Here at ExitEvent, summer 2017 has been all about Big Top. We announced in June that American Underground had acquired the popular event series, and that ExitEvent would run it.
Since that time, we’ve talked to dozens of hiring managers at local tech companies along with jobseekers in the region and new to it. We’ve collected pages worth of feedback and started to make some changes aimed at positioning Big Top as the best resource in the Triangle for finding talent or finding a job. First up, was our relaunch of the Big Top website in July—a lot more functionality will be added in months to come.
Perhaps most exciting for our team is the first Big Top event under our leadership, coming tonight to The Frontier at Research Triangle Park. We’ve made some subtle changes—switching up the entertainment, food and beverage options. But we have the same high quality of local tech companies as ever, with a few newcomers to the region as well. The event is sold out, but we hope to announce the next Big Top in the weeks to come.
Below, you’ll find details on the 10 companies pitching the crowd tonight. But first, some high level stats on the collective group:
- They provide real estate tech, FinTech, product management software, air filter delivery, healthy energy drinks, telemedicine for mental health, a digital prescription drug app and an on-demand workforce for business processes.
- >850 (HQ) employees work for them.
- Collectively, they’ve raised more than $150 million in venture capital.
- Four are headquartered outside the region but with local offices.
- Three are new to the Triangle in 2017 and hoping to grow large presences here.
- Three have a global presence.
- Three are in Raleigh. Six are in Durham. One has a presence in Durham and Clayton.
MEET THE COMPANIES:
A tech-enabled behavioral health provider with licensed practitioners in all 50 states. This company is focused on improving overall medical outcomes using therapists and behavioral coaches, telemedicine, software and analytics.
Location: New York HQ but locally at American Underground @Main in Durham
Employee count: 150-200, 3 in Durham
Recent news: Just this week, AbleTo announced a $36.6 million series D funding round, with plans to double in size this year and triple next. It’s in the process of opening its first office outside New York in Durham. VP of Consumer Engagement Jonathan Commons says he plans to build an office of 10 digital marketers and data scientists here over the next six months, with the potential to add a local call center. Talent from the local universities, CROs, data science and life science communities are the draw, he says.
Backgrounder: AbleTo was founded in 2008 and has grown into a leading mental health telemedicine offering for insurance companies and employers to provide to customers and employees. The company has raised more than $55 million in venture capital.
Video describing AbleTo’s work with patients
Online advertising platform for Realtors and small businesses
Location: American Tobacco Campus in Durham
Employee count: 52
Latest news: This startup ranked #173 on the 2017 Inc. 500, hitting $14.1 million in 2016 revenue after 2,443% growth over the prior three years. Check out this fun video made by the team to celebrate.
National press: TheStreet covered its latest real estate agency partnership just this week.
Backgrounder: Adwerx spun out of ReverbNation in early 2015. Learn how a real estate advertising tool was born out of a technology platform for musicians in this ExitEvent piece.
Combining technology, a dedicated managed workforce and impact sourcing model to find the meaning in routine repetitive data work. CloudFactory powers “killer product features” and helps train next-gen artificial intelligence/maching learning algorithms.
Location: U.K. headquarters but locally in American Underground @Main in Durham
Employee count: 200 FT (in Durham, UK, Nepal & Kenya) + 3,000+ cloudworkers
Recent news: CloudFactory landed $7.3 million in May from a unique set of funders excited by its social impact focus—that helped it open a new office to accommodate staff growth in Durham and move its HQ to the UK. Learn more about CloudFactory’s “triple bottom line” approach to business in this ExitEvent piece from June.
National press: CloudFactory recently made the national press in Nepal, where it employs 1,280 cloudworkers. Check out the piece in The Nepali Times.
Backgrounder: Sears tells the story of his love for Nepal and admiration of the technology community there in this ExitEvent piece from 2014.
Subscription-based HVAC air filter delivery service that uses a proprietary web-based platform to provide a convenient solution to a common household problem—remembering when to change an air filter.
Location: Downtown Raleigh
Employee count: 47
Recent news: More funding news! FilterEasy raised $6.9 million in late July, bringing its total funding to $11.4 million. The funds helped the startup move into a larger office on Fayetteville Street in the heart of Raleigh, and will allow the hiring boom happening now.
National press: Check out coverage from Forbes last year.
Backgrounder: FilterEasy founders Thad Tarkington and Kevin Barry hoped to solve a seemingly universal problem for homeowners and rental property owners back in 2014. No one remembered to change their air filters. The solution was a subscription and delivery service that, in partnership with one of the largest filter manufacturers in the world, ensured customers would never have the problem again. FilterEasy’s subscriber base and revenue grew 300 percent in 2016, and 2017 is tracking to break that record. Here’s the back story from ExitEvent.
