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FreightWaves presents as one of Venture Atlanta spotlight companies

George Abernathy maximizes his five-minutes of fame under the hot Venture Atlanta spotlight.

35 companies are being spotlighted in Venture Atlanta 2018, double the number of last year. These companies are already successful and making strides in a variety of venture and tech-related firms in the southeast.

Here is a brief look at 10 of these companies, each of whom had a mere 5 minutes to get their message—or pitch—across. While they’re all about tech in one way or another, this group also comes from transportation and logistics, improved payment applications, health, and even e-commerce laundry (which we’re counting as logistics).

In Transportation and Tech

Among the 10 companies, was the data-and-performance-driven presentation of FreightWaves’ Chief Revenue Officer, George Abernathy. “With FreightWaves the #1 source of navigating the freight markets,” he said, “we’ve already built a world-class community in freight that uses data and technology to help understand, react, and predict the freight market.”

“We’ve built it through our clients and industry support. Market data businesses are highly valued across industries, but none so far are doing it in transportation,” Abernathy stated.

“SONAR has never been done before,” he went on, diving in briefly with his remaining time to the power of the data in the SONAR platform. 

“And why now should we be entering into a futures market for trucking?” he asked, diving into the conditions that make the trucking market ripe for a futures market. One of the several reasons mentioned is the sheer size of the market itself, bigger than many that already have futures markets.

“We’re from Chattanooga,” he concluded. “Steve Case calls us the Silicon Valley of trucking,” which drew a few laughs, as he segued to the accolades and awards FreightWaves has been winning over the past year.  

CEO Todd Ehrlich of BAM says his company is using technology to capitalize in blue collar fields. “It’s all about vertical integration,” he said. “We use factoring, an elegant form of financing with technology that’s stuck in the 90s. It’s a proven, scalable technology.” The company is effectively bridging the gap for underbanked, blue collar industries. “Incongruent payment cycles make it hard for low-credit businesses to fund their operations,” says Ehrlich. It’s a FinTech solution for the world’s oldest method of raising capital, factoring.

Have raised $18 million.

CEO Robin Gregg with RoadSync says, “The trucking industry is getting tighter. Payments are painful. We have an outdated payment system of fuel cards, cash, or fleet checks. This is too complex for most payment platforms. RoadSync is a complete mobile payment platform for the transportation industry.” The company started with warehouses, and are currently seeking to broaden their “acceptance footprint.”

Planning on Series A in middle of 2019.

CEO Alex Smereczniack of 2ULaundry says people hate doing their laundry and paying for dry cleaning. “Now with just a simple text, you can have your laundry picked up right from your house, done exactly the way you want, and returned the very next day,” says Smereczniack. They’ve been “profitable since 2018 with double digit margins.” Instead of outsourcing they’ve figured out how to vertically integrate the supply chain.

Capital raised of $2.9 million. Seeking $5 million.

In Health and Wellness and Tech

CEO Ed Buckley of Peerfit says they’re all about the real luxury of customization. It’s all about making it your own. Consumers are frustrated because they can’t really customize their experiences the way they really want. How do you redefine wellness? “Think about what people love to do and make it their thing,” says Buckley. Use Peerfit credits as a digital wellness platform that goes toward the places they want to go.

Going for Series C in the first quarter of next year. 

CEO Ian Juliano for Excel Health says the company is driving billions in waste out of healthcare. The company is creating a patient care path. They’re solving the best outcomes for patients at lower costs, and they are the leader in “post care analytics, solving broken care networks and managing visibility.”

Looking for a B round mid-next year. Have raised $4 million to date.

CEO Yolando Robles with CulturaLink is about all about the “language services transformed, connecting both cultures and improving healthcare.” The problem is that there’s a fragmented system and a huge cost for patients that have a language barrier. There are also language malpractice suits. “We put 200 languages in your pocket. CLIQ aggregates the fragmented market and manages costs by centralization and standardization.” The company anticipates $60 million in signed contracts across the next three years.

Looking for a capital raise of $7.5 -$10 million.

In Improved Payment and Tech

CEO Kevin Dunn of Decisely is about HR solutions. The company “solves recruiting and retaining employees through simple solutions for retirement plans and benefits.” Employees are saving an average of 23% with their product. They have no demand problem. Revenue is coming and cashflow positive by 2020.

Looking to raise a $10-15 million round in mid-2019.

COO, Larry Hipp of Brightwell says they are helping global workers get paid. Paying people across regulatory pressures across countries. Solving problems for the global worker and the employee. The product can deliver payment to anyone anywhere. 

Looking for growth capital and strategic partnerships over the next 12-24 months.

JP James presenting from LeapCredit calls his company “a fully automated consumer lender.” If you need capital really quickly like your car breaking down, a medical emergency, or home repair among other personal situations, you might need a loan. It takes six seconds to get approved for a loan through the system. They claim a 75% less interest rate than most other competitors. “How do you take care of the consumer in a marketplace where your customers are vulnerable?” he asks. “Banks aren’t lending in this marketplace, and the market for this is huge. Most Americans don’t have enough to pay for sudden emergencies.”

Just under $6 million in revenue now. Looking for $10 million in financing to hit $70 million in just a few years.

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.
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