Gilbert’s Rockbridge Growth Equity Adds to Tech Portfolio

Dan Gilbert’s Rockbridge Growth Equity, a Detroit-based private equity firm founded in 2007, announced last month that it has acquired Tampa, FL-based Triad Retail Media, which helps companies like Walmart and eBay monetize websites through advertising. Boston-based Falcon Investment Advisors partnered with Rockbridge on the transaction, the value of which was undisclosed.

Kevin Prokop, who co-founded Rockbridge with Gilbert and Brian Hermelin, says the firm is “up the [capital] continuum” from Detroit Venture Partners, a VC firm that is also a part of the “Quicken family of companies,” and is focused on larger deals with later-stage companies, particularly in the financial, marketing, and business tech sectors. He describes companies that are $100- to $200-million-dollar enterprises as Rockbridge’s sweet spot.

“We’re interested in fast-growing, tech-enabled service businesses looking not just for capital, but to tap into the expertise here,” Prokop adds.

In the five years since Rockbridge Growth Equity has been in existence, Prokop says it has put about $300 million of equity capital to work building a portfolio of eight companies, which includes Northcentral University, a 100 percent online university based in Arizona that offers doctoral and Master’s degrees; an Atlanta-based niche ecommerce business called Purchasing Power; and Connect America, what Prokop describes as the fastest-growing medical alert company in the country.

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