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Goldman Sachs invests $25M in PFL's growth, Montana-based VC firm opens Missoula office, 6 takeaways from Bozeman-based nonprofit Prospera's annual economic report, The Flathead continues to boom (& NXGEN is hiring in Whitefish) and more


PHOTO VIA PFL

PFL raises growth equity financing to support tactile marketing automation platform (Goldman Sachs investing $25M to support PFL's growth)

PFL, with headquarters in Livingston, Montana, and also more recently Indianapolis, is a leading marketing technology company pioneering the growth of the new category known as "Tactile Marketing Automation" (TMA). The company (also currently hiring) announced this week a $25 million investment from Goldman Sachs Growth Equity (GS Growth). The investment from GS Growth will support R&D, product development and sales team growth for PFL's TMA platform. The market opportunity for TMA is large and growing and inserts PFL into a new business category that sits at the intersection of three large markets: CRM; Marketing Technology; and Direct Mail, Promotional and Fulfillment. Since opening its doors in Livingston in 1996, PFL has grown into one of the largest Montana employers and has served over 155,000 customers in more than 130 countries. [PR Newswire]

Venture capital firm opens Missoula office as state's tech businesses hire rapidly

On the heels of closing its second fund of $38 million, Next Frontier Capital recently announced the opening of its Missoula office in response to the continued growth and excitement in the Montana tech scene. In 2017, Montana businesses attracted more than $83 million in venture capital funding, a one-year total that’s three times the sum of all venture capital invested in the state between 2010-2016, according to the financial data company PitchBook. Next Frontier Capital (NFC) has participated in more than $98 million worth of investment in companies with a Montana presence over the past three years, including investments in Missoula companies Orbital Shift, Clearas Water Recovery, Submittable (hiring) and OnXmaps (hiring). OnXmaps has already landed $20.3 million in venture capital so far in 2018. NFC managing partner Les Craig said, “The decision for us to open an office in Missoula is driven by the success of our portfolio companies in Missoula and the great potential we are seeing in early-stage opportunities in the region.” Craig believes that a greater Missoula presence is just the beginning of more "great work to be done" across the state. "We’re looking to invest in Montana’s most intelligent and driven founders, and it doesn’t matter what city or town they call home. Just as entrepreneurs in Bozeman and Missoula are starting to attract investment from large VC firms on each of the coasts, we are aware of the need to help high growth potential start-ups in other areas such as Whitefish, Kalispell, Butte and Billings get connected to national networks and sources of capital." [Missoulian]

 


PHOTO VIA DAVID HEBERT PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN

6 takeaways from Bozeman-based nonprofit Prospera's annual economic report

Bozeman-based economic development nonprofit Prospera Business Network (hiring) just released its annual overview of Gallatin and Park counties. Described as a “comprehensive description of the regional economy,” the 200-page report runs the gamut from demographic and transportation trends to area infrastructure and industry updates. Below are some key takeaways:

  1. The area and state continue to grow and show no signs of slowing. Between 2000 and 2016, Gallatin County had the largest population increase in the state at nearly 53 percent, ranking 22nd in the nation in terms of growth last year. The county is expected to hit 145,000 residents by 2060.
  2. Cost of living is still high. Despite overall cost of living sitting at .4 percent below the national average, the Gallatin Valley cost of housing is at 6.6 percent above the national average and health care costs at 3.3 percent above the national average.
  3. Wages and income are still lagging at 76 percent the U.S. average. However, there is some good news. Montana ranked sixth in the nation in terms of wage growth between 2005 and 2015 and the average annual wage grew by nearly $11,000 during that period.
  4. Retail trade remains the largest employer in Gallatin County, supplying the jobs for roughly 9,000 of the area’s 62,000 workers, followed by accommodation and food services. In Park County, employment numbers are flatter, with retail, farming and construction ranking as the area’s top three job providers.
  5. Nonlabor income continues to expand, making up 36 percent of total personal income in Gallatin County and nearly 50 percent in Park County.
  6. Organic agriculture gains popularity with the value of organic commodity sales in Montana in 2014 at $43.7 million, up 72 percent since 2008. [Bozeman Daily Chronicle]

 


PHOTO VIA BRIAN SCHOTT PHOTOGRAPHY / EXPLORE WHITEFISH

You’re Hired! The Flathead continues to boom (and NXGEN is hiring)

As the Flathead's economy continues to gather momentum, it's a job seeker's market with hundreds of openings and opportunities. The Montana job openings range across the board, from the medical field to tourism-based businesses seeking skilled and unskilled labor. According to NXGEN’s head of North American Operations, Anna Stene, the Whitefish-based global payment services provider which recently bumped to 50 employees has experienced strategic and aggressive growth over the past several years. Per Stene, finding the right individuals for the job openings is a key part of the company’s future success. Check out NXGEN’s current Whitefish job openings here. Likewise, Joel Daniher, a manager at a local construction firm, said his company looks for people with potential to develop, both in skilled and unskilled labor. According to Laura Gardner, manager at the Kalispell Job Service, it’s a time of opportunity, not only for entrepreneurs and developers, but also for anyone interested in a new job, a Montana career change or just a way to pay rent while living in Glacier Country. She noted that many of the Flathead area employers that are hiring to fill Montana jobs will be at the upcoming Spring 2018 Job Fair on April 26 in Kalispell. [Flathead Beacon]