February 27, 2012

Charleston Tech Firm Will Triple in Size After $14 Million Funding Commitment

Kristy Eppley Rupon  /  The State

A $14 million infusion by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist firm will help a Charleston technology company triple in size in the coming months.

"It's going to allow us to grow exponentially faster and bring more product to market," said Nate DaPore, president and CEO of PeopleMatter, which today announced the Series C round of funding led by Morgenthaler Ventures.

PeopleMatter, which was a start-up firm in the Charleston Digital Corridor's Flagship incubator with just three employees in 2009, has since grown to 100 employees with additional offices in San Francisco and Atlanta.

The company specializes in human resources software for restaurants, retail and hospitality. It serves clients nationwide – from small fine or casual dining restaurants to big chains, such as Ruby Tuesday.

PeopleMatter is poised to launch a line of new products geared toward the employee and plans to hire another 200 people over the next 12 to 18 months, DaPore said.

The company on Tuesday will unveil a new scheduling product that will allow companies to deliver schedules directly to employees' mobile devices or laptops, DaPore said. From there, the employee can pick up shifts or swap with other employees.

Employers can also use a labor forecasting device to analyze historical sales and traffic data to build an optimal schedule, DaPore said.

The company also plans a product that will allow employees in the service industry to build a virtual profile that can be viewed by prospective employers and is designed to keep top talent in the industry, DaPore said.

"The PeopleMatter Platform isn't just an HR software system; it's a way to connect and communicate with today's mobile-social employees," Gary Little, a partner at Morgenthaler Ventures and new PeopleMatter board member, said in a statement.

"These solutions offer a whole new level of engagement and will fundamentally change how employers and employees interact in the workplace," Little said. "PeopleMatter's vision to create an entire talent network in the service industry is both innovative and light-years ahead of where any other company is in this space."

The company started a search for funding last October, DaPore said, and chose Morgenthaler, in part, because of its expertise.

"They bring so much more than just their capital," he said. "The partners that are working on our company are tremendously experienced and will be on our board."

DaPore said securing funding from a major Silicon Valley investor is a big step forward for the company and for the state.

"It's a really big win for South Carolina to get that kind of attention," he said. "We're proving that you can build a large technology company in Charleston, South Carolina."