Marketing Firm Buy’s Triangle iContact

News & Observer writer David Ranii reports on the $169M acquisition of iContact by Maryland-based Vocus, Inc. iContact, a leading provider of email and social marketing software to SMBs has been one of the Triangle’s fastest growing companies. Publicly traded Vocus (NASDAQ: VOCS) is provides a software marketing suite used by companies to reach and influence customers online via social networks and the media. iContact’s software will continue to be sold as a standalone product with by plans by Vocus to integrate it into its market suite, according to iContact CEO Ryan Allis.

Read the full article from the News & Observer.

iContact Named Second on List of “Fast50” Companies by the Triangle Business Journal

iContact announced today that it had been recognized by the Triangle Business Journal as number two on its list of the top 50 fastest-growing private companies in the Raleigh-Durham area. This marks the fourth straight year that iContact has been named to the Fast 50, up 14 spots overs last year. Winners are selected based on revenue and profitability from 2008 to 2010, as analyzed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. “We’re delighted to stand out among some of the nation’s most innovative and successful companies that call the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina home,” said iContact CEO Ryan Allis. “This honor is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, who continually work to deliver new, unique ways for iContact customers to create business value through email and social media.”

Read the full press release from iContact.

From Dumpster Diving to Running a $50 Million Company

Writing for Time, iContact CEO describes the formation and early days of iContact. Having caught the entrepreneurial bug at an early age, Ryan Allis left the University of North Carolina in the summer of 2003 and created iContact with co-founder Aaron Houghton. The duo bootstrapped the company in the early days, including working without a salary and living in the office for a few months, according to Allis. Reinvesting revenues, the company grew steadily and secured a $500K seed round financing from IDEA Fund Partners. The company in-turn invested primariyl on pay-per-click adds and quickly scaled to $2.9M in sales by 2006. In 2010 the company closed on a $40M round led by JMI Equity, which it hopes to use to grow annual revenues to $500M.

Read the full article from Time.

Email Marketing Leader iContact Introduces iContact Free Edition

iContact announced today it is launching iContact Free Edition. This no-cost version of its flagship email marketing and social marketing tool makes it easy for individuals, community organizations and small businesses to stay in touch with their subscribers without the need for a large marketing budget. “Today, we are announcing a major new product launch for iContact designed to make email marketing and social marketing available to everyone in both their professional and personal lives,” said Ryan Allis, iContact CEO. “We want to provide easy access to free email marketing and social marketing tools backed by world-class service.”

Read the full press release from iContact.

IDEA Fund Partners’ First-Ever Investment Proves to be Win-Win

IDEA Fund Partners’ First-Ever Investment Proves to be Win-Win

IDEA Fund Partners, LLC, an RTP-based venture capital firm providing seed and early-stage financing to technology companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, is pleased to announce the recent $40 million Series B venture capital funding of portfolio company iContact from JMI Equity of Baltimore. IDEA Fund Partners (IFP) was the first institutional investor in iContact, investing $500K in May 2006 as the firm’s first-ever investment out of IDEA Fund I.

IFP has invested a total of approximately $1.5 million in iContact since the initial round in 2006. Following the initial investment, IFP Venture Partner Merrette Moore served as a board member, and more recently an observer, working closely with the company’s management in these roles.

“We are extremely proud to be a part of iContact’s success and to have contributed to building a company that not only has experienced impressive growth over the recent years but also serves as such a strong citizen of the community,” said IFP Venture Partner Merrette Moore. “Four years ago we saw the potential and were incredibly impressed by the team led by Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton, who were 22 and 25 at the time. We made an early bet that has proven to provide a great return in many ways.”

“IDEA Fund Partners took a chance on us when no one else would,” said iContact CEO Ryan Allis. “Not only did they believe in us but they were the only investor at the time to structure a deal that was both equally attractive to us and them. We are proud to share in our successes with them.”

iContact is poised to become the new standard in email marketing. The company has a proven, industry-leading solution, impressive customer roster and this most recent investment will allow them to accelerate their global reach. This latest round of investment in iContact also provides a partial recapitalization and liquidity event for its existing investors.

About IDEA Fund Partners
Located in Research Triangle Park, IDEA Fund Partners provides seed and early stage equity funding along with company building expertise to IT, materials technologies and medical device companies in North Carolina, as well as the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Currently investing out of its first fund, IDEA Fund Partners has invested in six companies since 2006. Learn more at www.ideafundpartners.com.

About iContact
With more than 65,000 customers, iContact provides email marketing for small to mid-sized businesses and non-profits. iContact allows for easy creation of email newsletters, surveys and autoresponders. Market leaders like Vonage, International Paper, LG Electronics, and ReMax, use iContact to build stronger relationships with their customers and prospects at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.

iContact, designed for the small business market, is available at www.iContact.com;  iContactPlus, a suite of custom and managed services designed for mid-sized organizations, is available at www.iContactPlus.com.