Category: Software

Broomfield-based MedAware Systems raises $1 million

BROOMFIELD — MedAware Systems Inc., a startup in Broomfield that has entered the health-care information services sector, has raised $1 million in equity funding, its third round, according to documents filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 2-year-old privately held company, which was in stealth mode until March, has a cloud-based subscription service that reduces the time a physician or patient spends searching volumes of clinical research and standardizes them in order to provide fast and accurate evidence-based treatment information.

MedAware’s system is based on the life’s work of founder and chief science officer, Dr. Zung Vu Tran, a bio-statistician. The service is designed to eliminate cumbersome, time-consuming and inaccurate keyword searches with accurate database queries using patient profile-specific and disease-specific filters, according to the company’s website.

“Our goal is to make research data on evidence-based treatments and outcomes widely accessible, and more easily and quickly understood,” Tran said in a prepared statement issued earlier this year.

“This kind of in-depth information will significantly facilitate the dialogue between patient and provider as it relates to evidence-based treatment options,” he added.

The company filed an international patent, covering 60 claims on its intellectual properly, and it is field testing the beta version of the software application.

The company previously raised funding rounds of $500,000 and $200,000, according to SEC documents.

Portugese software firm Morphis to open North American HQ in Boulder

BOULDER — Portugese software firm Morphis announced on Wednesday that it is establishing a North American headquarters in Boulder to tap into the large number of American companies seeking to modernize their legacy software systems.

Morphis has yet to finalize a location for its Boulder office, and a spokeswoman for the company said in an email that it remains unclear how many employees the local operation will house. Morphis has 60 employees worldwide at offices in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and Brazil.

Information-technology marketing veteran Neil Hartley will lead the Boulder office’s sales and marketing efforts. His experience includes a stint as CEO of Australian text analytics software maker Leximancer, as well as senior roles at Requisite Technologies in Broomfield and Internet retailer ClickBank in Westminster. Requisite was acquired by Click Commerce in 2005.

Morphis helps independent software vendors, enterprise IT departments and system integrators migrate legacy applications created with old programming languages and platforms to newer technology in the cloud.

“The U.S. is the world’s largest market for enterprise computing, Morphis already has customers here, and Boulder is on the cutting edge of mobile and cloud-enabled software engineering and development,” Hartley said in a prepared statement.

Finalists announced for 2015 IQ Awards

BOULDER — Twenty-six companies and five individuals have been selected as finalists in 10 categories for BizWest’s 2015 IQ Awards.

The competition will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. in Boulder.

In its 15th edition, the IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards honors the most innovative new products and services developed by companies and organizations based in Boulder and Broomfield counties, in the Denver/Boulder corridor, or for local divisions of national companies that were instrumental in the innovation.

A winner in each of 10 categories will be selected by a panel of judges, and audience members will select the Innovation of the Year. Starting at 5:30 p.m., those attending can network while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and then watch the “pitch slam” presentations of the finalists.

Judges for this year’s event will be Susan Graf, former chief executive of the Boulder Chamber; Jerry Lewis, former owner and publisher of the Boulder County Business Report; and Theresa Szczurek, CEO of Radish Systems Inc.

Tickets, at $39 until Friday, Oct. 2, and $49 thereafter, can be purchased online here.

Chase Bank is presenting sponsor of the event. Associate sponsors include EKS&H tax accountants, Court Appointed Special Advocates, ConnectFirst and McGladrey.

This year’s finalists, and the categories in which they’re competing:

Innovative Company of the Year

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable the accelerated development and manufacturing of life-saving products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JumpCloud: The company securely manages and connects employee identities to their devices, applications and networks.

MinuteKey: A kiosk with a fully automated, self-service key-duplication machine that can be seen in such major retailers as Lowe’s and Walmart.

Incubator/Accelerator

Boomtown: The company provides resources and mentorship in the areas of branding and logo design, marketing, code feedback and usability testing, plus hosting and legal services.

Galvanize: Its campuses offer education courses such as Full Stack Web and Software Development Program, Data Science Immersive Program, a master’s in Data Science, a Data Engineering Immersive Program and workshops on Python, UX/UI, marketing and machine learning.

Unreasonable Institute: The institute unites entrepreneurs with mentors, funders and partners in specialized global educational institutes ranging from five days to five weeks and created to scale solutions to the world’s biggest problems such as poverty, social justice and lack of education. Labs and workshops focus on business validation and investment preparedness to take a business to a new level of growth.

