|Venture Fund Member Profile
Vital Financial’s mission is to use our talents, insights, knowledge and experience to find, analyze and structure private equity and venture capital investments in companies so as to provide significantly above-market returns on our own capital and on the funds that co-investors’ entrust to our stewardship. Our hope is that a meaningful portion of this capital will be used to better the lives of others and improve our world.
Vital Financial, LLC was formed in 2007 under a predecessor name to invest in Certicom, Inc., a publicly-traded encryption software company based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Certicom possessed a unique market postion in elliptic curve encryption technology and had a highly valuable international portfolio of related patents. Vital Financial became one of the largest shareholders of Certicom and interacted with both Certicom management and other large shareholders. Vital Financial completed a successful exit of its Certicom investment in early 2009 through its sale to Research in Motion Limited.
In early 2009 the firm adopted the name “Vital Financial” and formally began to seek additional venture capital investments. We now consist of five principal investors, with offices in: Avon, CT; Bethesda, MD; Newark, DE; Philadelphia, PA; Naples, FL; and Lincolnshire, IL. The Principals’ own funds constitute the majority of each Vital Financial investment. The firm also has a number of individual and institutional co-investors that join Vital Financial in its investments.
Vital Financial will invest in businesses that we understand in fields where we have high level of knowledge and experience. These currently include software, selected technology segments, financial services, and businesses with patents that we can value.
Craig Asher has had a successful track record of developing software companies. Over the past ten years he has been a key team member in three successful software startups: Commerce One; Trigo Technologies; and the internal IBM startup for InfoSphere Traceability Server. He has guided major software implementations at over 50 customers in markets including retail, medical products, pharmaceuticals, and general distribution.
Craig was acting Chief Technology Officer in 2008-2010 of one of Vital Financial’s portfolio companies, CR Certification Corporation, a company provides the patented CardioReady® certification program for cardiac emergency readiness utilizing automated external defibrillators. He successfully deployed a new enterprise system for the firm.
At Trigo Technologies Craig’s position was director of product management. He played a broad role as company strategist for marketing, sales, product development, and professional services, and he also drove implementation of much of the strategy. During Craig’s tenure at Trigo, annual revenue grew from under $1 million to nearly $40 million and the firm attained profitability. Trigo was successfully sold to IBM for over $140 million in April, 2004, thereby generating significant profits for venture capital and individual investors.
Following Trigo’s sale to IBM, Craig formed a new startup group within IBM to build a new product for information management software for sensor data. Craig’s role in the new venture was the product strategist, product manager, and implementation manager. In 2005 the venture signed its first customer, Glaxo Smith Kline, and Craig led the delivery to that customer in 2006. He Co-chaired the international EPCglobal EPCIS standard which was the core for the broad adoption of similar information management software, and attained ratification of the standard in 2007. Craig significantly helped sign and implement 7 additional customers until his departure from IBM to join Vital Financial. In 2008 the IBM product’s customer base grew to 15 customers, annual sales were approximately $9 million and gross margin was approximately $6 million.
Craig has enjoyed co-chairing several working groups in international standards bodies. He has one issued US patent - 7,866,543. He also has extensive experience in marketing strategy, product management, product development, services delivery, business development, and technical sales for growing software companies.
Before moving into software startups, Craig was a consultant with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in the supply chain strategy practice, and helped drive the turnaround of a distressed packaging manufacturer. Craig did his undergraduate work at Stanford University, and completed his MBA and Masters in Industrial Engineering at Northwestern University.
||Clinverse, Inc. is a technology startup solely focused on the financial management of clinical trials and associated payments in over 140 currencies. Their flagship product ClinPay revolutionizes the Investigator payment process and considerably reduces study start-up time and increases financial accounting accuracy. ClinPay is a secure on-line Clinical Trial Payment Network that dramatically reduces time spent on the Investigator payment process with significant increases in clinical trial productivity.|
||SchoolChapters, Inc. sells a suite of software solutions designed to manage the evidence that educators compile to demonstrate their educational programs' quality and alignment with standards.|
||Mobeam, Inc. is transforming mobile commerce and retail point of sale interaction with its unique and patented light based communications technology. Today, the ubiquitous red laser scanner present at nearly every retail point of sale (POS) cannot see information displayed on mobile phone screens, creating a failure rate of 99 percent when consumers try to scan coupons, tickets, gift cards, loyalty cards and other barcode content using their phones. |
||Sparqd, Inc. provides consumer product companies and retail chain operators with a Facebook-enabled platform that enables brand owners and merchants to collaborate and drive social electronic and on-premise traffic. The company's apps (Invite Friends, Sponsored Gifts, On-Premise Sharing) allow consumers to authentically interact with friends, brands and merchants.|
Craig participated in the FundingPost event: DC VC and Angel Event
on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in DC, Sponsored by Bingham McCutchen, SocialRadius, The Soho Loft
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|Venture Fund Member Profile|