Fledgling New Bedford software firm draws $1.5M in venture capital

By Steve Urbon
NEW BEDFORD — Objective Logistics, a restaurant management startup software firm born less than three years ago in a downtown basement, has landed $1.5 million in new venture capital from a group of firms led by Google Ventures and Atlas Venture.
Philip H. Beauregard, co-founder and CEO of the company, said the investments demonstrate that an entrepreneurial company doesn’t have to be based in a tech-rich city such as Cambridge but can be practically anywhere — including downtown New Bedford, where it originated and maintains an office.
Beauregard, a graduate of the Wharton School, told The Standard-Times: “I want to inspire students. I want young people who are sitting around saying there is no way to achieve this, I want them to know it is possible.”
The company did not provide a breakdown of the $1.5 million because, Beauregard said, venture capitalists don’t like to make such details public. But the package is topped by Atlas and Google, with NextView Ventures, Canary Ventures and some other individual investors participating.
The money, Beauregard said, will pay for fine-tuning and marketing the software, called MUSE. It is designed to do a unique job of analyzing the performance of individual servers in restaurants (and other retail businesses in the future). This gives managers the tools they need to create such things as staff “leaderboards” and use other incentives to improve profits and tips.
“Restaurant owners and employees alike want to gain insight into their operations and performance,” Beauregard said. But he added “the tools available have been cumbersome and mundane. MUSE gamifies the workplace by giving owners the ability to rapidly measure staff performance.”
Beauregard said the software is about 75 percent of its goal, and he would like to see it at 95 percent before marketing it. The product is being used at the Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant chain in Massachusetts and Virginia.
Objective Logistics was founded in 2009 and included software engineers, game theorists, restaurateurs, behavioral and data scientists and academics. From its start in the basement of Beauregard’s father’s downtown law offices, the firm expanded to the Times Building and eventually opened an office in Cambridge. But the headquarters remain in New Bedford, said Beauregard.
“We’re still keeping the office in New Bedford. I want to be perfectly clear,” he said. “But the technology has removed the barriers. You can get this done anywhere.”
And that, he said, presents a great opportunity for local students and for the city.
“There is a big benefit to having (technology) ecosystem around,” he said. “It’s like a coral reef versus the open ocean. You can still swim in the open ocean but you find little alcoves.”
What motivates him to stay rooted in SouthCoast is that “the quality of life is unbelievable.”
November 30, 2011 12:00 AM
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