With western reach, cash, Perceptis aiming high
CLEVELAND, Ohio, April 28, 2008 – Bill Bradfield moved his hand slowly forward to show the growth of his company during early 2007 — before launching it straight up.
Perceptis LLC, a provider of computer help desk services, doubled its revenues last year by establishing a customer base in the western United States, and it should grow even faster this year, said Mr. Bradfield, CEO of the Cleveland company.
A cash infusion should help Perceptis reach its goals for 2008. Venture debt financier Vencore Solutions LLC has agreed to lend Perceptis $700,000 that the company will use to improve its technology infrastructure and hire its first three salespeople, Mr. Bradfield said.
Perceptis also refinanced a $400,000 loan it had with National City Corp. so that it will pay Vencore at a slightly higher interest rate that Mr. Bradfield declined to disclose. The move was meant to consolidate the company's loan payments and has nothing to do with recent troubles at National City, he said.
Vencore, of Lake Oswego, Ore., as part of the deal retains the right to buy shares in the company, which focuses on the higher education market but also serves companies and nonprofits.
The new sales staff will help Perceptis, which had revenues in the range of $5 million to $6 million in 2007, accelerate its growth to between $12 million and $15 million this year, Mr. Bradfield said. Until now, company executives had to track down potential customers.
“We need some help in here,” Mr. Bradfield said.
The company, founded in June 2004 to provide information technology support to Case Western Reserve University, took off when it began providing help desk services to colleges in the Southwest in early 2007. Among its clients today are Arizona State University, Colorado Community College and Maricopa Community College, which has 10 campuses in Arizona.
The company last May opened a Phoenix call center to support Perceptis customers in the western United States and to provide a backup for the company's Cleveland call center.
Perceptis employs 115 people, split about evenly between Phoenix and Cleveland, Mr. Bradfield said. It employed about 60 two years ago.
Ki Seh Pond