Category: Software

Alteryx moves Boulder office to Broomfield, with plans for major growth

BROOMFIELD — California-based software-as-a-service company Alteryx Inc. has moved its rapidly growing Boulder office to Broomfield, with plans of making roughly 100 new hires by the end of 2016.

Alteryx provides a drag-and-drop platform in which companies can blend multiple sets of data and get advanced analytics from the data without the need for programming. The company bases its engineering and product management teams in Colorado, as well as some other functions.

Alteryx did the bulk of its move from 3825 Iris Ave., in Boulder on July 20 and is now putting finishing touches on its new digs at 12303 Airport Way in Broomfield.

A company official said Friday that the reason for the move was twofold: to provide better access to the metro Denver talent pool and also because a larger commercial space in Boulder was proving difficult to find.

Alteryx had about 12,000 square feet spread out over three suites in Boulder. The new Broomfield spot is 20,000 square feet, with room for expansion. Laura Sellers, vice president for product management in Broomfield, said the hope was to stay in Boulder, where the company has had a presence since its inception. But the company was also finding that, in order to find an affordable space that was large enough, it would probably have to move to the outskirts of town where there were fewer amenities for employees.

“We didn’t feel like the spaces we were finding were an upgrade from where we were at,” Sellers said.

Alteryx, based in Irvine, Calif., has had a presence in Boulder for 17 years dating back to its days as SRC LLC. The company changed its name and focus in 2010 and has been growing rapidly since.

In October, the company announced a $60 million infusion of venture capital. It had just fewer than 200 employees at the time and has since ballooned to 270 worldwide, with Irvine and Broomfield being its largest offices. Its customer count has nearly doubled since then.

“It’s just the amount of growth over data in general in the industry,” Sellers said.

Alteryx has about 90 employees in Colorado, having added about 26 over the past year. Sellers said the plan is to add 20 more in Broomfield this year and another 80 in 2016, at which point she said it’s likely the company would lease more space adjacent to its new location.

Alteryx is hosting an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday to show off its new digs, with hopes of attracting as many as 75 job candidates.

MakeMusic singing new tune after purchase of Paris’ Weezic

BOULDER — Boulder’s MakeMusic Inc., interactive music –training technologists, picked off what could have become a major competitor for an undisclosed amount last week, along with the Web-based technology needed to launch its own market-leading product into the cloud.

“We have been the dominating player, but there are some new competitors,” said MakeMusic CEO Gear Fisher. “Weezic would have definitely been a competitor.”

Paris-based Weezic, like MakeMusic, produces an interactive method for music teachers to evaluate their students’ home practice. The technology also allows the students to record their music while listening to interactive scores, which can actually skip measures along with the student’s mistakes.

MakeMusic was based on traditional Windows and Mac desktop applications, however, meaning an application had to be downloaded and launched from the hard drive. What Weezic had was a new HTML 5-based application where the application was in the cloud, and the interaction with the student and teacher is browser-based.

“Weezic was acquired due to its core strengths of Web-based music learning and assessment technologies,” Fisher said. “Additionally, the Weezic team is comprised of exceptionally talented researchers and developers.

“We are committed to growing SmartMusic and providing world-class practice tools to musicians, teachers and composers. With this acquisition, SmartMusic will become available on the Web, and in particular, it will become accessible on Chromebook.”

Creating an app that works on Chromebooks, which have extremely small hard drives, is important for educational tools, Fisher said. Chromebooks are based on cloud applications and are also rapidly becoming the No. 1 computer in school settings because of their low cost and useful free applications.

Both teams will now work on releasing a Web-based SmartMusic, compatible with Chromebooks, in time for this fall’s school session. Fisher said the Weezic team would largely be focused on that effort, as their product is gradually diminished over the next several months.

Fisher described most of his team as “musicians with a passion for technology,” but the entire Peaksware team can also be described as cloud-based training technologists. Under the MakeMusic brand, there are several other music technology products, most notably Finale, leading digital notation software for the last 25 years.

But there’s a lot more under the Peaksware umbrella that Fisher oversees, including TrainingPeaks, Best Bike Split and TrainHeroic — all of them cloud-based training apps. Bringing them all under one roof, Fisher said, was the idea of investor Andy Stephens of LaunchEquity Partners of Boulder, which owns Peaksware.

LaunchEquity owned about a third of MakeMusic when it bought out the remaining shareholders in 2013 for about $17 million.  MakeMusic was one of Minnesota’s 100 largest firms, employing about 100 people there and reaching revenues as high as $17 million annually.

However, in its last years as a public firm, MakeMusic was losing about $1 million a year.