Innovator of the Year

Dale Katechis: The founder of Oskar Blues Brewery in 41 states, Oskar Blues Original Grill & Brew, REEB Cycles, Hops & Heifers Farm and the REEB Ranch, Katechis is largely credited with being the first craft brewer to sell nitrogenated, canned beer in the United States. Oskar Blues also has led the industry in developing a resealable beer bottle and selling its beers in larger cans.

Bruce Borowsky and Zach Daudert: The pair co-founded and grew Boulder Digital Arts into the largest tech-training facility in Boulder County, helping individuals and companies keep up with ever-changing technology and all creative digital arts. They also introduced the new Code Craft web-development boot camp.

Christopher L. Peterson and Dr. Phillip Villella: The pair co-founded LogRhythm, a security-intelligence company that empowers organizations to recognize and respond to cyber threats through a platform that brings together SIEM, log management, network and endpoint forensics, and advanced security analytics.

Products and Services

Bioscience

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable accelerated development and manufacturing of products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JustRight Surgical: The company develops right-sized surgical devices that access confined spaces and operate effectively on delicate tissue bundles and fine structures, allowing smaller incisions and better visibility.

Encision: The company makes a line of innovative laparoscopic instruments designed to improve physician performance and patient outcomes, such as the AEM Burn Protection System, which eliminates stray patient burns during laparoscopic surgery.

Business

BlackSquare Technologies: The company has designed, engineered, built and now markets a patented, real time, hardware encryption and key management IT security device called Enigma.

BluFlux: The company is an RF design, engineering and A2LA-certified cellular/OTA/RF test company with a focus on helping to accelerate the release of connected products.

Atomic20: The marketing agency and shared creative workspace is dedicated to free agents and curating teams that solve design challenges.

Consumer

TECHtionary: The company offers BiEyes, an iPhone/iPad photo app that allows pictures to be taken with both cameras at the same time called SNAP or POSE. The user takes one pic and then another, and can see them in various image formats and save or share them in multiple media.

Soundwall Inc: The new medium combines art, sound and social technologies to create an immersive art experience. It offers art and creative surfaces that connect visual experience with high-quality audio.

Lunchbox Electronics: The company has created what it says is the smallest, stackable, Lego-compatible, light up bricks called Build Upons. They can light up a robot, house, spaceship or monster.

Green Business

Sustainable Power Systems: Its flagship product is a Universal Microgrid Controller, which orchestrates the operation of all components of a power system, in both standalone (off-grid) and grid-interactive microgrids.

Clean Energy Collective: A solar tech startup in 2009, the Louisville-based collective has grown to become a leading developer of roofless community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean-power generation through medium-scale solar photovoltaic facilities accessible to all utility customers.

Black Swift Technologies: The company has worked with researchers at the University of Colorado and NASA to develop a small unmanned aircraft system capable of mapping soil moisture.

Internet/Web

Conspire: The company unlocks a network by measuring the strength of its relationships — and millions of others — to uncover the best paths to people, ideas, resources and opportunities.

Fliptask: An online marketplace designed to revolutionize the way tasks and errands get done.

Earthvisionz: The company creates enterprise-level, location aware, visual data-management systems that help make smarter and faster decisions, providing unlimited data, including live feeds, overlaid onto specific geographic locations.

Social Media/Mobile Apps

SqFt: The fully transactional real estate app gives a homeowner the ability to create a professional real estate listing, send that listing out to 900 real estate sites – such as the MLS, Zillow and others – and permit buyers to schedule showings and make offers through the app.

Lassy Project: The free service gives parents and guardians the ability to notify an entire local community about their missing child or at-risk adult in seconds.

Makeena: A shopping “ecosystem” helps healthy and sustainable brands reach shoppers, and shoppers discover brands and products that meet their lifestyle preferences or dietary needs at any retailer for an affordable price. Makeena is sometimes described as “Waze meets Yelp meets eBates” for the natural products industry.

Software

Knowledge Factor: A learning software that integrates neurobiology and cognitive psychology with multidimensional big-data analytics to deliver enhanced learning outcomes and improve organizational bottom lines.

VictorOps: A real-time incident-management platform that helps DevOps pros handle incidents as they occur. The platform, called Transmogrifier, allows on-call engineers to have the solution embedded into every IT problem that comes their way. Software and sites can be kept running to begin solving problems immediately and reduce “alert fatigue” that often comes with being on call in IT.

