NewSpring Capital has led an $18 million funding round for SpeedConect, a Michigan-based wireless internet service provider. Newspring’s investment is in partnership with a Kemper Corp. subsidiary. According to SpeedConnect, the capital will be used to close its buy of Arizona-based wireless internet service provider CommSpeed. In addition to the funding, former JAB Wireless CEO Jim Vaughn has been appointed to SpeedConnect’s board of directors.
RADNOR, PA – December 4, 2014 – NewSpring Capital, a family of private equity funds providing growth and expansion capital, announced today that its dedicated mezzanine fund, NewSpring Mezzanine, led an $18.0 million investment in SpeedConnect, LLC (“SpeedConnect”) in partnership with a subsidiary of Kemper Corporation (NYSE: KMPR), existing investors and management. SpeedConnect will use the proceeds to complete the acquisition of CommSpeed LLC, an Arizona-based wireless Internet service provider, expand rollout of their LTE network and support other growth initiatives. As part of the financing, Jim Vaughn, the former CEO of JAB Wireless, will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
SpeedConnect, founded in 2001, is a wireless Internet service provider operating in over 50 communities and nine states with its corporate headquarters in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The Company offers high-speed broadband Internet connections to residences and businesses using the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s licensed radio spectrum in the 2.5 GHz (Band 41) spectral space.
John Ogren, SpeedConnect Founder and CEO said, “Investments in the network and service are instrumental in our growth planning. The strategies include an aggressive build out of the most advanced LTE (Long Term Evolution) network available. LTE is the most efficient broadband technology and provides a smooth, continuous and rapid Internet user experience, so our customers can browse the web, stream content, or download a movie at blazing-fast speeds. I am very excited to be joined by NewSpring in helping to fund the next phase of SpeedConnect’s growth. Their partnership approach to supporting the operational and financial growth of the Company will help to more quickly enhance our value.”
Anne Vazquez, NewSpring Principal stated, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with John and his team at SpeedConnect. We’ve been impressed with their ability to grow to one of the largest providers of fixed wireless broadband in the country. Under Ogren’s leadership, we look forward to SpeedConnect’s continued growth through delivering best-in-class broadband speeds and market-leading customer service.”
SpeedConnect serves customers with wireless broadband Internet and DISH TV in Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Texas and Arizona. SpeedConnect owns and uses FCC-licensed 2.5 GHz EBS and BRS spectrum and technology. SpeedConnect is a Michigan Limited Liability Corporation, and is principally owned by Robert G. Liggett and John A. Ogren. Please visit www.speedconnect.com for more information.
Kemper Corporation, with $8 billion in assets, is one of the nation’s leading insurers. The Kemper family of companies specializes in property and casualty insurance and life and health insurance for individuals, families and businesses. Kemper employs 6,000 associates who are dedicated to providing first-rate service to its customers. Servicing six million policies, Kemper’s businesses collectively are represented by 20,000 independent agencies which sell insurance in 47 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit www.kemper.com.