St. Louis Startup Scene: Big Sale, Distribution and $6M in VC


A few weeks ago the Internets blew up about Five9 (NASDAQ: FIVN) being acquired by Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) for $14.7 billion. Before the deal closed, St. Louis text messaging startup CEO James Diel was fast at work to land Five9 as a client – and did, just under the wire. 

β€œWe already work with NICE inContact and Genesys – a couple of their big competitors – so this is another leg in the stool to grow our customer base,” Diel told the 4thEst8. All three companies are ‘contact center as a service’ providers, and Textel’s technology allows call center workers to add text to their communication toolbox. 

Founded in 2014 Textel has ‘about 35’ employees, landed a $4 million Series A in 2020, that was preceded by a $1 million seed round. 

Elemental Enzymes

Ag-tech startup Elemental Enzymes formed two strategic partnerships with huge AG companies, Corteva and Nutrien, to get a couple of its products to market. 

β€œWe’re a fairly small Missouri company, and we can innovate… make products – but they’re really the ones who are going to bring it out there so growers can actually access it,” CEO Brian Thompson told the 4thEst8. 

The 40 person company sprang out of the University of Missouri in 2011 to identify and productize naturally occurring enzymes to counter plant disease, promote growth, or address other crop health and productivity issues. 

Euphrates Vascular

Founded in 2009 to develop medical devices that treat vascular occlusions (blockages in a blood vessel) Euphrates Vascular raised $5,984,167 in early June, according to CrunchBase. CEO Sean Morris declined to comment. 

In January 2019 the company acquired another St. Louis startup called Pulse Therapeutics for an undisclosed sum, then quickly merged with ICHOR Vascular of Florida – both with treatments for arterial problems.

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Paul Riat is just this guy, trying to figure things out. A fan of Max Weber, he generally gets a kick out of the triangle between economy, society and liberty. His focus on technology startups and venture capital fits because early stage tech startups are the most dynamic and impactful to local economies: improving liberty and society like a rising tide. Paul publishers 4thEst8 (pronounced β€˜fourth estate’) is an independent news publication covering early stage tech startups in and around Missouri. These startups are a dynamic, high-growth economic engine that can supercharge economies, yet only the most mature ones get regular coverage from traditional media.

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