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RiseSmart Secures $11 Million Round Led by Accel-KKR to Accelerate Market-Share Growth and Product Innovation

The growth equity investment will help RiseSmart drive positive disruption in Human Capital Management (HCM) with its technology-led, results-driven solutions for outplacement and career management.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- RiseSmart, the leading provider of enterprise career management solutions, today announced an $11 million growth equity round led by new investor Accel-KKR.  Series A investor Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) also participated in this round.  The investment will enable the company to rapidly expand its sales and marketing organizations to build market share, enhance and differentiate its next-generation cloud-based outplacement platform, and scale its operations.

"Corporate outplacement is a billion-dollar business in the United States.  Accel-KKR's investment is further validation that this market is embracing new approaches to outplacement services that leverage the latest technologies and are tightly focused on results," said RiseSmart Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Sathe. "With this investment we are poised to do nothing less than lead a revolution in outplacement and career management."

Sathe compared the changes now coming to outplacement to those that have in recent years transformed recruiting, onboarding, training and other categories within the Human Capital Management (HCM) space.

"Just as human resources departments have embraced technology, automation and innovative service models at the front end of the employee lifecycle, we are now seeing this wave of change rapidly embrace the back-end of the employee lifecycle – specifically, offboarding and outplacement," Sathe said.

"It's a casebook example of business transformation through positive disruption. Over the past decade, we've watched online services in numerous fields use advanced technology to drive a superior value proposition and customer experience. These next-generation providers have grown to dominate the distribution of news, music and books, and make massive inroads in retailing, communications and banking," he said.

"That same kind of seismic change is happening now in outplacement, as Fortune 500 companies and others rush toward a results-driven model that is more efficient, accessible, engaging and affordable. This funding gives us the resources we need to take full advantage of market shifts we see as inevitable and industry-changing."

Greg Williams, managing director of Accel-KKR, will join RiseSmart's board of directors.  Williams cited the company's superior management team, world-class client base, disruptive service delivery model and industry-leading technology platform as key factors in Accel-KKR's decision to invest in RiseSmart.

"Accel-KKR has significant interest and a number of investments in the HCM space, and in this capacity we have had the opportunity to observe RiseSmart's progress for some time," Williams said. "RiseSmart has a unique service model that differentiates the company in the marketplace, and as a result, it has demonstrated a consistent ability to earn the business of Fortune 500 clients, as well as that of companies of all sizes.  With the help of Accel-KKR's investment, we fully expect RiseSmart's momentum in gaining market share to grow dramatically."

RiseSmart has raised a total of $24.85 million since its founding in 2007, including previous investments from NVP, Storm Ventures and angel investors.

About RiseSmart

RiseSmart is a leader in enterprise career management solutions that drive employee engagement, improve retention, and burnish employer brands.  Through its results-oriented outplacement solution, RiseSmart Transition, and its employee-centric career-management platform, RiseSmart Compass, RiseSmart helps high-performing organizations successfully cultivate passionate, engaged employees and loyal alumni ambassadors. RiseSmart's innovative approach to human capital management has earned the company a wide range of awards and recognition from organizations including Bersin by Deloitte, Brandon Hall Group, the Best in Biz, Gartner Inc., the Golden Bridge Awards, LAROCQUE, the Momentum Index, Red Herring, the San Francisco Business Times, SiliconIndia, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, the Stevie Awards and TIE.  For more information about how enterprise career management can help you, visit http://www.risesmart.com

About Accel-KKR

Accel-KKR is a technology-focused private equity firm with over $2.3 billion in assets under management.  The firm invests primarily in software and IT-enabled businesses well positioned for top-line and bottom-line growth.  At the core of Accel-KKR's investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value through significant resources available through the Accel-KKR network.  Accel-KKR focuses on middle market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions from minority growth investments to buyouts, recapitalizations, divisional carveouts and going-private transactions.  The firm has offices in Menlo Park, Atlanta and London.  For more information, please visit www.accel-kkr.com.

About Norwest Venture Partners

Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a multi-stage venture and growth equity investment firm that has partnered with entrepreneurs to build great businesses for more than 50 years. The firm manages more than $3.7 billion in capital and has funded over 500 companies since inception. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., NVP has subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. NVP makes early to late-stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including: technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services and healthcare. For more information visit: www.nvp.com.

About Storm Ventures

Storm Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on being the first or an early investor in enterprise IT companies in mobile, SaaS and cloud.  Storm was founded by a seasoned group of industry veterans with the common vision of sharing our collective experience, passion and energy to be a trusted advisor to the talented and driven entrepreneurs that partner with us. Storm has invested in over 100 companies including Airespace (Cisco), Appcelerator, Com2uS (Korea IPO), EchoSign (Adobe), IML (Taiwan IPO), Kidaro (Microsoft), Lightera (Ciena), Marketo, MobileIron, NetScaler (Citrix), Rafter, SandForce (LSI), Sanera (McData/Brocade), and Sierra Monolithics (Semtech). For more information visit: www.stormventures.com

SOURCE RiseSmart

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