Inside the deal: St. Pete company lands seven-figure investment from one of the world’s biggest tech firms
Japanese tech giant SoftBank started out as a customer before it became an investor in 5×5 Technologies Inc., a drone support company in St. Petersburg.
SoftBank pumped $4.4 million into 5×5 in a funding round in August. While 5×5 disclosed the investment in an Aug. 13 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, it did not release the name of the investor until earlier this month.
The new funding will allow 5×5 to accelerate the development of its software-as-a-service platform, said Anne Zink, CEO. It also means 5×5 will expand into international operations, as it undertakes a project with SoftBank to inspect aging bridges, harbors, dams, power plants and towers in Japan, beginning next spring.
Bach 2 Rock: A new approach to music education
Long before he was the owner, headmaster, IT guy and chief bottle-washer at Tampa Bay’s Bach 2 Rock Music School, Rick Schmidt was just another Tampa kid with big dreams. And what he dreamed about was the radio.
“When I was growing up here, I would call Q105, and 95YNF and try to win my Def Leppard concert tickets, my Jimmy Buffett albums and all that stuff,” Schmidt, 50, explains with a chuckle. “I don’t know why, I was just really intrigued by the power that radio had. People cared about what you said and what you did.”
What Rick Schmidt did was parlay that fascination with radio, and his own preternatural communication skills (he’s a natural-born storyteller) into a lengthy and successful career in the business
Business briefs: Largo scrubs company, Embarc Collective and more
- Embarc Collective, the Jeff Vinik-backed initiative to elevate Tampa Bay’s startup community, is helping local companies fill their talent pipeline. Embarc has been collecting data on startup job opportunities, and is sharing it with the community, the organization wrote in a blog posted today on its website.
- Vology, a Clearwater managed IT services provider, is growing its cloud services business by partnering with Google.
- Hivelocity, a Tampa company that provides data center services, has added sites in Dallas, Seattle and New York City, with the acquisition of Incero.com.