Crains reports this morning that a local Chicago technology start-up (not mine) has just gotten a ton of money:
Bswift LLC, a healthcare-benefits software firm, has received $51 million from a private-equity fund to keep up with torrid growth.
The Chicago-based company has been growing at more than 40 percent annually for the past four years and is enjoying a surge in demand, in part because of the Affordable Care Act. Bswift's technology is used by companies to provide comparison shopping, enrollment and administration of health insurance benefits. It also operates insurance exchanges for private and public markets.
Bswift's business is exploding. Headcount at the firm, which is based in the West Loop, has soared to more than 300 from 165 a year ago. A year ago, the company had expected to hire 100 people over three years.
“We've added 45 people since the beginning of the year,” [Bswift CEO Rich] Gallun said. “We'll be over 400 by the end of the year.”
Wow. And whoa. And woe.
That's really good news for Bswift's owners and stakeholders. I'm concerned what it's like to work there, though. Managing any growth taxes the abilities of any manager or business owner. Growing staff by 5% every month—they've added 45 employees this year alone—has to be a strain.
I'm curious what it's like over there right now, and how they're managing the growth. With this infusion of cash, they're going to have a lot of pressure to grow even faster. How will they maintain their culture? How will they manage quality and delivery? What do their clients think?