SalesWarp, a Baltimore-based provider of e-commerce management software, has received a $500,000 investment from the State's InvestMaryland program, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) announced today. A public-private partnership between the State and venture capital firms, InvestMaryland raised $84 million to reinvigorate the State-run Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) and support the growth of young Maryland companies in biotechnology, cybersecurity, e-commerce and other high-growth industries. The funding, through the Maryland Venture Fund, led SalesWarp's fundraising round and will be used to grow the company's innovative line of products.
"Entrepreneurs, startup companies and small businesses play a critical role in the growth of Maryland's economy. They are the engine that drives innovation and discovery while creating the family-supporting jobs of today andtomorrow," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "We are proud to make this investment in SalesWarp and we look forward to their success in Maryland's growing community of exciting high-tech startups."
"We are thrilled to have this commitment from the Maryland Venture Fund," said David Potts, Founder and CEO of SalesWarp. "Beyond the funding, MVF also brings many connections and skills that will help us achieve our 2014 goals and grow our team here in Maryland. We're using this funding to expand our market share nationally, meet rising customer demand and continued innovation of our product lines to propel growth."
SalesWarp, a retailer's mission control center, has experienced strong growth the past two years by serving both enterprise and emerging online retailers. A budding 12-personcompany located in Baltimore's Emerging Technology Center, SalesWarp expects its staff to grow to 25 by the end of 2015. Much of the company's growth can be attributed to its partner strategy and integrations with leading eCommerce firms, including shopping carts (Magento, Volusion, Demandware, osCommerce), online marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, Rakuten), accounting (Quickbooks, Peachtree) and shipping software (Shipworks, iabol, Shipstation).
Created by Governor O'Malley and passed by the General Assembly in 2011, InvestMaryland is the largest venture capital investment initiative in Maryland's history. In March 2012, the State raised $84 million for the program through an online auction of tax credits to Maryland insurance companies. Two-thirds of the funding -- $56 million -- is being managed by carefully screened private venture firms that will invest the funds and, if successful, return 100% of the principal and 80% of the profits to the State's general fund. The remaining third of the InvestMaryland capital is largely allocated to direct investments by the state-run Maryland Venture Fund.
The Maryland Venture Fund is a regionally recognized leader in seed and early-stage investing and a national model for state-supported investment programs. With nearly two decades of experience and numerous successful investments, MVF invests in highly innovative technology companies across the full range of industry sectors including software, communications, cybersecurity and life sciences companies in the areas of healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics.