A flurry of activity in the waning weeks of the year has reinforced Tampa Bay’s status as one of the country’s top markets in which tech firms can grow and thrive, as well as a community that attracts some of the nation’s top tech talent.
On Dec. 7, Embrace Software, a Tampa-based company that specializes in acquiring tech firms, announced it had landed a major capital boost from CoVenture, an asset management organization headquartered in Manhattan.
According to a news release, CoVenture has agreed to invest $100 million in Embrace, which recently completed a separate $20 million equity raise. The firm is led by CEO and founder Mohan Plakkot, who, the release states, has acquired more than 20 software companies, primarily Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers, throughout his career.
The local tech scene’s other big development involves Domm Holland, CEO of Fast, an e-commerce services firm headquartered in San Francisco. Holland co-founded Fast in 2019; since that time, the company has grown to employ more than 300 people, and it has raised some $124 million in venture capital from Stripe, Addition, Index Ventures, Susa Ventures and Sugar Capital.
Tampa Bay’s allure, to put it mildly, proved too much for Holland to resist. Not only has he announced plans to open a Fast satellite office in Tampa — a location that will service as the company’s East Coast hub — but he’s also moved to the area and joined the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council as an executive committee member, alongside representatives from Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida and The Mosaic Co.
“The Tampa Bay Economic Development Council has played a meaningful role in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem to help companies like Fast flourish in Tampa,” Holland states in the release. “I’m bullish on the opportunity in Tampa and look forward to propelling the region forward even further as a destination for top tech companies and talent.”