“Andy saw how fast we were growing, so he thought we’d all be better off under one roof,” Fischer explained.

About 30 people came to Boulder from the Minnesota firm, but Fischer said Peaksware is constantly hiring software technologists.

Though MakeMusic is already marketed around the globe, Fischer said that Paris would become an important hub of operations. Weezic’s director of technology, Greg Dell’Era, is moving to Boulder to help coordinate technological resources.

Software startup Find My Audience raises $1.2M in new funding

BOULDER — As writers themselves, the founders of Boulder startup Find My Audience Inc., knew first-hand how difficult it is to find readers interested in their work. As tech-industry veterans, they also knew the tools were available to create something that would help writers and publishers shine a light on their target audiences.

That became the motivation behind Find My Audience, a software platform that provides analytics around social media feeds and other web channels to find readers for specific materials.

Find My Audience recently raised $1.2 million in new funding to help fuel the company as it ramps up pilot programs with various publishers and authors.

“It’s about increasing the (audience) funnel size for our creators,” Find My Audience co-founder and president said Friday.

The subscription-based model will range in price, starting at $5 per month for one book for individual authors. There will also be a free tier of service for individual authors. There will be a different cost structure for larger publishers, meanwhile.

The platform will aggregate information from social media about what topics people are talking about, liking and engaging with, and provides analytics on those potential readers to authors and publishers through a dashboard interface. For users of the Find My Audience platform, the benefits include not only locating a target audience, but also the ability to listen to what they’re talking about, an avenue for engagement, and a platform for conversion, whether that’s sparking conversation about content creators’ own material or driving traffic to an e-commerce page.

Agostinelli started Find My Audience in February of last year with his brother Ray Agostinelli, Mark Schroeder and James Barnett. All had experience in the tech startup industry, while both Agostinellis and Schroeder are also writers.

The new funding, which came from a single investor, brings their total funding to $2.2 million. The company, based in the Steelyards, has eight full-time employees and another six contract employees who work part-time. Paul Agostinelli said he anticipates that the company could add another four or five employees over the coming year, depending on how quickly things ramp up.

Agostinelli said the goal is for full launches of both the publisher and author platforms — and the beginning of revenue collection — by the end of this year.

Envysion plans to add 30 employees after move to Superior

LOUISVILLE — Software firm Envysion Inc. in Louisville announced Monday plans to move operations to a larger facility in Superior next month and hire 30 people in sales and technical roles in the next three months.

Envysion acquired Canada-based LightHaus Logic Inc. in May, and is expanding its video-analytics capabilities. It will move to 100 Superior Plaza Way in August, doubling its office space. The new space will allow employees to work on the same floor, encouraging collaboration, according to a company statement.

Envysion, headed by Matt Steinfort, president and chief executive, also said Monday it hired Christian Ellis as vice president of engineering to lead the company’s continuing development of its video-driven business intelligence software and video-analytics services.

Prior to joining Envysion, Ellis worked at Global Healthcare Exchange in Louisville, where he was instrumental in designing and building cloud-based supply-chain-management technology that processes more than $50 billon in health-care purchasing per year. Additionally, Ellis leads CodeForBoulder, a volunteer group that develops applications that improve local services and civic engagement with local government in areas such as city planning, library and arts, and parks and recreation.

Boulder-based Dātu Health lands 5-year, $25M deal with St. Joseph Health

BOULDER — Digital-health company Dātu Health in Boulder has secured a five-year, $25 million deal with St. Joseph Health to provide a mobile platform for the nonprofit health-care system to communicate with its customers.

The agreement builds upon the existing two-year partnership between Dātu and SJH.

Collaborative-care programs for diabetes, wellness and pregnancy will continue, and new programs yet to be identified will target customers’ various health needs and goals, according to a prepared statement.

In addition, the partners will work to enhance Dātu’s Persuasion Engine technology designed to influence patient behavior. The platform is a set of rules, content and “nudges” that SJH will provide to each program member through a mobile experience customized to his or her needs.

St. Joseph Health is a $5.5 billion Catholic health-care system sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry. SJH has 16 acute-care hospitals, home-health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled-nursing facilities, community clinics and physician organizations throughout California, Texas and New Mexico.

Boulder-based MakeMusic acquires Paris-based Weezic

BOULDER — MakeMusic Inc., a Boulder-based maker of SmartMusic interactive music-learning software, announced on Thursday its acquisition of Weezic, based in Paris.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Weezic is an interactive music practice tool that provides accompaniment and assessment for student performers. Its technologies include polyphonic assessment and adaptive score following, which can sync the score with the soloist even when the musician skips measures. Weezic is web-based, rather than downloaded and installed.

