TAMPA — Tampa Bay private investment firm Weatherford Capital is investing $22.5 million in a locally based company that provides software to law enforcement and first responders, the companies announced Tuesday.
Four-year-old Soma Global helps its customers dispatch first responders following a 911 call and manage record-keeping for what happens later, co-founder Peter Quintas said.
“We got to profitability this past year and we thought it was a good time to push the pedal down and really expand our sales and marketing,” said Quintas, the company’s chief executive.
His company is the third investment Weatherford Capital has made in the government technology sector over the past three years. Quintas said he was drawn to Weatherford because of its experience investing in the sector and its “collaborative approach.”
“The law enforcement sector has an immense need to adopt modern, cloud-based technologies to help create more efficient and effective outcomes for first responders and the communities they serve,” said Will Weatherford, managing partner, who served as speaker of the Florida House from 2012 to 2014.
The company’s software focuses on records management, dispatching responders and managing jail records and services. It has about 60 customers, Quintas said, the largest concentrations of which are in Virginia and California. It recently signed its first Polk County customer, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
The investment will go toward expanding sales and marketing, Quintas said, as well as building out operations to better aid customers. SOMA has just one full-time outside sales representative.
Quintas expects to double the firm’s 32 employee-footprint following the investment, much of which will be in the Tampa Bay area, he said. It will also be moving from its 1,500-square-foot location in downtown Tampa to a 5,500-square-foot space in the same area.
Quintas previously founded a retail-focused software company that focused on collecting and analyzing behaviors of shoppers in stores. He also held the chief technology officer at several technology companies.
Soma co-founder and chief commercial officer Nick Stohlman served in various levels of law enforcement for 21 years and was an executive at a handful of public safety-focused technology companies.
While the firm’s focus has been law enforcement, it also has a software platform for schools that alerts authorities, school employees and students to “life-threatening situations” such as an active shooter or bomb threat. It does not have any clients for this yet.
As part of the investment, Weatherford and David Seider, a principal with his firm, are joining Soma’s board of directors.