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Category Archives: Technology
NEOGOV, a market leader in public sector human resources software, today announced a definitive agreement to merge with PowerDMS, a leader in cloud-based compliance software that helps customers simplify how they create, track, and attest to policies, training, and industry standards. The merger will expand NEOGOV’s product offerings and further demonstrates its commitment to streamlining the complex processes needed to support the public sector workforce. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
NEOGOV’s full suite human capital management solution enables recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, performance management, payroll, benefits and time and attendance processes specific to public sector and higher education organizations. PowerDMS’ products strategically complement NEOGOV’s platform and capabilities, setting it up for the next chapter of the company’s growth. The merger will help customers solve complex human resource and compliance challenges under one roof by unifying best-in-class human resource tools and document management in an age of increased pressure for additional accountability and transparency.
The merger is subject to regulatory approval. The combined businesses will be operated by NEOGOV, which is headquartered in El Segundo, California. Shane Evangelist, current NEOGOV CEO, will be CEO of the combined company.
“The addition of PowerDMS to the NEOGOV family is a natural fit. It increases our core offering and deepens our expertise around procedure and policy management, which will ultimately enable us to modernize more of the vital systems that serve our citizens,” Evangelist said. “The tremendous team and solutions at PowerDMS furthers our mission to ‘Serve the people who serve the people.’ ”
PowerDMS offers a secure cloud-based policy, compliance, accreditation management solution that helps organizations with transparency, accountability, risk and liability reduction, increases organizational efficiency, and helps save lives. The company provides secure FBI CJIS compliant software tools to organize and manage an organization’s critical documents and industry accreditation standards and allows for training and testing of employees. PowerDMS serves customers in public safety, government, and healthcare and has achieved significant organic growth in these markets.
“Delivering transformative Cloud-based solutions that automate and scale complex processes needed to run local government is at the heart of what both companies do well. By expanding its offering to include the products of PowerDMS, NEOGOV is well-positioned to continue our success and further increase a combined footprint in the public sector,” said David DiGiacomo, CEO of PowerDMS.
The merger of PowerDMS broadens the solutions offered by NEOGOV and further supports the company’s long-term growth strategy and dedication to enhancing its comprehensive capabilities within the human resources software market.
William Blair served as exclusive financial advisor to PowerDMS in the transaction.
NEOGOV is the leading provider of an integrated HR, payroll, and talent management solution for the public sector. NEOGOV customers report increased employee productivity and engagement, time and cost savings, improved regulatory requirement compliance, and reduced paper processes, with a net result of better services for citizens. Serving over 6,000 organizations, NEOGOV provides intelligent HR for the public sector. More information at www.neogov.com.
Founded in 2001, PowerDMS offers a cloud-based compliance management platform that helps users reduce risk and liability, protect reputation, increase efficiency, and save lives. The company provides software tools to organize and manage an organization’s critical documents and industry accreditation standards and allows for training and testing of employees. Most of the over 4,000 PowerDMS customers represent high-risk industries with compliance requirements in the healthcare, government, and commercial sectors. To learn more, go to www.PowerDMS.com .
(Greenville, S.C) November 30, 2020 – Mailprotector, a Greenville, SC-based cybersecurity company, announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued U.S. Patent No.10708244 for Bracket®, a system and method for encryption, storage, and transmission of digital information.
The problem with traditional encryption methodologies is the complexity of the applications, implementation, and decoding processes. With Bracket, users simply wrap the subject line in brackets and hit send. The process for opening and decoding messages is equally effortless. Bracket features include:
- Messages encrypted using AES256 standards & geographically distributed key.
- Fool-proof sign-in mails with a secure, expiring link. No more lost passwords!
- Encrypted email can be sent from any email app on any device.
- MX-free for Office 365. No need to change records so they route through filtering services.
Bracket also includes an encrypted file transfer service, Bracket Share, which gives users a personalized file transfer page with an easy URL (share link) that they can provide to anyone. Shared files and messages show up in the Bracket inbox like a regular message. Other features include customizable links, personalized invitations, and sender validation.
