UPDATE: Marketing Startup Closes Round of More Than $1M

Aaron Horvath, CEO, Mobilize Solutions

A company that created a marketing tool to help businesses engage with, and get new, customers by promoting their products on social media just closed out a round of more than $1 million with an investment from Leawood Venture Capital.

Although the local Cove Fund II did due diligence on this company, it chose not to invest in it. The Cove Fund II is a sequel fund to the Cove Fund 1, with HQ in Irvine at the Cove, the physical space of UCI’s innovation institute, known as Applied Innovation.

Mobilize Solutions, with HQ in Irvine, received a $250,000 investment from Leawood, oversubscribing the round. The rest of the funding came from private investors.

This is its second raise. Mobilize received an investment of $250,000 from the Cove Fund I, (a seed fund), two years ago.

Mobilize will be using the million-plus funding to as runway through the summer of 2019.

Leawood is a great fit for Mobilize, Manager of Corporate Communications Marshrae Harris told OC Startups Now.

“Leawood is a good fit for Mobilize as they have experience in the wireless industry and, in fact, their managing director is a former Verizon executive, so it’s an all around great fit for Mobilize,” Harris said.

Mike Benvenuti, a managing partner of the Cove Fund II, seconded that. He told OC Startups Now that Leawood has the ability to lead a Series A round and the Cove Fund II doesn’t, so Mobilize ended up in a better place. 

Both Mobilize and the VC firm have ties to Kansas City. Leawood has an office there and Mobilize’s leadership team previously worked there as well.

Aaron Horvath, Mobilize’s CEO; Neal Shaw, (CTO); and Sarah Lindquist, (COO), previously partnered with Leawood during their “start-up” phase of an e-commerce business at H&R Block. They essentially transitioned the tax preparation giant into an e-commerce business model, so people could start filing their taxes online.

“We grew that (division) from zero to $30 million in a short time frame with our very talented team,” Horvath said in a press release. “We look forward to doing it again.”

Leawood invests mainly in the mobile and wireless space.

“Mobilize has everything we look for – a disruptive solution, market traction, and strong support from a seasoned network of industry influencers,” Brendan Fallis, founding partner of Leawood Venture Capital, said in a press release.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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