Re-post from Buffalo Business First
ACV Auctions has raised the largest round of venture capital in the history of Buffalo-based companies, making it the region’s first software unicorn, according to a company announcement Tuesday evening.
The $150 million round was led by new investors Wellington Management Company and Fidelity Management & Research Co. and includes existing funders Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Tribeca Venture Partners.
The company’s post-money valuation eclipsed $1.5 billion. That number is just math, but it represents a huge moment for the startup scene in Buffalo, which received an outpouring of civic, government, philanthropic and private-sector support over the past decade.
ACV Auctions – which won the $1 million 43North grand prize in 2015 – is the undisputed leader of that movement, but this is turning into a banner year in general for Buffalo startups, with a pace that should easily eclipse records in the total amount of money raised and the number of companies that have closed funding rounds.
“This round of funding enables us to continue significant investments in our mission to be the most trusted and transparent way for dealers to buy and sell used vehicles,” CEO George Chamoun said.
ACV’s Series E raise has been expected in Buffalo for months, but the speculation reached another level after a private analytics firm noticed in late October a public financial filing in Delaware, where ACV is incorporated. The filing, first reported by Reuters, gave away the details of the raise before the company was ready to talk about it, and Chamoun has been forced to issue “no comments” until now.
Just five years ago, the web-based platform for wholesale car auctions was a three-person team collecting personal checks from angel investors in Buffalo.
Now it has more than 1,000 employees as it gobbles up marketshare across the country, challenging the business models of large corporations in a multi-billion dollar industry. The company has now raised nearly $300 million in total private funding. The company
ACV Auctions was co-founded by its CTO Dan Magnuszewski, chief customer success officer Joseph Neiman and Jack Greco, who is now leading the TechStars Buffalo program.
Company investors have told Business First they plan to go public within the next few years, but also said there are no set plans and a number of potential outcomes for a company as fast-growing and disruptive as ACV.
ACV is the 20th local company to confirm a private, growth-oriented investment this year. Others include PostProcess Technologies ($20 million), Torch Labs ($10 million), OmniSeq ($8.89 million), Squire Technologies ($8 million), Utilant ($7.5 million), CleanFiber ($5 million), Kangarootime ($3.4 million), Garwood Medical Devices ($3 million), SomaDetect ($2 million), Forsake ($1.5 million), Circuit Clinical ($1.2 million), Ru’s Pierogi ($500,000), EagleHawk ($400,000), Buffalo Automation ($375,000), Material Exchange ($320,000), Patient Pattern ($150,000), AirExpert (undisclosed) and OnCore Golf (undisclosed).