GitPrime is on a building and hiring spree, putting to work $10.5 million in venture capital raised earlier this year.
The Durango-based firm which makes software analytic tools that provide data-driven metrics for software design teams to measure their efficiencies has gone from occupying 1,800 square feet in the Main Mall, 835 Main Ave., to 8,800 square feet to handle its growing workforce.
On Thursday, the firm was conducting employee orientation for nine new hires, part of a wave of new employees financed by the infusion from an equity offering earlier this year.
The firm, which was recognized as one of 50 companies to watch on the 2018 Colorado Companies to Watch list and will hold an open house Thursday to celebrate its listing, started the year with about 18 employees. It now has 60 employees, and co-founder Travis Kimmel said GitPrime expects to double the number of employees by the end of 2019.
“We’re bringing high-paying tech jobs to Durango,” Kimmel said. “Our goal is to be the best job in Durango.”
About half of GitPrime’s workforce is in Durango and about half telecommute.
Laura Lewis Marchino, executive director of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, said, “Region 9 appreciates that this company has worked hard to stay in Southwest Colorado when they have had pressure to move elsewhere. They have been actively seeking to hire Fort Lewis students. It is amazing to see how quickly they have grown and become one of our entrepreneurial leaders and role models.
“I am also glad that they were named one of Colorado’s top 50 companies to watch and Region 9 will help them host their celebration at the end of the month.”
Elizabeth Marsh, director of the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs, said GitPrime is a leading example of a successful company diversifying the local economy.
“They are rapidly growing and an example of how our area has talented entrepreneurs and robust investor and mentor networks,” she said.
Co-founder Ben Thompson said Kimmel and he have found receptive ears at WorldPay, formerly Mercury Payment Systems, and other businesses in the county that have experienced rapid growth to discuss how to best to handle growing pains as an enterprise matures.
“We have extreme gratitude toward Durango and the local business community for being so supportive. The business community here is close-knit and collaborative. We talk to them about scaling the issue.”
In 2015, the firm’s first year, GitPrime created its initial software and acquired seed funding. In 2016, the startup was accepted to Y Combinator, a California-based accelerator for businesses whose alumni include Dropbox and Reddit.
The accelerator helped the founders build their business and network. They also participated in the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs in Durango.
Now, Kimmel said the firm has increased its revenue 250 percent in the last year. The firm does not report sales numbers.
Among GitPrime’s 300 customers are PayPal and Walt Disney Co, and part of the funding from the equity offering will be used to further refine GitPrime’s analytical software to customize it to meet unique needs of various large enterprises such as Disney and PayPal.
“We want to grow larger to cater to Fortune 500 companies,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel said the firm has an array of ideas to improve its software, and the infusion of capital will aid in making hundreds of refinements and adding features to make its product better at tracking the efficiencies of software design teams.
Companies that work with GitPrime tend to see about 20 percent increase in productivity in about six months, Kimmel said, and productivity gains should be even better as the firm now works to improve its software.
In addition, GitPrime will expand its sales force.
Kimmel said the sales positions will be based in Durango and the software hires will be a mix of employees located in Durango or by employees, mostly software engineers, who work remotely.
“We’re hiring new people every day. We’ve been working in a construction zone, and the last two or three months we’ve hit a different band of growth,” Thompson said. “Today, it feels like a totally different company than six months ago. It’s enjoyable to see people step up and own things who weren’t even here six months ago.”
Kimmel and Thompson said investors have been understanding of their desire to build a high-tech company in Durango, and the example of Mercury has helped assure investors high-tech firms can flourish outside of Silicon Valley in remote Southwest Colorado.
“Mercury did a great job bringing tech jobs into Durango. They showed it was possible, and that made it easier for us to follow,” Kimmel said. “Mercury built here and had a great outcome. They paved the way for future companies.”
Thompson said Durango, with a combination of a nearby airport, a college and infrastructure investments – not only in broadband internet but in amenities such as the Animas River Trail – makes the town attractive to high-tech workers.
He also noted workers relocating from Silicon Valley or Seattle see Durango’s housing market as affordable.
Kimmel also is happy to contribute to diversification of La Plata County’s economy and boosting downtown Durango.
“We want to see local development happen, and it’s wonderful when you have the resources to do it. We have a whole crew who eats out downtown every day,” Kimmel said. “I think there is a really great future for tech in Durango.