DURHAM – Spreedly is now flush with cash after raising $75 million in funding from Spectrum Equity — and now it’s got to spend it.
Its main objective: to get bigger, quickly.
That means almost doubling its workforce in the next 12 months, Spreedly’s co-founder and CEO Justin Benson told WRAL TechWire, a few hours after announcing its mega-fundraise on Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re about 65 people right now, and we would like to expand in Durham, in particular, to north of 110 people in the next 12 months.”
The Durham-based fintech startup, which provides cloud-based software infrastructure for payments, is also looking to develop its product and expand into other markets like Europe and Latin America, specifically Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
Benson hasn’t ruled out acquisitions, either.
“We’d love for an acquisition to both give us people in those regions, plus add to the product roadmap.”
It’s been quite the journey for Benson.
Back in 2011, he co-founded the startup with Nathaniel Talbott and Duff O’Meliaback.
Up until now, they had bootstrapped the company and maintained steady growth.
Benson remained coy when asked about exact figures of revenue growth, but said it now powers nearly one million transactions daily, according to the firm’s 2018 estimates. That’s a 108-percent hike to year before.
Part of what’s driving that growth, Benson added, is a new wave of commerce companies that are wanting to control their own payment data and not necessarily go with a global provider.
“Spreedly is that answer. [People] learned through experience that there are always these constraints [with payment providers]. That’s what’s change. That’s why we’re raising now. That’s why we’re growing even faster, in a strange way, in terms of merchants we deal with.”
Notable customers include Rappi, Cabify, Hopper, Chargebee and SeatGeek. There’s also couple of “household names” that they’re not allowed to mention, which is frustrating, Benson said.
Still, they wanted to do more.
“We were growing organically, but it felt like we were leaving opportunities on the table,” Benson says. “I started to feel, maybe 12 months ago, like this is so shortsighted.”
So they started to look for a potential partner. Benson said they weren’t interested in selling the business and having a quick exit. Instead, they wanted to grow on their own terms.
“That was the goal, and that is what was focused on. Ultimately, we picked private equity over VCs because we felt this sort of felt like the better story to me, and more applicable to the situation.”
Spreedly has now outgrown its newly renovated digs on Foster Street.
It recently signed a lease for an entire floor in the new Durham.ID building, situated in the heart of the “Durham Innovation District” currently being developed by Longfellow Real Estate Partners.
The target move-in date is May 1.
“We should be able to get up to 150-200 people on one floor,” says Benson. “This will tide us over for a couple of years. After that, we will have to see what we do.”