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Licensing Tech Firm Thentia Has Big Plans for U.S. Expansion

The Canadian firm, which helps streamline occupational licenses, has raised $10 million in fresh capital. It also plans to set up a regional HQ in Oklahoma after winning a big state technology contract there.

Two men speaking over a counter.
Toronto-based occupational licensing software provider Thentia has raised $10 million in a Series B1 funding round, capital that could come in handy as the company continues its expansion push in the U.S.

The funding round was led by U.S.-based existing investors Spring Mountain Capital and BDC Capital.

It comes as Thentia — already active in 15 states — touts its recent success in Oklahoma, where the company works with state agencies and is now opening a regional headquarters in Oklahoma City, the capital.

About a year from now, the subscription-based software provider wants to have a footprint in half of U.S. states, and eventually all of them, CEO Julian Cardarelli told Government Technology.

“We want to become a full-service kind of company for the U.S. just like we are in Canada,” he said.

The company has a workforce that is evenly divided between the U.S. and Canada, he said. As well, Thentia has a regional team based in the U.K. as the company strives for more European business.

A look at Thentia’s recent activity in Oklahoma helps illustrate how the company operates its cloud-based services, as well as its goals.

Thentia’s work in the state started in 2019. Several agencies, such as the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners and the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, wanted to move past paper-based licensing databases and processes, which took up too much time and money.

Eventually the state’s Office of Management and Enterprise Services signed onto the Thentia software platform, which the company says is “designed specifically for regulators by regulators.” That state office oversees 130 executive agencies, with about three-fourths of them issuing occupational licenses.

That contract marks the first time that Thentia, which started in 2015, became a state-supported software vendor.

According to Cardarelli, Thentia will gain more such deals because its technology allows two agencies to interact via integrated data, and can digitally process payments, among other tasks.

He also says the company has positioned itself for a variety of licensing needs, including from the industrial, energy, gambling and legal marijuana sectors. The software also handles other features including continuing education for license holders and quality assurance, he said.

“The platform does basically everything,” he said in describing his sales pitch to public officials. “It’s kind of like an ERP platform for government.”

As local and state governments become more digital, occupational and other forms of licensing stand as a big area of improvement, given how important that work is to the daily life of any community and state.

“Thentia’s robust and innovative platform provides an essential solution for government agencies wishing to achieve digital transformation in their organizations, allowing them to move their processes into the 21st century while providing the best user experience for citizens as well as critical data that will aid in decision-making,” said Spring Mountain Capital Managing Director Jamie Weston in a statement.

In one example of that theme, Texas recently launched a digital assistant platform through which users can manage their government-issued occupational and driver’s licenses.

Late last year — in another sign of how gov tech companies are responding to this trend — GovOS launched business licensing and tax filing software tools for local governments.

The new funding round for Thentia also highlights another emerging trend in the gov tech world: Foreign companies expanding into the U.S. and using U.S.-based capital to do so.

Earlier in April, for instance, U.K.-based transit tech and analytics firm Route Reports announced that it had raised $3.25 million as it tries to sell more of its software and hardware in the U.S., where federal infrastructure spending could help significantly with that task.
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.