DURHAM – The software development and managed services firm Terazo, jointly based in Richmond, Va., and Durham, has raised $10.5 million, led by Tercera with participation from Twilio.

The funding will allow the company, which was founded in Richmond in 2016, to expand, including hiring to staff a Charlotte office, and a number of remote-based positions, as it plans a national expansion.

Prior to this fundraising round, the company’s first, the company was backed financially by its founders.  Though founded in Richmond, the company sees Durham as the “anchor” of its operations in the Southeast, though does not refer to any location as a headquarters location, due to a distributed workforce and distributed leadership team.

“Terazo believes technology is a means to an end that can change businesses, communities, and the world for the better when used the right way,” said CEO Mark Wensell.  “At the end of the day, that means it’s really about positive impact technology can have in people’s lives.”

The company focuses on automation and integration, which Wensell noted means that the company looks to create efficiencies within existing or new business processes that can drive measurable value for the business.

Technology can also be used by companies to break down silos, said Wensell, and move beyond integration of systems internally to expanding integrations with business partners or other developers.

The company is paying close attention to the changes in consumer behavior, particularly in the retail shopping industry, and is focusing on providing technology solutions to companies around omnichannel communications and logistics.

Retail is changing, and customers want to interact with companies using the communication channel most convenient to them, and switch across channels when it makes sense to do so.  This requires great customer service — and the technology that undergirds the approach, said Chris Busse, the company’s chief digital officer.

“Many companies put a lot of emphasis on their web site and mobile app user experience, and what we’ve found through our partnership with Twilio is that putting a lot of focus on the experience in these channels goes a long way to creating a great overall customer experience,” said Busse.  “Heading into the future, this is largely around creating a great user experience for the contact center agents themselves in the systems they work with. That translates into a better customer experience because the contact center agent can be more efficient in their work.”

When it comes to addressing increasing logistical challenges in the retail industry, said Busse, technology can be utilized to create greater efficiency, and ensure customer satisfaction.  Terazo works with clients in the logistics space to publish their own APIs and developer platforms that enable retail partners to integrate with their systems, leading to enhanced efficiency, said Busse.

“To pick just one example to put this in a consumer context, “patio season” is second only to “after Black Friday” for shipping companies,” said Busse. “All the retail and online stores that dropship large patio furniture sets — there’s a huge surge of that in the Spring.”

And, with more people projected to be working from home, more often, and with less travel occurring, the company is predicting this consumer habit to continue, said Busse.

To meet the need, Terazo is hiring for software development roles and for market-level management positions, and plans to use some of the funding to ramp up its sales and delivery teams.  The company will also increase its own marketing efforts.

“Terazo’s alignment with our cloud-centric, API-first development approach, and the great work they’ve done for our customers makes them an important partner within our growing partner ecosystem,” said Glenn Weinstein, chief customer officer at Twilio. “Twilio’s customer engagement platform enables the world’s builders, and Terazo really embodies the builder mindset.”

Terazo is Tercera’s second strategic investment. Terazo is a member of Twilio’s partner program. Dan Lascell from Tercera will be joining the Terazo Board of Directors.