DC Tech Becomes $73M Richer
Did we miss the memo that this was DC tech funding week? Three firms announced funding rounds and they have big plans for the money.
In the last 18 months, Optoro, whose cloud software and e-commerce platform allow retailers to sell returned, overstocked and open-box products, has more than doubled head count to over 200 and tripled revenue. Co-founder Tobin Moore, with co-founder Adam Vitarello, says the DC company’s $50M Series C round will allow the team to expand its selling categories and its client base from the top 20 retailers to the top 100 nationally and internationally.
The round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and joined by Generational Investment Management. Existing investors Revolution Growth, Grotech, and SWaN & Legend Venture Partners also took part. Tobin says despite there being capital available, entrepreneurs need to find investors interested in the company’s niche who have contacts in that niche.
In other funding news, Canvas raised $9M this week, bringing its total to $19M. Co-founder Jim Quigley says the money, which came from River Cities Capital Funds, Osage Venture Partners and Camber Capital, will go toward growing sales and marketing. Canvas, based in Reston, has been setting up channel partnerships with major wireless carriers like Verizon and Sprint to sell its cloud-based software service and mobile app platform. Wooing more channel partners and growing the customer base 100% annually are two big goals, says Jim.
Jim, who never raised money before starting Canvas in 2009, says the process is now easier with four years of revenue growth, customers and investors who already have some skin in Canvas. (Having his daughters by his side must also help.) Canvas is considered the leader in mobile apps for collecting and using business information, a market that barely existed when the company launched. Canvas will also continue growing its charitable arm, known as AnteUp. (Employees donate their time, skills and the Canvas service to a deserving nonprofit every year.) Jim says he’s also focused on company culture and recently hired local startup veteran Kathy Penny as the company’s chief people officer.
TrackMaven also announced its $14M Series B round (made up of debt and equity) this week from NEA, Bowery Capital, Silicon Valley Bank and others. The 40-person, DC-based company was launched two years ago to provide competitive intelligence for digital marketers. Chief maven Allen Gannett says the money will be used to hire sales, customer success and engineering people. Allen said the company didn’t need to raise money but “the additional capital allows TrackMaven to better serve its customers and develop more features.” Having a cuddly mascot by your side also helps with growth.