Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Technology investment firm Scaleworks is settling into its new headquarters in the Savoy Building, situated in the middle of San Antonio's growing tech corridor on East Houston Street.
The local venture equity provider acquires, invests in, advises, and operates business-to-business (B2B) software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies and currently has seven companies in its portfolio.
Led by general partners Lew Moorman and Ed Byrne, the venture equity firm has leased all but the ground level of the three-story Savoy, located on the corner of Houston and Soledad streets. Once the third floor renovations are completed later this year, the companies currently on the second floor will spread out to occupy the third floor as other employees make the move to the Savoy. Alamo Architects designed the building's renovation.
Scaleworks has a total of about 200 employees, with around 70 of them based in San Antonio. The Savoy Building's capacity will stand at around 150 people once the third floor is finished, according to Moorman.
When asked if the building would reach its maximum capacity soon, Moorman spoke of future plans.
"We ended up acquiring more companies faster than we expected," said Moorman, a former president at Rackspace. "We still have some capital left in our first fund and are thinking of starting a second fund. We'll start talking about that at the end this year."
Moorman said he and Byrne have gone to great lengths to give each company its own dedicated space. Each is led by its own CEO and possesses its own culture, he added.
"Once a company reaches critical mass, at that point they will naturally be ready to move on [and leave the Savoy]," Moorman said.
Assembla's Chief Technology Officer Jacek Materna sees the new location as a selling point for attracting tech talent to San Antonio.
"It's not every day you have the opportunity to work in a building like this," said Materna, whose company is part of Scaleworks' $60 million portfolio. "Plus, this puts us right in the heart of the tech corridor in downtown San Antonio."
Moorman's wife Laura gave media tours of the building, pointing out the high ceilings and architectural features that were preserved in the building that was built in 1880 and is currently owned by Weston Urban.
"We even kept all the old cast iron radiators that were used for heating the building," Laura Moorman said. "We used some as the base for the glass tables in the conference room."
Scaleworks' main corridor is lined with local art that was acquired almost entirely at Blue Star Contemporary's annual Red Dot Sale, featuring works by Chuck Ramirez and Jorge Villareal, to name just a few.
The balance between San Antonio-based talent and remote employees is one Moorman expects will shift over time, as Scaleworks continues to acquire new companies.
"The growth over time will lean more toward San Antonio as new and replacement talent will come to work here," Moorman said.
Five of Scaleworks' seven companies are already in the new building. Mailgun Technologies' employees still work out of co-working space on the Northside of San Antonio and will move downtown next year, while Earth Class Mail is located in Chicago, Moorman said.
The seven companies in Scaleworks' portfolio are:
- Chargify, an automatic recurring billing software startup that includes reporting, analytics, and payment gateways for companies to streamline billing operations.
- Qualaroo, a marketing software business that provides website survey software for businesses to gain insights on visitors to its website.
- Earth Class Mail, a software company that digitizes business mail such as checks, invoices, and correspondence into digital data.
- Followup.cc, a software that integrates with Gmail and email providers to give businesses the ability to create scheduled reminders via email.
- Filestack, a startup that sells application programming interfaces, or APIs, to software developers who embed the code into other business applications they are creating. Filestack’s API specializes in the streamlined, fast uploading and resizing of photos.
- Assembla sells software for Apache Subversion, which companies used as their software development version and revision control system for software developer teams within a business working together in the cloud.
- Mailgun Technologies Inc., which offers a bulk email software interface that keeps businesses' emails out of recipients' spam folders.