At the intersection of artificial intelligence and real estate tech, First identifies when people are going to move, and develops products to change the game for real estate professionals.
Location: American Underground @Main in Durham
Employee count: 24
Growth: Customers in 42 states and 20% month over month revenue growth
Recent news: Big highlights include an enterprise partnership with the largest real estate franchisor in the world and an important product launch coming in September.
National press: First has received several innovation awards in the real estate industry—most notably, it was named one of 20 Swanepoel Trendsetters of 2016.
Backgrounder: Here’s how a pair of first-time founders with interesting technology landed on an industry in dire need of it. A year ago, the company started to get traction by not just providing helpful data, but instead a full platfrom to help Realtors take advantage of data and relationships to drive sales. Read up on those moves here.
Consultancy providing custom software solutions to Wall Street banks and other financial institutions.
Location: Boston HQ but local office at Gridworks (coworking space) in downtown Durham
Employee count: 60 globally, 4 in Durham
Recent news: The Durham office is pretty significant for the company because the goal is to hire as many people as possible in the talent-rich Triangle. According to Kyle Stanek (spotlighted here), who moved to Durham from Boston to open the office this year, Durham could become the company HQ if it can reach a goal of hiring 50 people here in coming years. First up is finding senior team leaders. Then they’ll hit the college fairs this fall.
National press: This company keeps a low profile, focusing on making clients like JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse look good.
Backgrounder: At 20 years old, Galatea isn’t necessarily a startup, but Stanek says the culture feels that way. The company does creative and innovative custom technology projects for the world’s largest broker dealers, and it can’t grow fast enough to meet client demand. It also has small offices in London and Tampa.
Digital marketing solution for asset managers in the financial services sector—builder of super cool websites and web tools using big data and automation.
Location: Midtown Raleigh
Employee count: 170 nationally, 8 in Raleigh
Customers: Dozens on four continents
Recent news: The lure of high quality engineering talent drew Kurtosys to open its fourth office in Raleigh this month, helped by a recent $8 million funding round led by Silicon Valley’s True Ventures. More in the backgrounder.
National press: Kurtosys was nominated a Best Technology Solution for its size in the Investment Week Fund Services Awards. Winners will be named in October.
Backgrounder: London is this FinTech company’s home base, but it’s expanding fast in engineering talent hubs like Cape Town and now Raleigh. Here’s the story behind the new office and growth plans here in the Triangle.
Video of the company’s culture at offices in London and Cape Town
All-natural, healthy energy drink made of fruit juices and brewed guayusa, an Amazonian super leaf packed with naturally occurring caffeine and more antioxidants than green tea.
Location: American Underground in Durham + manufacturing facility in Clayton
Employee count: 30
Retail footprint: 650 stores (but doubling this year)
Latest news: Mati has closed two $2.5 million funding rounds this year, the latest just this month. Check out this ExitEvent timeline for a full history of the company.
National press: Founder Tatiana Birgisson was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the food and beverage category early this year. Listen to her interview on the Under 30 Podcast.
Software platform that helps self-insured companies and their employees reduce prescription drug costs and, with a mobile and desktop app, become smarter consumers of healthcare.
Location: American Underground @Main in Durham
Employee count: 4
Recent news: myDrugCosts is ramping up for a big January 2018, where it will add a large number of new clients to its existing 100 employers (who provide benefits to more than 200,000 employees). myDrugCosts is hiring a pair of developers and a marketing manager to help meet the demand.
National press/accolades: myDrugCosts won Best Consumer App at the national Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C. in 2015.
Backgrounder: Prior to starting the company in 2010, founder Dan Pollard launched Allscripts’ SaaS electronic health record offering and its first iPhone application for physicians. He raised a $115,000 seed round in 2011 and then small amounts of angel capital—the company is now cash flow positive.
A software platform for product managers that captures all user behavior, gathers feedback and provides contextual help to improve products.
Location: Downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District
Employee count: 110
Recent news: $25 million in venture capital is pretty big news in these parts. And Pendo landed it less than a year after its $20 million series B round. Silicon Valley VCs are loving this company. Check out our piece on the company’s growth along with some thoughts from the investor leading the round.
Backgrounder: CEO and co-founder Todd Olson has been through scale up and exit before. He sold his last startup to Rally Software and worked there through its IPO in 2013. He’s borrowed lessons from throughout his career to make Pendo a success. Here’s an interview we conducted with Todd in the early days of Pendo.