Catalyst portfolio company BrightFarms is changing the future of food but would not be able to do so without the help of people like Denise DeRue – one of the head growers at BrightFarms. Denise began her career as an apprentice grower at the BrightFarms Virginia facility and after months of training was promoted to head grower of the Pennsylvania facility. BrightFarms’ greenhouses are operated via hydroponics and the company understands that smart growers like Denise enable them to expand rapidly. Each grower focuses on one greenhouse to make sure it has the healthiest, cleanest and freshest produce all the time.
The market for software and tech-enabled services handling Governance, Risk & Compliance (“GRC”) needs is experiencing tremendous growth, a phenomenon Catalyst has seen first-hand through our investments in Fusion Risk Management and Envoy, among others.
The GRC space has traditionally been dominated by consultants and manual processes and we believe companies are still in the early days of pivoting to more efficient, purpose-built software.
A significant driver of this change is the nearly exponential growth in the amount of data volume and variety being captured by companies – resulting in the need for more sophisticated GRC tools. Additionally, market growth is being further propelled by a heightened regulatory environment, increased tech adoption by regulators (both political and industry-specific), and the enhanced level of scrutiny facing both the C-suite level and boards for potential lapses in risk management – a particularly topical point given the publicity that recent data breaches / compliance issues have received.
CEO of Catalyst-backed Weave, Brandon Rodman, is one of the Utah Business CEO of the Year honorees.
Catalyst portfolio company Fusion Risk Management made Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America.
Fusion’s extraordinary 210 percent growth since 2015 has seen the company double its staff and footprint in the US and open its European headquarters in London to support an expanding client base. During this time, Fusion strategically expanded its product offerings across the broader risk management category to meet growing client and market demand, while aggressively accelerating investments in marketing, sales, and services. With its investments and unwavering commitment to innovation, Fusion has continued to set the gold standard for customer experience and success.
Catalyst VP Kapil Desai sat down with the AlleyWatch team to provide some candid insight into his path to venture from banking, the nuances of growth equity investing, actionable insights for founders that are raising and considering growth capital, ramen in NYC, and much, much more…
The communications software market is undergoing a dramatic shift from legacy hardware- and network-centric systems to more efficient cloud-based tools that enable businesses to have more meaningful and informed contextual conversations with their customers.
Catalyst has seen this first-hand through its investment in Weave (recently named to the 2019 Forbes Cloud 100). For example, a common phone call between a dentist office using Weave and their patient has been transformed from “while I have you on the phone, is there anyone else in your family that needs an appointment?” to “while I have you on the phone, I see your children haven’t had appointments in over a year – should we get them scheduled next month as well?”
As outsourced business services become more commonplace and companies continue to search for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency, we believe third-party applications that leverage AI and offer it “as a service” will become crucial to operations. Businesses that embed AI technologies will have a pronounced competitive advantage over their competitors, improving their services (taking market share and increasing revenue) and automating tasks (reducing costs). While traditional service businesses do not have the technical expertise to develop proprietary AI and ML programs, they will, however, be able to outsource the function, quickly plugging-in the capability and realizing immediate benefits. The application of AI to traditional business services is widespread and will have an impact in accounting services, third-party logistics, contact centers / sales organizations, property management and many other verticals and departments.
Restaurants in 2019 continue to face several challenges, including everything from attracting and retaining customers to hiring and training staff. These challenges, both customer-facing (“Front of House”) and operations-focused (“Back of House”), keep restaurant profit margins low at 6% and contribute to the industry’s high failure rate. Increasingly, restaurants are more attune to these pain points and seek out restaurant-focused software and tech-enabled outsourcing solutions to increase sales volumes and reduce costs.
The cloud has a history of systematically entering entrenched markets and upending them, displacing legacy providers as they fail to compete on ease of use, flexibility, scalability, and pricing. Compute and storage experienced this very cloud disruption over the past decade as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have released and continued to improve on their public cloud offerings. Companies like IBM, Dell, and HP have struggled to maintain pace with the constantly innovating and iterating public cloud providers.
Despite a recent uptick in private financing and M&A activity, the construction industry remains a laggard in terms of technology adoption. A number of platforms and point solutions have emerged and are bringing traditionally paper-based processes online, but much innovation remains to come. Many stakeholders stand to benefit from the digitization of construction workflows, including contractors, designers, suppliers and other service organizations. As these transformations occur, truly vertically integrated platforms will emerge.