Bigger, fresher, more colorful, and more intense than a beach town should be, Miami powers south Florida and startups.
Miami Florida, the gateway to the Caribbean and South America for many US-based businesses, drew settlers thousands of years ago. The Tequestas built a city of hundreds of people back in 5-600 B.C. at the mouth of the Miami River where modern skyscrapers stand today.
Now the third-tallest skyline in the US, thanks to over 300 high rises, Miami is equal parts businesses and business and beach fun. More people come to metropolitan Miami than to any other city than New York. A major percentage of those visitors are heading out on cruises, since the Port of Miamis is well-known as the Cruise Capital of the World.
The University of Miami and another baker’s dozen of schools graduate about 28,000 students each year. As the fourth-largest urban area of the US, and the site of more international banks than any other city, creativity abounds. Rub money together with lots of educated people and good startups happen.
Miami loves retirees, or at least retirees love Miami. With that population comes extra doctors, and CareCloud developed in the area to better serve those physicians and all others through a cloud-based Practice Management system with advanced Electronic Health Record capabilities.
Founded by Albert Santalo in January 2009, an angel investor delivered $2.5 million a year later. Another angel placement of $5 million came later that year in October 2010. Intel Capital dropped $20.1 million in Series A funding in September 2011 and another $15 million of Series B bucks in April 2015. A few other placements, including $31.5 million in Series C cash in November 2016 all total up to $128.4 million.
English-speaking people number between 1 and 1.5 billion, a small percentage of the world’s population that’s around 7.5 billion. While English is the third more popular language (behind Mandarin and Spanish), it’s the global language of business, so Open English uses native English speakers to provide live classes 24×7. So far, about 500,000 students from 40 countries have signed up.
Founded in 2006, when the Internet really started to handle video, Open English received $6 million in Series A money from Flybridge Capital Partners in November 2010. In May 2011, the same group provided $4.25 million in Series B money. Another Series B round totaled $2 million, then Insight Venture Partners lead a group dropping $43 million in Series C money. In April 2013, TCV spoke up with $65 million. That gives a valuation of $350 million thanks to investments totaling over $120 million.
Miami gets plenty of sun every day, and Origis Energy decided to turn that into electrical power for utilities. So far they have over 100 projects worldwide generating 500+ megawatts to date of developed solar capacity.
Opening up in 2008, Origis Energy, founded by Guy Vanderhaegen and Paul Thiers, set up two investment fund that year and began construction on their first solar project. They finished one of the largest in the US in late 2013, and, perhaps as a result, received $100 million in private equity funding from Baltisse in November 2016.
For many, especially in South America, a phone is more than a phone, it’s a bank and payment card and cash register. YellowPepper, one of the pioneers in mobile banking and payments, manages their Mexican, Columbian, Ecuador, and Vietnam offices from their Miami headquarters, along with their payment, banking, transfer, and loyalty programs.
Begun in 2004, years before the iPhone appeared, YellowPepper’s work earned $5 million in venture funding from the International Finance Corporation in October 2010, along with another $5 million in Series B money from an unnamed entity. December 2012 arrived with an undisclosed amount of venture funds. Series C cash, $115 million worth, arrived in August 2013 followed by $19 million in February 2014 from LIV Capital. All told, the bank in the phone says more than $44 million total.
Banks have been around for centuries, but digitally-aware and advanced banks remain rare. Technisys helps banks deploy their Cyberbank core and Omnichannel platforms to get them up to speed with today’s digital customer who is demanding better and better digital services.
Founded in 1999, when “digital” pretty much meant mainframe, Technisys grew their customer base across South America. In October 2014, Intel Capital and others deposited $13 million in Series B money. $1 million in Series A money was received in early 2008. The latest check solidified the digital pivot and totaled up to $14 million.
Insurance plans have been in the news quite a bit, but headlines don’t help people who need to find the right plan for them and/or their family. Luckily, HealthCare.com does that. Not the government exchange, HealthCare.com is a privately-held site to help consumers. They also help people search for Medicare Supplement plans.
Started in December 2006 (health care was in the news a lot then, too), HealthCare.com developed their software, website, and comparison platform on their own. In May 21015 three investors provided a healthy $9.27 million in Series A funding.
Getting the physical world into something usable by digital tools can be tough. Matrix Labs makes it considerably easier with products such as the AdBeacon Camera, which uses computer vision to see and integrate the real world into machine learning systems.
The company opened its eyes in 2012 thanks to $625k in seed money. In march 2014 they received another check, this one for $2.2 million. February 2015, the shortest month, left the highest pile of cash when $2.98 million arrived. About $5.8 million worth of confidence-boosting funds have arrived to date.
People love to hate lawyers, but when you need one you want a good one. Premonition takes the guesswork out of finding the correct counselor by using artificial intelligence to analyze the best lawyers in certain situations based on the results and peer ratings.
The gavel sounded in March 2014 bringing order to the court of lawyer analysis. In October 2015 they received $3 million in seed funding. Another $2 million followed in November 2015 for a total of $5 million.
People adore faces, as shown by the incredible total of selfies each day. Businesses love faces even more, especially when using facial recognition for security or customer identification. And Kairos has done the tough selfie-searching facial recognition sledding to help make facial analysis a key for a variety of business needs including diversity traits.
An undisclosed amount of seed money started Kairos rolling in May 2012. That September, $810k in seed money arrived, as did $150k in angel funds in December 2012. New World Angels lead a group plopping down $1.2 milion in Series A money in February 2014, followed byt $1.3 million in seed bucks from an unknown source in August 2014. Another couple of placements in July 2015 and November 2015 push the total over $4.4 million.
Think AirBnB on the water and you have Boatsetter. Helping boat owners by generating some revenue in the 95 percent of the time their boats sit empty, and helping boat renters by offering a huge range of rental options and floating fun, Boatsetter gives the sharing economy some water wings.
Formed recently, in 2013, Boatsetter started with $700k in seed money, and got an undisclosed amount in May 2016. In December that year they hooked $13 million in Series A funds, and netted another $1.5 million in June 2017. Their total catch to date? Well over $15 million.