Durham-based ‘rooted’ software services firm Terazo raises first $10.5m, plans expansion

DURHAM- The software development and managed services company Terazo, co-based in Richmond, Va., and Durham, raised $10.5 million, led by Tercera with participation from Twilio.

The funding will allow the company, which was founded in Richmond in 2016, to grow, including hiring staff in a Charlotte office and a number of remote positions, as it plans to expand nationally.

Before this fundraising, the company’s first, the company was financially supported by its founders. Although based in Richmond, the company sees Durham as the “anchor point” of its South East operations, but does not designate any location as its headquarters, due to a distributed workforce and a distributed management team.

“Terazo believes technology is a means to an end that can change businesses, communities and the world for the better when used in the right way,” said CEO Mark Wensell. “At the end of the day, that means it’s really about the positive impact technology can have on people’s lives.”

The company is focused on automation and integration, which Wensell says means the company is looking to create efficiencies in existing or new business processes that can drive measurable value for the business. .

The technology can also be used by companies to break down silos, Wensell said, and go beyond integrating systems internally to extend integrations with business partners or other developers.

The company pays close attention to changes in consumer behavior, particularly in the retail sector, and focuses on providing technology solutions to businesses around omnichannel communications and logistics.

Retail is changing and customers want to interact with businesses using the communication channel that works best for them and switch between channels when it makes sense. That requires excellent customer service — and the technology that underpins the approach, said Chris Busse, the company’s chief digital officer.

“Many companies place a high value on the user experience of their website and mobile app, and what we’ve discovered through our partnership with Twilio is that focusing on user experience these channels goes a long way toward creating a great overall customer experience,” Busse said. “In the future, a lot of it will be about creating a great user experience for contact center agents themselves in systems with they work in. This translates into a better customer experience because the contact center agent can be more efficient in their job.”

When it comes to meeting the growing logistical challenges in the retail industry, Busse said, technology can be used to create greater efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction. Terazo is working with customers in the logistics space to release their own APIs and development platforms that allow retail partners to integrate with their systems, leading to increased efficiency, Busse said.

“To take just one example to put this in a consumer context, ‘decking season’ is second only to ‘after Black Friday’ for shipping lines,” Busse said. “All retail and online stores that deliver large patio furniture sets – there’s a huge surge in spring.”

And, with more people expected to work from home, more often and with less travel, society expects this consumption habit to continue, Busse said.

To meet this need, Terazo is recruiting for software development roles and market-level management positions, and plans to use some of the funding to bolster its sales and delivery teams. The company will also increase its own marketing efforts.

“Terazo’s alignment with our cloud-centric, API-driven development approach, and the great work they have done for our customers, makes them an important partner within our growing partner ecosystem. “said Glenn Weinstein, Chief Client Officer at Twilio. “Twilio’s customer engagement platform empowers builders around the world, and Terazo truly embodies the builder mindset.”

Terazo is Tercera’s second strategic investment. Terazo is a member of the Twilio partner program. Dan Lascell of Tercera will join Terazo’s board of directors.

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