Shakeup: Raleigh edge-computing startup EDJX founders out; new CEO; $3M cash infusion – WRAL TechWire

RALEIGH — One of the Triangle’s most promising emerging tech startups has undergone a seismic shift, losing two founders, installing a new chief executive, and adding $3 million to its coffers in just the last few months.

Raleigh-based EDJX (pronounced Edge-X) is an edge computing platform founded by John Cowan and James Thomason in 2019.

This week, Cowan, EDJX’s former chief executive, confirmed to WRAL TechWire that he and Thomason left the company in March due to “creative and strategic differences of opinion” with its board. The split comes less than year after EDJX went live with its platform in over 20 markets globally, landing a high-profile project with the US Department of Transportation to enable intelligent traffic systems and racking up some big-name clients, like Cyxtera and IT Renew.

The exact terms of their departure remain unclear, but Cowan said he and Thomason are still investors in the company. He would not say if they planned to pursue any recourse at this time. “For legal reasons, there are certain things that I can’t talk about, obviously,” he said in a call on Thursday afternoon.

Michael Preston, EDJX’s chief financial officer, and Delano Seymour, its chief technology officer, both members of the founding team, remain with the company. They said the regime change was down to “timing” as EDJX transitions from development to commercialization.

“What successful companies have always stuck with founders and not hired a new CEO?” they said in a joint statement issued on Friday morning. “It’s a relay race. The best companies hand off the baton from one runner to the next to create the winning team. This is a time-tested model.”

Scaling quickly

Their comments dropped the same day EDJX announced that it had replaced Cowan with Benjamin Thomas, a former general partner with DC-based Novington Capital, in April. He’s also the founder of Veterinary Care Inc., a consolidator of animal hospitals acquired by a private equity firm in 2020.

EDJX also confirmed it had closed on $3 million in new funding led by Intersouth Partners. That brings its total raised to date to $15 million.

“The Board and I are confident that Benjamin is the right person at the right time for EDJX,” said Mitch Mumma, Intersouth Partners’ managing general partner, in a statement. “[He knows] what it takes to manage a young hyper-growth company and evangelize a corporate vision.”

EDJX’s new CEO Benjamin Thomas

Global edge computing is expected to hit $17.8 billion by 2026.

The word “edge,” in the context of computers, means literal geographic distribution. Edge computing is computing that’s done at or near the source of the data, instead of relying on the centralized “public cloud” at one of a dozen data centers to do all the work.

The biggest uptake: it’s a lot faster to process a data byte roundtrip — with latency thresholds around 10 milliseconds versus cloud computing’s 50 to 150 milliseconds. It’s also less expensive, more reliable and secure.

EDJX recently opened its platform to developers to build and scale apps free of charge on EDJX Serverless. Developers can sign up for the EDJX platform here. The company is also actively hiring a “developer evangelist,” an interdisciplinary role that will be “vocal and outbound focused.”

“As our recent round of funding attests, now is the time to bring serverless edge to the mainstream, and EDJX is on the cusp of this shift,” Thomas said. “I look forward to leading the company.”

A Raleigh transplant

EDJX is a spinout of 6Fusion, an IT- metering software company that Cowan co-founded back in 2005 when he was living in the Cayman Islands.

At the time, Cowan, a Canadian expat who left his home country in the late 90s, went on a “VC tour” of the East Coast for his first startup.

“My business partner and I made the decision that wherever we raised institutional money would be the place that we put a flag in the sand,” Cowan recalled to WRAL TechWire last October. EDJX was featured as part of its “Tomorrow’s Unicorns” series, which spotlighted homegrown startups tipped to hit the $1-billion valuation mark.

In the end, they raised $3 million from Intersouth Partners in Durham in 2010, and moved to Raleigh that same year.

Cowan said he and Thomason are now working on a new project called New Wave Partners. It’s a venture studio and accelerator for that is currently in stealth mode. He said he’s looking to formally launch in the company “in the coming months.”

On a personal note, he’s also taking time to reflect on his experiences with EDJX.

“It was difficult for us to leave a company that we created based on technology we invented and patented,” he said. “However, the magic that created EDJX was the collaboration of the two founders. That magic can’t really be lost or replaced, but it can be unlocked. That is the silver lining inherent in the change for us.”

This UrIoTNews article is syndicated fromGoogle News

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