MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Phenomenelle Angels Fund I, LP today announced its first two investments in Madison-based, TrafficCast International, Inc, and Chicago-based, Information Development Consultants, Inc (iDC). The fund also announced its Certification by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce as an early stage Venture Capital Fund qualified to receive Wisconsin Act 255 Tax Credits. According to Lorrie Keating Heinemann, Cabinet Secretary of Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions, "This represents a major advance for women and minority-owned businesses and for the economic development of Wisconsin."
TrafficCast International is a leading provider of traffic data and has patented, web-based software that provides route-specific travel time forecasts in the United States and China. TrafficCast uses a wide range of inputs to develop its traffic flow models, including information from transportation departments, live incident reports, construction information, GPS data and historical weather patterns, then analyzes this information using its patented algorithms to calculate meaningful travel time forecasts. The company’s technology was recently deployed in the world’s largest cell probe system in Shanghai, which aggregates 10 million cell phone signals and tracks them in real time as they move from tower to tower along major highways in the City’s inner ring. TrafficCast International is the exclusive traffic information provider to Yahoo, and a major provider to Google. Other major customers include Verizon, Cingular, AAA, and the Department of Defense. The company has strategic partnerships with CBS Westwood One, and with Madison-based, WeatherCentral and MyWeather, to provide integrated traffic and weather applications. “We’re delighted to be the lead investor in TrafficCast International,” said Jan Eddy, Co-chair of Phenomenelle Angels Fund’s Technical Advisory Committee. “The fund is guaranteeing $250,000 of a $1 million line of credit it helped the company obtain, and has invested $250,000 in the company, not counting side investments by individual limited partners of the fund,” added Eddy.
iDC is a leading developer of Fund Accounting software for government and not-for-profit organizations. Its flagship software product, 4gov, is the first on demand, web-based, financial management system that delivers all the must have financial applications in ‘plug and play’ modules’ so its customers can prepare and approve budgets, route and approve purchase requests, pay employees and vendors, process receipts and attach scanned images, pictures and documents to their work papers. The 4gov software protects data and maintains operations through man-made and natural disasters. Users can access 4gov securely anytime, anywhere, from any computer with Internet access. 4gov is hosted at an IBM co-location center and all transactions are protected by full 128-bit data encryption. System backups, security upgrades and disaster recovery are all automatic. The Citizen Request Management solution keeps citizens, the media and local businesses informed about where to go and what to do in an emergency. iDC has 60 multiyear clients, including LaCrosse County, WI, Hinsdale, IL, Lee County Port Authority (Ft. Myers airport), Hawaii Judiciary and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. “iDC’s business plan was one of the best written we’ve seen,” said Dedee Wojtal, Co-founder and Managing Director. “It’s not surprising that the company has been profitable for 4 years. We’re pleased to have made a $150,000 investment in the company. One of Phenomenelle Angels’ limited partners invested an additional $500,000, together representing the majority of iDC’s $1 million round which had its final close in August,” said Wojtal.
The Wisconsin Tax Act 255 Venture Capital Tax Credit program is designed to encourage investment in small, high-technology businesses that have high growth potential. The certification is granted for the life of the venture capital fund and may be applied to Qualified New Business Ventures. A Qualified New Business Venture is an early-stage company that has been certified by the Department of Commerce as meeting its eligibility requirements. “TrafficCast International, Inc has been certified as a Qualified New Business Venture and Phenomenelle has been certified as a Qualifed Venture Capital fund, entitling our limited partners to a 25% tax credit as an additional benefit to our investment in this promising company,” said Joe Hildebrandt, Co-founder & Principal.
“Phenomenelle Angels Fund’s limited partners are accredited women investors who are successful entrepreneurs and business executives,” said Lauren Flanagan, Co-founder and Managing Director. “We believe the extensive operations experience and domain expertise of our limited partners provides significant additional value to our first two portfolio companies. The fund plans on investing in an additional ten to eighteen companies at the rate of three to four companies per year,” added Flanagan.
About Phenomenelle Angels Fund I, LP
Phenomenelle Angels Fund I, LP is an early stage fund that invests in women and/or minority owned or managed businesses in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Qualifying businesses must have at least one woman or ethnic minority with substantial ownership or in an executive (C-level) position. Investors are limited to women who are accredited investors, and certain select entities. The Fund invests in exceptional management teams that exploit proprietary technology to create breakthrough applications in the following market sectors: Information Technology, BioTechnology, Communications, and Consumer Goods. The Phenomenelle Angels fund is expected to help fill special unmet investment opportunities in women and minority owned and/or managed businesses. The Fund will leverage its investor base of successful women entrepreneurs as well as its experienced Business Advisory Board, Technical Advisory Board and Investment Committee to assist portfolio companies with recruiting, sales and marketing, strategic partnerships, board development, operations, finance and access to additional debt and equity capital. See www.phenomenelleangels.com.
About TrafficCast International, Inc.
TrafficCast International is a leading provider of digital traffic data, with patented software and predictive models to produce route-specific real-time traffic information and travel time forecasts for traditional and emerging traffic information markets. TrafficCast International is a subsidiary of TrafficCast Inc. The company is based in Madison, Wisconsin and has a branch office in Shanghai. See www.trafficcast.com.
About Information Development Consultants, Inc. (“iDC”)
iDC is a leading developer of Fund Accounting software for government and not-for-profit organizations. iDC’s web-based, scalable products are designed for rapid implementation, seamless integration, and can be tailored to fit specific needs of IT, finance and elected officials. They enhance emergency preparedness, government continuity and disaster recovery. iDC recently gained national recognition as recipient of the NAWBO/Wells Fargo Trailblazer Award for Technology Innovation and the 2005 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics from the Better Business Bureau of Northern Illinois. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded iDC a grant to enhance homeland security efforts. iDC is based in Chicago. See www.4gov.com.