymouth Management Company Partner Jeff Barry will take a Board seat with the company and assist 365 in achieving further growth.

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About Plymouth Management Company
Plymouth Management Company is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has three partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Kevin Terrasi. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About 365 Retail Markets
365 Retail Markets, an expanding self-checkout technology company based in Troy, Michigan, offers a best in class platform for vending, foodservice, and hospitality. Its proprietary 365SmartShop is a turnkey unmanned MicroMarket that allows customers to increase sales, improve the customer experience, and increase profits, while decreasing operating costs. 365 Retail Markets has been pioneering innovation in the vending industry for over 5 years and continues to revolutionize the market with superior technology and ultimate flexibility in customization and branding. For more information about 365 Retail Markets, visit www.365retailmarkets.com. You can also join 365 Retail Markets on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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March 21, 2013 @ 1:07 am

Plymouth Management Co. Focuses on Regional Growth

Plymouth Management Company, an Ann Arbor-based VC, focuses on Great Lakes growth-stage opportunities, but does not focus on a particular segment.  It’s a strategy that has helped the firm carve out a niche in helping growth-stage companies across a wide range of industries.

 

“We look for any regional company that is growing or shows strong growth potential,” explained Plymouth Management’s principal Mark Horne.  “Information technology, software services, telecom, advanced manufacturing and medical devices have all been attractive investments for Plymouth; we want to back companies that have the innovation and talent to succeed.”

 

Plymouth’s broad view is enabled by the firm’s management team, which includes Michigan VC pioneer Ian Bund as well as Jeff Barry and Kevin Terrasi.  Combined, these leaders have an impressive track record of building and exiting growth stage companies, as well as a unique blend of financial and operational experience.

 

The firm’s management is able to support and structure deals in a way that sets it apart from other VCs– and helps Plymouth take advantage of opportunities that might not fit with other VC firm’s charters.

 

“Because we focus on regional, growth-stage companies versus a specific industry sector, Plymouth can look at a wide variety of potential investment companies,” Horne explained.  “This flexibility carries over into our deal structures that can be tailored to the specific needs of the entrepreneur.  Our deal terms can be quite creative.  We are minority investors who insist on strong corporate governance, but we have a negotiating style that is decidedly win-win.”

 

This past year was a banner one for Plymouth, which invested in seven companies – four in Michigan, one in Ohio and two in Illinois – through the $41 million fund it raised in 2011.  Plymouth’s recent Michigan deals included Lynx Network Group in Kalamazoo and FutureNet Group in Detroit.

 

Plymouth’s multi-stage investment in Lynx Network Group is helping the company build a new 2,500 mile 4G/LTE fiber project across Michigan, in conjunction with Department of Commerce and the Merit Group.  This “data railroad” will connect businesses and promote further economic development throughout the state.  Its investment in FutureNet, a rapidly growing construction, security and IT business, helped the company acquire a division of Smith & Wesson.  The acquisition is expected to propel the business to more than $100 million in revenues by the end of this year.

 

Horne and his team at Plymouth are finding that their home base in Michigan is a significant advantage.  “Michigan continues to be an underserved market,” he said.  “Unlike the coasts, there are more ideas here than capital.  In Michigan, VCs have tremendous choice between the best deals. Deal flow quality continues to be very good for our firm, and we expect we will near full fund deployment by the end of this year.”

 

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July 29, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

Plymouth Ventures Provides Funding for FutureNet Security Solution’s Acquisition of the Assets of Smith & Wesson Security Solutions

Ann Arbor, MIPlymouth Ventures announced its sixth investment from Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II, in FutureNet Security Solutions, LLC (FNSS), a subsidiary of Detroit, Michigan based FutureNet Group, Inc. (FNG)

 

On July 10 FNG management announced that it had reached an agreement with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation to acquire the assets of the company’s perimeter security division, Smith & Wesson Security Solutions, Inc. (SWSS). Over the past three years, SWSS has successfully completed over $130 million in perimeter security projects at more than 110 military installations, 16 distinct federal agencies, and a range of Fortune 500 commercial clients. FNG and SWSS have collaborated on past projects, and together have completed over $11 million of turnkey security construction projects for the Federal Government. The asset purchase closed today with funding from Plymouth Ventures.

 

Mark Horne, Plymouth’s Chief Executive Officer commented “We are delighted to be part of this exciting growth opportunity for FutureNet. The deal represents a unique combination of strong management, industry leading product and service offerings, a history of successful collaboration and a value equation which will allow FNSS to flourish.” Horne added, “The fact that this is a minority owned enterprise, based in a HUBZone in Michigan’s largest city, makes this deal extra special to us as investors who are thrilled to participate in the rebirth of this region’s urban entrepreneurial communities.”

 

FNG Chief Executive Officer, Perry Mehta, stated, “Our relationship with Plymouth Ventures has been a true partnership from the very start. Mark Horne provided the experience, process and speed we needed to execute on this transaction. I expect we will work closely with Mark for many years to come as we continue to grow and strengthen our business.”

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

About Plymouth Ventures
Plymouth Ventures is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Bob Savage, and offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

About FutureNet Group, Inc. (FNG)
FNG is a Detroit, MI based company that provides customized solutions for the environment and infrastructure improvements through innovative technologies. It is a federal contractor with more than 125 employees located in its Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and East Coast regional offices. Its certifications include ISO 9001:2008; US SBA 8(a); US SBA HUBZone; several GSA Schedules, etc. In 2010, SBA Region V named FNG CEO Perry Mehta, Minority Small Business Person of the Year. For four years in a row, FNG was listed on ICIC, Inner City 100 Fastest Growing Companies program founded by Harvard Business School. In 2012 FNG also made the INC 500|5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America for the 4th time. For more information, visit www.FutureNetGroup.com, or call (313) 544-7117.

