Emptoris, a provider of supply management and contract management services, has acquired Rivermine Inc., a telecom company backed by the Southern Appalachian Fund. The fund originally backed BBR Wireless Management, a company acquired by Rivermine in 2007. The firm later backed the combined company. No terms of the latest acquisition were released. The Southern Appalachian Fund is a $12.5 million venture fund focused on low-income areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Appalachian counties of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Emptoris, Inc. (“Emptoris”), a leading provider of strategic supply management and enterprise contract management solutions, announced on January 6, 2011, the acquisition of Rivermine, Inc. (“Rivermine”), one of the market’s leading Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solution providers. In October 2007, Rivermine acquired BBR Wireless Management (“BBR”) of Louisville, Kentucky, a Southern Appalachian Fund (SAF) portfolio company. The Southern Appalachian Fund led BBR’s only institutional equity round with an initial investment in February 2006, and SAF made multiple follow-on investments in BBR and Rivermine between 2006 and 2009. Ray Moncrief of SAF was a member of the Board of Directors of BBR prior to the acquisition by Rivermine, and he was a member of the Board of Directors of Rivermine following the acquisition and until Rivermine was acquired by Emptoris.
BBR was founded in 1999 in a low-income area of Louisville, Kentucky, by a group of wireless industry veterans and CPAs. The company’s offices were located on the University of Louisville campus as part of the university’s high-tech incubator program. BBR originally concentrated on providing wireless optimization and auditing, but at the request of customers added monthly expense management services. In early 2007, BBR entered into a strategic partnership with Rivermine, the leading provider of wireline telecommunications expense management solutions. In October 2007, Rivermine merged with BBR to provide customers with a more complete product offering. BBR grew to twenty-two employees prior to the merger with Rivermine.
“It has been my pleasure working with Ray Moncrief and the Southern Appalachian Fund,” said Mark Logan, President and CEO of Rivermine. “Ray’s vast investment and operational experience provided great value to Rivermine during his tenure on our Board of Directors. We achieved a great outcome, which is a testament to our strong board and Ray’s consistent guidance.”
“BBR is an example of what can be accomplished when entrepreneurs and access to venture capital come together,” said Ray Moncrief of the Southern Appalachian Fund. “The accomplishments of BBR are even more impressive when one considers the company’s start in a business incubator in a low-income area on the fringe of Appalachia. BBR had a powerful team and compelling product, which made it attractive for a strategic partnership that evolved into a merger with Rivermine. BBR’s wireless expense management services broadened Rivermine’s product offering, strengthening Rivermine’s position as the market leader in the telecom expense management space, and became part of the product and personnel suite that ultimately attracted the acquisition offer from Emptoris.”
About the Southern Appalachian Fund
The Southern Appalachian Fund (SAF) is one of six New Market Venture Capital Companies (NMVCCs) in the United States. SAF is a $12.5 million venture capital fund formed to generate attractive returns for the fund’s investors while creating wealth and jobs in low-income areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Appalachian counties of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. In addition to providing investment capital, the fund provides operational assistance to its portfolio companies. The fund is not seeking new investment opportunities, but SAF has invested in eight companies in low income areas throughout southern Appalachia. For more information on the Southern Appalachian Fund, please visit www.southappfund.com.
About the New Market Venture Capital Program
The New Markets Venture Capital (NMVC) Program is a developmental venture capital program designed to promote economic development and the creation of wealth and job opportunities in low-income geographic areas and among individuals living in such areas. In 2002 and 2003, the Small Business Administration (SBA) entered into agreements with six New Markets Venture Capital Companies (NMVCCs). Each NMVCC was formed as a for-profit venture capital fund, using a combination of private capital and federally guaranteed debentures, with private management. NMVCCs make equity and equity-type investments in smaller enterprises located in low income areas and provide operational assistance through grants that are supportive of such enterprises. For more information on the New Market Venture Capital Program, please visit www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/inv/nmvc/INV_NMVC_PROGOVERVIEW.html.
Rivermine was a leading provider of automated, award-winning solutions that enable organizations to gain visibility into, and control over, their wireline and wireless telecom spend. Hundreds of companies, including many Fortune 1000 corporations and large government agencies, have selected Rivermine to optimize their overall telecom environments and dramatically reduce costs. Rivermine currently manages over $6 billion in annual telecom spend globally. The company’s patent-pending Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solutions automate the entire telecom lifecycle including ordering, inventory management, invoice processing and auditing, wireless expense management, mobile device management, and reporting/analytics. For more information, visit www.rivermine.com.
Emptoris is a world leader in strategic supply and enterprise contract management software solutions that empower enterprises to realize best value and accelerate profitable growth. Emptoris solutions are used by successful Global 100 companies in every industry. Emptoris customers include American Express, Boeing, ConocoPhillips, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, Motorola, Syngenta, and Vodafone. For more information, visit www.emptoris.com.