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TMCNet:  SAM Inc. fundraising reaches $122.5 million [Austin American-Statesman :: ]

[March 14, 2014]

SAM Inc. fundraising reaches $122.5 million [Austin American-Statesman :: ]

(Austin American-Statesman (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 14--Austin-based Surveying and Mapping Inc. on Friday revealed new details about an investment by Austin Ventures and the company's management team.

An initial securities filing on Tuesday listed the amount the company raised as $36 million. But a new filing on Friday updated the amount raised to $122.5 million.

The investment is the first outside funding for the surveying, mapping and geospatial solutions company, which is known in the industry as SAM Inc.

The deal marks the third time this quarter that an Austin-area company has raised more than than $40 million in venture capital. SolarBridge, a leading maker of microinverters, said last week it has raised $42 million for expansion.

In February, Spiceworks, which runs an online network for the IT industry, said it had raised $57 million to accelerate hiring and expand product development.

Founded in 1994, SAM Inc. has grown into one of the which is one of the largest surveying and mapping companies in this part of the country. The company has more than 700 employees, including 450 at its headquarters in Southwest Austin.

SAM Inc. posted annual revenue of $127 million last year, compared with $71 million in 2011, officials said.

The company plans to use the funding to accelerate its expansion, said founder and CEO Samir Hanna.

"We believe we are very well positioned to continue to grow the company in markets we are focused on, and we're expecting to grow both geographically and the type of services that we provide," Hanna said.


The company has offices in Dallas, Houston, Denver and Columbus, Ohio and plans to open offices in Midland and St. Louis.

The funding also will allow SAM Inc. to pursue acquisitions, Hanna said.

SAM Inc. got off the ground by doing real estate development-related surveying, but has branched out in recent years to do work for oil and gas pipeline projects, power transmission projects, telecommunication networks, railroads and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The company has drawn attention with its use of LiDAR -- shorthand for light detection and ranging -- a surveying and scanning technology that captures laser light pulses that reflect off streets, buildings and other surfaces. The technology is similar to radar, but it uses laser pulses rather than radio waves.

The advantages of LiDAR are speed, cost and the amount of data that can be collected and converted to highly accurate maps and images.

SAM Inc. also operates a subsidiary, SAM-Construction Services LLC, which handles construction-related services.

___ (c)2014 Austin American-Statesman, Texas Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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