6+ things to know in #MiamiTech: Factorial makes acquisition, plus news from DASH, HealthBird, Brightline, I Squared Capital & more  


Factorial acquires Y Combinator-backed Spanish startup

Factorial, a leading provider of human resources software solutions that this year selected Miami as its North American hub, has acquired Fuell, a Y Combinator-backed expense management startup based in Spain. This transaction marks Factorial’s first acquisition and product expansion, making it Europe’s largest integrated HR and expense management platform.

“With this acquisition, we are one step closer to our mission of making Factorial ‘the’ all-in-one business management software platform,” says Jordi Romero, Co-Founder and CEO of Factorial. “This move promises our clients an improved product suite that outperforms existing solutions, which previously focused on HR and expense management individually.

Factorial, founded in 2016, recently expanded its core HR offerings to include financial services. This acquisition further accelerates their product’s development, provides expertise related to the industry, and highlights the company’s commitment to delivering an all-in-one platform for employees in SMBs.

Founded in 2019 by Eduardo Ortiz de Lanzagorta and Edgar Alvarez, Fuell provides a unique expense management solution focused on budget management, while also simplifying back-office tasks such as tax refunds and expense categorization. Fuell’s  team will join Factorial’s more than 1,000 global team members as part of the acquisition.

 In March, Factorial announced it selected Miami for its new US headquarters, serving as the company’s base for the North American region and planned to grow the Miami office to up to 150 people within two years. The company also raised a $120 million Series C round at a $1 billion valuation, making Factorial one of the latest unicorns to join the Miami ecosystem.


Proptech DASH plans Florida expansion

DASH, a PropTech platform providing a comprehensive database of pre- and new development content for residential real estate agents, announced the introduction of a new, free subscription plan for registered agents. DASH also reports it is set to expand its services to Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Naples in Q4 2023.

In under three months since its launch, Dash has  grown to feature over 147 projects in the Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County areas, with over 3,000 agent visits to the platform, according to the company.

The startup launched in Miami in July as its first market, provides a user-friendly one-stop solution for residential agents. DASH delivers market-ready, developer-approved content in a user-friendly platform, showcasing new development inventory, including condominiums, hotel-condominiums, townhomes, and single-family home communities.  

READ MORE in Refresh: Dash to DASH: Real estate platform makes finding new builds less of a headache


Miami-based HealthBird announces LatAm expansion

Miami-based InsurTech startup HealthBird, which offers side-by-side health insurance plan comparisons, is expanding into Latin America. The company reports it will be kicking off the launch in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru in Q4 of this year.

The expansion comes on the heels of a round of undisclosed investments by insurance industry experts Juan Mario Jalil Perna, Juan Mario Jalil Faggioni and José Javier Hidalgo.

 “Having more than two decades of experience in the insurance industry across Latin America , when I was introduced to HealthBird, I was immediately captivated by the application’s innovative approach,” said Jalil Perna. “We explored the prospect of expanding operations into Latin America and engaged in discussions with insurance carriers, who enthusiastically embraced the initiative.”

HealthBird was also one of five Miami area startups selected for the Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund this year.

READ MORE in Refresh: Fresh off eMerge win, Miami-born HealthBird is creating a one-stop-shop for healthcare needs


Brightline expands Orlando service

Brightline has announced that service between Miami and Orlando will double to 30 trips daily starting Monday. That means 15 trains will travel in each direction to and from Orlando, up from eight trips each way for the 3½ hour journey.

The first train will leave Miami at 6:41 a.m., arriving in Orlando at 10:19 a.m., and the last train of the day will leave Miami at 9:41 p.m. On the other end, the first train leaves Orlando at 4:38 a.m. and last train leaves Orlando at 8:54 p.m. The early-morning and late-night trains will also operate between Brightline’s five South Florida stations: Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, meaning additional service for those stations.

Brightline trains will also start to move faster, a spokesperson told FOX 35 News. While they can travel up to 125 mph, some trains top out at 90 mph, but in a few weeks, that speed will increase to 110 mph.


Miami-based I Squared Capital makes clean energy push with latest investment  

I Squared Capital, a global infrastructure investment firm based in Miami, has agreed to acquire up to 95 percent of Absolute Energy, an investment platform focused on renewable energy and broader energy transition technologies.

I Squared plans to invest up to $420 million into Absolute Energy to develop a 3.0-gigawatt pipeline of solar photovoltaic, wind and storage projects to deliver low-cost, clean power and promote energy security in Italy. This will involve supporting adjacent technologies tied to intermittent power generation, such as battery storage and clean fuels. The transaction advances I Squared’s strategy to support the global energy transition by investing in, developing, and scaling assets and technologies that accelerate the transition to a low carbon energy system.

“This investment uses our platform building expertise to convert a large pipeline of renewables projects into a modern, integrated energy utility that champions energy transition in Europe,” said Gautam Bhandari, I Squared’s global CIO and managing partner.

I Squared Capital, which made energy infrastructure investments in 72 companies in 59 countries,  reports it has more than $37 billion in assets under management. It has more than 230 employees across its offices in Miami, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Taipei and Sydney.


Opportunity knocks

  • Endeavor Miami is accepting applications for the Dell for Startups Pitch Competition. A total of 7 companies will be selected to compete for $10K (1st place) and $5K (2nd place) in credits for Dell Technologies products. Companies must be Florida grown with a non-SaaS business model,  and generating $50K to  $1 million. Apply here by today (Oct. 6).
  • Miami Dade College AI Center is partnering with Miami DDA and Lab22c to host the event AI Revolution: Embracing the Future of Small Businesses On Oct. 19 at the MDC AI Center on Wolfson campus. This is an initiative to increase capacity of local small businesses in artificial intelligence (AI) adoption. The event aims to educate local businesses owners about the transformative power of AI and how it will reshape the business landscape, especially concerning the majority of small businesses in Miami. More info here
  • Apply to present at the 2024 Florida Venture Capital Conference Feb. 1-2, 2024 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami. The conference attracts over 700 attendees, including 200+ active venture investors. The final application deadline is January 8, but early submissions are strongly encouraged. Find out more and apply here.
  • Dreaming of a tech career? Check out these scholarship opportunities offered by BITE-CON and 4Geeks Academy for Full Stack Developer and/or Data Science and Machine Learning bootcamps. Apply on BITE-CON website here.
  • The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund provides tuition support to provide gap funding for at-need City of Miami residents who have been accepted into STEM or defined-demand occupation programs at participating colleges and universities, including Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami. How to apply: Students who meet the program requirements and are interested in applying to the Venture Miami scholarship are encourage to complete this survey to begin the application process.
  • The Alan B. Levan/NSU Broward Center of Innovation is accepting applications for the 100 Startup Project. Applicants who are accepted will receive a yearlong membership to the Levan Center of Innovation. Apply here.


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Nancy Dahlberg