Fresno tech service company Bitwise Industries announced an $80 million investment on Tuesday, allowing the company to expand to the south side of Chicago and continue to promote technology skills to communities similar to Fresno.
The investment comes from the Kapor Center, The Motley Fool, Goldman Sachs and Citibank.
The big picture: With the $80 million investment in hand, Bitwise says it will drive economic transformation in its various cities through its Salesforce managed services, DocuSign and Digital Product Development offerings.
- The investment is driving the expansion to the south side of Chicago, a development that has come hand-in-hand with the Comer Science and Education Foundation.
- Bitwise is now operating in 10 cities: Fresno; Merced; Bakersfield; Oakland; Chicago; Toledo, Ohio; Greeley, Colorado; El Paso, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Buffalo, New York.
Go deeper: Bitwise’s new South Chicago building is 6,000 square feet and will be the temporary home to its local operations while the company searches for a permanent space. Bitwise will renovate the temporary office space in Chicago, similar to its renovations in downtown Fresno.
- Why Chicago? Bitwise Vice President of Fresno Thilani Grubel told The Sun that the company’s focus is to find cities that match the demographics of Fresno and have the potential for significant growth in the tech field without much investment yet.
- Overall Bitwise has received $200 million total in investments after this latest round.
What they’re saying: While Chicago served as the center of Tuesday’s announcement, Grubel said Fresno will continue to benefit from the investment.
- “It allows us to build our tech services brand,” Grubel said. “What we’ve been doing for the last 10 years is building an innovative tech services company, which means that we can continue to serve our communities with those tech services and train up apprentices from underserved, underrepresented communities to do that work.”
- The $80 million investment from major firms such as Goldman Sachs and Citibank validates Bitwise’s business model, Grubel said.
- “That those investment firms would put their trust in us shows the viability of our model,” Grubel said. “That even in this economy with all the layoffs in tech that it would still be a model that’s going to be successful.”