Business Excellence Awards
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By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – Swipely – the creator of a platform that helps local merchants accept payments and understand customers – has completed a $12 million Series B round of financing led by Shasta Ventures.
The funding round, which also included existing investors First Round Capital, Greylock Partners and Index Ventures, will help Swipely expand its network of merchants, accelerate nationwide growth and hire new staff in its Providence office.
According to a Swipely release, the $12 million is the largest-ever Series B round of financing for a software company in Rhode Island. Since its inception, Swipely’s venture financing totals $20.5 million.
The company said it plans to use the record financing round to “grow the team across all functional areas,” including engineering, sales and marketing, finance and administration. In a release, the company describes itself as a “bellwether among a growing ecosystem of high-tech companies leading a renaissance in the Ocean State’s long-challenged economy.”
The company currently has about 40 employees, 35 of which work in its Providence office. Angus Davis, founder and CEO, told Providence Business News that Swipely expects to bring its total staff up to 80 by the end of the year, saying his company is “ramping up pretty aggressively.”
While there will be job growth across all of its staff teams, Davis said that the sales and “customer success” teams will see the most growth. Davis added that if his company hits its growth targets, which he called “ambitious but achievable,” that he will have 120 employees by the end of 2014.
“Our biggest challenge is finding really talented people so we can grow at that pace without compromising our high standards,” said Davis.
Swipely currently manages more than $700 million in annual sales for merchants and more than 2 million customer relationships, up nearly three-fold since December, Davis told Providence Business News.
“The next big milestone will be $1 billion, and we certainly expect to achieve that this year,” said Davis, adding that the goal will be to ultimately grow much larger than that and to go from serving hundreds of businesses nationwide to thousands.
The software company boasts that businesses that upgrade to Swipely “unlock shopping data” to help learn how new versus repeat customers contribute to sales, how to build a customer database with profiles for every card-paying customer, how to measure the way online marketing campaigns impact offline sales and how to launch trackable loyalty programs that bring customers back to their business.
“We are excited to be part of a company that finally brings the power of data to the offline world, ultimately translating into happy customers and more revenue,” Sean Flynn, partner at Shasta Ventures, said in prepared remarks. “It’s a major innovation in payments and marketing for small business, and we hope it will transform the way merchants understand and engage with their customers.”