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Tech in the South: Raleigh Unicorn Pendo Raises $100M + Ekos (Charlotte), Verady (ATL), Blackbaud (CHS) & Leyline (Durham)

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Cloud tech startup Pendo is officially a “unicorn,” hitting the rarified $1 billion valuation mark after securing $100 million in its most recent round of funding.

It’s not entirely unexpected that Pendo is a unicorn, a term that dates to 2007 and is used to define a tech startup still privately held that reaches a valuation of $1 billion based on private and public investment. The status remains relatively rare with Cary-based Epic Games and Wilmington-based nCino recently reaching the unicorn level.

Pendo CEO and founder Todd Olson hinted a few months back that the company was “pretty darn close” to the $1 billion mark. But this achievement is no less significant, especially considering the firm’s humble beginnings at HQ Raleigh just six years earlier.

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???? CHARLOTTE – Brewery software. Ekos, a business management software solution for craft breweries, has raised an $8 million Series A funding round led by Atlanta-based venture capital firm Noro-Moseley Partners. The Charlotte-based startup bootstrapped until now. “We have always believed that a small- to medium-sized business shouldn’t be stuck using spreadsheets, clipboards, or whiteboards to manage their operations,” said CEO Josh McKinney. Tech it out.

???? ATLANTA – Cryptocurrency accounting tool. Verady, a startup that focuses on cryptocurrency accounting and auditing, has closed an investment round led by early-stage venture capital firm TTV Capital. Fenbushi Capital and fintech leader Pamela Joseph also participated in the round. “Our cryptocurrency accounting platform, Ledgible, has worldwide market fit and we have recently established key alliances to move forward globally,” CEO Kell Canty said. Get the deets

⛪ CHARLESTON – Church business. Blackbaud announced it’s gaining ground in the church market by expanding the availability of one of its software tools. The Daniel Island-based company sells subscription-based technology to the “social good” industry, such as schools, nonprofits, foundations and health care groups. At its annual bbcon event held in Music City, Blackbaud said it was expanding access to its church management software. Learn more.

⚡ DURHAM – Inspiration shopping. Leyline Renewable Capital has received a $150 million injection of funds from Newlight Partners. The investment will enable the Durham-based startup fund to “identify and provide development-stage debt and equity to support renewable energy projects through the United States,” the firm announced. To date, Leyline has funneled more than $2 billion into some 170 projects. Take a look.