September 17, 2009

Columbia Company Moving To Charleston After Acquisition

Andy Owens  /  Charleston Regional Business Journal

A group of former Benefitfocus executives are returning to Charleston, bringing with them a newly acquired company they're relocating from Columbia.

PMW Technologies, with a $5 million infusion of venture capital financing, has purchased Acadia Human Capital Solutions. Vice President Charles Wyke-Smith said that PMW was created to buy Acadia and that the company is looking for permanent office space in the Charleston area.

Acadia is currently operating out of the Charleston Digital Corridor's Flagship building, at the corner of Calhoun and East Bay streets, and maintaining its offices in Columbia.

"The new management team who has acquired the company is all based there," Wyke-Smith said of the Flagship office. "We feel like Charleston is becoming a vibrant technology center, and we just feel like that's the place we want the company to be."

Acadia Human Capital Solutions provides strategic human resources and work force productivity software and services. The company has been in business since 2001 and specializes in management of employees through "full career development," the company said in a news release.

All three members of the executive team formerly worked for Charleston-based Benefitfocus, including Wyke-Smith; Chief Technology Officer John Smith; and President and CEO Nate DaPore.

"Our Acadia platform will help companies attract, develop and motivate their work force to ensure employees realize their full potential to operate in a high-performance workplace," DaPore said. "By providing the means to easily offer all employees the training and development they need, these companies will become the best and most desirable places to work."

The $5 million in financing, the company's first institutional financing, was led by Intersouth Partners of Durham, N.C., with participation by C&B Capital of Atlanta, the company said.

Acadia plans to use the money to develop the company's technology into a comprehensive online platform. It also will expand the company's current offering into core areas critical to development and motivation of a company's work force.

The company said its target market is small and midsized businesses to help them manage the entire employee life cycle, from hiring through retirement.

Acadia employs 21 people in Columbia. Wyke-Smith said the management team is in discussions with those employees to determine whether they will relocate to Charleston.