“We are elated at the patent office’s acknowledgment of Bracket as a revolutionary encryption technology.” Says David Setzer, CEO of Mailprotector. “One of our core goals is to empower managed services providers with unique and highly valued services they can take to market. While our partners usually provide all the external validation we need, this patent confirms our commitment to technical innovation. Bracket gives MSPs a true advantage and differentiator in the security and encryption space, solves real end-user needs, and delivers highly profitable recurring revenue streams.”
Will Nobles, founder and CEO of IT services firm Vector Choice Technology Solutions, is leveraging Mailprotector’s encryption technology with a 1000 user healthcare provider, various attorneys, and other clients. “Innovations from our vendors, bringing new ideas like Bracket and Bracket Share, is invaluable to our business,” emphasizes Nobles. “With other systems, you have to install extensions in Outlook, and users have to follow multiple steps. Bracket is a lot easier to use, which means our clients are more apt to add the protection instead of sending email unencrypted.”
“Our design goal was to make security more accessible to users and our partners, not to create technology for technology’s sake,” adds Mailprotector’s CTO, Ben Hathaway. “That’s what makes Bracket special. The combination of ease of use with innovative and highly effective encryption. Our unique approach, detailed in the patent, allows us to offer users complete data privacy and security in a simple to use solution.”
Mailprotector empowers its users with a portfolio of cloud-based email security, management, and hosting services sold exclusively through the worldwide IT services channel. Products include inbound and outbound email security, email continuity, email archiving, email encryption, and business-class hosted email solutions. More information is available at www.mailprotector.com.
By: Alex Wilhelm
From a cluster of insurance marketplace startups raising capital earlier this year, to neoinsurance provider Lemonade going public this summer at a strong valuation, Hippo’s huge new round and Root’s impending unicorn IPO, 2020 has proven to be a busy year for startups and other growth-oriented private tech companies focused on insurance.
That news cycle continues today, with The Zebra announcing that it has reached a roughly $100 million run rate, and, perhaps even more notably, that it has turned profitable.
TechCrunch most recently covered the car and home insurance marketplace startup in February, when it raised the first $38.5 million in a Series C eventually worth $43.5 million that Accel led. As we noted at the time, the startup joined “Insurify ($23 million), Gabi ($27 million) and Policygenius ($100 million) in raising new capital this year.”
The Zebra released a number of financial performance metrics as part of its Series C cycle, including that it recorded revenues of $37 million in 2019, and that it had reached a $60 million annual run rate around the time of its Series C. The Zebra also said that it could double in size this year, putting it above a $100 million run rate by the end of 2020.
With that history in hand, let’s talk about the company’s more recent performance.
A changing market
According to the company, The Zebra recorded net revenue of $6 million in May, 2020. That number grew to around $8 million in September. For those of you able to multiply, $8 million times 12 is $96 million, or a hair under $100 million. According to a call with the The Zebra’s CEO Keith Melnick, the company’s September was very close to $8.3 million, a figure that would put it on a $100 million run rate.
Given that our $100 million ARR club has a history of granting startups a little wiggle room when it comes to their size, it seems perfectly fine to say that The Zebra has reached revenue scale of $100 million; at its current rate of growth, even if its final September revenue tally is a hair light. the company should reach a nine-figure topline pace in October.
According to Melnick, while the bulk of The Zebra’s revenue isn’t recurring, a growing portion of it is. Per the CEO, around 2-5% of The Zebra’s revenue was recurring last year, a figure that he said is up to around 10% today. (If The Zebra binds an insurance policy itself, and that policy is renewed, its commissions can recur.)
What drove the company’s quick 2020 growth? In part, the insurance market changed, with insurance networks that depended on in-person sales seeing their ability to drive business slow thanks to COVID-19. Insurance marketplaces like The Zebra stepped in to assist, helping move some offline demand online. Melnick detailed that dynamic to TechCrunch, adding that when certain advertising channels saw demand fall, his company was able to leverage inexpensive inventory.
A number of factors appear to have added to The Zebra’s rapid growth thus far in 2020. Our next question is whether other, related players in the insurtech startup space have seen similar acceleration. More on that in a few days.
