Ann Arbor’s RPM Ventures begins deploying latest VC fund

Originally posted in on May 23, 2012

RPM Ventures is midway through its latest investment vehicle and the Ann Arbor-based venture capital firm already has an exit under its belt.

The 12-year-old VC closed its second fund worth $60 million in late 2009. One of the initial investments of that fund was acquired for $270 million late last year when KAR Auction Services bought out OPENLANE, an online wholesale automotive auction company. RPM Ventures currently employs six people, which is up two people from the last time we checked in with the VC.

RPM Ventures focuses on investing in early stage start-ups in the social media, e-commerce, SAS, cloud computing and automotive retail software sectors. The VC executes about 2-4 deals each year and has enough cash left in its second fund to make half dozen or so more investments.

“We still have more than a third of our deals left to do,” says Marc Weiser, managing director of RPM Ventures.

Some of the start-ups it has already invested in include Mojo Motors, which helps car shoppers find discounts on used cars at local dealerships and Janrain, a start-up that specializes in online usernames and passwords. RPM Ventures has also invested in four Michigan-based start-ups, such as DeepField Networks, a cloud-computing start-up that was started by a couple of early employees at Arbor Networks. All of these investments started by taking part in the seed or Series A rounds of fundraising for those companies.

“About 70 percent of our deals are pre-product and pre-revenue,” Weiser says.

Source: Marc Weiser, managing director of RPM Ventures
Writer: Jon Zemke