Austin software company BidPrime poised for growth in 2015

An Austin software company has big growth plans for 2015.

BidPrime, which helps businesses find government bids and contracts, has moved into new offices off South Interstate 35 in southeast Austin and plans to potentially double its staff of 14 next year, company officials say.

The company’s software allows users to find government bids and contracts from over 90,000 government agencies, including U.S. federal, state, cities, counties, and schools.

Its process is automated, “scraping” such data from a variety of websites, said co-founder and operations officer Stephen Hetzel.

“It is fairly unique. I know that nobody else has caught up to us yet,” Hetzel said. “We still have the edge, really, with speed and with volume.”

That speed is important because bids have an average lifespan of fourteen business days, according to the company. BidPrime’s software captures data almost instantly, while other services, the company claims, take at least two business days to provide information to their clients.

Since launching in 2009, BidPrime has grown slowly but last year saw its business shoot up.

Hetzel wouldn’t disclose revenue figures, but said he went from 900 customers at the end of last year to just over 1,900.

“This year was good to us,” he said.

As a result, BidPrime will expand substantially this year, adding another five or six engineers, as well as sales and marketing employees. Currently the company has 14 full-time employees, most of whom are in Austin but with others in Seattle.

At the end of 2015, Hetzel said, the company hopes to be at a staff of 25 to 30, all consolidated in Austin.

The company has competitors, who eventually might catch up to aspects of BidPrime’s technology, Hetzel said, so the company is building up its client base and data analytics tools.

As for funding, BidPrime is currently self-funded, but officials will “start having discussions” about accepting outside money next year, Hetzel said.

“I think we’re ready to kind of ratchet up a little more,” he said.