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News

CarLotz scores $30M for nationwide push

A local car consignment company looked to the Motor City to shift its expansion plans into overdrive.

CarLotz announced Tuesday it has raised $30 million in new capital from Detroit-based private equity firm TRP Capital Partners, which specializes in investments in the transportation sector.

The equity raise was finalized Monday and TRP took a minority stake.

CarLotz co-founder Michael Bor said the new money will be used to expand the company’s footprint, from its current five locations across Virginia and North Carolina to a nationwide reach. Read more at RichmondBizSense.com

30 Richmond-area companies make Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing businesses

Thirty companies based in the Richmond region have made this year’s Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private businesses.

They include companies in technology, real estate investment, business consulting, government services, logistics, insurance, health, pet products and pest control, among others.

Inc. magazine published its 2017 rankings of the 5,000 fastest-growing businesses by revenue on its website Wednesday. The rankings are based on the companies’ three-year revenue growth rates.  Read more at Richmond.com

CEOs group follows Fahrenheit to HandCraft building

As it moves into roomier digs in Scott’s Addition, a local finance consulting and business advisory firm is making sure to save space for its C-Suite-centered roommates.

The Fahrenheit Group started moving in last week to its new home, filling 6,500 square feet of the redeveloped HandCraft Cleaners building at 1501 Roseneath Road. The space more than doubles its previous office at 1700 Bayberry Court in Henrico County’s Glen Forest Office Park.

Joining Fahrenheit in the move is the Virginia Council of CEOs, which has shared space with the firm since it moved to Bayberry three years ago. The council’s full-time staff of three will occupy a room within the space and is subleasing from Fahrenheit, which signed a seven-year lease with building owners Jay, Keith and Jeff Nichols.

Read more at RichmondBizSense.com

Is this thing on? Startup teaches tech to older generation

A mother-son duo is flipping the script on traditional tutoring, and trying to bridge the generational divide along the way.

Tammy Glotz and her son, Carter, launched TechStar Tutors, a startup that sends millennials to teach older generations how to be tech savvy through one-on-one lessons.

The company started last year when Carter, a student at Virginia Tech, spent a summer at home, looking for work and some pocket money.

“One day, his grandmother came over and pulled out a notebook, this long contact list, out of her pocket book,” said Tammy, TechStar Tutors’ COO. “He asked why she didn’t just put it into her cell phone, she said she didn’t know how to.”

Read more at RichmondBizSense.com

Denim shop expands in the Bottom

A local blue jean maker is going up a couple sizes.

Shockoe Atelier, formerly Shockoe Denim, is expanding its Shockoe Bottom home base at 13A S. 15th St. by taking over an adjacent suite. Co-owners Anthony Lupesco and Matt Rho said they’ll be roughly doubling their current space.

“It was time to expand,” Lupesco said. “We had reached a point where Matt and I were doing our work on a ping-pong table on the retail floor,” he joked.

The added space will be used to increase production. Lupesco said the firm aims to add machinery and bring the company’s production in-house. Its handmade denim, for which the company is known, is already produced in house, in addition to being sold in building’s retail area.  Read more at RichmondBizSense.com

Ledbury folds up West End location, focuses on downtown

Some prime Patterson Avenue retail space is opening up as a local shirt maker consolidates its West End outpost into its new flagship store downtown.

Ledbury’s shop at 5710 Patterson Ave. will close at the end of this week, co-founder and CEO Paul Trible said. The men’s fashion brand took over the storefront in 2015 after acquiring longtime occupant Creery Custom Shirts.

Creery specialized in bespoke and made-to-measure shirts, and Ledbury carried on the tradition in the space under the name Ledbury Creery Workshop. But with the opening of its new headquarters and retail home at W. 315 Broad St. in the fall, the company no longer needed two locations in town.

“Once we launched the flagship store, we brought (tailoring and bespoke shirting) in there,” Trible said.

He said the Broad Street store has been a success, and its retail sales are up about 50 percent from its old location in Shockoe Slip.  Read more at RichmondBizSense.com

Announcing RVA Companies to Watch Winners

In case you missed Venture ForumRVA Companies to Watch 

Congratulations!

Growth Category
Iggbo

Emerging Start-up Category

Beatgasm

Belle Isle Craft Spirits

Zynnovation

Four startup ventures make this year's "RVA Companies to Watch" list

A diverse group of companies, including one that recycles diapers and another that makes craft spirits, were recognized Wednesday as being among the Richmond area’s most promising developing businesses.

The four companies were selected as this year’s “RVA Companies to Watch” by Venture Forum RVA, a group that supports entrepreneurs and startup companies in the Richmond region.

“It is a definitely a diverse group this year, which is exciting and hopefully a sign that there is more creativity going on in the market outside of just the IT space,” said Jessica Barnes, chairwoman of the event.  Read more at www.richmond.com

Richmond firm forges ahead with $2.5M raise

A recently fast-growing local financial tech firm has another fundraising round in the works.

WealthForge, a 7-year-old company that acts as an online broker-dealer helping link entrepreneurs with accredited investors, has launched a $2.5 million capital raise.

CEO Bill Robbins said the money will be raised in the form of convertible notes, which are an investment vehicle that is structured as debt and can be converted into equity. The company raised about $2.2 million in capital from a similar round in 2015 and secured about $2.5 million in additional equity in 2014 from local firm NRV and SennHill Partners.

“We want to keep the momentum going,” said Robbins, who became CEO this summer. “Having the additional capital will allow us to grow our core business with investment in sales, marketing and support.”

According to an SEC document filed by the firm Monday, WealthForge is seeking to secure a minimum of $25,000 from any outside investor in this latest capital raise. It plans to complete the raise by Dec. 31.  Read more at RichmondBizSense.com

http://richmondbizsense.com/2016/09/21/meet-the-rva-25-class-of-2016/

What started seven years ago as an idea between two friends at the University of Richmond has turned into one of the fastest-growing businesses in the region.

WealthForge, which acts as an online broker/dealer helping link entrepreneurs with accredited investors, landed the top spot in Richmond BizSense’s fourth annual RVA 25 ranking thanks to 455 percent revenue growth over the last three years.

The 2016 RVA 25 list ranked the top 25 businesses in the region based on average annual revenue growth from 2013 to 2015. Each company ranked had a minimum of $500,000 in revenue annually.

The list featured a mix of startups and established firms; some have made the rankings in previous years and some were recognized for the first time.  Read more at RichmondBizSense.com