Finally, regarding The Zebra, the company said that it is now profitable. Of course, profit is a squishy word in 2020, so we wanted to know precisely what the company meant by the statement. Per the company’s CEO, it is generating positive net income, the gold-standard for profitability as the metric is inclusive of all costs, including the non-cash expenses that startups tend to strip out of their numbers to make the results look better than they really are.
If other players in the insurtech space are surfing similar trajectories, all that capital that went into the sector around the start of the year is going to appear prescient.
By Jennifer Groese
The National Association of Business Resources has announced the Summer 2020 winners of its 10th annual Best and Brightest Companies to Work For? competition. It’s with great pride and enthusiasm to share that AVOXI was one of their high scorers, joining other prominent companies like BlackBerry?, Gables Residential?, and T-Mobile? as recipients of this award.
This program provides the business community with the opportunity to gain recognition, showcase their best practices, and demonstrate why each of them would be an ideal place to work. Determined by a third-party market research firm, the criteria is based annually on market conditions and trends, then applied throughout the country.
“We’re thrilled to be named as one of the nation’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For?,” says David Wise, CEO of AVOXI. “The fact that we’re winning this award in 2020 speaks volumes to the strength of the culture we’ve built here at AVOXI and the impressive team of employees we have! Despite having to swiftly move our entire global team to a work-from-home environment, our employees have remained resilient and committed, enabling our company to continue growing. Culture is at the core of everything we do, and it’s something we’ll continue nurturing, regardless if we’re in an office together or digitally connecting from our homes.”
Over the past several years, AVOXI has invested in and nurtured its global employee programs, resulting in a proactive and highly engaged team. The Human Resources department continually collects internal feedback from employees on innovative ideas that keep them fulfilled and giving-back.
“We’re constantly looking for new and exciting ways to support and engage with our employees. I’m very proud to see that our hard work and culture are being recognized on a national level,” says Lauren Sallarulo, HR Specialist at AVOXI.
While the winners are not ranked, the highest-scoring 101 national companies are scheduled to be showcased this October in a week-long celebration during the virtual Illuminate Business Summit. For more information, please visit www.thebestandbrightest.com!
March 5, 2020 – Mailprotector, a Greenville, SC-based cybersecurity company, raised $5 million in growth equity funding from Ballast Point Ventures. The channel-centric company will use that capital to accelerate product development, grow sales and marketing efforts, and expand services to its strong and growing network of Managed Service Providers (MSPs). As part of the expansion, the company plans to add more than 30 positions across all departments at its Greenville, SC headquarters and other locations around the country.
The company has over a decade of experience providing highly available and highly secure email solutions to organizations around the world. As a cloud-based email security, compliance, encryption, and hosting platform, Mailprotector’s solution is engineered from the ground up with partners’ management needs as a top priority. Mailprotector puts a premium on user experience and security with its advanced product stack, including CloudFilter, SafeSend, SecureStore, XtraMail, CloudMail, Exchange+, and Bracket. The company’s patent-pending flagship email encryption product, Bracket, is as simple to use as it is secure.
“Mailprotector is dedicated to empowering our channel partners with highly valued services and profitable recurring revenue streams,” said David Setzer, Mailprotector founder & CEO. “We know that email is still the prime vector for cyber-attacks, especially financially crippling ransomware and phishing threats. This investment means we can supercharge the development of our world-class cybersecurity protection tools for our partners and their clients, giving them an even stronger first line of defense against cyber threats and user error,” Setzer added. “We were thrilled to find in Ballast Point a firm that aligns with our channel partner commitment and one who respects our stewardship responsibilities in those relationships.”
“We are excited to partner with David, CTO Ben Hathaway, and the entire Mailprotector team to drive continued email security leadership and technology innovation,” said Robert Faber, Partner at Ballast Point Ventures, who will join Mailprotector’s Board of Directors. “BPV has a long history of supporting high-growth software companies throughout the Southeast, and we have been impressed with David and his team as they have built industry-leading email security tools with limited outside capital investment.”
