Encamp gains talent, venture capital and incentives deal with state
Encamp co-founders Luke and Sam Jacobs are proud that they were able to lure their big brother Ben Jacobs back to Indiana to lead software engineering at the fast-growing startup that the pair founded with CTO Daniel Smedema. Ben, who was a senior software engineer at Netflix in California, is a major talent “get” for Encamp, and one of several team members with experience at large, out-of-state tech firms.
“From Netflix in Silicon Valley to DoorDash in San Francisco, and from Datadog in New York City to Zenefits out in Arizona, our team has a diversity of thought and experience that—combined with our homegrown talent in Indiana—gives us a competitive edge in building a fundamentally strong business,” said Phill Keene, director of sales enablement at Encamp.
Building a stable business ready for the future
Building the business and ensuring Encamp’s place as the number one provider of software-as-a-service to the environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance industry is the primary focus for the 13-person firm that was named Startup of the Year at the 2019 TechPoint Mira Awards gala and New Product of the Year by Occupational Health and Safety magazine. The company thrived last year finding both a product market fit with customers and favor with investors including High Alpha Capital, Allos Ventures and IU Ventures.
Global EHS services spending is expected to continue rising by nearly 7% to $85 billion over the next several years, according to Grand View Research. Spending on EHS specific software is growing about one-third faster than the industry as a whole, according to research firm Verdantix, and is expected to rise from $1.2 billion last year to $2 billion by 2024. Encamp has about 170 clients using its EHS compliance management platform in the U.S., including a growing number of Fortune 500 corporations.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has stopped progress for a lot of our peers, people are hurting and the loss of life is devastating,” said CEO Luke Jacobs. “We feel a responsibility to dig in and work harder because we can and because it’s important to emerge from this pandemic ready to hire like crazy and be one of the fast-growing tech companies driving the economy forward.”
Series A Round and state incentives fueling growth
Under normal circumstances, Encamp would hold a press conference with the state and their partners to make an announcement about new developments, but the pandemic has made that logistically too difficult so they were happy to let TechPoint break the news first to the tech community.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has offered Encamp $3.25 million in tax incentives for creating 200+ new high-paying jobs in tech by 2025. The company will need to hire engineers, software developers, customer experience and support specialists, and sales and marketing staff to keep up with its expected growth in market share of the growing EHS industry.
Encamp is also ready to close on a $3.1 million Series A Round led by existing investors Allos Ventures, High Alpha Capital and IU Ventures. Together with a Seed Round last July and a grant from the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund in January, Encamp has raised a total of $5.3 million in investments, including early angel investment dollars from serial entrepreneur and board member Ade Olonoh. Mike Fitzgerald of High Alpha Capital and David Kerr of Allos Ventures have also joined the board at Encamp as part of the New Series A Round.
“We’re excited to continue to make an investment into the EHS space, it has gone widely underserved when it comes to technology. Their jobs are increasingly getting harder and more complex with the changes to regulations by states, and the additional tasks they are being asked to take on. Encamp feels it’s time for environmental teams to finally have a system to work from that is built for them, by others in the industry as well as talent from some of the leading tech companies in the world, that makes their lives easier.”
Additional details about both the state tax incentives deal and Series A Round will be released soon.
Solving compliance pain points across industries
Just about every industry has some form of compliance they must report on, but especially oil and gas, chemical companies (or any company that deals with chemicals), food producers and telecommunications. Each state in the U.S. has its own reporting process—usually through an online portal—whereby companies must download a large document, find the regulations for their particular industry, chemical, or waste products, fill out forms and submit them.
“It’s a less than optimal process for a small company dealing with regulations governing a single operation,” Phill said. “Now imagine you have operations in every state, dozens of product or chemical lines, and implications for land, water and air compliance that are constantly changing. It’s nearly impossible to manage without some sort of digital assistance, and those still relying on an Excel spreadsheet or worse, no system at all, are begging for noncompliance and fines.”
Phill compared Encamp to TurboTax. Not only does the platform walk users through up-to-date reporting requirements state by state, but the software pulls in past reporting so that compliance operations are streamlined to take a fraction of the time using the individual state portals.
“That’s the real advantage of having a team with both EHS compliance experience and major brand experience outside of the industry,” Phill said. “We’re able to think and develop in terms of billions of touchpoints and pass the benefits of larger scale approaches to our customers and platform users.”
With more than 30 Fortune 1000 prospects already in its sales pipeline and a growing market eager for compliance software, Encamp is poised to “flip the switch” on deploying capital, accelerating hiring plans and continuing to build its Olympic Dream Team of talent both locally and from out-of-state.
“We’re in a position to be bold but that doesn’t mean we’re reckless,” Luke said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty and everyone is affected by the pandemic in some way, whether it’s immediately apparent or not. We’re taking measured steps to build Encamp into the kind of business that can withstand these adverse conditions, and we anticipate the second half of 2020 and into 2021 as being more quarters of record growth like we had in 2019.”