Steve Young’s Firm HGGC

HGGC is an investment equities firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California, specializing in leveraged buyouts and growth investments; it was founded in 2007 by former NFL great Steve Young and several other businessmen. The firm has participated in roughly 19 billion dollars worth of transactions since it began.

HGGC looks for mid-market companies to invest in that they believe can be enhanced in value; they are all about using their expertise and contacts to form partnerships with founders, sponsors, management groups and others. Their philosophy is that the time for creativity, innovation and growth is now, and they believe that the combined talents of multiple people can create a whole greater than the sum of its parts and that equity value will follow.

CEO Rich Lawson

While the best-known member of the HGGC team is Steve Young, the CEO of the firm is Rich Lawson. Along with Young, he is a co-founder and has been involved with the company at every stage from inception to today. Outside of work, he is a generous philanthropist.

HGGC works with General Atlantic

HGGC is merging its backed company MyWebGrocer, which it acquired in 2013, with General Atlantic-backed company Mi9 Retail. Mi9 develops software that retailers can use to give their customers an integrated in-store and online experience; clients of the merged firm will include major brands Nike, Samsonite, Saks Fifth Avenue and others.

The merger is being done to give companies a chance in the fight against Amazon, which dominates online retailing largely because of their enormous research and development budget. With Mi9 software, companies have a better chance of being able to survive a “retail apocalypse” scenario such as the one iconic retailer Sears faced recently when it filed for bankruptcy.

The team at HGGC believes that retail is at a tipping point where it could become totally dominated by Amazon, and they are fighting back. Mi9 not only provides a user-friendly and unified customer-service experience, it provides retailers with valuable analytics and data. In short, it’s everything they need to sell online and through traditional cash-register transacting.