Where it's based: Houston
When it was founded: 2007
Why it's Fierce: Validas does for the wireless user what TurboTax does for the taxpayer: Save them money. Like TurboTax with the tax code, Validas' technology knows the ins and outs of wireless and uses that knowledge to reduce customers' bills and optimize their service. The best part? The service is fully automated, which means bills can be automatically uploaded into Validas' system, analyzed and--if savings can be derived from changes to a wireless service plan--the company's technology can spit out an email addressed to a carrier's customer care center that outlines exactly what changes need to be made.
Not surprisingly, Validas' promise of cheaper wireless service--with no fuss--has generated significant interest among businesses. The 15-employee company is entirely self-funded--bootstrapped--and reached cash-flow positive during the second quarter of this year due in large part to the 50 customers it counts among the Fortune 500. And it's hard not to be swayed by the company's "show me" story: The state of California runs 100,000 wireless lines through Validas' technology and expects to save $25 million this year, largely through tweaks like avoiding excessive per-message charges with a texting bundle.
What's next: Despite recently reaching cash-flow positive, the company has no plans to rest on its laurels. Validas, which started out as a consumer-facing company, plans to continue to chase the consumer market with a revamped portal that will be available to both enterprises and visitors to the company's www.myvalidas.com website. Validas' Tom Pepe said the company's consumer-oriented mindset has helped it succeed in the enterprise space (fully 95 percent of the company's revenues come from enterprise sales) because of the simplicity Validas brings to its bill-analyzing techniques. Further, hand-in-hand with Validas' portal revamp are plans to white-label its service to big box retailers and wireless carriers. Already, an unnamed, Tier 1 carrier uses the company's technology to respond to RFPs for wireless service, in an effort to provide the lowest and most competitive bid possible.