Plymouth Ventures Leads Kinney Group’s Growth Funding Round

Indiana has become a hotbed of venture-backed startups developing technology to make businesses run smoother, whether that’s a social network for blue collar workers, or an automated training tool, or cloud optimization software.

Last week, cloud software integrator Kinney Group, another Indianapolis-based startup working to improve business processes, announced it had raised a “multi-million growth capital round” led by Ann Arbor, MI-based Plymouth Ventures.

“Together, we have a significant opportunity to grow the company’s reach, customer base, and portfolio of offerings,” Jeff Barry, a partner at Plymouth Ventures, said in a statement. Barry will join Kinney Group’s board as part of the investment. Kinney Group is poised to capture significant market share for its offerings, he added, and Plymouth wanted to help it get there.

Kinney Group describes itself as firm that designs, builds, and integrates IT infrastructure, enabling the adoption of new cloud-based technologies, for government agencies and corporate clients. Jim Kinney, founder and CEO, says his firm targets IT-centric, mid-market Fortune 1000 companies and counts Splunk and AppDynamics among its customers.

Software, Kinney says, is today’s gold rush. “History shows the organizations that did the best during the gold rush of 1849 weren’t miners, they were the people selling pick axes and shovels,” he says. “In the context of next-generation cloud solution integration, that’s what we do. We’re the folks that provide support for software developers by harnessing the power of analytics.”

Kinney says his firm also helps software companies implement new technologies that may be outside of their expertise, or work out the kinks before going live with a new product. “A lot of software developers are not well schooled in automation,” he explains. “We free those organizations up to build their apps by reducing the amount of time it takes to repair issues, for instance. Or if they’re close to launch, we spend a lot of time trouble-shooting.”

Kinney Group, which earlier this year earned a spot on the CRN Fast Growth 150, a list that recognizes the fastest growing U.S. companies in the IT services sector, has seen “40 percent year over year growth organically,” Kinney says. He sees a window of opportunity to increase his company’s growth trajectory, and believes the investment from Plymouth Ventures will help the firm hit its goals.

“We will be the next big IT success story in Indianapolis,” he predicts. “I see us as being the next Appirio—we have very heavy aspirations. The market areas we’re in—cloud, analytics, data centers, Internet of Things—have deep year on year growth, and the ecosystem of traditional suppliers are not fit to take on the next generation of IT. There’s a market shortage right now, and I believe we’re addressing that.”

Kinney established what is now a 70-person company in 2006. Starting in data center automation ten years ago, Kinney Group was able to survive off revenues before seeking outside capital; Plymouth Ventures is its first outside investor.

“We have a Midwest sensibility, and we take an approach grounded in empathy,” Kinney adds. “We’re trying to harness the cloud to make life better. It might sound cliché, but that’s really what we do. We’re giving people their weekends back.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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