O’FALLON, Mo. –
Automated imaging company Black Widow said this week that it has recently secured an infusion of cash through a third round of private equity financing totaling $1.5 million.
That funding adds to the $3.5 million it raised a little less than a year ago from private investors and family offices.
Black Widow said in a news release that the money will help the company upgrade its imaging technology to its new 4K system, expand its workforce and meet inventory demands. Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company indicated demand for digital imaging services “has soared.”
To recap, Black Widow offers auto auctions and dealers a drive-through camera system that can capture images and 360-degree virtual tours within seconds.
The company said the clarity of images is often the centerpiece of assurance and trust when transacting online and is a critical component of condition reports.
Black Widow chief executive officer Jason Hauk described how important the funding help will be to the company.
“This funding supports another chapter in the growth and innovation of Black Widow. Auctions and dealers are increasingly buying remotely and online. Clear, consistent and reliable imaging of the inventory they are purchasing is critical for auctions and dealers to feel assured of what they are buying,” Hauk said.
Black Widow provides an imaging system capable of capturing high-quality images in seconds. Images are uploaded to an auction or dealer’s software allowing them to market faster and transact with their customers with a higher level of assurance.
The company said current image capturing mostly involves a paid photographer using a smartphone that can often produce “inconsistent, poorly lit, weather impacting lower quality images.”
Black Widow said its images are “high quality” because they are captured with consistent angles, lighting and clarity.
“Black Widow’s speed in capturing and uploading images is also more efficient than the labor-intensive processes that is inherent with using a smartphone,” the company said.
The funding arrived not long after Black Widow recruited former ADESA technology leader Chris Dillow to be its chief technology officer.
The company said Dillow is ensuring that Black Widow’s information systems continue to scale with its rapid growth in the remarketing space.
“Through high-end image technology, the company is focused on helping auctions and dealers become increasingly more efficient while enhancing the quality, consistency and timeliness of the online experience,” Black Widow said.