RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Triangle Tweener Fund continues to provide fuel for the region’s startup ecosystem, cranking out 18 investments and adding 14 additional companies to its portfolio in the last three months.
“This is up 20% year over year deal wise and 30% investment wise,” says Tweener fund founder and serial entrepreneur Scot Wingo. He calls the quarter “very strong.”
The fund targets headquartered in the Triangle and focuses on what Wingo calls “Tweener” companies – 10 or fewer staff, annual revenues of $1 million. However, this quarter 11 “pre-tweeners” received funding.
The $860,000 is a record for the fund, which launched last year. So far it has made 86 investments spread across 72 companies and invested over $4.6 mllion.
The fund also continues to add investors despite ongoing challenges in the U.S. economy.
“Even given the macro-economic pressures, interest in the Triangle Startup Ecosystem is growing as we have reached a new record of 144 LPs, “said Robbie Allen, Tweener Fund’s general partner, “because we are a rolling fund, we’re always actively adding new accredited investors and invite anyone that’s interested to reach out to learn more.”
Where the cash went
Here are summaries of the companies receiving funding as provided by Tweener Fund:
● CoWorks (Tweener) – Accelerated by Covid, there’s a dramatic increase in coworking. Founded by DeShawn Brown (NCSU Grad �), CoWorks provides software that coworking facilities to manage memberships, space utilization, payments and more.
● Map My Customers (Tweener) – CEO Ben Hartmere is leading Map My Customers on its mission to provide field-sales reps a map-driven CRM that enables them to optimize their activities by geography.
● SWIR Vision Systems (Tweener) – A MCNC spin-out that developed technology that is quantum-dot-based infrared image sensors that is in the short wavelength infrared band (SWIR) that is increasingly needed for industrial applications such as industrial cameras, 3-d imaging and autonomous vehicles.
● ValueCore (Tweener) – ValueCore has created a Sales/MarTech offering that companies can use to embed a ROI calculator on their websites. After a deal closes, the account management team can leverage the ‘pre-sales’ ROI calculator artifacts to make sure the customer is on track to exceed their ROI.
● Blue Co (Pre-Tweener) – Serial founder, Jason Widen (Raleigh Founded) has a new coworking concept for service companies. Blue will lease large buildings and up-fit them to be used fractionally by a variety of service companies with shared ‘flex’ space (mix of office and warehouse, loading docks,etc.)
● XComp Analytics (Pre-Tweener) – Developed with ECU as their first customer, XComp Analytics provides a SaaS platform that delivers assessment and analytics used for EdTech accreditation process.
● SIFT Media (Tweener) – Serial entrepreneur, Jud Bowman (Motricity, Pinpoint), started SIFT to help app developers more economically distribute and advertise their apps.
● RefundWiz (Pre-Tweener) – RefundWiz is building an AI-generation tax filing solution focused on communities that are underserved by the big tax franchise locations.
● Natryx (Tweener) – Serial Founder Leonard Nelson (Covisus, etc) founded Natryx based on proprietary technology (think rock-like 3d printing at crazy scale) that delivers rapid, high-performance solutions for coastal protection. Their customers are in the oil/gas and other sustainability focused organizations.
● uMethod (Tweener) – uMethod is a HealthTech company that has a proprietary analytical platform for determining a patient’s likelihood to develop dementia and/or alzheimer. uMethod also provides custom treatments for the treatment of these chronic diseases.
● TSV Analytics (Pre-Tweener) – Founded by two NCSU students, TSV Analytics provides companies with analytics and other tools to help improve their social media brand building.
● Agilix Health (Tweener) – Agilix is a HealthTech company with a digital nutrition management and counseling service that’s driven by real-time data and personalized for each patient.
● Gradient Health (Pre-Tweener) – Gradient is a HealthTech company that takes over 300m diverse and standardized patient studies of imaging data and packages it up for use by next generation companies looking to train AI algorithms, and others. They have over 1,000 partner hospitals in the network.
● Spring & Mulberry (Pre-Tweener) – Founded by Kathryn Shah and Sarah Bell, Spring and Mulberry have created a date-sweetened chocolate. In addition to being no-sugar, this premium treat is vegan as well. In Q2, Tweener Fund also made 4 follow-on investments in these existing portfolio companies: ● Plum Co-Ownership (Pre-Tweener) – Plum expanded the previous round and introduced some new investors. Tweener Fund offered an optional SPV ‘sidecar’ to LPs that raised additional funds.
● Quinsite (Tweener)– Tweener Fund participated in a new priced round.
● Bristles (Pre-Tweener) – Bristles expanded the previous round and welcomed Primordial onto the cap table.
● HomeCloud – HomeCloud expanded the previous round.
● Plum Co-Ownership (Pre-Tweener) – Plum helps groups that want to co-own a vacation/second home discover each other, find potential properties, buy the property and then manage the property.
● Quinsite (Tweener)– Quinsite was founded to build a comprehensive healthcare analytics platform that is actionable. For example, are the members of your healthcare provider team meeting the right number of clients and getting great reviews?
● Bristles (Pre-Tweener) – First time entrepreneur, Tina Tang, is on a mission with the creation of Bristles to leverage the latest in ML/AI to help non-designers design their home improvement projects. Art walls, furniture refurbs, and dozens of other projects can be planned and visualized in a single app without having to know photoshop, background removal, and all the other complexities involved with visualizing something today.
● HomeCloud (Pre-Tweener)– Founded by serial entrepreneur, George Kirkland, HomeCloud is re-inventing the home inspection process so that a complete digital record stored in a convenient cloud application that current and future homeowners can utilize to maintain the home.