News Roundup: Rev1’s Impact, Funding for Rapchat and Beam & More

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Spring is proving a busy time for the startup and entrepreneurial community in Central Ohio. Funding dollars are rolling in for local companies as Rev1 takes a look back at its impact. Plus, a shopping tip for Target app users.

Rev1 Ventures Releases Annual Impact Report 

Earlier this spring, Rev1 Ventures looked back at the year that was 2017 in its annual Startup Impact Report. The investor startup studio provides both strategic services and capital to help startups scale and corporations innovate. By the numbers, in 2017 Rev 1:

  • Funded 31 companies
  • Invested in 15 spinouts from its innovation partnerships
  • Deployed $8.2 million in funding
  • Generated $111 million in revenue
  • Attracted $90 million in capital

Rev1’s investments in 31 companies and 15 spinouts represent its highest numbers of engagement over the last five years. In total, Rev1 has funded 83 unique companies and 28 unique spinouts in the previous half-decade. Of the companies engaged in 2017, 38 had a woman, minority or veteran founder, CEO or inventor as its leader.

Rev1 will look to broaden its impact through a recent partnership with venture investment fund Tamarind Hill Partners. The partnership has the potential to create a funding pipeline with Rev1’s preferred seed stage investment to Tamarind’s focus on Series A rounds.

For more information and to view the full report, click here

Beam Dental Raises Series C Round

After a 2017 that saw revenue grow by over 1,000 percent as well as a Series B round that helped Beam Dental open its first dedicated office, the dental insurer has secured $22.5 million in Series C funding. Serving small- and medium-sized businesses, Beam will leverage its latest round of funding to expand its data-driven technology platform from the current 16 states it services to a nationwide reach.

The Louisville transplant relocated to Columbus in 2014 as a Drive Capital portfolio company. Beam went from revolutionizing brushing with its smartphone-connected Beam Brush, to tackling a $78 billion dental insurance industry. The growing company now uses its flagship product as a perk for its members, providing a subscription service delivering a Beam Brush, toothpaste, refill heads and floss every six months.

Beam plans to add 75 employees in the next three years.

For more information, visit beam.dental

Rapchat Secures $1.6 Million in Seed Funding

A mobile application helping rappers from around the globe make and share music, Columbus-based Rapchat has secured $1.6 million in seed funding from Rev1 Ventures, Base Ventures, M25 Group, TechNexus, OTAF and 500 Startups.

Providing free beats and a mobile recording studio, Rapchat users record approximately 70,000 raps every day which have garnered a combined 100 million listens.

“The way people experience music has changed drastically – people today want to consume and create, so we are dedicated to delivering the most robust platform for rappers to make music and share what they’ve developed with the biggest and most active audience in the market,” said Pat Gibson, co-founder and CMO of Rapchat.

Along with the funding, Rapchat welcomes former musical.ly North America President Alex Hofmann to its board.

For more information, visit rapchat.me

Pillar Technology Awarded JobsOhio Research & Development Grant

Columbus-based Pillar Technology will receive a $2 million research and development grant from JobsOhio to accelerate the advancement of revolutionary intellectual property related to the development, testing and validation of connected, autonomous, and electric vehicles.

Pillar Technology will drive the creation of the autonomous vehicle research and development center which is expected to add 25 jobs by 2022.

“We are making a significant investment in mobility because we believe this is the space race of our generation,” explained Pillar Technology CEO Bob Myers. “We have spent years working on making embedded software smart, and now we have the opportunity to help the industry scale their ability to build and validate game-changing solutions. We believe this technology has the ability to save millions of lives.”

For more information, visit pillartechnology.com

BYBE Lands in the Target App

Target app users may have noticed a new cartwheel category: adult beverages. Savings on alcohol is now available in the state of Ohio thanks to Columbus-based startup BYBE.

Launched out of the Lumos Accelerator in 2017, BYBE aimed to bring the paper-based system of alcohol rebates into the tech age. A period of intense business building during the Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator pivoted the business to working alongside retailers to include beer, wine and spirit rebates inside their mobile applications.

BYBE’s proprietary technology automates the compliance of each state’s unique laws, enabling retail consumers to save on adult beverages similar to existing digital coupons.

For more information, visit bybe.io