PhillyInc: With Osage, Phila. area's new stage for enterprise software

Posted: February 06, 2013

I'm surprised when any local investment firm, except for First Round Capital, closes on a new venture capital fund.

The Philadelphia area is far from the venture capital centers of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston.

But there was Osage Venture Partners, of Bala Cynwyd, on Monday announcing that it had raised $66 million for its third fund.

Before you decide to ship the latest version of your business plan to Osage, it's worth knowing that the firm only invests in "early-stage enterprise software companies" in the mid-Atlantic region.

That sounds pretty narrow, until you realize that the term "enterprise" is much broader than what it once suggested. SAP, PeopleSoft, and other companies built large franchises helping the world's industrial giants better run their operations through hugely expensive, proprietary enterprise resource planning systems.

Now that cheaper cloud computing is transforming how software is sold and used by businesses, enterprise software seems to be anything that companies large and small can tap to better use data, improve efficiency, and lower costs.

And venture capital firms have been gravitating toward backing these disrupters.

In 2005, Osage launched its $40 million second fund and mined the region from Washington, D.C., to New York, to as far west as Pittsburgh for software deals. Among its home runs appears to be Wilmington-based SevOne Inc., which last month attracted $150 million from Boston's Bain Capital.

So far, Osage Venture Partners III has invested in five firms, including Collections Marketing Center Inc., a Wilmington firm behind a cloud-based collections service used by lenders to manage delinquent accounts.

Also in Osage's portfolio are:

Canvas Solutions Inc., a Reston, Va., software company that enables businesses to collect information with their mobile devices.

Identropy, a Moonachie, N.J., technology firm that has developed a cloud-based platform to provide identity security services to businesses.

Medallion Analytics, a Pittsburgh software company with products used by mortgage originators during the lending process.

Pneuron Corp., a Nashua, N.H., software company focused on helping large corporations use information housed in databases throughout an organization.

In a statement, Osage managing partner Nate Lentz noted that mid-Atlantic region possesses "great entrepreneurs and exciting innovation in enterprise software, but faces a lack of early-stage financing to help those companies grow."


Contact Mike Armstrong

at 215-854-2980 or marmstrong@phillynews.com, or @PhillyInc on Twitter. Read his blog, "PhillyInc," at www.phillyinc.biz.

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