Mailprotector empowers its users with a portfolio of cloud-based email security, management, and hosting services sold exclusively through the channel to businesses, government, and non-profits around the world. Products include inbound and outbound email security, email continuity, email archiving, email encryption, and business-class hosted email solutions. More information is available at www.mailprotector.com.
About Ballast Point Ventures
Ballast Point Ventures, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a later-stage venture capital and growth equity fund founded in 2002 to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately-owned companies, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 80 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in the firm’s target industries, including software, technology-enabled business services, and healthcare. Ballast Point Ventures has $360 million under management across three Funds and seeks to make initial equity investments ranging in size from $4 million to $10 million. For additional information, visit www.ballastpointventures.com.
January 9, 2020 – SPOTIO, a Dallas-based software company providing cloud-based sales acceleration and performance management solutions for field sales personnel, is pleased to announce a $4.5 million Series A investment from Ballast Point Ventures. The platform’s robust, mobile-first feature set enables sales teams to manage sales territories, execute face-to-face meetings, and optimize the sales pipeline and performance across the outside sales organization. SPOTIO will use the investment to accelerate development of its technology pipeline, add to its sales team, and intensify its marketing efforts.
“Built with the field sales representative and manager in mind, SPOTIO’s platform delivers a comprehensive mobile solution tailored towards providing actionable leads for outside sales reps in the field and unparalleled insight for managers back at the office. We provide both business-to-business outside sales personnel and residential sales teams the tools they need to execute and manage their outside sales activities,” said SPOTIO Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Trey Gibson.
“We are excited to bring an institutional investor into our company and are eager to get to work with Ballast Point Ventures. We look forward to this next leg of the journey and to continue to deliver a comprehensive solution to our many customers.”
“As BPV has gotten to know Trey over the last couple of years, we have been very impressed with the growth and success SPOTIO has been able to achieve with minimal outside investment. Given our focus on partnering with rapidly growing private companies with great management teams in the Southeast and Texas, SPOTIO is a great fit for us,” said Ballast Point Ventures’ Sean Barkman, who will join the SPOTIO Board of Directors.
“We are excited to partner with the entire SPOTIO team to drive continued growth and solidify the platform’s position as the leading outside sales enablement software.”
“We are excited to have another investment in the Dallas area,” continued Robert Faber, who will serve as a Board Observer at SPOTIO. “Trey is exactly the kind of entrepreneur that we want to work with, and we are excited about partnering with him after building a relationship with him for the last several years.”
SPOTIO is a mobile-first solution for outside sales teams to eliminate guesswork, and focus on the highest impact activity. The platform provides managers with real-time visibility into their team’s activities for improved sales development. Sales reps receive access to the mobile application with targeted prospect data, historical knowledge of each account, and document management functionality. Thousands of customers rely on SPOTIO to accelerate growth with their sales teams. SPOTIO is a privately held company based in Dallas, Texas.
For additional information, visit www.spotio.com.
About Ballast Point Ventures
Ballast Point Ventures, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a later-stage venture capital and growth equity fund founded in 2002 to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 80 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in several industries, including software, technology-enabled business services, and healthcare. Ballast Point Ventures has $360 million under management across three Funds and seeks to make initial equity investments ranging in size from $4 million to $10 million.
For additional information, visit www.ballastpointventures.com.
Abacode, a Fast-Growing Cybersecurity & Compliance Firm, Announces $4.85 Million Investment Led by Ballast Point
TAMPA, Fla., January 9, 2020 – Abacode, Inc., a Cybersecurity and Compliance services firm based in Tampa, FL, is excited to announce a $4.85 million Series A growth equity investment led by Ballast Point Ventures. Abacode will leverage the investment to scale its sales, security operations center and project execution teams, broaden its marketing efforts, and further enhance its technology-enabled service offering.