Quick Left Inc.: Software-development services and tools specializing in web development, design, training and mobile applications. It operates Sprintly, a development management platform designed to power a more productive relationship between teams and their managers.

 

Boulder-based TapInfluence planning 40-plus hires over coming year

BOULDER — Armed with a $1.5 million bridge round of funding raised this summer, TapInfluence Inc., officials expect Wednesday’s announced addition of three new executive positions to be just a small piece of the growth that the marketing software firm is projecting for the coming year.

Chief executive Promise Phelon, hired in March, said in an interview Wednesday that she expects the 43-person company to double in size over the next 12 months. The company, based in east Boulder, is also eyeing a move to downtown Boulder in the coming months, although Phelon noted that the search for a site in the high-demand area that will accommodate the company’s growth is ongoing.

TapInfluence announced the hires of chief revenue officer Frank Sette, vice president for customer success Colleen Callahan and vice president for engineering Joe Scharf, bringing in leadership experience from notable companies such as Trulia, SendGrid and Vendini to help grow TapInfluence’s software-as-a-service offering.

TapInfluence provides a SaaS platform that helps marketers automate the process of finding key online influencers and connecting with them to create sponsored content featuring their brands. In addition to making the connections and managing workflow, the software provides analytics to measure the value each piece of content created in terms of sales and leads.

The idea of connecting with online influencers to promote brands provides client companies with an alternative to placing banner ads on websites and hoping to get clicks.

The shift in company focus to a primarily SaaS model has marked a significant shift for TapInfluence, which previously had employed more of a services-based model as it worked to connect brands with TapInfluence’s large network of influencers. The software platform automates the entire process and drastically reduces the cost of such campaigns for client brands.

Phelon said the combination of a push from consumers for social recommendations and content instead of advertising to help them make purchasing decisions, combined with TapInfluence’s software and scalability, is driving the company’s rapid growth.

Founded in 2009 by chief product officer Rustin Banks and chief marketing officer Holly Hamann, TapInfluence went through a transitional period last year as it moved to the SaaS-centric model in which the company eliminated an unspecified number of jobs, reducing the staff size to 25 at one point.

But the company has added 15 just since Phelon’s arrival as demand for the software offering has grown quickly this year, spurring the need for the bridge round of funding, which came from a combination of existing investors and large Silicon Valley angel investors.

“We had more inbound interest than we could manage, so (the funding) was to immediately grow the sales team,” Phelon said.

TapInfluence, which previously had raised a total of $9.1 million in venture capital, doesn’t disclose revenue, and Phelon declined to divulge the company’s specific fundraising plans other than to indicate another round is likely on the way.

“Our next round will be substantially larger than (the bridge round),” Phelon said.

Sitter Inc. raising seed round to expand reach of baby-sitter-finding app

BOULDER — Startup Sitter Inc., is aiming to raise an $850,000 seed round of funding to expand the reach of its “Uber-meets-LinkedIn” platform for finding baby sitters.

The Boulder-based company disclosed in a regulatory filing last week that it has so far raised $140,000 in the round.

Co-founder and CEO Kristen Stiles said the funding will be used to grow the company’s team from its current size of three employees to seven within the next 12 months. The free Sitter app is already available nationwide, but Stiles said the company will be zeroing in on additional local markets with the new cash.

“We kind of exploded in the last month and a half or so,” Stiles said.

The Sitter app aims to make finding baby sitters easier for parents by using the power of their social networks. If one parent has three trusted baby sitters and a friend has three more, they can connect and share those six in their own private circle. When a need for a sitter arises, the parent posts the date and time to the app and all six sitters are notified, with the first to respond getting the gig.

Baby sitters set their rates, though those can be negotiable. Sitter Inc. collects a 4 percent fee on each payment made through the app. Parents are not required to pay through the app, however.

“Most people love the payment feature when they use it because it’s so easy,” Stiles said.

Stiles said the average response time for jobs to be accepted on the app is down to about four minutes, with sitters who miss out getting sent notifications that they need to respond faster next time.

The app is geared toward those seeking occasional sitters, not long-term care. In that respect, Stiles said her app has the advantage over sites like SitterCity and UrbanSitter because new sitters don’t have to be vetted before being hired assuming people add only sitters from trusted friends into their networks.

Stiles, who founded Sitter along with Matt Stueve last year, declined to disclose revenue.

