A Twin Cities investor has gained total control of wireless software developer HiddenMind Technology in a deal that also nets the company $10 million to fund its operations.
JLT Group of St. Paul, Minn., put the new funds into HiddenMind as part of a reorganization of the firm into a Delaware limited liability company. JLT is controlled by Twin Cities real estate magnate Gerald Trooien, a longtime associate of HiddenMind Chairman Ken Tyra who previously invested more than $6 million in the company and now sits on its board of directors.
JLT owns all of the assets of the new HiddenMind, company spokesman John Barry says, and previous investors Warburg Pincus, BEA Systems and GreenSpring Ventures no longer have an ownership position in the company. New York venture firm Warburg and BEA, a San Jose, Calif.-based application services company, put $25 million into HiddenMind two years ago to help bring its product to market, while Atlanta-based GreenSpring had invested in AnyDevice, another wireless application provider that HiddenMind bought last summer.
No financial details
“This will fund all of our operations going forward,” Barry says of the fourth-round funding provided by JLT. He declines to provide financial details for the company.
Trooien didn’t return phone calls for comment.
HiddenMind in March unveiled its Active Technology platform, allowing companies to extend their enterprise systems to mobile devices. Workers in the field can use applications independent of wireless network connectivity and can continue to work on their devices while receiving automatic data updates through asynchronous messaging.
No additional hires
The company sells its product primarily through systems integrators and application and hardware companies, such as Sprint, Motorola, RIM and XcelleNet, so Barry says he doesn’t expect many new hires at the 75-employee firm as it ramps up sales.
“This funding equips HiddenMind to target the leadership position in the mobile software infrastructure market while providing the financial stability that customers and partners demand,” President and Chief Executive Ken Walters said in a statement. “HiddenMind’s ability to complete this transaction in a difficult capital market is an indication of the strength of the company’s technology vision and its business value to the market.”
Walters, who joined HiddenMind in January after a stint as chief operating officer of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems, couldn’t be reached for comment.
The deal is the largest venture investment this year in North Carolina outside of the life sciences sector, topping the $9.2 million raised in April by Peak 10, a Charlotte-based data center provider. It brings the total amount of venture capital invested in technology companies statewide to about $184 million so far this year.
HiddenMind Technology: www.hiddenmind.com