Mize, a Tampa company with a Software-as-a-Service platform that keeps manufacturers connected with their customers, has new financial backing from M33 Growth, a Boston-based venture and growth-stage investment firm.
M33 Growth made an equity investment in Mize, a news release said. The size of the investment was not disclosed, but it’s enough to cover projected growth over the next three years, Ashok Kartham, Mize founder and CEO, told the St. Pete Catalyst.
Mize will use the new funding to expand its capacity to deliver better services and customer support.
Kartham expects to double the size of the Tampa office and add workers in other locations as well. The company plans to hire a number of new people on the product side — project managers and product developers — as well as on the sales and marketing side.
“We feel these all go together. As we get more customers from sales, we need to make sure we can deliver the product and implementation services they need, so we’ll be expanding those together,” he said.
Mize’s software is used by many of the top original equipment manufacturers in the heavy equipment, consumer durables and automotive markets. The software ties together the post-sales customer management services that manufacturers provide — warranties, servicing, parts and repairs — and provides a seamless experience for the customer and improved operating margins and revenue for manufacturers.
“We see a huge opportunity in this space. The post-sale service experience is estimated to be a $12 billion industry, according to some analysts. We feel we are only scratching the service now and we want to expand our customer base in different segments globally in addition to the current segments we serve,” Kartham said.
It’s the first outside funding Mize has received since Kartham founded the company in 2012. He previously founded 4CS, a warranty and service lifecycle management company, and sold that company in 2011 to Parametric Technology Corp. (Nasdaq: PTC), for $14.9 million in cash.
“I had a previous exit from an earlier software company and with customer revenue streams we were able to build so far, we wanted to go at the growth stage, rather than the early stage,” Kartham said.
Mize started thinking last year about raising additional equity to accelerate growth. M33 reached out to Mize about four months ago.
“When we heard from them, the timing was right and we had a few conversations with them. They seem to be a good fit. They are very focused on helping growth stage companies and they want to find companies outside the major ecosystems and help them grow,” Kartham said. “We like the team. We like their focus and they liked our focus.”
Everyone has experienced the frustration that can come from engaging with a brand post- purchase, whether making a return or getting a product serviced, Mike Anello, managing director at M33 Growth, said in a press release.
“Typical post-sale processes have not evolved with the pace of customer expectations. Mize is solving for that pain point at scale by giving manufacturers the platform they need to manage the entire process. We see tremendous opportunity in the market problem they are addressing, the power of their platform and the experience of the leadership team. As a partner, M33 will help Mize grow its product offerings, customer success teams and market reach to strengthen the company’s leadership position,” Anello said.
Kartham is a technology veteran who relocated to Tampa from Chicago because of the growing technology ecosystem, as well as the tax and business environment. He’s a charter member of TiE Tampa Bay and a past president of the organization.