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Rallyday Partners Backs Livefront, a Digital Product Consulting Firm

September 5, 2023

View the article in the Wall Street Journal

The investment is Rallyday’s first from its $205 million second fund

By Isaac Taylor

September 5, 2023 7:00 am ET

Rallyday Partners, a Denver-based private-equity firm, has made a growth-stage investment in digital product consulting firm Livefront.

The Minneapolis-based company designs and builds consumer-facing digital products with nearly 100 employees including designers, engineers and product managers.

Founded in 2001, Livefront has worked with companies like CVS and Target, helping them build, launch and grow digital products on consumer devices, including phones, tablets and smart speakers. For example, the company worked with General Mills to replace the arduous task of clipping cardboard box tops for the Box Tops for Education program, which allows consumers to earn cash for their local schools from certain product purchases. Users now have access to an app to keep track of their earnings.

“Most organizations have found that all of their traffic, all of their engagement over the last 10 years has continued to trend more towards mobile,” said Mike Bollinger, the founder and chief executive of Livefront. “So our bread and butter and our expertise is definitely in that native mobile app space.”

Livefront plans to use the capital from Rallyday to accelerate sales and marketing and increase its head count of designers and engineers. The company will also look for partnership opportunities to expand its reach into new markets, according to Bollinger.

Rallyday is taking a majority interest in the company with plans to expand it nationally. The transaction marks the first outside capital Livefront has raised.

Although Rallyday didn’t disclose the amount of its investment in Livefront, the firm typically invests $20 million to $50 million in companies it backs, according to its website.

“Livefront came to us [directly], not through an investment banker, which is the more typical route,” said Rallyday Co-founder and Managing Partner Ryan Heckman.

“Private equity has, in some cases, an earned reputation for not being great for entrepreneurs,” he added, referring to Livefront’s caution regarding accepting institutional capital.

All of Rallyday’s co-founders have either launched their own companies or have a background in private equity, a primary reason Livefront reached out to the firm, said Heckman, who founded and led surgical eyecare provider EVP Eyecare.

Livefront is the first investment that Rallyday has made out of its second fund, which closed in early 2022 with $205 million. Its first fund raised $153 million in 2020.

Rallyday has already exited two portfolio companies out of the debut fund and all the first fund’s limited partners backed the second fund as well, according to Heckman.

The firm’s earlier deals include Genesis Research, a data analytics company focused on the life sciences industry that Rallyday sold in 2021 to European private-equity firm GHO Capital, and Pyx Health, which Rallyday exited in August through an investment from TT Capital Partners.

Rallyday has also invested in Highbar Physical Therapy, a services provider the firm backed in 2022.

Write to Isaac Taylor at isaac.taylor@wsj.com

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