Abacode, a Managed Security Services Provider (“MSSP”), is a five-year-old company that is transforming the way businesses implement cybersecurity and compliance programs throughout the U.S. and abroad. Abacode has specific expertise in proactively monitoring, detecting, and responding to cyber threats in real-time through the Company’s 24/7 Security Operations Center. Abacode also provides a suite of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (“GRC”) Readiness services helping companies prepare for third-party audits and certifications. Among its many other professional services, the Company has a premier vulnerability assessment package along with digital forensic teams to assist companies in case of a suspected incident or breach. Abacode works with organizations ranging in size from mid-market businesses to publicly traded global enterprises.
CEO and Co-Founder Mike Ferris commented, “We are extremely excited to partner with Ballast Point Ventures as we continue our focus on building a world-class MSSP and invest heavily in scaling our service offerings. BPV was the right partner at the right time. Our visions are perfectly aligned in order to add unique value to our clients and partners alike.”
Current and emerging compliance mandates are forcing companies to take a different approach to how they manage internal data risk and cybersecurity needs going forward. This reality, combined with the flood of new technology products in the marketplace, has added additional complexity and confusion and is one of the primary reasons organizations are working with Abacode. “It’s very fulfilling to see so many market-leading companies reach out to us to help them consolidate their cybersecurity programs under one roof. Cybersecurity and compliance isn’t just a component of what we do, it’s our sole focus. We not only help drive enterprise strategy but also deliver and implement the most appropriate services and solutions. This is very unique in the market and the real value is providing client leadership a way to finally make holistic business-driven decisions instead of tactical product-driven decisions,” said Ferris.
“The Abacode team has made great progress growing its customer base, service offering, and organization during the Company’s short history,” said Ballast Point Ventures’ Sean Barkman, who will join the Abacode Board of Directors. “This is an exciting opportunity for BPV to partner with an impressive management team we have known for a few years now who are building a leading compliance-oriented cybersecurity business in a dynamic industry segment,” Sean also commented.
Abacode is a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). The Company addresses client risk from a business strategy first and cyber technologies second (product agnostic) standpoint. This methodology ensures that technical and non-technical leadership teams are able to make unbiased business decisions that positively impact the entire organization. Abacode has become one of the fastest-growing MSSPs by empowering companies to have a Cyber Capability Maturity Model (CCMM) and consolidate all cybersecurity & compliance initiatives under one roof. Abacode has offices in the Americas and Europe. Learn more at https://abacode.com, https://www.linkedin.com/company/abacode-llc or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Ballast Point Ventures
Ballast Point Ventures, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a later-stage venture capital and growth equity fund founded in 2002 to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately-owned companies, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 80 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in several industries, including software, technology-enabled business services, and healthcare. Ballast Point Ventures has $360 million under management across three Funds and seeks to make initial equity investments ranging in size from $4 million to $10 million. For additional information, visit www.ballastpointventures.com.
Florida has hundreds of miles of beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It has the Everglades. It has Walt Disney World and all of that theme park’s offshoots, as well as competing parks from Universal and Sea World. And, in case we forget, it has oranges.
These eight tech companies in the Sunshine State have been making waves with their products and practices, and most are currently hiring! If you’ve ever thought about relocating to Florida, getting the lowdown on these companies is a good place to start!
Cloud Computing|SaaS|Cloud Management
Location: Orlando, FL
PowerDMS provides a cloud-based solution that helps organizations reduce risk and liability with a comprehensive compliance and content management solution. It provides the practical tools necessary to organize and manage crucial documents and industry standards, maintaining compliance for organizations.
Source: Tampa Magazine
By: McKenna Kelley
Tampa’s Symphonic Distribution helps the songs you love get from the recording studio to streaming platforms around the globe
You’ve probably listened to music on a streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora or Amazon at some point recently (and considering the Recording Industry Association of America reports that streaming accounted for 80% of the music industry’s revenue in the first half of this year, that is a strong probably). But have you ever wondered how the music ended up on that service in the first place?
For a growing number of musicians, the answer is the Tampa company Symphonic Distribution. Founded by CEO Jorge Brea in 2006, Symphonic helps independent artists and record labels get their music on streaming platforms and into the ears of listeners around the world. Musicians upload their audio files, artwork and metadata once to Symphonic’s system, and Symphonic distributes those files according to each streaming platform’s specifications. Royalties are also collected and distributed in one place, saving artists time and energy across the board.
