For several years, Loveland Technologies has been a startup without a steady revenue stream, relying on custom projects creating digital tools to document property ownership in cities across the U.S. Now the downtown Detroit-based software firm is opening what it hopes will be a new pipeline of consistent business.
Loveland's newest product is Site Control
, a software-as-a-service platform that enables users to open personal accounts within Loveland Technologies software and create their own custom maps. The company is offering two Site Control subscription levels: a scaled-back package costing $30 a month and more robust one at $1,000 per month. Loveland is targeting municipalities, neighborhood groups, real-estate developers, and researchers as its initial customers.
"We're trying to get on this track of many more people paying us less money," says Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder & CEO of Loveland Technologies
. "We want to grow that pipeline."
The inspiration for Loveland hit Paffendorf and his friends a few years ago when they bought a vacant lot in Detroit and sold square inches of it online. That evolved into a software startup that mapped out every parcel for sale at the Wayne County Tax Auction. WhyDontWeOwnThis.com
came online when Wayne County started selling tens of thousands of tax-foreclosed properties, mostly in Detroit, a few years ago.
Since then, Loveland Technologies has monetized its technology by doing custom projects, mapping out things like property ownership or property condition for municipalities. Its highest profile project was working on Motor City Mapping
last year. It has since expanded to mapping out close to 500 counties across the U.S. (out of about 3,200 counties), including most of the country's major metropolitan areas.
"Why would we stop at Detroit?" Paffendorf says. "This is an interesting way to view the world."
Loveland Technologies is also growing its team. It has doubled its employee base to 20 people over the last year and is bringing on two more people (Venture For America fellows) this fall. The company also landed an angel round of investment early last year worth a little more than $1 million from investors like the University of Michigan Social Venture Fund. The firm is funding its expansion with that cash and its own revenues.
Source: Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder & CEO of LOVELAND Technologies
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.