LIGHTJUMP ACQUISITION CORP
We will seek to acquire a technology or technology enabled business that directly or indirectly offers specific technology solutions or broader technology software and services.
We will seek to acquire established businesses of scale that we believe are poised for continued growth with capable management teams and proven unit economics, but potentially in need of financial, operational, strategic or managerial enhancement to maximize value.
- Technology, Software
Robert M. Bennett, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since July 2020 has over 30 years of private equity experience in technology, media and manufacturing businesses. Mr. Bennett has broad experience in building proprietary deal sourcing, raising financing and closing acquisition transactions and then growing those businesses and selling them to strategic acquirers. Since 1997, Mr. Bennett has served as Chief Executive Officer of the First Lexington organization, a private equity sponsor group that has led many transactions. From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Bennett was Chief Executive Officer of ViewMarket, Inc., a company he co-founded that acquired CultureMap, a digital media company. ViewMarket was subsequently sold to Gow Media, LLC in 2017. Since 2017, Mr. Bennett has also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jon D. Williams Cotillions, Inc., a national social education provider. From 1997 to 2019, Mr. Bennett was Chief Executive Officer of Long-Lok Fasteners Corporation, a next generation proprietary aerospace fasteners company in which he purchased two additional “bulk up” businesses, Bernic Screw Corp and A&W Screw Corp. The company was sold to Novaria Group, LLC in December 2019. Since 2003, Mr. Bennett has also served as Vice Chairman of Modulant Solutions, an IT services and software company that he co-founded and later acquired Product Data Integration Technologies, Inc. From 1999 to 2003, Mr. Bennett was Chairman of Springbow Solutions, Inc., a company he co-founded that acquired three IT service companies and provided next generation IT, portal and web services. The company was sold to Soflink, Inc. in 2005. In the 1990s, Mr. Bennett acquired and sold various media and manufacturing businesses.
William W. Bunker, our Vice-Chairman since July 2020 and Chief Financial Officer , co-founded the largest dating site of the 1990s, which became Match.com and was ultimately sold for $47.5 million to Ticketmaster in 1999. He served as President of the rebranded site Match.com during the transition. After Match.com, he became a co-founder of Critical Watch, an enterprise security company that was sold to Alert Logic in 2015. Mr. Bunker co-founded two seed stage VC funds, Silicon Valley Growth Syndicate in 2013 which he managed actively until 2016 and GrowthX which Mr. Bunker has operated since 2016. He has invested in over 150 startups.
Eric Ver Ploeg, our President since July 2020, has over 20 years of Silicon Valley high-tech startup and investment experience. From 2017 to 2020, Dr. Ver Ploeg was a Managing Director of Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners venture group, a growth stage focused venture capital investor, where he was involved with the firm’s investments in cloud infrastructure company Fastly (NYSE: FSLY), enterprise SaaS company Dynamic Signal, and cyber security company Anomali. From 2015 to early 2017, Dr. Ver Ploeg was acting as an independent venture investor. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Ver Ploeg was a Managing Director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, where he was involved in the funding of many private companies, including Spatial Wireless and OZ Communications. Dr. Ver Ploeg co-managed the quantitative hedge fund, Recursive Capital, and has made personal investments into private companies in the crypto, fintech, marketplace, and enterprise SaaS sectors. Before beginning his investment career, Dr. Ver Ploeg was the co-founder of two venture-backed startup companies, which raised multiple rounds of venture capital.
Patrick Brandt, our Vice President of Corporate Development since July 2020, has over 20 years of experience in enterprise software with a proven track record of leading companies through rapid growth, expansion, acquisition, and exits. Since 2016 Brandt has been President and a member of the Board of Directors of Shiftsmart, Inc. a labor management platform he co-founded. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the Board of OneDay, a venture backed video technology start-up. From 2009 to 2015, Brandt served as Chairman and CEO of Telligent Systems, Inc., which became Zimbra, Inc. following the acquisition of the Zimbra assets from VMWare (NYSE: VMW) in 2013; and then in 2015 sold Zimbra to Synacor (NASDAQ: SYNC) and Telligent to Verint Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT). Brandt was also the founder and CEO of Skywire Software in 2000. During his eight-year tenure at Skywire Software, Brandt led the company through organic growth and 11 acquisitions, including the leveraged buyout of Docucorp (NASDAQ: DOCC) in 2007. In July of 2008, Brandt led and negotiated the sale of Skywire Software’s enterprise software business to Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Skywire Software’s BPO business to Kubra, a private-equity backed outsourcer. Brandt remained on the Board of Directors, and served as Chairman of iWave Software, a spin-off of Skywire Software, until its sale to EMC (NYSE: EMC) in December 2012.
