Rally Ventures (formerly Icon Venture Partners), an innovative venture capital firm focused on early-stage business technology companies, today announced that it added ten early-stage startups to the firm’s portfolio in 2014. The companies represent many of Rally Ventures’ key technology focus areas, including cloud computing, big data, SaaS (software as a service), infrastructure and mobility. The new investments span the firm’s three key geographic strongholds: Silicon Valley, the Midwest, and the Boston/New York region. Rally Ventures also announced that the firm completed the successful exit of San Francisco-based Swarm Mobile in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“At Rally Ventures, recognizing great potential is table stakes,” said Charles Beeler, General Partner and co-founder at Rally Ventures. “Our impact comes from the intensive, hands-on involvement of a team that offers the strategic, technological and operational guidance needed to establish market leadership. By frontloading expert involvement as early as possible, we can help the startups in the Rally portfolio go faster while using less capital.”

New companies in the Rally Ventures portfolio include:

  •     Backtrace.I/O, a software analysis platform that helps engineers improve software debugging and fault detection in complex environments
  •     Cloud Elements, a cloud API integration service that enables SaaS application developers to rapidly deliver apps that connect seamlessly with other leading cloud services
  •     Cluster K, a cloud computing platform that solves critical problems in high performance computing
  •     Coupa, the leading provider of cloud-based financial applications to support business agility and reduce costs
  •     Elevate, a SaaS application that allows retailers and restaurants immediate feedback from real customers in order to improve the customer experience
  •     Kapta, a cloud application that provides executives an easier way to communicate, align and track company initiatives and performance in real time
  •     Qubell, an enterprise software devops platform for companies that continuously develop, deliver and operate web-scale digital services
  •     ReadyPulse, a suite of cloud applications that enables digital marketers to manage digital commerce experiences
  •     VentureBeat, an online media platform that helps executives, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts make smart decisions
  •     Visitrend, a cloud application that enables companies to proactively respond to threats and performance issues

In addition to developing the firm’s portfolio in 2014, Rally Ventures also conducted the profitable exit of Swarm Mobile, which provides an analytics and customer engagement platform for brick-and-mortar retail businesses. The company was acquired by Groupon in November 2014.

Also during the past twelve months Rally Ventures added four new members to the firm’s Tech Partners group: Mark Burns, an executive staffing expert with extensive background in hiring for venture-backed technology companies; Joshua Pickus, an experienced investor in and leader of high-growth enterprise software companies; Tom Killelea, a long-time executive at Amazon; and Theo Schlossnagle, an entrepreneur, engineer, consultant and thought leader in complex enterprise software systems. These four new members join a team of nearly 100 enterprise technology professionals, senior business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and recognized technology experts tasked with helping Rally Ventures identify and evaluate investment opportunities, as well as work with the investment team to help these companies succeed.

“The deeper the bench, the stronger the team. Rally Tech Partners bring expertise in every conceivable area to ensure Rally companies have the deepest bench and the strongest team,” said Josh Pickus, Rally Ventures Tech Partner, Board Member at Conversica, and advisory board member at Bugcrowd.

“Most traditional venture capital firms invest hierarchically, with a handful of companies commanding heavy financial investments, while the remainder of the portfolio receives just a fraction of the total resources, ” said Jeff Hinck, co-founder and General Partner of Rally Ventures. “The truth is that all of these startups have the potential to thrive on very lean funding amounts if given the proper guidance and direction.”

Rally Ventures invests in seed and Series A rounds of companies that are taking advantage of the capital efficiency brought about by lower cost, high performance computing infrastructure and a faster time to market for today’s business technology start-ups. Unlike other venture capital firms, Rally Ventures concentrates its resources through deep engagement of its team with a limited number of active portfolio companies. By allocating several team members per deal rather than several deals per team member, Rally Ventures helps entrepreneurs and companies succeed from the most challenging very early stage, through the growth lifecycle of scaling their customer base and operations, to create lasting value for entrepreneurs and investors.

Rally Ventures founders Charles Beeler and Jeff Hinck have invested together for more than sixteen years. As industry veterans who have worked in early-stage venture capital since 1997, they have generated more than a six-fold return on companies in which they co-invested. The Rally Ventures investment team has generated successful exits from early investments in companies including Compellent (acquired by Dell subsequent to IPO), Enstratius (acquired by Dell), ITKO (acquired by CA), Jigsaw (acquired by Salesforce), NuSpeed (acquired by Cisco), Sistina (acquired by Red Hat) and Swarm Mobile, and serves on the boards of companies such as Atlantis Computing, Coupa, Gutcheck, Joyent and Sport Ngin.

About Rally Ventures
Rally Ventures empowers entrepreneurs to go further faster. Rally invests exclusively in early-stage business technology companies, focusing on big data, cloud technologies, infrastructure software, mobility, IoT, SaaS, security, and storage. The Rally platform includes a dynamic network of nearly 100 Rally Tech Partners — visionaries, technologists, and executives who provide support and inspiration when needed to help growing companies break away from the pack and become tomorrow’s technology leaders. For more information, visit http://www.rallyventures.com