SOURCE: NineSigma, Inc.

May 06, 2008 10:02 ET

NineSigma Closes $4 Million Equity Round

Capital to Be Used to Support New Product Launches and International Expansion

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - NineSigma, the leading provider of open innovation solutions to Global 1000 companies, today announced that it has closed a $4 million financing round. The investment will be used to enhance NineSigma's current services and capabilities, as well as to support the company's aggressive international growth plans. The financing was led by current investor Blue Chip Venture Company and includes first-time investor River Cities Capital Funds. NineSigma also welcomes Dan Fleming, managing director of River Cities, to the company's board of directors.

Founded in 2000, NineSigma helps Global 1000 companies transform their innovation capabilities by connecting them with the leading innovators from around the world. NineSigma's proprietary process for open innovation enables companies to dramatically improve speed to market while lowering product development costs by accessing NineSigma's open network of innovators, the largest of its kind, spanning industries, geographies and technical disciplines.

"We are excited about the open innovation space, which is growing rapidly as companies continue to recognize the value of bringing in new technologies from outside of their organizations," said John McIlwraith, managing director of Blue Chip Venture Company and NineSigma board member. "NineSigma's depth of experience in managing open innovation projects for Global 1000 companies makes it the clear leader in connecting innovation-driven organizations with world-class external solution providers. The company has a broad reach into the global research and innovation community, a well-developed process to identify the most promising opportunities, and a deep understanding of how open innovation can best be applied within its customers' organizations."

"River Cities is pleased to partner with Blue Chip and NineSigma's management team to continue building NineSigma's unique capabilities and services in the rapidly expanding open innovation space," stated Fleming. "The company's proven business model and impressive management team and staff have enabled NineSigma to gain significant traction with industry-leading clients worldwide and have positioned the company for accelerated growth."

"We appreciate Blue Chip's ongoing confidence in our business model, and welcome the support of River Cities as we work to build upon the growing demand for open innovation services," said Paul Stiros, president and chief executive officer of NineSigma. "This is an exciting time to be part of NineSigma, and the additional resources will support our ongoing expansion -- in the U.S. and internationally -- and allow us to complete development of several new product offerings. Blue Chip and River Cities are great partners, and we will continue to leverage their knowledge and experience as we move the company forward."

About NineSigma

NineSigma partners with Global 1000 companies to help transform their innovation capabilities and overcome business and technology challenges by connecting them with solutions not readily available in the public domain. NineSigma's proprietary process for Open Innovation enables companies to dramatically improve speed to market while lowering product development costs. NineSigma's open network of innovators is the largest of its kind and spans industries, geographies and technical disciplines. Companies such as Xerox, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, Kraft, P&G, and Unilever engage NineSigma to build new innovation capabilities that leverage research and innovation globally to deliver greater value to their customers. NineSigma is a private company with offices in the United States, Belgium and Japan.

About Blue Chip Venture Company

Blue Chip Venture Company ( is a Cincinnati-based venture capital firm committed to helping entrepreneurs build lasting enterprises. The firm invests in early-stage companies in the healthcare, media & marketing, and software & services industries that have strong, experienced executive teams addressing fast-growing markets. Blue Chip primarily invests in companies seeking their first or second round of institutional capital. With $600 million under management, Blue Chip has invested in more than 100 companies over the past 15 years.

About River Cities

Formed in 1994, River Cities is a family of venture capital funds with offices in Cincinnati, Ohio and Raleigh, North Carolina. River Cities manages $390 million in four private equity funds that focus primarily on providing expansion-stage equity to healthcare and information technology companies. River Cities seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to build great companies based on sound business economics and market leadership potential, creating significant potential for growth and superior returns for both entrepreneurs and our investors. River Cities has made 76 investments and is currently investing out of its $120 million fourth fund.

River Cities' team brings to bear a broad range of functional expertise cultivated in prior careers in legal, accounting, consulting, engineering, operations management, and investment banking. In addition, the principals have assembled more than 140 years of combined private equity experience. This experience combined with the funds' performance to date demonstrates a proven proficiency in creating value for our portfolio companies and the investors we represent.

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