How Charlotte’s newest unicorn Tresata could change the city

How Charlotte’s newest unicorn Tresata could change the city
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An under-the-radar Charlotte startup has hit a major milestone. Now it’s set to make a much bigger splash.

Last month, South End-based Tresata announced that it had raised $50 million at a valuation that set the total worth of the company at $1 billion. In the parlance of Silicon Valley, that makes it a unicorn — a privately held startup worth 10 figures.

Tresata is a little hard to understand as a company, but it’s basically in the realm of predictive analytics. The company helps big businesses parse out the wealth of data it comes across and solve problems with it.

Here’s a key example: Tresata has helped Harris Teeter use all of the purchasing data it has to make better offers to customers with VIC cards.

This investment puts Tresata in heady company: Only two other Charlotte-area companies have that status — Red Ventures and AvidXChange. While Tresata might have escaped your notice, those two certainly haven’t.

Here are four areas where this unicorn status could help Tresata make a major impact on Charlotte.

Jobs

This recent announcement the first time that the 7-year-old Tresata has raised money from an institutional investor. That means the company will be able to begin hiring at a rate its current revenue can’t necessarily support, throwing gas on its growth.

CEO Abhishek Mehta told the Charlotte Business Journal that the investment would allow Tresata to “invest in research and development and global expansion.”

While undoubtedly a lot of this growth will be outside of Charlotte, you can expect some hiring here in the city.

Real estate

Soon after AvidXchange’s mega funding round that gave it unicorn status, the company broke ground on a massive new headquarters campus at the N.C. Music Factory. The company would soon lend its name to the entire area.

Tresata has a relatively new office in South End, in the 1616 Center near Price’s Chicken Coop. There’s a decent chance that one day the company will need more and bigger office space.

Could Tresata become the signature company of South End’s burgeoning office space scene?

Talent

Now that Tresata has taken on a major investment, the clock is ticking on some type of exit. Investors generally want to make their money back, and then some.

Whenever a startup company has a major liquidity event, a lot of people tend to get rich. And these rich, talented people then have the time and money to start their own ventures or to go jumpstart the growth of other startups in Charlotte.

It takes experienced startup veterans to build a city’s startup scene. Tresata could soon be playing a role here.

Press and attention

This one is hard to quantify, but still vitally important. Unicorn status puts a company on the map nationally — and by extension, its headquarters city gets notice, too.

Being in Charlotte gives it even more notice. Another unicorn in San Francisco is not nearly as notable as one here on the East Coast.

Other startups see this and want to be around successful companies. Now Charlotte is on the map as somewhere predictive analytics companies can thrive.

If Charlotte is to truly become a startup hub one day, it’s companies like Tresata that will get it there.

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