American Underground 2015 Funding Raised

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We can't tell you which 49 companies at American Underground raised funds over the last year, but we can highlight the 10 companies that made up almost $19 million of the $29.8 million raised. 

Note that these companies are all headquartered at American Underground. Companies like Docker and Guidebook have employees that work in the space, but including their venture dollars would increase the total by hundreds of millions—Docker alone raised $113 million in 2015.

Also, these are the top 10 companies that have reported dollars raised. There could be companies that qualify for this list, but that haven't made Form D filings with the SEC. The full report was released yesterday during American Underground's annual finale (which included an epic video).

Check out the list:


CloudFactory

2015 raise: $5.7 million
Investors include: The Rockefeller Foundation, VRBO founder David Clouse, Sovereign's Capital, Cherokee Investment Partners, local angels Brent Burgess of Triangle Capital and Domenic Mancuso
The back story: CloudFactory offers a unique combination of software and people to help companies like ESPN, Deloitte and UNC perform data-heavy tasks like captioning, transcribing or checking to be sure formatting is correct. What makes it extra unique is that the people are in Africa, and CloudFactory empowers them with both a job and skills to become leaders in fighting poverty in their communities. The company is growing 100 percent year-over-year, with 10 headquarters staff in Durham, 130 full time employees in Nepal and thousands of "cloudworkers". Here's the full profile on ExitEvent.

Testive

2015 raise: $2.1 million
Investors include: Duke Angel Network, Cofounders Capital, Triangle Angel Partners, RTP Capital + more than 85 other funds and angels since 2011
The back story: Though only its CEO is based in Durham, many of its largest funders are local and the EdTech startup expects to add employees here in the future. This startup evolved from research about effective test-taking from MIT and offers both free and paid training for the SAT and ACT. What makes it unique is the mix of online training and coaching from instructors, as well as a nearly full proof predictor of scores at any point during the training.  Here's the full profile.


Sqord

2015 raise: $2 million
Investors include: Providence Health Ventures, Techstars, Kima Ventures & local angels like Lauren Whitehurst
The back story: Full disclosure here—Sqord has moved its headquarters to Seattle. But it was based here when the funds were raised, and there are still some employees based at the Underground along with local investors. A partnership with investor Providence is getting Sqord's Booster activity tracking device onto the wrists of kids across the West Coast.  Here's the full profile.

PredictifyMe

2015 raise: $1.74 million
Investors include: A lead partner at a large Silicon Valley law firm and Miami-based Silver Platter LLC
The back story: This startup is best known for partnering with the United Nations to predict and prevent suicide bombings at schools in Pakistan. But its operation in Raleigh is primarily focused on helping retailers, insurance providers, nonprofits and other corporations analyze historical data that's both private and public to make predictions about the future or suggest changes to ensure a more profitable future. Its founders met as Eisenhower Fellows and though based in Raleigh, it employs people around the world. Here's the full profile.

SoloPro

2015 raise: $1.6 million
Investors include: Lowes Home Improvement, Duke Angel Network, Capitol Broadcasting (ExitEvent's parent company), Oxpoint Investments of Arlington, Va., Buchanan Ventures of Houston, Blue {Seed} Capital of New York City, Arnold Capital of San Francisco and several angel investors.
The back story: Unbundling the homebuying process is the mission of this Durham startup, led by a former Green Beret, politician and university professor. SoloPro lets homebuyers pay for only what they need from a Realtor, and earn a 3 percent rebate on the purchase of any home. Realtors are on board because it eliminates the headaches of indecisive homeowners—when someone wants a service through SoloPro, they pay for it up front instead of after a closing. Here's the full profile.


Mati Energy

2015 raise: $1.35 million
Investors include: AOL co-founder Steve Case, private angel investors
The back story: A Google Demo Day win was just the start of a huge 2015 for Durham's healthy energy drink maker. Founder Tatiana Birgisson went on to rack up national headlines, expand distribution with Whole Foods, Cisco and Kroger, raise money, sign a deal with a major distributor and open her own manufacturing facility. Here's our original profile on the company. And here's our story on her Google Demo Day win.

Adwerx

2015 raise: $1.25 million
Investors include: Joe Zawadski, CEO of MediaMath, Boulder Ventures, Bull City Venture Partners & others who originally invested in ReverbNation, which spun out Adwerx in early 2015.
The back story: As mentioned above, Adwerx is an advertising technology startup incubated within the music technology company in Durham. Reverb co-founder Jed Carlson is leading the new venture, which has partnered with many of the major real estate brokerages around the nation to offer an easy way for Realtors to advertise themselves to potential homebuyers online and on mobile devices. Here's the full profile. And here's the latest news on Adwerx.


RevBoss

2015 raise: $1.1 million
Investors include: Sovereign's Capital, Robbie Allen (CEO of Automated Insights), local angel investor Bruce Boehm and Alston Gardner, a local partner with Atlanta-based Fulcrum Ventures
The back story: What started as a consultancy helping B2B software companies generate more leads has turned into a software platform that automates at least some of those activities, helping tech and other businesses find and vet sales leads. Local investors have gotten behind the business, which was started by a serial entrepreneur and tech sales guy. Here's the full profile.

First.

2015 raise: $750,000
Investors include: Idea Fund Partners, Sovereign's Capital & a dozen angels
The back story: This startup was partially inspired by CloudFactory and the opportunity to use its cloudworkers to sift through huge sets of data that help to determine the likelihood that someone will buy a home soon. Using predictive analytics, First. looks at data like graduate school students, marriage certificates and birth certificates to determine people most likely to be searching for a home soon. It then messages those people at the time they're mostly to look for a Realtor to provide recommendations. The company has been in private beta since raising funds in June. Here's the full profile.

iScribes

2015 raise: $725,000
Investors include: A group of physicians at Triangle Orthopaedic Associates & angels (mostly other private physician users)
The back story: The Durham startup moved from Lynchburg, Va. in 2014 to take advantage of the Triangle's startup resources and large healthcare community. What started as an idea to use Google Glass to help transcribe doctor's notes has turned into a virtual medical scribe business that keeps electronic medical records up-to-date while freeing physicians to focus on their patients. It's been awhile since we've covered the company, but here's a short video with doctor-founder Jared Pelo talking about the vision.