It looks like nice guys can finish first. That's certainly true when it comes to Strap
, the Brandery grad and Soapbox-profiled company
that's created the first software and analytics platform for wearables.
Charlie Key, cofounder of Cincinnati's Modulus
and angel investor for Strap, describes the company as having "all the pieces." He describes founding partners Steve Caldwell, Patrick Henshaw and Joey Brennan as "extremely likeable, intelligent people."
Maybe that's why the company announced a $1.25 million round of seed funding last week. The round secured investments from CincyTech
, Mercury Fund
, Vine Street Ventures
, Danmar Capital
, Hyde Park Venture Partners
, New Coast Ventures
and a number of angel investors, including Wendy S. Lea, CEO of Cintrifuse
The founders' sparkling personalities aside, Strap also seems to have been in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. With the popularity of wearable technology slowly gaining ground, Strap's "toolkit" for developers entered the market while the market was hot. Their team, made up of startup veterans and truly brilliant technical talent, was also more than prepared to dive in.
"Well-timed, right team, right tech team — all investors look for that," says Caldwell, who serves as CEO.
Strap's technology, called StrapMetrics, is already compatible with wearables such as Pebble
, Android Wear
and Google Glass
. The tool's ability to optimize sensory data from wearables is a key element in the growth of the industry.
Though nothing was set in stone, Caldwell and his team knew to expect an increase in capital as far back as early November. They've been fundraising since June and July, but it was The Brandery's Demo Day that truly ignited investor interest. In the past couple of months, Caldwell, Henshaw and Brannen have moved their families from Mississippi and truly settled into Cincinnati. They've since posted five job listings (four developers and one VP of engineering), reflecting their anticipation of a change in workload. They also recently already hired a marketing specialist, Sophie Turcotte.
For now, Strap will remain at The Brandery on Vine Street. By February, however, they expect their staff to have increased to 12 people, a number too large to fit into the accelerator's workspace. At that point, they'll start looking for another location in Cincinnati to call home.
"The goal is to grow the company significantly," Caldwell says. "This is a billion dollar industry, and we believe we can be a billion dollar company."