Queen City Angels Portfolio Company T-Pro Solutions Acquired by Blacksmith Applications

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T-Pro Solutions, based in Columbus, Ohio, provides advanced trade promotion optimization (TPO) solutions to CPG manufacturing companies of all sizes and categories, including Kellogg’s, Snyder’s-Lance, Welch’s, Sabra, Beech-Nut, Land O’Lakes and Ventura Foods. T-Pro’s predictive and prescriptive analytics have resulted in an incremental three to five percent annual return on trade spending for customers. Combined, T-Pro and Blacksmith manage more than $10 billion in annual promotional spend.

“This acquisition is another victory for Queen City Angels (QCA), our member investors and the collaborative efforts of Ohio’s angel investment community," said Tony Shipley, Chair of QCA & Vice Chairman of the Angel Capital Association.

Queen City Angels (QCA) announced the acquisition of T-Pro Solutions, a provider of trade promotion optimization (TPO) solutions, by Lawrence, Mass.-based Blacksmith Applications. QCA participated in two rounds of funding for T-Pro, the first closing in the summer of 2015 in collaboration with Rev1 Ventures and the Ohio Tech Angel. Fund Terms of the acquisition by Blacksmith Applications were not disclosed.

T-Pro Solutions, based in Columbus, Ohio, provides advanced TPO solutions to CPG manufacturing companies of all sizes and categories, including Kellogg’s, Snyder’s-Lance, Welch’s, Sabra, Beech-Nut, Land O’Lakes and Ventura Foods. The company’s software empowers customers to make more informed and more profitable decisions related to in-store marketing investments. T-Pro’s predictive and prescriptive analytics have resulted in an incremental three to five percent annual return on trade spending for customers. Combined, T-Pro and Blacksmith manage more than $10 billion in annual promotional spend.

“From the beginning, QCA and other angel groups were excited about T-Pro Solutions and the leadership team, which really understands the and the challenges faced by CPG companies of managing and optimizing their trade investment” said Tony Shipley, Chair of QCA. “T-Pro was fast out of the gate with several strong customers, such as Kellogg’s, and Perfetti van Melle, that expressed confidence in the company’s technology. This acquisition is a tremendous opportunity for T-Pro and Blacksmith to become the market leader in trade promotion management and optimization.”

Shipley added, “This acquisition is also another victory for QCA, our member investors and the collaborative efforts of Ohio’s angel investment community. It is an example of what can happen when you rally the needed resources around an excellent technology and team. We want to congratulate Terry Ziegler and the entire T-Pro Solutions team, and look forward to watching them continue to grow as part of Blacksmith.”

Blacksmith will retain the T-Pro brand and continue to offer the TPO solution to new clients seeking a user-friendly set of tools for data harmonization, real-time post-event analytics, and constraint-based optimized planning. Terry Ziegler, CEO of T-Pro Solutions, will join Blacksmith Applications' senior leadership team as General Manager of the T-Pro product division.

“The professional resources from the angel community across Ohio, beyond the financial support, are major factors in our company’s success over the past several years,” said Ziegler. “We are excited for the next stage of our adventure as we work with Blacksmith to build the industry leader in trade promotion and optimization solutions.”

About Queen City Angels
Queen City Angels is a group of more than 70 experienced and accredited investors in the Cincinnati and surrounding region. QCA members, which include former C-level executives and entrepreneurs, evaluate opportunities and provide on-going mentoring to young businesses with exceptional growth potential. QCA members typically donate over $5,000,000 per year in pro bono services consisting of mentoring, coaching, and guiding regional entrepreneurs to improve their success and the success of angel investors. Since 2000, QCA members have directly invested $65 million in 90 portfolio companies. The total capital invested in these companies, including QCA members’ capital, syndication partners’ capital, follow-on venture capital funds and venture debt is in excess of $580 million. CB Insights ranked QCA second out of 370 national angel organizations. For more information, visit http://www.qca.com

About T-Pro Solutions:
T-Pro Solutions provides best-in-class trade promotion optimization solutions to CPG manufacturers in retail markets. Our suite of AI software applications allows customers to more efficiently analyze and manage trade promotion investments. We aim to be the trusted partner in revolutionizing marketing investments by delivering transformational insights to drive business success for our valued customers. Learn more about our manufacturer trade promotion optimization platform: https://t-prosolutions.com/

About Blacksmith Applications:
Blacksmith Applications is a SaaS technology company offering TPM software and consulting to CPG retail and foodservice organizations. Our applications, FORGE and GoSimple, enable program creation, claim settlement, and boasts powerful analytical capabilities. Our customer list includes organizations such as General Mills, Unilever Food Solutions, Conagra Brands, The KraftHeinz Company and more. The Blacksmith Applications team is comprised of professionals with decades of CPG experience and we stand apart from ordinary solutions not only in the capabilities of our application but also in our industry knowledge. Find out more at http://www.blacksmithapplications.com.

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Scott Jacobs

Matt Shachter
@QueenCityAngels
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