RALEIGH – In just 13 years, Prometheus Group has transformed itself from a “one-man consulting shop” to a “unicorn” – a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion.

The Raleigh-based company, which deals in asset management software, says it officially hit this milestone today after closing on a deal to sell a majority stake to Genstar Capital.

Since the announcement, several media outlets reported that Genstar paid $1 billion for the company. However, founder and CEO Eric Huang, 48, clarified to WRAL TechWire that figure is “just the valuation of the company,” not its sale price.

“The just-over-a-hair $1 billion valuation is based on what Genstar paid for its majority stake in the company,” he said.

The exact sum that Genstar paid has not been disclosed.

The NC State graduate added: “One point of pride for us is that this is a ‘true’ valuation. In some cases, especially with venture capital, the headline number could be eye-catching, but the details show the economics don’t really work like you would expect. For us, the economics work exactly as you would expect.”

Cofounders Capital’s David Gardner said definitions of “unicorns” vary but according to him, it is “any company with a valuation of $1 billion or more regardless of how much is invested or purchased.”

From ‘one-man consulting shop’ to ‘unicorn’: Prometheus Group CEO explains how

Prometheus joins a select group in North Carolina with that kind of valuation, including Cary-based Epic Games and Charlotte-based AvidXchange. According to venture capital news site CB Insights, Epic is valued at $15 billion, AvidXchange at $1.4 billion.

Prometheus Group

$100 million in annual revenue

Huang declined to disclose the exact sum of the deal, but said that he – along with the firm’s other partner, Francisco Partners – will keep a “significant minority stake.”

He will also remain at its helm as CEO.

“Genstar share belief in the executive team,” he said. “They don’t want to mess with the secret sauce. They’re happy with the results that we have delivered, and they want to keep it going.”

It’s easy to see why.

Despite the fact that Prometheus is a below-the-radar company (“we sort of like it that way”), it‘s not timid when it comes to its growth strategy.

Since its inception, Huang said the company has grown 30 percent year on year – with this year’s projected annual revenue set to hit $100 million. By 2024, that figure is expected to skyrocket to upwards of $200 million in “organic revenue growth.”

“The distinction is what we do by ourselves without adding in acquisitions, which we also plan to have.”

“Boring but critical” software

That’s certainly an attractive track record for a company that trades in admittedly “boring” software.

“Boring but extremely critical,” Huang clarified. “It’s planning and scheduling software. It helps large companies schedule their repairs. We saw that many companies had the same problem, so we later rewrote the software as a general solution that was applicable across industries.”

These days, the company is a global company with offices in the US, Europe, South America and Australia and more than 300 employees, with most of them in Raleigh.

It boasts big-name clients like Exxon, Dupont and Bayer, and is growing so fast that it’s getting ready to move out of its Pilot Mill office to a larger space in the North Hills area.

“We always knew it was going to be amazing. But we didn’t realize, “Oh my gosh, this is huge.”

Considering its latest valuation, the company is unlikely to stay under the radar for much longer.