ProAxion, an NC IDEA startup grant winner in 2016, is continuing its rapid growth in the Internet of Things industrial sensor space. Its latest big news: Raising money and landing high-profile investors.
The RTP-based firm, which has been called the “check engine light for industrial control systems,” landed its first customer in 2015. On Friday, ProAxion disclosed the closing of $500,000 in a seed round of financing.
In an SEC filing, the actual amount raised came to more than $752,000.
ProAxion also said in the filing that it wants to raise $1 million.
Nineteen investors participated.
Its focus is predictive maintenance, a bg market to address since ProAxion says its research as found that U.S. industry suffers “$50 billion per year due to unanticipated machine breakdowns and inefficient maintenance practices.”
Backers include Triangle Angel Partners and Venture South.
Angels Bruce Boehm of Excelerate Health Ventures as well as Allen West, CEO of Cary-based Railinc join the company’s board. Boehm is an adjunct professor at UNC’s Kenan Flagler business school.
“The company started collecting revenue earlier this year and expects significant growth over the coming 12-18 months,” a spokesperson tells The Skinny.
“In order to meet these targets we are establishing sales channels and marketing partnerships, in addition to further development of our product to support. For instance, integration with other software systems used at industrial facilities to manage operations and maintenance activities is a key next step for us to help unlock the market potential.”
Funds will be used for sales, marketing and customer support.
ProAxion’s lead products are wireless sensors and telemetry hardware that are attached to existing devices, thus making them part of the IoT wireless world. ProAxion’s services include predictive analysis and remote alerts.
The investment in ProAxion is not the first for TAP.
“We put some early money into ProAxion when they first started,” TAP fund manager Stephen Clossick said in the announcement.
“We have been really impressed with the team, their product, and their ability to secure several large and sophisticated customers. There is a clear need for this solution and we feel the market potential is large and attainable.”
VentureSouth invested the most in the round, according to ProAxion.
ProAxion CEO Justin Rothwell says the funding and the board additions give the firm “a great vote of confidence.”
“Legacy predictive maintenance systems using machine temperature and vibration data are complex, with installed systems requiring expensive sensors, telemetry systems, analysis software and significant expertise to use,” Rothwell told WRAL TechWire last year.
“ProAxion’s first product, TACTIX, is an easy to use system that takes much of the technical burden off of customers who can now reap the benefits of a predictive maintenance without having to become an expert in all of the nuance of sensor selection, signal processing and vibration analysis. Our system has this expertise already baked in.”
NC IDEA CEO Thom Ruhe has liked what he has seen from the start about ProAxion.
“These guys are on the forefront of predictive analytics and the internet of things,” Ruhe said when the NC IDEA grant was announced. “They are the ‘check engine’ light for industrial control systems. This is a company that has potential to create widespread job opportunities in North Carolina. Their patented technology provides differential value that can be measured in real dollars for their manufacturing customers.”