James W. Keyes, a member of the board of directors since December 2020, served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blockbuster, Inc. (a provider of movie and video game rental services) from 2007 to 2010, leading a successful restructuring of the business and subsequent sale to Dish Networks where he stayed on as a senior advisor to oversee Blockbuster’s integration. Prior to Blockbuster, from 2000-2005, Keyes served as President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Inc. The role of global CEO culminated a 21 year career in which he served multiple roles from Chief Financial Officer to Chief Operating Officer and finally CEO of the Fortune 500 company. After leading a successful transformation of 7-Eleven, he oversaw the company’s sale to Ito Yokado in 2005 with a tenfold improvement in market capitalization during his tenure. Mr. Keyes graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Political Science. He then earned an Masters in Business Administration from the Columbia Graduate School of Business. Mr. Keyes remains active at his alma maters, serving on the Board of Trustees for College of the Holy Cross since 2017 and on the Board of Overseers for the Columbia Business School since 2010. Mr. Keyes has been a member of Dallas Symphony Association’s Board of Governors since 2001, serving as Chairman of the Board from 2004 to 2006. Since 2005 he has served on the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Cooper Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness through research, education and advocacy. Since 2014 he has been on the Board of Directors of Murphy USA, which operates more than 1,470 retail gas stations in 26 states. He has also served on the American Red Cross National Board of Governors and chaired the American Red Cross National Philanthropic Board.
Jeffrey A. Rich, a member of the board of directors since December 2020, has served as an Operating Partner at Sunstone Partners, a San Mateo based growth equity firm, since 2015. Sunstone invests in high growth software and technology enabled services companies, focused in one of four sectors: Cloud and Enterprise IT, Healthcare IT, Internet and Marketing Services, and Cybersecurity. Mr. Rich also serves as the Managing Director of Plumtree Partners LLC, since 2006, which is his private family investment firm. Mr. Rich previously served as the Chief Executive Officer at Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. from 1998 to 2005, where he oversaw the company from its inception through its initial public offering to become a Fortune 500 company with over $5 billion of annual revenues and 50,000 employees worldwide. Mr. Rich currently serves on the board of directors of Cloudbakers Holdings, LLC, Avertium Holdings, LLC, Nexa Receptionists Holdings, LLC, OSF Global Services, Inc., and BP3 Global, Inc. He also serves on the boards of The Horatio Alger Association, Best Buddies International and the TD Jakes Foundation, each a non-profit organization. He has previously served as a Director of OutMatch Holdings, LLC, Onica Holdings, LLC, Fruition Partners, Inc., Zimbra, Inc., Digital Generation, Inc., RoyaltyShare, Inc., Pegasus Systems, Inc., Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., The Dallas Symphony Association and The University of Michigan Business School. Mr. Rich holds a BBA degree from the University of Michigan Business School and is a member of The Horatio Alger Association and Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Andrew D. Hamer, a member of the board of directors since December 2020, has served as Chief Financial Officer for Velodyne Lidar (NASDAQ: VLDR), the leading lidar provider, since April of 2019. Velodyne Lidar completed its merger with Graf Industrial Corp., a SPAC, in September 2020. He is a seasoned finance executive with over 25 years of financial leadership experience at public and pre-public technology companies. From 2010 to 2016, Mr. Hamer served as the Chief Financial Officer of ON24 Inc. where he was involved with the companies pivot to a SaaS based business model and capital raising efforts. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Hamer was the Chief Financial Officer of Keynotes Systems (NASDAQ: KEYN) where he was involved in the company’s international expansion that included the 2006 acquisition of Sigos Systems GMBH. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Hamer was the Director of Finance at Excite@Home where was a core member in the team completing @Home Corporation’s IPO in 1997 and subsequent acquisition and integration of Excite Inc. in 1999. Mr. Hamer graduated with a Master of Accounting at Florida International University, Miami, Florida in 1991; a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York in 1986; and an Associate of Arts in Business from County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey in 1984.