TinderBox, Inc. was founded in 2010 in Indianapolis, Ind., by a small group of veteran software entrepreneurs who experienced the pain of inefficient sales processes in their own business endeavors. TinderBox's target market consists of companies (large and small) that find themselves frequently engaged in the time consuming and costly proposal and contracting process. TinderBox's software as a service (SaaS) application enables sales and marketing teams to auto-generate dynamic sales documents like proposals, presentations, and contracts, deliver them online to track prospect engagement, and close business with eSignature - all from one easy-to-use interface.
Despite only being around for a few short years, TinderBox has garnered plenty of attention by being named to Entrepreneur Magazine's
List of "100 Brilliant Companies", as "IT Startup of the Year" by TechPoint's Mira Awards in 2012, as a 2013 Indiana Company to Watch, and one of 2014's Best Places to Work in Indiana. How did this Indianapolis based tech-darling go from startup to venture capital funded in only a few short years?
Getting the "house" in order: Focusing on key areas to build value
TinderBox already had a great product and a strong internal management and sales team, but needed some outside expertise to clean up their existing corporate structure and to review TinderBox's intellectual property position by focusing on their website and customer agreements. TinderBox had successfully completed early rounds of fundraising consisting mostly of angel investors, which generally don't require the same level of documentation and diligence that a typical venture capital investor would expect.
To prepare TinderBox for its first venture-backed financing round, it was necessary to evaluate TinderBox's existing investor documentation to understand their respective rights and preferences. It was also necessary to review TinderBox's intellectual property protections to ensure that its most valuable assets were adequately protected. Ice Miller's business attorneys provided legal advice and guidance on how to simplify TinderBox's capital structure while preserving the rights of TinderBox's pre-existing investors. Ice Miller's team also moved TinderBox into a more typical set of investments documents that would meet a venture capital investor's expectations.
Ready for funding: Managing the process and "herding cats"
Having already been around the block a few times, TinderBox's management team was well positioned with the local investor base and was able to find a sophisticated and energetic partner in Indianapolis-based Allos Ventures. The investment process with Allos Ventures was relatively smooth given the familiarity and comfort between TinderBox and Allos Ventures, and the cooperative nature of the discussion was apparent from the outset. Ice Miller led negotiations with Allos Venture's counsel and the parties were able to quickly resolve relatively complex issues and move to an initial closing in only a few weeks.
As part of the investment process, it was necessary to communicate with all of the existing investors to obtain their sign-off on the transaction and obtain their signatures on many of the new investment documents. The number of investors involved and the complexity of the documentation presented a challenge even for a company like TinderBox that specializes in streamlining complex sales processes. Ice Miller was able to effectively manage communications with TinderBox's existing investors to obtain the necessary approvals and signatures in a timely manner. Any entrepreneur who has been through a similar financing process can tell you it is best described as "herding cats."
Looking to the future
With new funding in hand, TinderBox is poised to continue its impressive growth and become another technology success story that will help reinforce Indianapolis' growing reputation as a burgeoning technology hub.
Ice Miller attorneys understand the needs of technology businesses along each stage in the business life cycle. Our attorneys work with entrepreneurs to identify their business goals, and to develop legal and business strategies to work toward those goals.
To learn more about how Ice Miller can help your business, please contact us.
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