NYS Pension Fund Investment Allows
Binghamton Company to Expand
Threadsmith Hiring and Launching Custom-Embroidering Website
The New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund) recently invested $300,000 in Threadsmith, a Binghamton-based custom-embroidery company, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. The infusion of capital will allow Threadsmith to hire more employees and launch its embroidery product to the mass market.
“Threadsmith is a perfect example of how we can do well for the state pension fund while doing good for New York businesses,” DiNapoli said. “Threadsmith was born and raised in Binghamton. The technology was invented here. The business concept was developed here. And now the company is creating jobs here. It makes sense that the state pension fund will help this company grow so it can stay here and prosper.”
The Fund invested in Threadsmith through its investment partner High Peaks Venture Partners, which is based in Troy, NY. High Peaks invested a total of $500,000 in Threadsmith, of which $300,000 was from the Fund.
“Threadsmith represents an extremely exciting opportunity to create a new solution for the custom embroidery market that truly is better, faster, cheaper,” High Peaks Managing Director Brad Svrluga said. “The Threadsmith technology is powerful and truly unique, and gives the company a tremendous advantage in the marketplace. This is a perfect example of the sorts of opportunities that get us excited as investors – a chance to use innovative, proprietary technology to build a disruptive new business model in a large and growing market. What David Goldman and his team have created is the beginning of something truly special and we are thrilled to be partnering with him to build the business.”
Using the new capital, Threadsmith is immediately looking to hire software engineers. The company hopes to hire 12 new employees by the end of the year. Threadsmith recently launched its website, Threadsmith.com, where consumers can custom-design embroidered products and receive them within days.
Threadsmith founder and CEO David Goldman invented the digitization software technology based on his graduate research at Binghamton University. Goldman’s innovation eliminates the need to manually enter design specifications into an embroidery machine, which until now had been a timely step in the production process. Company CTO Nirav Patel, also a Binghamton University graduate, developed the business strategy to bring the Threadsmith technology directly to the consumer through the company’s website.
Because there is no set-up involved in the process, there is no need for Threadsmith to charge the consumer a set-up fee. The end result is a quicker and cheaper embroidery process for businesses and individuals. Threadsmith hopes to attract a portion of the $1.2 billion short-run embroidered apparel business.
Through its in-state private equity program, the Fund invests with private equity managers who seek to invest in companies in New York State that require capital for growth. The program, created in 1999, targets investment of state funds in the New York State economy. The program is designed to
provide investment returns consistent with the risk of private equity while also expanding the availability of capital for New York businesses. The program aims to help generate jobs and private sector investment in the state.
Since 2000, $288 million has been invested in 108 companies through the in-state program. DiNapoli has committed an additional $408 million to the program since he took office a year ago, bringing the total amount committed to the program to $861 million.
About the Common Retirement Fund
The $154.5 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension plan in the United States with more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries from state and local governments. Comptroller DiNapoli is the sole trustee of the Fund and manages a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.
About High Venture Partners
High Peaks Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investments in market-leading, early-stage technology companies. High Peaks closed its inaugural fund in 2004 and is actively investing in New York state and throughout the northeast, focusing primarily on companies in the internet-enabled business services, digital media, medical technology and technology commercialization markets. High Peaks is one of 15 affiliates of Village Ventures, a nationwide network of regionally focused, early-stage venture capital funds. www.hpvp.com.