Skinit Inc., a San Diego-based provider of technology and products for on-demand customization of personal electronic devices, has raised $60 million from ABS Capital Partners and Norwest Equity Partners.
Skinit, Inc. (“Skinit” or the “Company”), a leading provider of technology and products to customize personal electronic devices (PEDs) ondemand, today announced a $60 million investment led by ABS Capital Partners (“ABS Capital”), a leading later-stage growth company investor, and Norwest Equity Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm.
Skinit will use the funds to invest in new products and sales and marketing as well as to purchase a portion of the shares owned by founding shareholders. As a result of the financing, the Company’s board will be expanded by the addition of Mark Anderson, General Partner at ABS Capital, Phil Clough, Managing General Partner at ABS Capital, and Tom Schauerman, Principal at Norwest Equity Partners, who will join the board as an observer.
“Skinit revolutionized the ability for the consumer to customize an individual device in a cost effective manner and became a nationally recognized consumer brand and clear market leader in an industry that didn’t exist five years ago,” said founder and CEO Paul Buss. “Consumers have embraced the leading edge personalization and design tools that Skinit has developed. Our platform is being embraced and implemented into various supply chains by Fortune 1000 companies to power their personalization objectives in the consumer electronic industry.”
Skinit’s strategy is centered upon a technology platform that leverages a robust infrastructure, including patent-pending technology that integrates disparate functions and high quality 3M™ products, to bring on-demand personalization to consumers for their PEDs, including cell phones, PDAs, laptops and game consoles. The Company offers its product directly to consumers as well as through partnerships with PED manufacturers, wireless carriers and retailers. Since 2006, Skinit has sold more than 1.6 million skins and shells directly through its website and millions more through retailers and promotional programs. For direct consumers, Skinit.com and affiliate websites offer a library of licensed and proprietary artwork; Skinit also
provides a Customizer tool that enables consumers to upload their own photos and manipulate designs for a custom product.
“Skinit does more than just provide a library of artwork for consumers,” said Anderson. “The Company’s technology and important relationships makes it the best solution for both consumers and companies looking for speedy customization of their devices.”
“This investment is a great growth opportunity for Skinit,” said Schauerman. “From an investor perspective, we are excited to have yet another opportunity to partner with ABS Capital, and we look forward to working together with the Company’s management team to achieve its growth objectives.”
Skinit also announced that Buss will transition out of his role as CEO following the investment. “Paul let us know early on in our conversations that he thought this would be the right time for him to step down, especially having brought the Company to this point in its growth. Paul’s business acumen and solid execution across all elements of the business have truly positioned Skinit as a leader in the trend toward personalization of electronic devices,” stated Anderson.
Buss was a finalist for the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year San Diego Award. “It took a lot of hard work by the ever-growing team to bring the company to this level of rapid growth in two business units simultaneously,” said Buss. “I look forward to seeing Skinit work with our new investment partners and this injection of capital helping to increase both our revenue growth and market share as the industry leader in personalization.”
Kevin Roberts, a seasoned executive who has been a consultant to the senior management team, will be the interim CEO while a search is conducted. Kevin will also join the Company’s Board of Directors following the financing.
Over the last year, the Company has successfully expanded its business model to include licensing technology that enables on-demand personalization. Skinit currently powers more than 19 personalization programs for Fortune 1000 companies in the medical, wireless, retail, consumer electronic, home appliance and commercial graphic industries. Some of the Company’s customers include: Amazon.com, AT&T, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Dell, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Sprint Nextel, State Farm Insurance, Verizon and Walmart.
For more information, please visit www.skinit.com.