Top 10 tech startups charting in Charlotte
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Photo courtesy: Charlotte NC Travel and Tourism

A southern state powerhouse for centuries, Charlotte cooks up some interesting startups

The largest city in North Carolina, and a seat of power since the 1750s, Charlotte sprawls across parts of 16 counties with the over 2,538,000 citizens. Bank of America is headquartered here, as is the East Coast Operations Center of Wells Fargo Bank.

Charlotte can actually make a case for being founded in 1567, because that’s the first area mention in European records. But the Queen City, as it’s called after namesake German Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, now looks forward with multiple universities.

Nine Fortune 500 companies call the area home. If you like loud cars, NASCAR has its home office and Hall of Fame in Charlotte. No wonder Forbes Magazine called Charlotte one of the best places for businesses and careers. And that was before some of our featured companies appeared.


Photo courtesy: AvidXchange

Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable are the fun/painful sides of the same coin. Both require attention to detail and time, often lacking in busy businesses. That’s why AvidXchange created software that handles both sides of that coin with automation, mobile support, and cloud-based savings for medium to large companies.

Starting way back in 2000, one might think calling AvidXchange a startup is a stretch. But their investment history tells a different story. The grabbed $2.02 million in Series B money in August 2002, and a quarter mil in a convertible note in the summer of 2006. Pretty ordinary. Then Bain Capital Ventures plopped $225 million in their laps in September 2015. Others followed with $18 million in a Series E placement in the fall of 2016, and a private equity placement in June of 2017 totaled $300 million.

SmartSky Networks

Photo courtesy: SmartSky

Plane flights uninterrupted by slaving over a laptop may be nostalgic but are unproductive. Besides, business flyers need to do business, and SmartSky Networks has developed 4G LTE connectivity for planes large and small. And that includes Wi-Fi calling on your smartphone with the SmartSky Select app.

Getting speedy data on a plane took some doing, and SmartSky started the process back I 2011. In August, 2012, Jun 2014, November 2014, and May 2015 that landed on debt financing totaling over $21 million, topped by Series B funding in March 2017 of $170 million.


Photo courtesy: MapAnything

Companies focus on what they need to do, how to do it, and when to execute. Too few of them focus on the where of it all, so MapAnything charted a course to add “Geo-productivity software” to Salesforce and ServiceNow. Salespeople who call don’t need it, but the real world still exists, and MapAnything helps all your employees navigate that messy place.

Geo-software building blocks haven’t been around all that long, and neither has MapAnything. Founded in the summer of 2009, their first five chunks of funding were $250k in debt financing in December 2012, April and October 2013, May 2014, and January 2015 (only $200k that time). The pot of gold at the end of the trail? $7.3 million in Series A in December 2015, and a bigger pot of $33.1 millioin in Series B money in February 2017.


Photo courtesy: PeraHealth

Michael and Steven Rothman lost their mother, Florence, after heart surgery to a complication that was treatable but difficult to diagnose. As an engineer and scientist skilled in data analysis, the brothers started PeraHealth and developed The Rothman Index, using data to predict health problems before they became health tragedies.

Working on development of their Rothman Index starting in 2008, they bootstrapped products and techniques into the health market. A shot in the arm came in January, 2017, as Mainsail Partners plopped down $14 million in venture capital.


Photo courtesy: Payzer

One might expect Charlotte, with such a big bank presence, would foster some financial startups. One of those is Payzer, a company the claims to be “the all-in-one financial tool” for contractors of all types. Mobile tools, payments through phones and tablets, and debit cards for employees are just part of the toolset.

Watching and learning, Payzer started in 2014. In April 2015 their approach was endorsed by Route 66 Ventures and $4.2 million in Series A funding. A year later debt financing added $1.5 million, and in September 2016 Series B money from three investors totaled up to $4.25 million.


Photo courtesy: Stratifyd

Get ready with your Dilbert jokes, because Stratifyd wants to equip business leaders with Artificial Intelligence (your favorite biz cartoon might say execs have no other kind). But managing a complex world is no laughing matter, and harnessing AI, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) help bring order to the chaos of unstructured data.

Beginning work in January 2015, Stratifyd received $1 million in seed money in a month later in February. 2016 opened with a pre-A Series placement of $3.4 million on the first day of the year (Happy New Year! indeed). A Series A $7 million round completed in mid-June, 2017.

Halo Smart Labs

Photo courtesy: Halo Smart Labs

A tech startup in smoke detectors? Yes, when that smoke detector becomes part of a system that also warns residents of tornadoes. That’s what Halo Smart Labs does, after the father of the founder had a close call with a tornado at his home in Missouri. Bingo, weather detector turned tornado warning via a new smoke detector.

Consumer products can be a tough startup puzzle, and Halo got started in December 2013 and their first cash from debt financing in June 2015 for $900k. A year later, they received another $2.17 million and in April 2017 landed $3.14 million in debt financing.

Fuzzy Logix

Photo courtesy: Fuzzy Logix

You know this company is a high tech startup because the name includes Fuzzy, a data analysis term for messy data, and Logix with an X. Applying data analysis many times faster than competitors, Fuzzy Logix helps clients in finance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and telecommunications with their in-database technique.

Starting in 2007, not long after big data became affordable, Fuzzy Logix developed and consulted and scraped to win customers. Finally they also won the attention of New Science Ventures, how put down a sharp and clear $5.5 million in Series A money in November 2015.

Atom Power

Photo courtesy: Atom Power

Electricity fueled the startups of almost 100 years, but that doesn’t fit our criteria. But a company using solid state technology to harness Edison’s big creation? Say hello to Atom Power, a company dedicated to revolutionizing power distribution with custom hardware and software.

Starting at the very end of 2014, Atom Power finally convinced a group of investors to put up Series A money. One of those investors was Eaton, a major player in power control for computer rooms. The four investors grounded Atom Power with $3.7 million in February 2017.


Photo courtesy: Quaero

Advertising online and websites get more complicated every day, but Quaro helps companies handle the volume, scale, and breadth of digital data that can overwhelm them. Tracking user profiles across devices and locations help clean up the noise and clear up your user profiles.

Officially starting in 2014 when the company core was spun out of a major public, Quaero avoided the spotlight for a time. Their May 2014 seed funding o $2.6 million got them going, and the August 2015 placement of another $1.5 million was a nice endorsement.


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James Gaskin

About James Gaskin

James writes books, articles, and jokes about technology, and consults for those who don’t read his books and articles.

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