Tampa-based HSP Group, a provider of global expansion software and services for companies seeking to expand overseas, has raised $14 million in a Series B growth capital investment round.
Investor ABS Capital led this round, joined by existing investor Baird Capital, which increased its investment in the business. To date, HSP Group has raised more than $20 million since its inception in October 2020.
“We were planning our Series B in the middle of 2022 and started knocking on doors, but with inflation and the economic environment in the venture capital space, it was an uphill battle. [Baltimore-based] ABS Capital was able to weather those headwinds and was one of the most compelling investors,” HSP Group founder and CEO Larry Harding said to the St. Pete Catalyst.
HSP Group, which established its downtown Tampa HQ in 2021, provides headquarters-based finance, tax, accounting, legal and human resources personnel with technology and consulting solutions, helping companies expand and manage international operations, according to the company’s profile.
Harding said the international expansion solutions market is lucrative for investors as the sector is exceeding $24 billion. HSP Group’s team is also comprised of industry experts, earning it a high level of credibility, he added.
HSP Group will use this new investment to accelerate revenue-generating initiatives, including deepening its alliance with industry partners and continuing the development of its disruptive GateWay technology platform, which will roll out advanced applications designed to make managing global expansion simpler. It will also increase the company’s product offerings and global presence, and reduce services’ support costs through investments in automation, lower-cost operations centers and building in-house teams to take on work currently supported by third-party partners.
Harding explained HSP Group typically works with middle market companies, defining it as pre-revenue companies to companies earning $500 million in revenue. The types of clients are on a growth trend and commonly outsource services.
As a result of the raise, ABS Capital Partner Cal Wheaton will join HSP Group’s board of directors, and his colleague Jennifer Krusius will serve as an observer.
“The leadership team at HSP brings deep and tenured experience with outsourced global expansion services, providing them a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the industry and how to be best positioned to serve rapidly-changing customer needs,” Wheaton said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the team to build the leading technology-led services offering addressing the spectrum of customer needs in this industry.”
HSP Group has personnel and offices around the world, including New York, Boston, San Francisco, the Philippines, Barcelona and London.
The Tampa HQ in the Industrious co-working space at 401 E. Jackson St. currently houses six employees. HSP Group plans to bolster its headcount to 50 employees by the same time next year. In the next three to four years, Harding expects the company to grow to 150 local employees and he may seek a larger space.
HSP Group is looking to fill positions in tech IP, software development, project management and other roles. It also offers a rotation program to allow employees to learn additional skills. The company embraces a traditional in-person work environment to foster social learning and communication rather than pivoting to a fully remote workforce.
Harding said with the Series B raise completed, the company will be laser-focused on developing the technology. He said becoming a public company is on his radar, which is unique for companies in this particular space, as many are either acquired and consolidated into larger groups or are acquired by private equity firms.