Text messaging startup Prokeep raises $9m to modernize distributor communications and commerce
Prokeep, the communications and commerce platform built exclusively for distributors, announced the closing of $9 million seed round. The round was led by Ironspring Ventures with participation from S3 Ventures, Benson Capital Partners, and other strategic investors including Levelset founder and CEO Scott Wolfe Jr, former co-founder and CEO of FareHarbor Lawrence Hester, former T Rowe Price Head of PE/VC Portfolio, Hugh Evans, among others.
Since 2016, the company has bootstrapped its way to serving over 1,000 distributors in 13 different industries who have used Prokeep to power over 5.5 million conversations with their customers. Prokeep employs over 60 people in New Orleans, Atlanta, and across the US.
Prokeep was born because co-founders Jack Carrere, McKay Johnson, and Mark Kanof spent hundreds of hours at distributors and observed the need for better communication tools. Now with Prokeep, contractors are able to send orders and other inquiries straight to their distributor, saving hundreds of thousands of hours monthly across the customer base.
Prokeep is building 'Mission Control' for distributors. With the investment, Prokeep will accelerate plans to build tools so distributors can build deeper relationships, provide better service, and transact more easily with customers.
Jack Carrere, Prokeep CEO, and Co-founder, Prokeep: "This is a huge milestone for Prokeep. We have assembled a team of employees, customers, and now world-class investors to truly revolutionize how commerce is done in wholesale distribution. We recognize that the wholesale industry manages trillions of dollars in transactions, largely offline. Our goal is to build tools that fit the unique buying behaviors of the market so that distributors can thrive in today's and tomorrow's economy."
Ty Findley, Co-founder and General Partner, Ironspring Ventures: "When you think about industrial supply chains, distributors are mission-critical but have been largely overlooked in the innovation discussion, leaving a massive whitespace for a modern distributor platform to be built. Prokeep's ability to bootstrap to over 1,000 distributors and power 5.5 million conversations, all while deeply respecting the human element involved between distributors and their customers, blew us away and is indicative of this team's ability to build a premier SaaS business. This round is all about scaling a proven business model, and we're thrilled to partner with Jack, McKay, Mark, and the entire Prokeep team." Findley joined the Prokeep Board of Directors.
This venture capture round follows Prokeep's inclusion in Silicon Bayou News' 10 Must-Watch Startups in New Orleans in November of 2021 and follows in the footsteps of local area startups like Levelset, which sold to leading construction management software company, Procore in 2021 for approximately $500 million. S3 Ventures, a firm that was a large investor in local success story Levelset, is enthusiastic about partnering with another New Orleans-grown technology company.
Charlie Plauche, General Partner, S3 Ventures: "We believe in Prokeep's vision to become the core operating system for wholesale distributors. Their platform is streamlining how thousands of distributors and contractors communicate and do business. We are excited to partner with this team who is perfectly suited to transform the way the industry does business. The Prokeep team is top-notch, and we are excited to see them expand and bring additional tech jobs to the region."
The $9 million raised will allow Prokeep to accelerate their marketing and sales efforts in the construction industry, expand partnership channels, and enter into additional industries.
Mike Katz, Managing Director, Benson Capital Partners: "We are thrilled to partner with the great team of professionals at Prokeep, a software company right here in our backyard that we believe is revolutionizing the way commerce is done in wholesale distribution. We are also excited about the opportunities Prokeep will bring to the region as the company continues to expand. Prokeep will play an instrumental part in the growth and development of our greater New Orleans community."