BrightStar Wisconsin invests $250,000 in three startups

Arbre Technologies, AssuredLeads, Curate Solutions receive funding

Arbre Technologies created a CaliperRFID device that measures tree trunks remotely.

Milwaukee-based venture philanthropy organization BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. announced it has invested $250,000 in three Wisconsin startups.

Stevens Point-based Arbre Technologies Inc. and Madison-based AssuredLeads Inc. have each received $100,000, and Madison-based Curate Solutions Inc. has received $50,000.

Arbre, which helps horticulture companies manage inventory, on June 14 closed on a $600,000 round of funding led by Neenah-based Badger Fund of Funds member Winnebago Seed Fund, said Matthieu Vollmer, president and co-founder.

Vollmer and Benjamin Meyers, vice president, founded the company in February 2016. Meyers is based in Wauwatosa. They had one full-time employee until recently, but once the funding round closed were able to add another four employees, Vollmer said.

“We had the opportunity to bring more people on full-time to help us move our strategies forward and execute on the opportunity that we have here,” he said.

In addition, the investor funding will be used to continue research on Arbre’s patent-pending CaliperRFID product, which allows farmers to gather tree trunk measurements more efficiently, allowing them to easily update their inventory and pricing.

“I am excited to have partnered with the Winnebago Seed Fund and Brightstar Wisconsin on this round,” Meyers said. “Because Arbre Tech was a winner in a BrightStar Hatch pitch event, it felt natural for us to work with Wisconsin-backed funds whose goal is to help Wisconsin companies like Arbre Tech to grow and succeed.”

AssuredLeads provides a SaaS platform with sales leads, resources, data analytics and a CRM system.

“We’re excited to bring on BrightStar as an investor and partner of AssuredLeads,” said Travis Batiza, chief executive officer of AssuredLeads. “BrightStar’s investment will enable us to execute a hiring plan that will further accelerate our growth. We look forward to working with such a dynamic organization, which shares our commitment to creating jobs in Wisconsin.”

Curate Solutions, which developed artificial intelligence software used to gather information from municipal meeting minutes and agendas for construction firms, is in the process of raising a $1 million seed round to finance its national expansion.

“We’re already active in multiple Midwest states and this support from BrightStar and its donors will help us reach our goal of expanding into all 50 states,” said Taralinda Willis, Curate’s CEO.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill is managing editor at BizTimes Milwaukee, where she also covers entrepreneurship and financial services. Dill joined BizTimes as a reporter in 2011, advancing to associate editor in 2013 and managing editor in 2015. Previously, she was a reporter for the Marshfield News-Herald in central Wisconsin. Dill holds a bachelor's in journalism from Marquette University. She lives in Wauwatosa with her husband, Jesse, and her dog, Tuck.