Rally Ventures has named Justin Kaufenberg as a partner. Recently, Kaufenberg was co-founder and CEO of SportsEngine.
MINNEAPOLIS and MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Rally Ventures, an experienced leader in early-stage technology investing, announced today that Justin Kaufenberg has joined the firm as a partner. He brings deep expertise in SaaS, payments and network effect businesses and will work closely with the firm’s leaders to continue driving growth for Rally Ventures’ portfolio.
Kaufenberg most recently served as the co-founder and CEO of SportsEngine, one of Rally Ventures’ early investments. As CEO, Kaufenberg was responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. Under his leadership, SportsEngine defined the SRM (Sport Relationship Management) category and grew to provide its CRM and payments platform to more than 36,000 paying customers, more than 35 million monthly unique platform users and created nearly 500 new tech jobs in Minnesota. The company was acquired by Comcast/NBCUniversal in 2016.
Rally Ventures led SportsEngine’s series A and B funding rounds, and the firm’s co-founder and general partner, Jeff Hinck, served as a board member from 2011 through the exit in 2016. As the lead investor in SportsEngine, Rally Ventures’ team worked with Kaufenberg for nearly 10 years, not only as the co-founder and CEO of SportsEngine, but also as a Rally Ventures Tech Partner. As a Tech Partner, Kaufenberg, along with more than 100 tech executives, technologists and luminaries, was an extension to the Rally Ventures team and provided operating leverage for portfolio companies to help broaden the firm’s capabilities.
“We are proud and honored to have Justin join us at Rally,” said Jeff Hinck, co-founder and general partner, Rally Ventures. “Adding Justin to our team is a testament to how deeply we respect the entrepreneurs we work with. He’s proven himself to be an innovative leader and an unparalleled community builder.”
In his role as a partner at Rally Ventures, Kaufenberg will source and execute new investments, serve on portfolio company boards and assist existing portfolio companies with key go-to-market and operational decisions. Rally Ventures is currently investing from its latest fund, Rally Ventures III (2018 vintage), which closed above its fundraising target. The firm remains committed to its focused strategy of supporting early-stage startups and entrepreneurs with technology solutions that change how businesses get things done. Since its inception in 2012, Rally Ventures has invested in 43 companies and has had 12 successful exits.
“Justin brings tremendous strategic, technological and operational expertise that complements our mission of being an extremely active value-added investor and will support the continued growth in Rally’s portfolio,” said Charles Beeler, co-founder and general partner, Rally Ventures.
“Jeff and Charles, along with their venture partners, are some of the finest early-stage enterprise investors in the country, and the Rally Tech Partner program is second-to-none,” noted Kaufenberg. “I’ve witnessed first-hand their incredible commitment to the entrepreneur in good times and bad. When you find a firm of their caliber and spirit, you can’t help but want to join the team.”
Kaufenberg currently serves on the boards of Rally Ventures’ portfolio companies, Total Expert and Anyroad.
About Rally Ventures
Rally Ventures invests exclusively in early-stage business technology companies, focusing on entrepreneurs creating major new markets or bringing transformative approaches to existing ones. The firm was founded in 2012 by General Partners Charles Beeler and Jeff Hinck. Since 1997, Rally Ventures’ co-founders and venture capital industry veterans have invested in or run early-stage enterprise business-to-business technology companies across the U.S. with a proven ability to deliver superior returns regardless of the overall market environment. For more information visit rallyventures.com.