About Smith & Wesson Security Solutions, Inc. (SWSS)
Based in Franklin, Tennessee, SWSS is a full-service perimeter security solutions provider. The company provides a complete range of products and services to a diverse client base in the defense, transportation and petrochemical industries, as well as corporate facilities, airports, Fortune 500 companies, national laboratories, and federal agencies. SWSS is the manufacturer of the GRAB net barrier system, XMB, ODDS, SW1900, and a range of other proprietary perimeter security products. The company has been recognized as a “Top 600″ Specialty Contractor by Engineering News Record in 2011; received the Government Security News “Best Crash Barriers” award in 2009, 2010, and 2011; and has been recognized for innovation by ASIS International and the American Business Awards. To learn more about SWSS services and products, call (615) 224-0400 or visit http://www.smithwessonsecuritysolutions.com/.

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June 22, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II Makes Investment in Chicago-based Touch Screen Innovator, UICO

Elmhurst, ILPlymouth Management Company (“PMC”) announces its fifth investment from Plymouth Venture Partners Fund II (“PVP II”), in UICO, LLC of Elmhurst, Illinois. UICO designs and manufactures the world’s leading family of industrial grade projected capacitive touchscreens under the brand duraTOUCH®. UICO’s innovative technology and solutions enable equipment manufacturers to deliver proven, best-in-class touch features in extreme environments of use including industrial, military, and inclement weather. UICO’s products are differentiated and especially well-situated for these markets due to their ability to deliver products, with high resolution, while combining the features of full functionality in a wet environment, while using gloves, all with thick and durable touch screen materials.

 

Plymouth was attracted to UICO due to its leading edge touch screen technology, strong management team, the traction the company has had with major companies throughout the U.S., and the rapidly growing market in which it operates.

 

Mark Horne, PMC’s Chief Executive Officer, commented “UICO has developed a unique, feature rich product that is experiencing growing demand. The industry’s move to PCap technology is expected to be a large driver in pushing customers to the UICO technology. Additionally, we have been impressed with the company’s leadership and are excited to work with the UICO team to bring its products to the forefront of a fast moving industry.”

 

Bahar Wadia, UICO’s President and CEO added “We are pleased to be working with Plymouth Ventures as we enter the next growth phase in our company’s progression. The financing round they led will make it possible to fully deploy our strategy, allowing us to better service our customers and capture a large portion of a rapidly growing market for durable touch screens.”

 

Plymouth Management Company Partner Jeff Barry will take a Board seat with the company and assist UICO in achieving further growth.

 

About Plymouth Venture Partners II, L.P.
Fund II is a follow-on fund to Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I. PVP I became fully invested in 2009 after completing investments in 29 companies. Plymouth Venture Partners II invests in growth stage companies in the Great Lakes region. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About Plymouth Management Company
Plymouth Management Company is the manager for Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II. The company has four partners, Mark Horne, Ian Bund, Jeff Barry, and Bob Savage, and offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio. For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

 

About UICO
UICO is maker of duraTOUCH®, the world’s leading family of industrial-grade projected capacitive touchscreens. UICO’s innovative technology and solutions enable equipment manufacturers to deliver proven, best-in-class touch features in extreme environments of use. UICO is headquartered in Elmhurst, IL with key suppliers and manufacturing partnerships worldwide to support a large and
growing customer base of leading OEMs in medical, military, industrial and other commercial product segments. For more information, please visit www.uico.com.

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December 17, 2010 @ 2:25 pm

MEMBER NEWS: Plymouth Venture Partners Fund I Completes Three Portfolio Exits

Mark Horne, Managing Partner of Plymouth Venture Partners I, L.P. announced the completion of three portfolio company exits at the firm’s Annual Meeting held today in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Commenting to the firm’s Members, Mr. Horne said, “These exits bring the total exits since inception to fifteen (15) taking us well into the completion of this highly successful fund.”

Two of the exits, are to strategic buyers. The third, Toledo’s regional telephone company, American Broadband and Telecommunications, resulted from a company buyback from its strong cash flow.

About Plymouth Management Company

Plymouth Management Company manages two venture capital partnerships: Plymouth Venture Partners I and Plymouth Venture Partners II.  Plymouth Venture Partners I made a total of 29 investments from 2003-2008 and is fully invested. Plymouth Venture Partners II is completing its second close this month, and has begun making investments.

The firm’s focus is on financing the next stage of growth of Michigan, Ohio and other Great Lakes area companies.

The firm’s partners are:

Mark Horne, Managing Partner                 mhorne@plymouthvc.com
Ian Bund, Chairman                                        ibund@plymouthvc.com
Jeff Barry, Senior Vice President               jbarry@plymouthvc.com
Bob Savage, Jr., Senior Vice President    bsavage@plymouthvc.com

For more information, please visit www.plymouthvc.com.

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November 30, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

MVCA Talent Committee charting course for talent retention, growth

Members of the MVCA Talent Committee are preparing for a busy 2011.  Among the group’s initiatives–sustaining the EIR/CEO Placement program, creating a new MVCA Fellowship program aimed at recent advanced degree graduates of in-state universities, and continuing the popular “Super HotShots” talent recruiting night.

MVCA Talent Committee

MVCA Talent Committee Members Jim Adox, Amy Cell and Tim Petersen

The committee members include:  Jim Adox, Venture Investors; Amy Cell, Ann Arbor SPARK; Tim Petersen, Arboretum Ventures; and Jeff Barry, Plymouth Management Partners.

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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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