“We are committed to growing SmartMusic and providing world class practice tools to musicians, teachers and composers,” MusicMaker’s chief executive Gear Fisher said in a prepared statement. “With this acquisition, SmartMusic will become available on the web, and in particular, it will become accessible on Chromebook.”

“An equally exciting aspect of this acquisition is the addition of the Paris-based Weezic team,” said Fred Flowerday, MakeMusic’s vice president of product. “This group is composed of top-notch talent with proven acumen for solving incredibly difficult technical challenges. Their agility and ability to continuously innovate and iterate represents an exceptional fit into the SmartMusic ecosphere.”

Nicolas Arbogast, Weezic co-founder, said in the statement that, the company was founded to “build the best digital platform for practicing music.

“Joining MakeMusic will allow us to reach that goal faster,” he said. “SmartMusic has been driving music-learning software forward since the 1990s. Our combined expertise will ensure that this was just the beginning.”

Through the acquisition, MakeMusic SAS will be established in Paris, providing the company a physical presence from which to grow European operations. Existing Weezic products will be wound down over the coming months, in order to focus the entire team’s efforts on a web-based solution of SmartMusic. MakeMusic provides music technology designed to develop and market solutions that transform how music is composed, taught, learned, and performed.

MakeMusic is headquartered at 7007 Winchester Circle, Suite 140, in Boulder.

CA Technologies completes purchase of Rally Software

NEW YORK — CA Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: CA) on Wednesday completed its $480 million acquisition of Boulder-based Rally Software Development Corp. (NYSE: RALY), a provider of Agile development software and services.

“The close of this acquisition represents a significant milestone in CA’s strategy, broadening its solution set and capabilities to better serve customers driving digital transformation in their organizations to compete in today’s application economy,” Rally said in a prepared statement.

With completion of the deal, Rally’s chairman and chief executive Tim Miller becomes a general manager reporting to CA’s chief product officer. The Rally organization and leadership team will continue to report directly to Miller.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, CA paid $19.50 per share for Rally’s stock. All shares of Rally will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange by the close of business Wednesday.

Rally, which went public in April 2013, is headquartered at 3333 Walnut St. in Boulder and also has an office in Denver, with about 280 employees total in Colorado.

Broomfield-based Conga nets $70M investment from New York VC firm

BROOMFIELD — AppExtremes Inc., a developer of document generation and reporting applications operating under the trade name Conga, announced Thursday that it has received a $70 million investment from Insight Venture Partners, a New York-based private-equity and venture-capital firm.

The Broomfield-based privately held company in a prepared statement said the company experienced a 45 percent increase in annual revenue last year. It plans to use the money to continue to grow and accelerate product innovation.

Conga offers document generation and reporting applications for Salesforce customers. Available on the Salesforce AppExchange, the company’s products helps customers use their data in a wide variety of documents, including quotes, contracts, proposals and invoices.

The company was founded in 2006. It has a customer base of more than 140,000 users in 45-plus countries across many industries. It maintains support teams in the United Kingdom and Australia.

As part of the transaction, Insight’s managing director Nikitas Koutoupes and vice president Elodie Dupuy will join Conga’s board of directors.

Boulder-based TechPubs raises new funding ahead of iPhone app launch for United

BOULDER — TechPubs Inc., a Boulder business that helps airlines manage technical documents, recently raised $473,000 in new funding and issued $3.4 million in preferred stock in exchange for indebtedness as the company gets set for the launch of a new iPhone 6 plus app for United Airlines.

The company disclosed the transactions in a pair of filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 2008, TechPubs provides software to help airlines store, share, distribute and update technical documentation such as flight manuals for pilots, flight attendants and maintenance crews, as well as helping to make sure the documentation complies with regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration and other governing bodies.

Such documentation used to be distributed as hard copies but more and more in recent years has been moving to electronic distribution. The new app for United will provide such manuals on flight attendants’ phones.

President and chief executive David Williams said in a phone interview Friday that TechPubs works with 20 airlines around the world, including United, Southwest, Air Canada, Jet Blue, Spirit and Virgin America.

The latest funding comes, Williams said, as TechPubs aims for continued expansion.

“We want to continue to grow our sales and marketing activities into other marketplaces,” Williams said, referring to both geographic expansion as well as other highly regulated industries that have significant compliance needs.

Williams declined to disclose revenue of the company. TechPubs has about 40 employees, mostly working remotely throughout the country and in China, with about five full-time at the Boulder headquarters.

