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Happy Thursday!

Raise a glass with the Triangle tech community a week from today (Thursday, Oct. 13) at the next GrepBeat Happy Hour, sponsored by Jurassic Capital. The event will be 5-7 p.m. at Bull McCabe’s in downtown Durham. Please register so we can get a handle on numbers.
 
The featured guest on tomorrow’s Friday Nooner will be RIoT Executive Director Tom Snyder and his iconic facial hair. You can watch live on LinkedIn, YouTube or Facebook, or catch it afterwards on those platform or in its podcast form.
 


PerfectScale

“Kubernetes” is still a term I need to look up before I use in print. Here’s what Wikipedia says: “an open-source container orchestration system for automating software deployment, scaling, and management.” But the increasingly prevalent Kubernetes platform is certainly no mystery in the world of software development, and inevitably that means businesses are now being built—including potentially big businesses—on helping make the most of the platform.
 
That’s where Triangle-based PerfectScale comes in. CEO and Co-Founder Amir Banet is another veteran of Cary-based Samanage (you’ll likely recall its $350M acquisition by SolarWinds) and he launched PerfectScale this April as a tool set to optimize development within Kubernetes. The startup recently closed on a $2.5M pre-seed round and already has a team of 20 spanning the globe from the Triangle to Israel to Ukraine. Read our full story on PerfectScale here.


 


Myxx It Up

Cary-based Myxx, a recipe-centric ecommerce startup co-founded by Monica Wood and Dede Houston, has been acquired by Atlanta-based SmartCommerce. We first profiled Myxx in 2019, when it was focused on helping consumers buy groceries to make healthy recipes. That functionality has applications beyond whipping up a tasty meal; it makes it easier to buy and sell anything that is purchased as a package of goods rather than individual products.

Dede (Myxx’s CEO) will join SmartCommerce, while Monica—who stepped away from the CEO role this January after nearly seven years—has moved on to other things, including as an adjunct professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but you can find more info on Monica’s LinkedIn post and SmartCommerce’s press release on the deal.


 


Onward & Upward

The Triangle Tweener Fund is chugging along after closing a Q3 that saw it make 16 new investments totaling more than $700K. The investments include GrepBeat story subjects Dendi, Stashpad, TraKid, Wrangle, CureMint, MuukTest, Green Places, Playmetrics, Blue Recruit, Keen Decision Systems, CompostNow, Ivy Clinicians and Offline. (I guess it would have been easier to say all but three were GrepBeat story subjects, and it certainly would have saved me a lot of hyperlinking time.) Fun fact: two of them (Dendi and Offline) were GrepBeat Startups To Watch honorees last week and two more (CureMint and Green Places) were honored last year.
 
The Tweener Fund has now invested $2M+ into 38 portfolio startups since launching on Jan. 1 under General Partner Scot Wingo, who has since been joined by fellow boldface name Robbie Allen.


 


News Nuggets

Here are some news nuggets about other GrepBeat story subjects: 1) Durham-based home management platform HomeCloud (which we profiled last September) has raised $100K in new funds, according to an SEC filing.

2) Durham-based WorkDove—which moved from Wilmington to the Bull City (and eventually rebranded from its previous incarnation as Performance Culture) after an investment from GrepBeat Godfather Joe Colopy’s Jurassic Capital—and CEO Melissa Phillippi get the feature treatment from WRAL TechWire. Speaking of Jurassic Capital, have we mentioned that they’re sponsoring next Thursday’s GrepBeat Happy Hour? You should come! (After registering, natch.)

3) We first wrote about Nehemiah Stewart in 2020 when he was a UNC undergrad running a startup called Vector Rideshare that focused on connecting students who needed rides home (or to someplace fun) from college campuses. Now he’s a second-year UNC Medical School student with another startup on the side called Level The Playing Field. Innovate Carolina describes its mission thusly: “The organization works with faculty, staff, alumni and corporate partners across the nation to recruit minority students from HBCU‘s and other institutions, train them in professional development skills, and place them into influential internships at some of the top corporations in the nation.”


 


VC Slowdown

If it feels like VC deals are slowing down, that’s because they are. PitchBook’s Q3 data is in and, well, it’s not pretty. While still pretty solid by historical standards—“historical” is a term that old people use to tell young people that they don’t know or appreciate how good they’ve had it—it’s unquestionably a measurable decline on pretty much all relevant metrics. See TechWire for more.


 


'Ello, Guvnah

Governor Roy Cooper has been making the rounds this week at Triangle tech and tech-adjacent stops to pitch high-tech manufacturing jobs. On Tuesday he was in Franklinton at PRTI, which as we told you in July is transforming used tires into a new energy source. (See WRAL.com for more.) A day later he was at SAS HQ in Cary to say that high-tech manufacturing jobs will be a key driver of the state’s economy. At the same event SAS CEO Jim Goodnight said he’s committed to training workers to fill those jobs.
 
While we’re mentioning SAS, former SAS exec Oliver Schabenberger—who was once the presumed heir apparent to Jim Goodnight—is now the head of the Raleigh hub for California-based tech company SingleStore. This week SingleStore announced that it has raised another $30M in its Series F round, bringing the total to $146M. Oliver tells Triangle Inno that it will mean more hiring in the Triangle.


 


Lateral Move

Since IBM acquired Red Hat for $34B in 2019, it has mostly kept to its promise of allowing Red Hat to operate independently. Now it’s tweaking that pledge somewhat. An undisclosed number of Red Hatters will move to IBM as part of a consolidation of the two companies’ data storage businesses. See TechWire and TBJ for more. Both stories also talk about Kubernetes, btw.


 


Quelle Surprise

In the dog-bites-man category, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney is publicly upset with Apple. This time, Tim is blasting his fellow Tim (Cook) over price increases in the App Store. See MacRumors for more.


 


Build Great Software

Founded by serial entrepreneurs, Dualboot is a software and business development company. Their clients include tech and non-tech founders as well as Fortune 500 companies, so they can start small or scale fast depending on what you need. Every client is assigned a U.S.-based Product Director with years of experience bringing products to market, and they can manage the entire development process. They focus on how the software fits into your company to drive revenue and build the business. At Dualboot, they don’t just write your software—they help you grow your business. Intrigued? Email them here.


 

Extra Bit

Kenneth Marks isn’t just a Managing Director at Raleigh-based M&A advisors High Rock Partners—he’s also an author. The Wiley Financial Series is issuing a updated second edition of Middle Market M&A: Handbook for Advisors, Investors and Business Owners, of which he is the lead writer. You can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 

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