Stiles is a software developer whose background includes experience at Hewlett-Packard as well as in the business side of companies like Convergys and Vail Resorts. She met Stueve, while the pair worked at Vail Resorts, with Stueve leaving his most recent gig with Inspirato to help found Sitter. One more employee has been added since.

Boulder startup Stream lands $1.75M in funding to fuel feed technology

BOULDER — Stream.io Inc., has raised a seed round of funding to boost its development tools that help companies drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to build feeds for their mobile apps and websites.

Boulder-based Stream, founded a year ago but Thierry Schellenbach and Tommaso Barbugli, raised $1.75 million from a group of investors that includes Brad Feld/FG Angels, Techstars Ventures and Tahoma Ventures, among others.

The past few months have been fast-paced for Stream, to say the least. After landing a $50,000 deal with a Taiwanese social media site last year, Stream went through the Techstars New York accelerator. While participating in Techstars, the company officially launched its platform out of beta. Since that time, Stream’s customer count has grown from four to 125. After graduating from Techstars, the company moved to Boulder about two months ago.

“It’s been an exciting couple of months,” Schellenbach said in a phone interview this week.

Stream’s software is a tool for building, scaling and personalizing feeds much like those you might see on Facebook and Twitter. But what started out as a usage pattern for social media has quickly spread to all kinds of companies’ mobile apps. GlobalCitizens.org, which rallies friends and groups of people around social causes, is one such organization that uses Stream’s platform to build its feeds.

“They have a lot of content to share with their users, and they want to give their users some control over what they see,” Schellenbach said.

The trouble for many companies is that building their own feed technology can take months because they’re generally doing so from scratch. Stream’s fee-based service, Schellenbach said, can help companies build the same feeds within their apps in as little as a few hours.

Schellenbach and Barbugli co-authored the open-source Stream-Framework, a set of tools anyone can use to build feeds. But their new company has made the tools compatible with more programming languages and increased ease of use.

Schellenbach said that with the new funding the company would be hiring developers and data scientists to give companies that use Stream’s tools the ability to scale their feeds to large numbers of users, as well as personalize the feeds to individual users so that they see the information most relevant or interesting to them rather than just a chronological feed.

“The goal there is to bring that personalization area, that was traditionally available only to large organizations like Facebook, to other apps with feeds,” Schellenbach said.

Stream, which is based in downtown Boulder, has five employees now, including the founders. Schellenbach said he expects that count to climb to between 12 and 15 by year’s end.

Boulder ad-tech firm sovrn Holdings raises $18M funding round

BOULDER — Advertising technology firm sovrn Holdings Inc. on Wednesday afternoon announced that the company has closed an $18 million round of funding led by Boulder-based Foundry Group.

Company officials stated in a press release that the cash infusion would be used to “accelerate both organic and inorganic growth opportunities.”

In addition to Foundry Group, Oak Investment Partners, Archer Venture Acquisitions and John Battelle participated in the round.

Boulder-based sovrn provides a programmatic advertising platform that helps online publishers sell their unsold advertising inventory to ad agencies through real-time online auctions.

“We see exciting areas for growth in the ad tech market and we wanted to buttress our already strong balance sheet in order to quickly take advantage of opportunities,” sovrn CEO Walter Knapp said in the release.

Sovrn formed out of a deal in early 2014 that saw San-Francisco-based Federated Media Publishing sell its name and content marketing business to Texas-based LIN Digital Media. The remaining online advertising and publisher platform business was rebranded as sovrn Holdings Inc., with Boulder as its headquarters. Federated Media had built the sovrn side of its business through the 2011 acquisition of Boulder-based Lijit Networks Inc.

Sovrn has offices in Denver, San Francisco and New York.

The company employs about 125 people in all, including roughly 100 at its Twenty Ninth Street mall headquarters in Boulder. Vice president of marketing Mark Piquette said the company would be adding staff in the wake of the funding, mostly in Boulder, but said it’s hard to say how many people over the next 12 months.

The privately held company doesn’t disclose revenue but officials said second quarter sales this year beat last year by 90 percent. Piquette said more double-digit growth is projected for 2016.

Boosted by new Agco deal, growing Agribotix moving to larger Boulder space

BOULDER – Agribotix, which provides data analytics and makes drones for precision agriculture, is moving its headquarters to a larger Boulder location to accommodate rapid growth that is due in part to a new deal to feature the company’s technology at 1,600 Agco Corp. dealerships in North America.

Agribotix director of business development Jason Barton said Monday that the company is in the process of moving into a roughly 3,500-square-foot space at Boulder Municipal Airport that is about triple the size of the company’s spot at 2983 Sterling Court.

