Welcome to the Next Frontier Capital Winter 2023 Newsletter!
Many in the venture backed technology ecosystem will be nursing whiplash after living through the prior five years. The onset of the pandemic was followed by a couple years of exuberance which has now, after SPACs, cryptocurrencies, and software valuations have all tumbled, given way to the failure of the banking partner of choice to our industry and a new macro regime. That’s life in the early-stage technology ecosystem! Highs are high, lows are low, and the companies which win in the long run are those most adept navigating the volatility of their existence.
We have an exciting example from our portfolio, which has stayed the course and persisted through challenging exogenous conditions to build a business central to the continued evolution of the private markets. On March 23, 2023, JP Morgan announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aumni, to bolster its suite of private market solutions. NFC led a Seed extension round in the company in 2019. That this transaction was completed in a time of significant stress and uncertainty in the banking system speaks volumes of the value CEO Tony Lewis and team have created since the company's founding in 2018.
As we navigate the ups and downs of the early-stage ecosystem, we have faith that successes like that Aumni has achieved will be just one example of the wins coming from the Rocky Mountains.
As always, thank you for your continued support, Will, Richard, Les, Kirsten, Scott, Franz, Garrett, and Mandy
TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read):
Investment updates: NFC’s new investments in MonetizeNow, Bridger Photonics, King Energy and ShopDot.
Portfolio updates: Biosqueeze and Bonusly both recently announced fresh rounds of financing!
Career opportunities: Our portfolio companies are hiring, and we are always looking for referrals for great candidates.
Regional and Firm News: Welcome Franz Kofler as a Senior Associate. Will Price and Les Craig highlight regional founders, funders, and news in LinkedIn Newsletters and podcast episodes.
Welcome to the NFC Team and Congratulations Franz!
We are excited to announce that Franz Kofler joined Next Frontier Capital in August 2022 as Senior Associate. He is responsible for expanding the firm’s investment strategy to the broader Mountain West with an emphasis on Utah, where he currently resides.
Prior to joining NFC, Franz led corporate development and served as the Chief of Staff to the CEO at NFC portfolio company - Aumni, Inc. While at Aumni, Franz was integrally involved in fundraising, strategic planning, investor relations, hiring, and integrating key strategic partners. During his tenure, Aumni raised in excess of $80 million in capital from investors including JPMorgan, Silicon Valley Bank, Pelion Venture Partners, Wndrco, and Next Frontier Capital, among other notable institutions.
Prior to Aumni, Franz was on the investment team at Utah-based growth equity firm, Mercato Partners. While at Mercato, Franz supported the firm’s investments in Cradlepoint (acquired by Ericsson), SaltStack (acquired by VMWare), and CentralLogic (acquired by Rubicon Technology Partners).
In May 2023 Franz will be recognized as a recipient of the National Venture Capital Association's Rising Star Award. This award recognizes the next generation of venture capital professionals who are rising through the ranks and establishing themselves as future standard bearers of the industry.
Since our Summer update we have been able to invest in four new, exciting companies. We look forward to announcing more in the coming months.
ShopDot(August 2022) - Based in Missoula, ShopDot is a digital supply chain SaaS platform that allows independent retailers to grow omnichannel eCommerce experiences by partnering directly with their brand suppliers. We joined a round led by Kickstart.
Bridger Photonics(August 2022) - Based in Bozeman, Bridger Photonics is a provider of Gas Mapping LiDAR (GML) solutions to the energy industry. Customers including SoCal Edison, Cheniere, Exxon, EQT, Diversified, the American Petroleum Institute, etc, rely on the company to provide aerial methane detection and quantification. NFC partnered with Steve Burke’s Madison Valley Partners and Carica Sustainable Investments in this investment.
MonetizeNow(August 2022) - MonetizeNow is the developer of an integrated quoting, billing, and usage pricing platform for B2B SaaS companies. We led an investment in the MT, CO, and CA based company in September, partnering with existing investors TwoSigma Ventures and Uncork Capital.
King Energy(October 2022) - Colorado, Utah, and California based next generation technology and energy company bringing clean power to multi-tenant properties. King Energy enables commercial-scale solar at shopping centers and industrial buildings, bringing financial benefit to property owners and their tenants. Using their OneBill software platform, energy savings are shared across many tenants. Innovations in business model, financing and software are required to enable King to address multi-tenant commercial & industrial solar energy.
Bonusly - Bonusly raised a $18.9M Series B financing in February, led by Ankona Capital. Bonusly is the developer of an employee engagement software, helping companies create a culture of recognition.
Biosqueeze - Biosqueeze announced in February it raised a $7.4M Series A financing led by Valo Ventures. NFC led Biosqueeze’s Seed financing in November of 2021 and is thrilled to continue supporting the company. Biosqueeze’s innovative biomineralization technology provides the oil and gas industry with an effective solution to plug wells and prevent fugitive methane emissions.
Emmersion - Emmersion.ai, the creator of a language ability certification solution used by corporations and educational institutions, was acquired by IXL Learning, the parent company of Rosetta Stone, in September.
Aumni - Aumni, a leading provider of investment analytics software to the venture capital industry, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by JP Morgan, with closing expected in the first half of 2023.
Getro.org, powered by Monday.vc, connects talented employees impacted by COVID to hiring managers in the tech industry. Check out their thousands of job postings here, or contact them to post your company's open positions here.
UPCOMING REGIONAL EVENTS
April 20 - CPIA Photonics Summit & Expo
May 8-9 - TECHSPO Denver (CO)
May 11 - 2023 NVCA Leadership Gala (CA)
May 15-19 - Boulder Startup Week (CO)
May 16-18 - 2023 Smart Cities Connect Spring Conference & Expo (CO)
June 7-8 - Colorado Venture Summit (CO)
August 2-4 - Greater Colorado VC Summit (CO)
August 16-17 - RMVCA Emerging VC’s Event (MT)
September 18-22 - Denver Startup Week (CO)
September 21 - Wyoming Global Tech Summit (WY)
And finally, if you know a great company in the Rockies, send them our way! Reach out to us on our website to submit a pitch deck. We would love to hear from you!
*Photo from NFC Ski Day March 2023*
Until Summer, Will, Richard, Les, Kirsten, Scott, Franz, Garrett, and Mandy