Ekos, a business management software solution for craft breweries, has raised an $8 million Series A funding round led by Atlanta-based venture capital firm Noro-Moseley Partners. The Charlotte-based startup had been bootstrapped until now.
“We have always believed that a small- to medium-sized business shouldn’t be stuck using spreadsheets, clipboards, or whiteboards to manage their operations,” said CEO Josh McKinney in a company blog post. “When we started over 5 years ago, we had a dream of helping all the craft breweries in the U.S.”
“That dream quickly grew when we started talking to breweries from places like Canada, Australia, New Zealand,” McKinney continued. “We knew then that Ekos could be so much more. While we have already been able to help many craft producers all over the world, we are just getting started.”
According to Ekos, the funds will be used “to enhance product features for the company’s core alcoholic beverage customers and grow the team of employees that supports these customers.”
They will add 40 new employees by the end of 2020 to augment its sales, engineering, and marketing teams.
In 2014, McKinney and his co-founder Greg Forehand visited many local breweries trying to find out what software solution they used to manage their operations, but instead they found a lot of clipboards and spreadsheets.
Ekos solves that problem by giving craft providers a customizable business management platform that handles raw material and finished goods inventory, manufacturing processes, relevant accounting and tax information, and more. It also helps monitor legal and regulatory compliance.
This lets craft producers work more efficiently and see a high view of what to sell and when.
“While Ekos is already positioned as the leading technology platform for breweries, cideries and wineries, we share a much bigger vision with the company in terms of expanding more broadly into food and beverage,” said Alan Taetle, General Partner at Noro-Moseley Partners, in a statement.
“We look forward to partnering with the entire Ekos team to deliver innovation to customers that will help grow their businesses.”
Taetle and Noro-Moseley Partners Principal John Ale will join the Ekos board of directors.
The Ekos platform currently powers more than 1,700 craft producers in 40 countries around the world. In the U.S., they’ve captured about 15 percent of craft breweries.
“Our first love is the craft beer market, and we remain steadfastly committed to those customers and to helping them be efficient and profitable,” McKinney said.