The year-and-a-half-old company has doubled in size to 20 employees over the past two and a half months as demand for its technology has taken flight. Agribotix provides cloud-based analysis of data gathered from fields by drones to help farmers optimize their use of things such as fertilizer and herbicides to increase crop yields. The company sells the analytics as a service to customers with their own drones, as well as a turnkey system that includes a drone and cameras.

Agco (NYSE: AGCO), a major manufacturer and distributor of farm equipment based in Georgia whose brands include Massey Ferguson, announced the new deal with Agribotix and California-based 3D Robotics last week. As part of the deal, Agco will sell a 3D Robotics quadcopter drone that is equipped with both a standard visual camera and a near-infrared camera. The Solo Agco Edition, which sells for $5,999, will come with one year of Agribotix data analytics included.

The Solo Agco Edition is similar to the turnkey systems that Agribotix sells itself for $9,500. The differences are that the version that Agribotix sells itself is assembled in Boulder from off-the-shelf parts, is capable of carrying both cameras at once, and has better battery life. But the core product of Agribotix since early in its existence has been its data-analytics offering rather than drones themselves, and the Agco deal gives Agribotix major exposure it didn’t have before.

“Having a partnership with a company like Agco is obviously a huge step,” Barton said. “It’s going to get our product and name more widely distributed.”

Farmers or companies that aim to fly drones for commercial purposes must receive case-by-case authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration until formal regulations on such uses are finalized.

Agribotix essentially had been in product-development mode until just a few months ago when inbound sales inquiries began flowing in in earnest. The company just ramped up outbound sales efforts about a month ago. Agribotix sells its products all over the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and East Asia, with roughly half to two-thirds of sales coming in the United States.

The Agco announcement came the same week that Agribotix announced that it was launching a joint venture with Eco BCG to sell its products in Latin American countries. In addition to those deals, Agribotix has a partnership with a John Deere dealership in Australia that flies Agribotix’s drones as a service for farmers. Agribotix has an exclusive agent in East Asia as well.

Agribotix officials don’t disclose revenue, but the company, which recently named Lou Faust chief executive, is preparing for more growth. While Barton said the staff size is likely set for the near term, he said the firm will work on raising a Series A round of funding this fall that could trigger further expansion.

SendGrid adds former DigitalGlobe CFO Yancey Spruill to executive team

BOULDER — Email delivery services provider SendGrid Inc. announced Thursday that it has hired former DigitalGlobe chief financial officer Yancey Spruill to serve as both CFO and chief operating officer.

The COO role is a newly created position at Boulder-based SendGrid. Spruill replaces Chad Varra as CFO. A company spokesman on Thursday said Varra has left the company to pursue other interests.

The hiring of Spruill comes as SendGrid is viewed by many as one of the area’s next candidates for an initial public offering. CEO Sameer Dholakia told BizWest in December that he expects that SendGrid would likely raise another round of funding in 2016, with a possible IPO following not long after that.

Spruill led satellite-imagery provider DigitalGlobe’s IPO in 2009. He left the company in October of last year, having overseen the growth of the company during his 10-year tenure to $650 million in annual revenue. Prior to DigitalGlobe, he’d worked as an investment banker and engineer.

“Yancey has the ideal combination of skill sets and public company experience to drive the continued growth of SendGrid and help build our great company,” Dholakia said in a prepared statement.

Broomfield-based Oxlo inks deal with Ford Motor Co.

BROOMFIELD — The Ford Motor Co. has selected Broomfield-based Oxlo Systems Inc.’s software-as-a-service to enable auto dealers across the globe to register extended-warranty service plans.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Oxlo Systems is the owner/operator of ODIN, the Open Dealer Integration Network for the automotive industry. Oxlo provides auto dealer software, auto manufacturer and auto lender dealer data exchange solutions and services that transact automated business processes

The project, a collaboration between Ford IT and Oxlo Systems, leverages Oxlo’s software to optimize an existing integrated data feed and position Ford to expand to countries that are not currently able to register the plans. The software accepts third-party warranty data feeds and performs pre-processing and data transformation prior to submission to Ford. The business process includes warranty status responses provided by Ford and converted by ODIN.

Additionally, the Ford EMS support team will use Oxlo’s ODIN for Ford EMS, a secure online web portal connected to the Oxlo Open Dealer Integration Network to view data feeds, registration process status and manage registration exceptions.