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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January 31, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

Member Beringea Invests $3.2 Million in Relume Technologies

Farmington Hills-based Beringea invested $3.2 million in Relume Technologies, which has closed its $7.0 million Series D financing round.

“Relume is growing rapidly – it roughly doubled its revenue in 2011 – and through its innovative technology and world-class management team, Relume is poised to secure a dominant position in the outdoor LED lighting market,” said Jeff Bocan, managing director for Beringea. “We are pleased to offer continued support as the company re-lights more cities and spaces with its superior long-lasting and energy efficient LED technology.”

Relume Technologies is a leading manufacturer of light-emitting diode (LED) products and smart grid control systems for outdoor lighting applications. Relume has installed outdoor lighting solutions in more than 1,000 outdoor facilities, producing up to a 50 percent energy savings per product. The company’s customers include Starbucks Coffee, US Cellular, McDonalds, Chase, Best Buy, and Lexus, among others. In addition, Relume has re-lit many cities across the country, including Ann Arbor, Mich.; Arlington, Va.; Canton, Ohio, and West Nottingham Township, Pennsylvania.

Beringea offers advice, guidance and capital to support growing businesses. With capital, experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s award-winning team offers its portfolio companies the resources to develop strategy, evaluate growth opportunities, solve problems and build value in a range of sectors.

Learn more.

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November 8, 2011 @ 1:12 am

Michigan Venture Capital Association appoints 2012 Board of Directors, recognizes members at Annual Dinner

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) celebrated a year of individual, company, and statewide industry achievement at its Annual Dinner held November 7 at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. Over 145 members of the Michigan venture community attended the evening event, where incoming Chairman Tim Petersen introduced members of the organization’s 2012 Board of Directors. They include:
• Tim Petersen (Chairman), Arboretum Ventures
• Ron Reed (Vice Chairman/Past Chairman), Seneca Partners
• Jim Adox, (Vice-Chairman/Treasurer), Venture Investors
• Jeff Bocan, Beringea
• Hugo Braun, North Coast Technology Investors
• Pete Farner, TGap Ventures
• Mark Horne, Plymouth Management Company
• Tom Kinnear, U-M Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute
• Jon Lauckner, GM Ventures
• Chris Rizik, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
• Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK
• Mina Sooch, Apjohn Ventures
• Jody Vanderwel, Grand Angels
• Ken Van Heel, Dow Chemical Company
• Donald Walker, Arbor Partners

Pete Farner, Mark Horne and Jon Lauckner are new to the board and begin three-year terms while former director John McIlwraith of Blue Chip Venture Company completes his board involvement after a six-year term.

“It was a wonderful evening that really celebrated the best of the best in our industry,” said Merrill Guerra, Executive Director of the MVCA. “We’re pleased so many venture investors, portfolio company executives, development officials and other supporters could join us, showing the growth and success the venture capital community has demonstrated in Michigan.”

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November 1, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

NEWS RELEASE: Michigan Venture Capital Association celebrated award winners, appoints 2011 Board of Directors at annual dinner Nov. 15

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Celebrating “A Year of Exits”, the Michigan Venture Capital Association held its annual awards dinner for its members and guests November 15 in Ann Arbor.  The statewide membership organization honored several Michigan venture firms as well as venture capital recipient companies for their successes:

  • MVCA “Michigan 100” Award winner Cerenis Therapeutics of Ann Arbor, for raising over $100 million in venture capital;
  • Michigan’s new venture firms: Huron River Ventures, Michigan Accelerator Fund Management, and Resonant Ventures;
  • Multiple venture capital investment exits, both non-Michigan companies with Michigan venture investors and Michigan-based companies:

o   LenSx Lasers (Venture Investors)

o   Greenplum (EDF Ventures)

o   ZyStor (Apjohn Ventures & Venture Investors)

o   CardioMEMS (Arboretum Ventures)

o   Ikano Therapeutics (Apjohn Ventures)

o   Arbor Networks (EDF Ventures)

o   HandyLab (EDF Ventures, Wolverine Venture Fund, Arboretum Ventures, Ardesta Capital, Dow Venture Capital)

Jeff Williams, former CEO of HandyLab and current CEO of venture-backed Accuri Cytometers, was named MVCA Entrepreneur of the Year.

 

“The wind is in our sails,” stated LeAnn Auer, Executive Director of the MVCA, in her remarks before the dinner.  “It’s been a year of exits, as many of our venture capital firms have successfully exited portfolio companies located both here in Michigan and elsewhere.  In addition, venture capital financings have already exceeded 2009 levels.  These successes bode well for future growth in our community.  I’m looking forward to this year’s celebration.”

The Michigan Venture Capital Association will also announce its 2011 Board of Directors:

  • Ron Reed (Chairman), Managing Director, Seneca Partners
  • Tom Kinnear (Vice-Chairman/Treasurer), Managing Director, Zell Lurie Institute at U-M Ross School of Business
  • Tim Petersen (Vice Chairman/Chairman-Elect), Managing Director, Arboretum Ventures
  • Uzma Ahmad (Board Secretary), Attorney, Dykema Gossett PLLC
  • Jim Adox, Managing Director, Venture Investors
  • Jeff Bocan, Managing Director, Beringea
  • Hugo Braun, Co-Founder, North Coast Technology Investors
  • Greg Main, President & CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • John McIlwraith, Managing Director, Allos Ventures
  • Chris Rizik, CEO & Fund Manager, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
  • Skip Simms, Managing Director, Ann Arbor SPARK
  • Mina Sooch Partner, Triathlon Medical Ventures; Managing Director, Apjohn Ventures
  • Jody Vanderwel, President, Grand Angels
  • Ken Van Heel, Director, Alternative Investments & Venture Capital, Dow Chemical Company
  • Donald Walker, Managing Director, Arbor Partners

About the MVCA

The MVCA is a 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.  Membership includes private venture capital funds, corporate venture capital funds, private equity firms, angel investors, and entrepreneurial infrastructure participants.  The MVCA is a vehicle to bring together industry participants and to provide a concerted voice for Michigan’s venture capital industry.  www.michiganvca.org

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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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