Two 43North-Winning Companies Raise a Total of $18 Million in Series A Investment

Tara.ai raises $10 million and Squire raises $8 million

43North’s portfolio companies have now raised a total of $240 million

Two companies that won investment from 43North in 2017 have announced that they raised a total of $18 million, bringing the capital raised by 43North’s portfolio companies to more than $240 million over the past five years.

The two, Squire and Tara.ai, raised $8 million and $10 million in Series A investments, respectively.

With $5 million in yearly investment, 43North is a startup competition unlike any other because portfolio companies don’t just win funding, they also gain access to dedicated mentors, free incubator space in a vibrant city, and the opportunity to operate free of state taxes.

Tara.ai built a platform that leverages machine learning to help enterprise organizations scope, resource, and build cutting-edge products, enabling product teams to be on-time, on-budget, and on-roadmap. It raised $10 million in a round led by Aspect Ventures, with participation from Slack Fund.

Squire is an all-in-one business management platform for barbershops. Through Squire, barbers can sell products and services; maintain client retention; send marketing texts and emails to their customers; and manage payroll. In 28 cities across three countries, customers can use its free mobile app to book and pay for a haircut or shave in three taps. Squire has generated $100 million in transactions processed to date. The company raised $8 million in a round led by Trinity Ventures

“43North accelerates the growth of world-class seed stage startups and prepares them for follow-on investment by helping them build sales pipelines, recruit talent, and maximize their marketing reach,” said 43North President Alex Gress. “Squire’s and Tara.ai’s Series A raises are natural progressions for two of our winners and an indicator that investors from Silicon Valley to New York City are now paying attention to what’s happening in Buffalo.” 

43North’s companies, in addition to the $240 million in venture capital, have received $16 million in grants and created more than 400 jobs in Buffalo. 43North’s portfolio also exceeds national averages in representation of female founders [27 percent] and founders of color [20 percent].

Tara and Squire join a number of 43North portfolio companies that have raised significant rounds in recent months, including:

  • ACV Auctions, which closed a $93 million Series D round to continue the growth of its dealer-to-dealer used car auction platform;
  • CleanFiber, which raised $9.2 million in private investment to continue the build out of its recycled cardboard insulation manufacturing plant in Blasdell, NY;
  • SomaDetect closed a $500,000 investment from the WNY Impact Fund to further the development of its milk quality sensors and software; and
  • Forsake, which makes all-weather footwear for travel and adventure, closed a $1.5 million round.

43North is accepting applications for its Year 6 competition, in which it will again invest $5 million. Competition winners receive either a top investment of $1 million or one of seven $500,000 investments. They will also be eligible for a cut of $500,000 in follow-on funding at the end of 2020. Beyond the investment, they will receive a year of free incubator space, the opportunity to be free from New York State taxes for up to 10 years, access to 43North’s network of more than 500 North American investors, and 43North’s mentorship and support programs. Startups can apply by July 8 at 43north.org/apply.

About 43North 

43North is the startup competition that invests $5 million annually to attract and cultivate high-growth startups in Buffalo. 43North portfolio companies also receive free incubator space in Buffalo for one year, guidance from mentors in related fields, and access to other business incentive programs such as START-UP NY. 43North operates through the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Empire State Development and several other sponsors. For more information about 43North, visit www.43north.org.