Orange County Business Journal

Vinny Smith’s VC firm Backs OC Software Company

Chris Casacchia Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vinny Smith’s Toba Capital has taken a stake in another Orange County company.

San Juan Capistrano-based software maker Cirro has raised $8 million in its first institutional fundraising round, led by the Irvine-based venture capitalist firm launched last year by the former chairman and chief executive of Quest Software Inc.

Other backers include existing investors Frost Venture Partners and Corona del Mar-based Miramar Venture Partners.

Stuart Frost, Cirro’s founder, launched Frost Venture last year as an incubator and “fund aggregator” to start and nurture companies. Frost Venture has seven companies in its portfolio and has raised about $25 million in angel funding, Frost told the Business Journal in June, adding that it plans to raise another $40 million or so.

Cirro will use the proceeds to fund product development and the hiring of sales, marketing and other professional services.

The company, which makes software geared for Big Data, analytics and cloud computing, has now raised more than $10.5 million from angels and venture capitalists since its inception in 2010.

Cirro has been closely followed in data center circles for its promising technology that’s garnered plenty of industry accolades and awards.

The company also fits into Toba’s game plan of investing in the “next generation of IT infrastructure.”

Smith, who cashed out some $800 million after Dell Inc. acquired Quest last year for $2.4 billion, has grown Toba into OC’s largest venture capital firm in less than a year.

The Business Journal in August reported that Toba closed its largest deal to date, taking stakes in a bundle of 10 companies from undisclosed sellers for some $150 million, according to sources close to the deal.

The buy doubled Toba’s portfolio to 20 companies and more than $200 million in investment.

Smith has said he plans to put another $200 million into Toba’s inaugural fund.

Toba’s other local investments include tow Irvine companies: security software maker SecureAuth Corp. and Alteryx Inc., a fast-growing data analytics software company led by industry veteran Dean Stoecker.

In mid-May, Toba-backed SignNow Inc., a Newport Beach company that provides digital notary and other signature services, was sold for more than $10 million to Campbell-based Barracuda Networks Inc.