Technology companies in Tampa Bay have had a successful start to 2022. As some corners of the tech industry decline, Tampa tech startups continue to grow with no end in sight. These four tech companies closed impressive seed rounds in the last 30 days.
Blockchain data platform Pocket Network raised $10 million in its third and most recent funding round. It is now worth an estimated $1.5 billion. Pocket Network's “unicorn” status comes only six months after launching.
Lead funding institutions include Republic Capital, Arrington Capital, C Ventures, and Rocktree Capital.
Plans for the newly acquired funding include doubling employees from 30 to 60. Pocket Network also intends to launch marketing campaigns and participate in international hackathons.
CEO Michael O’Rourke co-founded Pocket Network in 2017. The company allows blockchains to integrate into Web3 applications, mobile apps, and IoT. Pocket Network allows developers to make blockchain-enabled applications more accessible to mainstream users. It currently sells tokens at a rate of $3.
Vu Technologies also closed a favorable seed round of $10 million. This most recent funding round is led entirely by ADX Labs, based in Minneapolis. Steven Renner, the founder of ADX Labs, is expected to join the board of directors at Vū Technologies this year.
Vū Technologies is now worth an impressive $50 million and expects to hit $1 billion by the end of 2022. The company intends to secure a Series A round of funding for an undisclosed sum.
Vū Technologies leads the industry as one of the most advanced virtual production studios in the world. Industry partners include Sony, Apple, HBO, and Disney. Its studios have produced major motion pictures like Mandalorian and hit series like Game of Thrones and Westworld.
Vu Technologies will open new studios in Nashville and Las Vegas in the coming months. The company reports it will build studios in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Las Angeles, Stamford, and Toledo by 2024.
The virtual production company currently has 34 employees. It anticipates hiring upwards of 100 more throughout 2022. To grow the workforce in virtual production, co-founders Tim Moore and Jon Davila have launched partnerships with universities near each studio location. Vū Technologies donated over $100,000 of equipment to universities to support the growing industry.
BlockSpaces closed an approximated $6 million after a successful seed round this month. Previously, BlockSpaces raised $1.2 million in March 2021 and $250,000 in the first round.
Spearheading the most recent round is Leadout Capital. Leadout Capital partner Steve Brownlie plans to join the board of directors at BlockSpaces.
Other investors include QED Investors, Druid Ventures, GTMfund, and Zynga’s Mark Pincus. The round also included returning investors. These include Brighter Capital, BlockFund Ventures, and Tampa Bay entrepreneur Tony Dibenedetto.
BlockSpaces reports a 40 times increase in revenue owing to a 20 times increase in users. The company has experienced rapid growth, expanding from 3 employees to 21. It expects to double this number before the end of 2022.
BlockSpaces provides blockchain integration software for connecting applications and data.
Rose Shores and Gabe Higgins founded BlockSpaces in 2017. Shores attributes BlockSpaces' success to the expanding notoriety of Tampa Bay’s tech community. It is currently headquartered at Tampa startup hub Embarc Collective.
Estate administration startup Trustate closed $1.8 million in its first seed round. Trustate reports nearly 1000% growth over 2021, surpassing expectations. Trustate’s reputation soared after an acceptance as a finalist for Startup of the Year’s upcoming summit.
Trustate’s leading investors include Impression Ventures, Gingerbread Capital, and Red Bike Capital.
Trustate combines the expertise of estate law, complex tax planning, and social work to offer estate administration services. With just 5 employees, the startup plans to use the funding to expand. Trustate is developing new products for clients and is seeking several skilled engineers to join the team.
Co-founders Leah Del Percio, Esq. and Tara Faquir founded the corporation in 2020. Trustate aims to simplify the burden of estate administration for grieving loved ones. The company competes with private estate attorneys by offering a flat rate to close an estate and offers end-to-end service.
Trustate works primarily with financial advisors, estate lawyers, and banks, though anyone can sign up. Current partners include BFG Financial Advisors, Christopher Street Financial, and Next Level Wealth Management.
Keep an eye out for more Tampa Bay startups to make waves in 2022.