Seaport Capital (“Seaport”), a New York-based private equity firm, announced today that it has made a strategic investment in Rutherford & Associates, Inc. (“Rutherford”) to support the continued growth of the company. Rutherford provides an end-to-end software solution for beverage distributors, including route accounting, warehouse management, forecasting, and mobile sales capabilities through its proprietary software, eoStar. Seaport funded the investment through Seaport Capital Partners V, a $230 million private equity fund.
Since 2001, Rutherford’s scalable eoStar platform has served bottlers and beverage distributors of all sizes, from a handful of product types and routes to the full complexity and scalability requirements of the most demanding enterprises in the world. eoStar’s on-premise and SaaS-based business management solutions provide a full overview of the clients’ entire operations while improving cost efficiencies and optimizing overall business performance. Rutherford continues to develop cutting-edge technology supported by its highly regarded professional services and customer service teams, which demonstrate daily their deep domain knowledge of and care for clients’ operations.
“We’ve been looking for the right strategic partner to take our business to the next level,” said company founder Mike Rutherford. “Seaport has a proven track record of providing the necessary growth capital and operational resources to successfully grow recurring-revenue businesses such as ours. I am looking forward to working with Seaport to continue developing our market-leading platform to better serve and expand our client base worldwide.”
Seaport Capital Partner Scott McCormack discussed the investment saying, “We’ve been following Rutherford’s business for some time now, and we’ve consistently been impressed with their long-standing entrepreneurship and focus on building a superior software platform. Rutherford’s management team has been successful in attracting a wide range of clients, and we are excited at the opportunity to grow their customer base.”
Simultaneously with Seaport’s investment, the company announced seasoned technology executive Jim Clishem as CEO. Mr. Clishem brings extensive management experience building and growing various software and infrastructure businesses. “I’m very proud and excited to join the Rutherford team. I look forward to applying my experience in order to grow our capabilities and execute on the company’s strategic plans while continually improving how we serve our clients. Rutherford has achieved great success over the years, and I’m looking forward to building upon this success to improve the business operations for all of our clients around the globe,” said Mr. Clishem.
The existing Rutherford leadership team remains in place and is invigorated to work with Jim to grow the business to become the premiere provider of Route Accounting and Warehouse Management Software in the industry. Founder Mike Rutherford, in particular, will move from CEO into the fulltime role of CTO to focus his efforts on providing the company visionary technical guidance to improve the eoStar platform today and into the future.
About Rutherford and Associates
Rutherford’s eoStar software is a comprehensive ERP route accounting software solution that leverages .Net and SQL Server technology from Microsoft and fully integrates key pieces of functionality such as Warehouse Management, Voice Picking, Purchase Forecasting, Surveys, Web Order Entry, and Mobile Sales and Delivery applications into a single database. The end result is crystal clear visibility into a modern beverage distribution organization’s KPIs and, ultimately, better efficiency throughout the organization. Rutherford’s eoStar® Software is utilized by some of the most successful modern beverage distribution organizations across North America. Rutherford is based in Holland, Michigan, and is located approximately two hours northeast of Chicago. For additional information, visit www.eostar.com/eostar
About Seaport Capital
Founded in 1997, Seaport Capital is a lower middle-market buyout firm that invests in communication infrastructure and services, business and information services and media companies (the “Focus Sectors”). Seaport’s senior investment team has over 100 years of combined experience investing in the Focus Sectors, and the team has worked collectively for over 15 years. Seaport typically invests $10 to $30 million of equity capital in companies generating EBITDA between $3 and $15 million, with the goal of maximizing the return on invested capital.
Seaport’s substantial industry expertise and investing experience enable it to develop successful strategies; its relationships and team help achieve them. Nearly all of Seaport’s platform investments have been owned by founders or entrepreneurs seeking a collaborative institutional partner to provide the financial and operational resources to grow their businesses and execute on a successful strategic plan.