“For the artist, that means they can just focus on their art form,” instead of the business side of music, Brea says. For consumers, a simpler method of distribution means more music is available to discover than ever before. “[Listeners’] tastes will evolve and become much more advanced because there’s much more new music from different regions that’s easily getting on these platforms,” Brea adds.
Brea was born in the Dominican Republic, and his family moved to Tampa when he was 7. Drawing on his Latin American roots, plus his background as a DJ and producer, Symphonic first focused on distributing electronic and Latin artists. A number of them have become global superstars; Symphonic distributed some of the early works of Daddy Yankee (who has more than 43 million monthly listeners on Spotify), Ozuna (more than 30 million, and one of the industry’s fastest-rising Latin stars) and J Balvin, Spotify’s fourth-most streamed artist in the world last year. The company has also worked with artists like Black Thought of The Roots and Deadmau5. “We’ve always been kind of in the beginning of these folks’ careers,” Brea says.
Beyond just distributing music, Symphonic helps its artists with marketing and social media to grow their brands and platforms. Artists and labels must apply to work with the company. Brea says his team typically looks for musicians who are already gaining traction on streaming — with around 50,000 to 100,000 monthly listeners — and labels with a deep existing catalog.
“Those are great starting points for us because those are [groups] we feel we can just turn up to 11, so to speak, and then grow,” Brea explains.
As Symphonic has expanded to have offices in Brooklyn, Denver, Nashville and Bogotá, Colombia, as well as a presence in China, Brea says he’s proud to have the opportunity to introduce others in the music industry to Tampa. One way Symphonic does that is through the annual Vibes of the Bay music festival, which highlights some of Tampa’s best up-and-coming talent each year in Ybor City.
“Our entire client base is finding out about these artists from Tampa, and we’re very proud to be able to do that,” Brea says.
Brea sees the education of artists in Tampa and beyond as one of Symphonic’s most crucial roles. The company is starting to host artist-focused panels and lectures on topics like industry trends, plus how-tos on monetizing your music. As they make a strong push into the hip-hop genre, Symphonic made a splash earlier this year with their inaugural Rap Con in New York City, which featured a keynote address by Killer Mike from the Grammy-nominated rap group Run the Jewels.
“I think there’s a lot of great talent [in Tampa], and I just think there isn’t enough education yet,” Brea says. “We’re trying to do our best to do that, in terms of how to get the music out there, how to properly develop and establish your brand. We’re not the type of company that wants to just put music up. We want to actually add value and educate and help guide individuals through their careers.”
Symphonic got a boost in late 2017 in the form of a $4 million investment from Tampa’s Ballast Point Ventures. Brea says that funding has helped him hire the senior staff the company needs to become increasingly competitive and raise Symphonic’s profile around the globe. Now that the industry has stabilized in the post-CD and digital download world, Brea says Symphonic plans to continue growing alongside the music business and Tampa.
Full article: https://tampamagazines.com/symphonic-distribution/
By: Billboard Staff
The independent music sector is larger and stronger than ever.
As the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) convenes Indie Week in New York June 17-20, executives and artists can celebrate the growth of the worldwide indie music business.
Independent labels generated $6.9 billion in global music sales in 2017 (the most recent estimated figure), up from $6.2 billion the previous year, according to a report released late last year by Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), an umbrella organization for indie trade groups, including A2IM.
“Independence is the ability to be reactive [and] pivot,” says Brea, who knows a thing or two about pivoting. Moving early in his life from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to Tampa, Fla., Brea spent his teen years working as a DJ-producer and releasing original music on vinyl, which inspired the creation of Symphonic Distribution when he was only 21. Today, he connects indie acts of all genres to streaming platforms and recently announced that his company had expanded its presence in Nashville and Bogota, Colombia. “We’ve been able to grow 35% year over year for the past five years,” he says, adding that while one of the strongest regions for streaming is Latin America, new artists are breaking out from African countries and the Middle East.
Full Article: Billboard