Victim Service Tracking may not quite be an overnight success – it’s been in operation since October 2014 – but it’s certainly hitting its stride now.
The maker of software that tracks demographics, court dates and services for victim service units expects to bolster its employee numbers from nine to 15 by the end of year and to move from its current office in Mancos to Durango by the end of November to accommodate its growth.
“We’re almost doubling in size every year. In our first year, we grew five times,” said Randy Feuilly, who co-owns and leads the firm with his daughter, Clarisa, who serves not only as VSTracking’s CEO but also as office manager for the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Cortez.
The firm is a participant in the 2020 class of the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program, which seeks to aid firms that hold the potential to grow rapidly, provide new jobs and bring money into the local economy by selling products and services across the country and the world.
SCAPE provides educational and financial help to startups and young, promising companies in the region, and firms typically end the program making a pitch to outside investors.
Elizabeth Marsh, SCAPE’s director, said, Victim Service Tracking exemplifies the type of firm it is looking to nurture as it strives to strengthen and diversify the local economy.
The types of jobs in programming and sales to be added by VSTracking will allow the firm’s employees to afford child care, health care and attainable housing in the region, she said.
“Victim Service Tracking is a great example of a software company based in Southwest Colorado that utilized a network of local mentors and investors to build a business with a nationwide customer base,” Marsh said.
“We are all seeing that our area is incredibly desirable for people to live and relocate to with their remote job – and this is going to put pressure on housing costs and inadvertently squeeze out local residents if we are not creating high-paying jobs for our existing community members,” she said.
VSTracking is looking to raise $750,000 in investment capital during its SCAPE tutelage, the money would go to hiring new employees and bolstering operational capacities to handle its rapid growth.
Among the new hands will be a new CEO, someone especially sharp in marketing, the one area where the firm is particularly looking to bolster its proficiency.
Clarisa Feuilly, who is serving as CEO, said the time has come to turn over the reins to someone who has been around the block in the private sector.
“I’m used to the nonprofit world, but the corporate world is a totally different thing,” she said.
Marketing has been a particular conundrum, she said.
Victim service units often remain in the background, protecting their anonymity – many victim’s shelters don’t give out their addresses to protect their clients from abusers.
In addition, getting the attention of not only the frontline victim advocates – who would most benefit from the VSTracking software that makes cumbersome federal grant applications simpler – but also the ultimate decision-maker who approves purchases of new software can be a Byzantine maze.
In many governmental hierarchies, the purchase decisions must get clearance from five or six different tiers before a sale can be finalized.
“Sometimes, it has to go all the way up to a city council level to get approval,” Clarisa said.
The current round of $750,000 in investment funding also would bolster the firm’s computer programming capacities as it seeks to expand into crime reporting software that’s compliant with FBI standards, which, like the victim advocate units, can be a difficult, time-consuming project necessary to maintain eligibility to get federal funding.
The firm already has developed its first version of its new crime-tracking software and it is in trial use with the fourth largest law enforcement agency in the country.
Like the victim services tracking software that must be compliant with the Victim of Crime Act, the crime-tracking software must be compliant with FBI’s National Crime Information Center’s rules and reporting requirements in the Crime Justice Information System.
The intricacies of meeting the federal standards at prices well below the cost of competitors’ software has led to VSTracking’s rapid growth.
It currently has 316 victim service unit clients in 33 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The firm already generates $500,000 in annual recurring revenue, and Clarissa Feuilly said 85% of the growth has occurred in the last three years.
Still, VSTracking has plenty of room for growth. It estimates there are 3,000 victim service tracking units in the country, and the software can be adapted for use by other industries such as nursing homes, senior centers, homeless shelters, foster care agencies and children’s advocacy lawyers.
For its second product, the crime-tracking software, VSTracking estimates total market sales to be $305.35 million annually.
If the sale of VSTracking’s crime-tracking software is made to the nation’s fourth largest law enforcement agency, it would be a contract worth more than $150,000 annually, Clarisa Feuilly said.
To handle all the growth, VSTracking is looking to move from Mancos to Durango by the end of November.
Randy Feuilly said the move will help attract talent, but also is simply needed as the firm has outgrown its 800-square-foot office in a former video store in Mancos.