How old is the longest, still-active email thread in your inbox?
This reporter’s longest-running convo since 2016 is a chat with the cofounders of stealth-mode startup Termaxia that started July 20, 2016. I reached out to inquire about what the company would do with the $100,000 investment it had received from StartUp PHL’s Angel Fund.
After several exchanges with cofounders Boon Thau Loo and Changbin Liu through the years, the thread came back to life a couple weeks ago: the company’s had finally come out of stealth mode with its big-data storage appliance, promising Internet Service Providers (ISPs) a way to lower their energy consumption and costs through microservers.
“We offer an integrated data storage solution using low power and delivering high performance,” Loo said, finally unveiling the long-awaited sales pitch. “More companies are storing more and more data: they gather large video files, use big data analytics techniques. We want to offer a storage solution that’s cost effective and will be at the price point of slower solutions but will perform much better than these.”
Apart from the founding team, Termaxia has a team of contractors in China.
The reason for the stealth mode? Unsurprisingly, the company was heads down developing its model and working on client acquisition.
(The play is similar to that of Amino, formerly known as Curren-c while in stealth mode, while building and acquiring clients for its blockchain-powered payments platform for the online ad industry.)
In fact, Termaxia — a term borrowed from the sci-fi world — is one of just a few ventures still standing and primarily-Philly-based from the slate of 10 startups to receive investments from by the first fund of the city-backed initiative.
Like Netsil, Tesorio left for the West Coast and now resides in Burlingame, Calif. CloudTalk (better known as Nucleus) is now based in New York City, though its founder remains in the Philly area. Velano Vascular also posts a San Francisco office on its website.
— Technical.ly Philly (@TechnicallyPHL) July 22, 2016
Real Food Works, the first investment from the fund, shuttered its operations in June 2016. Delivery startup Zoomer also folded at the start of 2017. Though not officially announced, Squareknot is in a dormant phase: the last tutorial posted on the site dates way back to August 2016.
Scholly, VeryApt and Termaxia remain active and Philly-based. The support from StartUp PHL, as well as some follow-on capital from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, is credited by Loo as partly why the company remains locally based.
“We’re very thankful to Philly,” said Loo, who’s also a professor and associate dean at the University of Pennsylvania. “But the biggest reason is the proximity to talent.”