SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There appears to be no slowing down for Impel, founded and headquartered in downtown Syracuse, and now ranked 118th on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500. The Fast 500, now in its 25th year, ranks the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. Impel, a global leader in digital automotive merchandising software, grew 1047% between 2015 and 2018. It’s been a meteoric rise for the company’s co-founders Devin Daly and fellow CBA grad Michael Quigley, who reconnected after college back in their hometown.
“In the early days it was me Devin and a couple other people, that’s how everything starts, working out of my apartment in Armory Square,” Quigley tells NewsChannel 9 “When we started the company we focused on high fashion, so back in the day we had some big clients like Louis Vuitton, Warby Parker, Converse, mostly fashion but also did some stuff in the gadgetry so we worked with like Olympus cameras for example.” Daly adds. They both say it didn’t take long to see a real opportunity to take their product into what they saw was an undeserved market, car buying.
“So if you think about it, you can buy almost anything on-line but for real estate and vehicles,” Daly says. Quigley adds, “I think purchasing a car is a highly considered purchase behind one’s home, it’s the second most expensive purchase one makes.” The company’s quick rise has come from the ongoing shift in auto shopping from physical showrooms to online dealer websites and marketplaces.
The company’s digital merchandising technology and data products enable auto retailers to move vehicle inventory faster while addressing the growing challenge of margin compression. “In providing that interactive 360-view and extreme closeup photos of the cars condition, option and features we offer a shopping experience that’s much more transparent than the one that’s out there traditionally today for cars,” Quigley explains. Daly says Impel also provides shoppers with volumes of information.
“It’s hard for consumers to understand the difference between BMW’s Accident Avoidance System versus Mercedes Collision Mitigation System,” he tells NewsChannel 9. Impel now employees nearly 100 people, most in Syracuse in sales and support, along with finance. A team of about 25 engineers work in New York City. The company started with local dealers all over the US but have expanded to 21 countries around the globe. They’re now reaching deals with car companies, like Fiat/Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche Car North America, Volvo and there are more in the works.
“We can go to General Motors and we can say, hey we have 500 of your US stores signed up here’s some examples, here’s some results they’re seeing, here’s some testimony so let’s talk about how we can do some sort of a group wide rollout or deployment,” Daly tells NewsChannel 9. He says they’re focused on going deeper in the auto sector. Impel plans to launching in the RV space, the commercial truck space, and the heavy machinery space in 2020. The company has already expanded once on the second floor of the Icon Tower in downtown Syracuse, and is looking at taking over more space there.
“I feel blessed to be able to have as rewarding of a career as I do and be right here in Syracuse,” Daly says.
“But ultimately it’s not like we view this as charity because it makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint. The talent pools that we’re able to tap into with the local universities. This is world class place to build a software company, is what we view it as,” Quigley tells NewsChannel 9. In October of 2018 the company secured a $22 million financing round led by Wavecrest Growth Partners. That capital has been used to fund company growth and continued investment in product innovation to meet accelerating market demand for digital automotive merchandising technologies.
Among the perks an unlimited time-off policy, catered lunch every Monday, craft beer on tap and a healthy supply of coffee. They also offer employees health insurance, 401k and free parking downtown along with free gym memberships.