Minneapolis Digital Consultancy Livefront Lands First Outside Investment
Until this week, Minneapolis-based digital consultancy and app maker Livefront hadn’t taken any outside investments during its more than 20 years in business.
That changed Wednesday, when the company announced it landed a “strategic” investment from Denver-based private equity firm Rallyday Partners. Livefront leaders described the deal as a “strategic growth capital investment” designed to help the company scale up operations.
The companies declined to share how much money is being invested, or how much equity Rallyday Partners will take. But, in an email, Livefront CEO Mike Bollinger noted that it’s the first investment from Rallyday Partners’ second fund, which he said is valued at about $205 million.
The Minneapolis company had evidently been on the hunt for an investor for a while: In a statement on Tuesday, Bollinger said the deal is the “culmination of a careful selection process.” He added that the partnership will “unlock opportunities to amplify our reputation for excellence, our commitment to high standards, and our resolve to build the premier team of digital craftspeople in the industry.”
Livefront plans to use the money to hire more design and engineering experts and ramp up sales and marketing efforts.
For its part, Rallyday Partners bills itself as being “by founders for founders.” In Tuesday’s announcement, the firm said its leaders are “creating the investment firm they wished they had as they were building their own companies.”
Since its founding in 2001, Livefront has built digital products for a range of high-profile customers, including Samsung, Optum, Medtronic, and the Minnesota Twins. The company has appeared on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the fastest-growing companies in the United States multiple times. Bollinger, who also co-founded tech news site tech.mn, has been at the helm since Livefront’s founding.
In a statement, Rallyday Partners managing partner Nancy Phillips said Bollinger “is a special entrepreneur who has built Livefront from the ground up with a culture of high standards and an emphasis on assembling the best design, product, and engineering talent in the market.”
Livefront keeps an office in Uptown Minneapolis. A few years back, Minnesota artist Adam Turman painted a mural on the side of the company’s building. Livefront employs about 90 people in total. Most of them are based in Minnesota, but Bollinger noted that some employees are scattered across 15 other states.