Two ICYMIs for you: 1) Bull City Venture Partners’ Jason Caplain made for an excellent guest co-host alongside Pete in the latest Friday Noonerin the rare moments in which he wasn’t trying to instigate conflict, and we welcomed back Jan Davis as guest for the second straight week. 2) Are you still catching up post-vacation? Surely you have a minute and a half to spare on GrepBeat’s This Week In 90 Seconds, aka TW90.
Did you know that only 34% of all recyclable material in the U.S. is actually recycled? Toss in the fact that lots of “regular” trash ends up in the recycling bins to threw yet another wrench into the process and the need for Raleigh-based MyMatR is clear. MyMatR makes a patent-pending, waste-sorting trash container for high-traffic public places and businesses that uses AI to automatically sort whatever you toss into the right place at the time of disposal. The startup is currently participating in the eighth cohort of the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). Read our full story on MyMatR here.
Signs Of Times
Today we’re also featuring a second RAP participant: pro-UP. The startup helps simplify, streamline and significantly speed up the bid process for large commercial construction and renovation projects. The wife-and-husband team behind pro-UP started out in the architectural sign manufacturing and consulting business—think those floor plans you see in elevator banks, arrows pointing to fire escape routes, exit signs, etc. From that they developed a software platform to help manage the bid process. Now they’d like to expand beyond signage to other trades and industry verticals. Read our full story on pro-UP here.
Sometimes I feel like I spend half my time on Slack, and apparently I’m not alone. When Durham-based startup Wrangle—we featured them when they launched last summer—originally launched its workflow management software, it planned to integrate with a variety of workplace tools. But what their customers really wanted was a better Slack, so that’s where Wrangle soon put its entire focus. It’s been paying off; Slack recently featured Wrangle as a top app, right alongside biggies like Zoom and Google Calendar.
Tomorrow, the re-dubbed Wrangle for Slack will appear on the prominent Product Hunt site, which curates the best new products in tech. So get ready to vote them up!
Chapel Hill-based RepVue—which we wrote about in October, 2019—has closed on a $1M seed funding round led by Atlanta-based Knoll Ventures. We described RepVue then as “Glassdoor for companies’ sales departments, but without the trolls,” and we have no problem quoting ourselves. CEO Ryan Walsh has nearly two decades of sales experience, including 16 years at ChannelAdvisor, so he’s seen first-hand how different a sales department can be from the company as a whole, and that both the employee and employer benefit if the fit between them is a good one from the start.
Scot Wingo, the current Spiffy Founder/CEO and former Founder and CEO of ChannelAdvisor, was already an investor in RepVue and will now be joining the board that will be formed in the wake of this funding. TechWire also has more details, though it was news to us (and GrepBeat readers) that RepVue had been operating in “stealth mode.”
Apex-based cloud integration platform TriggerMesh has raised nearly $5M. TriggerMesh offers Kubernates-based technology that allows for cloud workflow automation that can accelerate a product’s time to market. (I’ll be honest, I read and re-read the definition of Kubernates a few times, but this Red Hatexplainer page conveys it better than I can.) TriggerMesh previously raised a seed round in late 2019. TBJ and TechWire have more information.
At The Top
It’s always nice to see when paying your dues pays off. That’s the case at self-publishing platform Lulu, where Kathy Hensgen was named CEO last week after more than 20 years of publishing and software experience, including 11 years at the company. Kathy was most recently the COO and President at RTP-based Lulu. It was she who spearheaded the company’s move into ecommerce fulfillment with the first print-on-demand plugin for printing and shipping books. That's the precisely the area where Lulu believes that its growth lies. TechWire has more info.
File It Away
Durham-based ArchiveSocial, the winner of the inaugural special Greppy for “Best Leveraging of Triangle Ecosystem Resources,” is acquiring San Francisco-based NextRequest. ArchiveSocial makes software for government agencies, schools and other organizations that need to maintain archives of their social media platforms. NextRequest, meanwhile, is a leader in the overlapping area of helping government agencies deal with public records requests such as those through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ArchiveSocial says that it will grow by about 25% after the acquisition. TechWire has more info.
Durham-based VC fund Resilient Ventures, which we first wrote about two summers ago, is holding the firm’s first syndication and (virtual) demo day event tomorrow, June 30. Resilient focuses on funding Black entrepreneurs and has raised nearly $3.5M to do so. Six companies will deliver 45-minute pitch presentations followed by a virtual networking event at 4 p.m. Registration is free.
One of the half-dozen startups is from the Triangle. That would be Raleigh-based Gryppers, a company founded by two former NC State football players that makes a high-tech product that’s halfway between athletic tape and a football glove. TechWire has more details.
Dualboot Partners is a software development firm that helps ventures at all stages build great software and great companies. Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot Partners comes to each project with deep expertise in technology and business, as well as a commitment to supporting its clients well beyond the development process. The team offers advice and perspective—built over the course of hundreds of projects—and leverages its vast network to connect clients with investors, future hires and other resources critical in turning a concept into a successful venture. Intrigued? Email them here!
Congrats to the tech-related honorees among TBJ’s 40 Under 40 Awards. We noticed Nikin Shah, the Co-CEO of medical device company Polyzen and—more directly in our wheelhouse—one of the founders of Front Porch Venture Partners. Our sources say they spotted Nikin at GrepBeat’s Happy Hour earlier this month. Also making the list was SAS’s Director of Product Marketing and Sales Enablement, Brooke Fortson. Congrats to all the recipients!
Guess where Pete is and (maybe) win a GrepBeat mug!
This is (hopefully) the last picture that will be from the exterior of a coffee shop or restaurant rather than inside. But the GrepBeat mug you could win will be just as red. So send your guesses here!