Online Agribusiness Powerhouse IRON Solutions Acquired

IRON Solutions® (, the leading online partner for farm and construction equipment manufacturers, dealers and personal sellers, announced at the Farm Progress Show today that it has been acquired by a new group of investors.

Spearheading the acquisition is the leading “Software-as-a-Service” (or SaaS) venture capital firm StarVest Partners ( StarVest is joined in a limited partnership with Dublin Capital Partners and Spring Mountain Capital and strategic investor GVIC Communications Corporation. Together, they have purchased 90 percent of IRON Solutions, Inc. for the sum of $15 million. Current investors in IRON Solutions will retain a 10 percent ownership stake in the new company, IRON Solutions.

“The acquisition is a very positive development for our customers and business partners in the agribusiness industry,” says Darwin Melnyk, President and CEO of IRON Solutions. “This new chapter in our company’s history of leadership and innovation was designed to accelerate the development and delivery of our services to our valued customers in the equipment industry.”

StarVest Partners established itself in the Software-as-a-Service sector by investing early in leading Software-as-a-Service companies such as NetSuite (NYSE: N). With today’s announcement, StarVest Partners and IRON Solutions plan to expand existing offerings aggressively into the dynamic “Data-as-a-Service” (DaaS) market.

Innovative companies use “Data-as-a-Service” strategies to make the integration of data into customer systems easier, and to make data more accessible via online services. “We are as committed as always to the agricultural, outdoor power and construction industries,” says Melnyk. “The acquisition of IRON Solutions by investors who have proven vision and growth objectives comes at the right time for the company and the equipment industry. We can now more rapidly address the changing needs of our dealer and manufacturing customers and the demand chain partners that keep equipment moving to and from end users.”

The commitment of IRON Solutions, and the company’s history of collaboration with equipment industry leaders is reflected in the depth and accuracy of the data that anchors their services. IRON Solutions works with equipment dealers, manufacturers and others to compile the Official Guides book series, which provides unparalleled market intelligence to the equipment industry. In addition, the company offers an online service where crop producers can buy, sell and appraise equipment (

IRON Solutions maintains the largest database of used equipment transaction information in the farm and construction equipment industry. The company is the undisputed leader in market data for more than 4,000 North American farm, outdoor power and construction equipment dealers, manufacturers, leading auctioneers, and financial institutions, insurers and government agencies.

StarVest has more than 10 years of experience in the “Software-as-a-Service” market sector and is a major investor in NetSuite, whose $1.6 billion IPO in 2007 elevated the company to national prominence.

“Acquiring IRON Solutions marks another important milestone for StarVest and its investors as we look to continue capitalizing on the large and growing ‘Data-as-a-Service’ market,” said Larry Bettino, general partner, StarVest Partners. “IRON Solutions is a perfect example of the tremendous value generated when data is coupled with technology.”

StarVest focuses on five core areas of technology enabled business services including SaaS, Internet Marketing Services, e-Commerce Services, Data Aggregation Services and Identity and Security Management. The firm invests in the most promising companies regardless of where they are geographically and has active investments across the U.S. including emerging technology hubs such as Cleveland, Austin, Scottsdale and Los Angeles.