Tendril Networks raises $15.3 million

BOULDER – Tendril Networks Inc. recently raised $15.3 million, according to an SEC filing submitted Thursday, Feb. 21.

Tendril is a Boulder-based software company developing energy-management software for utilities building smart grids.

The investment was in return for equity and the conversion of outstanding promissory notes, according to the Form D filing.

Tendril has had an up-and-down past 18 months, closing 2011 in the midst of a rapid growth spurt before going through two rounds of layoffs in 2012 that cut the company’s headcount roughly in half. As of January, Tendril employed about 100 people, but had plans for hiring about 10 to 20 employees in the next few months.

Tendril did not respond to a request for comment about the SEC filing, but CEO Adrian Tuck addressed the company’s recent fortunes in an interview in early January soon after the layoffs became public knowledge.

Tuck said Tendril is now focused on sustaining itself through revenue and wants to wean itself off relying on venture capital. The company was “just profitable” at the time of the interview, and one of Tuck’s biggest goals was to keep the company in the black in 2013 while still being able to use the revenue to invest heavily in developing its products.

A Tendril with a smaller staff and focused on developing relationships with companies dedicated to building out the smart grid is most likely to reach those goal, he said.

Tuck also said clean-tech companies such as Tendril are facing “nuclear winter” when trying to raise funds.

“That capital is just not out there. There’s been a huge slow down in venture capital investment – full stop – and that’s even more true in clean tech,” he said.

In January, Tuck said Tendril had what he characterized as “a healthy cushion of growth capital.” It is not clear whether the money raised in this round was a part of that or new investment raised in January and February. As of the interview, Tendril had raised about $100 million.

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