Farmers stay aware with aWhere’s weather data

Agricultural climatologist John Corbett is a co-founder and chief executive of aWhere Inc., a Broomfield-based company that collects weather data from around the globe and turns it into information that helps farmers increase crop yields.

Agricultural climatologist John Corbett is a co-founder and chief executive of aWhere Inc., a Broomfield-based company that collects weather data from around the globe and turns it into information that helps farmers increase crop yields. Jonathan Castner/For BizWest

BROOMFIELD — High-tech firm aWhere Inc. is helping low-tech farmers around the globe increase their crop yields in the face of erratic weather and climate change.

The Broomfield-based company’s software system collects weather information from satellites, drone operators and weather aggregators for specific locations as small as a few acres anywhere in the world. Information collected includes data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation and wind – a billion data points across the planet each day – that can be used to make better decisions about what crops to plant, when to plant them and how to attend to them.

Using a set of algorithms created by aWhere, the company’s system analyzes and packages the data, makes recommendations, relays it to farm-management software companies who in turn can send it to client farmers in the field via mobile apps, text messages and even videos.

“The key is that this information makes farmers more profitable,” said agricultural climatologist John Corbett, the company’s chief executive and president. He said the information, which he calls agricultural intelligence, has allowed farmers to increase crop yields from 30 percent to 100 percent.

Corbett, who co-founded aWhere with Stewart Collis and Beau Bush in Texas in 1999, is based at company headquarters in Broomfield. Collis, chief technology officer, is in Durham, N.C., and Bush, vice president for information technology, is in Temple, Texas, where he runs the firm’s data center.

Jim Pollock

Pollock

Stewart Collis

Collis

Beau Bush

Bush

“We started as a consulting company, and were pretty good with software,” Corbett recalled. After moving to Colorado, aWhere hooked up with CTEK, an incubator in Boulder, which at the time was headed by Jim Pollock, who today is aWhere’s vice president for product strategy.  Awhere moved its headquarters from Wheat Ridge to Broomfield in January.

About 80 percent of aWhere’s clients are in the United States, including ag giant Monsanto Co., farm-management companies, commercial growers and independent farmers, but it is growing its presence globally, recently opening offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Nairobi, Kenya. The company has 41 employees worldwide.

Recently, aWhere signed agreements with several companies to deliver data to farmers in the Caribbean, Indonesia, Asia and Africa.

Jamaica-based Revofarm will use aWhere’s technology to deliver daily information and alerts via mobile apps to farmers. Revofarm also will use aWhere’s Weather Support application to equip their call center representatives with information needed to make recommendations to local farmers.

“In the Caribbean, our agricultural production is heavily influenced by the weather and climatic events,” said Ricardo Gowdie, Revofarm’s CEO. “On a daily basis, our farmers are in need of a more accurate weather-prediction and analysis system so they can make more intelligent farming decisions.”

In Indonesia, Vasham, which offers financing for people operating small farms, became an aWhere client in May so it can send daily agronomic and weather reports to corn growers whose farming practices are at risk because climate change is altering traditional weather patterns.

Initially, Vasham will provide this data as text messages sent directly to corn growers at a subsidized cost, and eventually will move to other crops, such as rice and soybeans.

“Indonesia has a major productivity issue in its agriculture industry,” said Irvan Kolonas, president and founder of Vasham. “Most of our farmers lack the new technical methods and technologies of planting their crops. Most still use outdated methods. Our partnership with aWhere will have a positive impact for our farmers.”

Indiana-based Spensa Technologies is using aWhere’s technology to provide weather information to farmers who will use it to mitigate pests that cripple fruit tree and row crop harvests. Spensa has clients in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

“Weather gives us insight into the biological clock of pests, equipping our customers with the ability to act early and get ahead of problems before they start,” said Chad Aeschliman, director of engineering at Spensa Technologies. “This quality weather data from aWhere helps make our phenology models more reliable and consistent.” Phenology is a branch of science dealing with the relations between climate and natural events, such as bird migration or plant flowering.

As of September, aWhere had raised $11.6 million in venture funding, including backing from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Elixir Capital and Boulder-based Aravaipa Ventures led by Robert Fenwick-Smith. The company generates about $2.4 million annually in revenue, Corbett said.

Among other companies, aWhere competes with Climate Corp., acquired by Monsanto for about $930 million, and FarmLink, backed by OpenAir Equity Partners.

The company’s name, aWhere, pronounced “aware,” is a play on words. “It’s about being aware of where you are,” Corbett said.

Doug Storum can be reached at 303-630-1959, 970-416-7369 or dstorum@bizwestmedia.com.