Austin Landing tech company plans to expand internationally, hire dozens locally

A Dayton area-based tech company plans to take financing from a new investor and use it to grow locally and internationally.

Marxent, a creator of virtual- and augmented reality marketing and business tools, said it has secured an infusion of capital by closing a Series C funding round led by Bellini Capital.

That will help fund international expansion and new product development, according to Beck Besecker, the Miami Twp. company’s CEO.

Series C funding is usually a company’s third injection of investment capital from outside sources to allow it to grow. Besecker said the funding totaled $15 million, represents the largest in its 10-year history and more than a $10 million round in 2016. The investment boosts the company’s total equity backing to nearly $35 million since its founding in 2011 by Besecker and his brother Barry, who have been working together since being employed at their father’s sporting goods store in the early 1980s.

Marxent uses its 3-D technology to allow customers to map out the basic dimensions and shape of a space to visualize how big ticket items such as furniture, kitchen, bath and outdoor decking will look in or around a home prior to purchase. Besecker has called the process “Minecraft for moms.”

The company’s clients already include many leading retailers and manufacturers including Macy’s, Lowe’s, La-Z-Boy, Ashley HomeStore, American Woodmark, Fortune Brands, Herman Miller, Jerome’s Furniture, John Lewis & Partners, Kingfisher plc and MHNI Corporation.

Macy’s Inc. partnered with Marxent in October 2018 to launch virtual reality in 90 stores nationwide. It is now in 153 Macy’s stores, Besecker said.

Marxent’s 3-D commerce platform will transform both the customer experience and underlying ecosystem like Netflix and Tesla did for their categories, Arnie Bellini of Bellini Capital, said in a statement.

COVID, which has found many people investing in their homes as they are relegated there during lockdowns and stay-at-home mandates, has further accelerated the demand for virtual selling for home goods, he said.

“The idea of 3-D-design visualization for home products was already a growth category and then COVID sort of kicked it into high-gear,” Besecker said.

The company’s name stands for “marketing times entertainment, Besecker said. “We’re trying to make marketing and sales more engaging,” he said.

Marxent has 100 employees worldwide, about 70 of which work out of offices at Austin Landing in Miami Twp. That office mainly includes engineering operations, project management and quality assurance. Its marketing, sales and administrative team work out of St. Petersburg, Florida, and a small team in London handles European accounts.

With the Miami Twp. office expanded later this year as a result of the financing, the company will be able to grow its workforce there by at least 40 percent, adding dozens of jobs to the region, Besecker said.

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