A Missoula-based tech company has landed the biggest venture capital investment ever in Montana history.
Submittable, a software company that caters to nonprofits, governments and enterprises, announced Monday that it has raised $47 million in Series C funding led by the research-focused investment firm Accel-KKR technology with support from existing investors.
According to CEO Thor Culverhouse, the money will be used to expand the company’s staff in Missoula and the Seattle area.
“It’s an accelerator for the company,” he says. “We doubled (turnover) last year, and we will probably be close to double this year. This capital will also likely allow us to double the size of our team. We continue to invest in culture, people and talent in Missoula.
Submittable has 165 total employees, of which approximately 90 are based in Missoula. The company’s offices are in the historic building in downtown Florence, but many workers are totally remote.
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Submittable was founded in a basement in 2010 by Missoula entrepreneurs Michael FitzGerald, Bruce Tribbensee and John Brownell. In 2019, the company landed $10 million in venture capital. In 2020, FitzGerald stepped back from its role to deal with stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer. The company also laid off 30 workers in 2020 as the pandemic dried up demand for its services and products. Monday’s announcement marks a dramatic turnaround from that low point for the company.
The new venture capital funds will be used by the company to strengthen how it helps organizations launch, manage and measure social impact programs.
Culverhouse said the social impact sector has seen “incredible” growth in recent years as public, private and nonprofit entities have all increased funding for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
“There is a major shift in the way the world thinks about social impact, as organizations large and small reshape their programs in real time to address global change,” Culverhouse said. “Social responsibility is now table stakes, and we are privileged to grow and evolve alongside these organizations by transforming the impact process. This funding is central to our ongoing efforts to develop our product and our team to better help our customers make that difference.
For example, Facebook’s foundation gave $25 million to black content creators in the summer of 2020 following nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd.
“We made that process easy,” Culverhouse explained.
Submittable has essentially developed a grant management platform, software as a service, and other technologies that allow organizations to push funding to constituents and customers and then measure impact. Submittable has built the underlying technology that allows state governments to distribute COVID relief funds, disaster relief, housing assistance, and a variety of other grants. The venture capital will allow Submittable to add new features to its platform to improve how it measures engagement.
Culverson said Submittable’s technology streamlines program management from first application to final report, and includes workflow automation, fund distribution services and reporting tools.
“Our collective experiences over the past several years have dramatically increased the focus and scale of giving and impact initiatives, accelerating an already large and growing market,” said Joe Porten, CEO of Accel-KKR. . “Submittable provides world-class technology that allows organizations to be both highly efficient and effective in their social impact work.”
The previous Montana venture capital record was set in 2018, when Livingston-based marketing technology firm PFL secured a $25 million investment from Goldman Sachs Growth Equity.
Culverson said the record investment for Submittable is a sign of good things to come for Montana’s high-tech companies.
“It’s an endorsement of the culture of Montana and its people,” he said. “There is a resurgence of high-tech talent in Montana. We see more and more companies popping up because it’s a great place to work and live and we’re excited to be a part of it.