Editor’s Note: Looking for investors? Partners? Want to know who the “players” are in the venture capital world and finance? Local Tech Wire may help you find some answers in this the fifth part of our series focusing on firms which focus for the most part and/or are based in the Carolinas and Georgia. The series was prepared by Matthew Burns and Daniel Pearson. Each firm was asked to fill out a questionnaire. Not all firms chose to answer all questions or in complete detail, such as funding amounts. To avoid confusion, each firm’s responses appear as submitted to Local Tech Wire. The series will run Monday through Friday. Veterans of CS First Boston, UBS Securities and other major investment houses came together in 1997 to create Carolina Financial Group, which specializes in serving the mid-market their former employers have left behind in favor of chasing larger deals. Since its inception, the firm has executed more than $240 million in private equity, subordinated debt and senior debt transactions, including deals for former Internet high-flyers BuildNet, Total Sports and Koz.

CFG has established its own bridge financing fund and can access capital for other transactions through a network of private investors, venture capitalists and financiers. One feature the firm offers that few others in the area can match is an office in Tokyo, providing clients with the ability to establish strategic relationships in Asia. It also has three offices across North Carolina and partners located in Connecticut and Texas.

In addition to arranging financing, the investment banking experience of its partners allows CFG to advise companies on developing their business plans, conducting mergers and restructuring their operations.

Here’s the skinny:

Featured Firm: Carolina Financial Group

Mailing address:

Raleigh Office
234 Fayetteville Street
Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27601

Charlotte Office
6805 Morrison Blvd.
Suite 380
Charlotte, North Carolina 28211

Brevard Office
9 Park Place, Suite 201
Brevard, North Carolina 28712

Phone numbers:

Raleigh Office, 919-834-6588
Charlotte Office, 704-731-5212
Brevard Office, 828-883-4402

Web site: www.carofin.com

Management Team:

Bruce V. Roberts. President and CEO
Otto Lowe, partner
Robert A. Cascella, partner
Takeshi “Peter” Itoh, partner
Roger Brook, principal
Michael L. Niedzwiecki, principal
Michael W. Mascia, principal
Edward “Ted” F. Hawke, principal
Scott Sonnone, principal

Focus of firm: Manufacturing, consumer products, information technology, media and telecommunications, business services, healthcare, and energy.

Companies funded over the last five years (amount and round for each co.):

Whitelight, Inc. $2.5 million closed Dec. 2000
IriScan, Inc. $34 million closed Sept. 2000
IriScan, Inc. $3.5 million June 1998
Paragon $14 million closed April 1998
Koz, Inc. $2.5 million March 1998
Koz, Inc. $3.375 million closed May 1997
Cytomation Inc. $900,000 closed Dec. 1997
Spin-2 $1.7 million Closed Dec. 1997
BuildNet $3 million closed Oct. 1997
XY, Inc. $1 million closed Sept. 1997
Outlast Technologies, Inc. $11.5 million closed Dec. 1999
Outlast Technologies, Inc. $1,630,400 closed Sept. 1997
Outlast Technologies, Inc. $2.5 million closed July 1997
Outlast Technologies, Inc. $5 million closed March 1997
Total Sports $34 million closed Nov. 1999
Total Sports $6 million closed March 1999
Total Sports $9.54 million closed Aug. 1998
Total Sports $1.5 million closed Oct. 1997
Total Sports $1.25 million closed June 1997
CommerceInc. $21.5 million closed Nov. 1999
CommerceInc. $2,115,000 closed May 1999
CommerceInc. $3.5 million closed Nov. 1998
CommerceInc. $1.5 million closed July 1998
Cancerfacts.com $4 million closed Sept. 1999
Cytomation $2.225 million closed June 1996
Amplified.com $4.5 million closed June 1999
Shoplink $14 million closed March 1999
Ischemia Technologies $4 million closed March 1999

In what size range: $900,000 to $34 million

Sweet Spot (types of deals, stage of the company): CFG maintains significant experience in arranging debt and equity for both publicly-owned and privately-held companies.

Most important attributes for companies seeking funding:
A strong, proven management team with a vision; a significant market position, brand strength or niche within a growing industry; the potential for growth through internal sales expansion, new product development, improvement in operating processes and/or acquisitions; and proven financial performance.

What differentiates you: Through Japan Venture Partners, CFG is able to offer its partners overseas strategic alliances.

Monday’s Profile: Carousel Capital

Thursday’s profile: Capital Investment Partners. Click here: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=163

Wednesday’s profile: Aurora Funds. Click here: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=155

Tuesday’s profile: Atlantis Group. Click here: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=143

Monday’s profile: Academy Funds. Click here: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=137