StormBlok Whips Up Series A Funding to Sell Hurricane Proofing
StormBlok Systems Inc. is raising $1 million to begin selling a system that protects windows, ATMs, gas pumps and other sensitive structures from hurricane damage. Cayuga Venture Fund and Excell Partners have committed to the Series A round, which has raised nearly $700,000 so far. The funding will enable the company to start selling its pyramid-shaped covers, which attach to mounted anchors to cover a fragile structure during a storm. The pyramid shape deflects wind, and the metal frame provides a barrier and shock absorber against objects caught up in heavy winds.
StormBlok's system is available for commercial or residential use. A typical system to protect an ATM could cost around $700 to $850, according to founder and Chief Executive J. Parr Wiegel. The company says its system will save users money in the long run over plywood boards by providing better protection and reducing weather-insurance premiums. The company, based in Palmyra, N.Y., has finalized reseller and installation partnerships with companies to reach the widest possible customer base, and it's close to signing additional partnerships. Mr. Wiegel wouldn't name the corporate partners.
StormBlok, founded in 1999, originally developed its system to protect mobile homes in hurricanes. However, the company realized the cost of entry for customers was too high, Mr. Wiegel said, so about six years ago the company began altering its product line to focus on signs, ATMs and gas pumps. The company is now ready to launch sales. Mr. Wiegel said he'll head to Florida shortly to pitch the systems directly to credit unions and banks to protect their ATMs. The Series A round, which Mr. Wiegel said could wrap up as early as next month, was the first new investment from Cayuga's fourth investment fund, according to Managing Partner Zachary Shulman. He declined to disclose the company's valuation, but he said it was commensurate with upstate New York's valuations, which he said are more "rational" than in New York City. Cayuga is raising its fourth fund, which has commitments of about $23 million and could reach $30 million to $50 million within the next six months, Mr. Shulman said. http://www.stormblok.com.
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