Durham firm lands $30 million infusion from Triangle, Charlotte investors

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A Durham-based software company has hauled in tens of millions in new funding as it looks to continue its growth.

ServiceTrade confirmed it’s brought in $30 million combined from Charlotte-based Frontier Growth and Durham-based Bull City Venture Partners.

ServiceTrade, founded in 2012, serves more than 500 customers in the fire protection, mechanical and electrical industries. CEO Billy Marshall said the cash infusion is critical for positioning the company for aggressive growth when the market stabilizes.

“It means that we’ve got access to both the capital and the expertise to continue to scale the company,” Marshall said. “Ideally we want to create a $100 million company over the next six to eight years and we weren’t gonna be able to do that without a partnership with a company like Frontier.”

Tyler Krueger, VP at Frontier Growth, said ServiceTrade has been growing in excess of 50 percent each year. Frontier Growth has invested in several vertical software as a service (SaaS) companies in the past and hopes to see similar long-term and short-term growth for ServiceTrade.

“Our focus is going an inch wide and a mile deep for their customers,” Krueger said.

Marshall said there were previous concerns of securing a partnership since Covid-19 outbreaks disrupted deal activity during ServiceTrade’s planned March to April timeframe for securing a deal.

Krueger said Frontier Growth had a pre-existing relationship with Marshall and Billy McCarthy, of Bull City Venture Partners, which made closing the deal amid a global pandemic less complicated.

ServiceTrade has generally maintained its customers-base throughout the pandemic because the vocational and entrepreneurial workforce associated with ServiceTrade’s platform has largely remained essential workers. Marshall said this gave them the flexibility to secure capital and strengthen their balance sheet.

“It turns out that our customer base has held up pretty well. Generally speaking they’re essential workers, but by having the foundation of a partnership with Bull City it made our negotiations with Frontier more even-handed because our customer base was holding up – We didn’t have to have capital,” Marshall said. “We could have gone for another two years without capital, but it made sense to go ahead and strengthen our balance sheet so that as the market recovers we are in the best position possible to be aggressive in our expansion.”

ServiceTrade was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program loan of $350,000 to $1 million dollars earlier this year.

“That was a sort of further insurance policy against uncertainty in the early days when nobody knew what was gonna happen in the market,” Marshall said.

As part of the new partnership, Richard Maclean, Managing Partner at Frontier, and Chris Fountain, an operating partner at Frontier, along with Krueger will join the board of directors for ServiceTrade.

Original Article Source: Triangle Business Journal