October brings multi-million dollar treats for local tech firms

ctober had some sweet Halloween treats for several Colorado tech companies that raised a combined $21 million of fresh funding last month.

Convercent, which provides cloud-based business compliance software, got a $10 million dollar boost from a group of investors led by SAP Ventures, a spinoff of the well-known business software supplier. The company also announced that Doug Higgins, Managing Partner at SAP Ventures, will join the Convercent board of directors.

Doug Higgins

Doug Higgins

Also participating in the new funding are existing investors Azure Capital, Rho Capital Partners, and Mantucket Capital. In addition, City National Bank increased the company’s debt facility. The new cash brings the total amount raised by Convercent to $25 million since it was founded in 2012.

Meanwhile, Highlands Ranch-based Zen Planner, which offers business management software for health clubs, raised $10 million in a growth equity investment from Mainsail Partners of San Francisco. The capital will be used to support continued product innovation, expand its customer service and hire additional staff.

Mainsail Partners is a growth equity firm focused on investing in fast-growing bootstrapped businesses, and is the first and sole institutional investor in Zen Planner. Along with the investment, Jason Payne of Mainsail will join the Zen Planner board.

Finally, on a somewhat smaller scale, Englewood-based Shopventory raised a million dollars last month from a private equity offer. The company also launched a new version of its cloud-based platform for inventory management and business intelligence aimed at medium and small sized businesses.

Patrick Quinlan

Patrick Quinlan

Convercent is barely a year old. Founded last January, the company offers cloud-based software to manage regulatory compliance and ethic policies. The software is meant to make it easier for mid- and large-sized companies to reach employees with training materials, and to help human resources and compliance officials measure company initiatives and track employee adherence to policies and regulations. The company currently employs more than 70 people and serves 374 customers.

SAP Ventures’ Higgins is happy with the investment, the first for the new $650 million SAP Ventures Fund II.

“Convercent is poised to become a market leader in the governance, risk and compliance industry,” he says, “with an unwavering vision of how compliance professionals can truly manage their organization’s compliance health in a space wracked with technological fragmentation and billions of dollars in annual fines.”

Convercent CEO Patrick Quinlan is equally optimistic.

“We chose SAP Ventures because of their unparalleled dedication to the business development of their portfolio companies,” he says. “As a VC firm focused on enterprise software opportunities, SAP Ventures’ proven team and focus on customer acquisition cannot be beat.”

Jeff Gardner

Jeff Gardner

Zen Planner was founded in 2006 by Ben and Filipina Pate. The company develops business management software for gyms, health clubs, and yoga studios. Its cloud-based software manages all areas of business, from billing to event scheduling, and can be used to manage multiple clubs and studios.

Prior to the new investment by Mainsail Partners, Zen Planner had raised $1.15 million, including a $600,000 round earlier this year. CEO Jeff Gardner says the new investment is “an important milestone in our company’s history and growth.”

“This growth capital, combined with Mainsail’s experience in scaling companies like ours, will allow us to further invest in product development, mobile solutions, sales and marketing, and delivering the high quality of service our customers have come to expect,” says Gardner.

Earlier this year, the company was listed as one of the Top 50 Colorado Companies to Watch and earned the number two spot in Outside magazine’s “Best Place to Work in 2013” list.

Dave Carlson

Dave Carlson

Shopventory, headquartered in Denver, is a graduate of the Boulder TechStars startup incubator. The company, founded just last May, provides inventory management and sales analytics for retailers. Linking with a user’s Square, PayPal Here or other payment processing account, the software lets businesses know stock levels and inventory usage, along with the ability to analyze sales patterns.

"In a few short months, the Shopventory team has graduated from the TechStars Boulder accelerator, launched an entirely new cloud-based platform and raised $1.0 million," says CEO and co-founder Dave Carlson. "Our investors are also excited about fulfilling this need for retailers, which helped us quickly raise a $1.0 million seed round after the completion of the TechStars program."

Features of the latest version of the platform include sales trend analysis, stock usage alerts, reorder recommendations and access to business intelligence reports.

"We listened carefully to our customers during Shopventory's beta phase and are pleased to launch our new platform, which meets and hopefully exceeds our client's expectations," says Bach Le, CTO and co-founder. "Shopventory is laser focused on helping medium to small businesses better manage their inventory to help increase sales, reduce costs and save time."