Fast-growing Maine information technology company Tilson Technology pulled in a $3.5 million investment to almost double its telecommunications management and consulting business next year.
The money, from six existing investors including CEI Ventures Inc. of Brunswick and business development company Rand Capital Corp. of Buffalo, New York, combines loans and equity purchased in the company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday.
Tilson is seeking $1.5 million more in this round of investment. It raised $5.2 million in two earlier fund raises in 2015 and 2016.
The company helps acquire, construct and manage cellular and fiber optic networks.
“We’ve grown by 50 percent to 100 percent per year for seven years in a row, and opened five offices around the country this year,” said Joshua Broder, Tilson’s president and CEO. “And the projects are getting bigger. The value of the individual projects now is bigger than the whole company revenue was last year. This is a big breakout year for us relative to our size.”
He said he expects 2016 revenues of $37 million to rise to $45 million this year and to $75 million by 2018. Staff of 360 last year should reach 400 by the end of this year and 500 by the end of 2018. Sixty-five of the company’s employees are in Maine, mostly in Portland, with an unspecified number to be added next year.
Broder said the company is getting orders for larger and larger networks, especially in cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Las Cruces, New Mexico, where it opened the five offices this year. The company now has 14 offices, including two in Portland that will merge next month into a single office at 16 Middle St.
While only about 3 percent of Tilson’s revenue comes from sales in Maine, Broder said the Maine office has more employees than any of its other offices. Much of the engineering and software development consultancy work is done here for projects in other areas.
“We export professional services [performed] with Maine employees and bring the money back here,” he said. “We pay a lot of taxes and use a lot of Maine companies as subcontractors. But the realities are that the large-size projects are outside of Maine.”