Dynamics grabs big funds offer, not biggest

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The $35 million in Series B funding secured by McCandless-based Dynamics Inc. is one of the largest rounds in the history of Pittsburgh -- but it wasn't the biggest offer the startup received.

One investor offered "significantly more" money but on the condition that the payments company move to San Francisco, and Dynamics Inc. founder Jeff Mullen said he accepted the lesser amount from Bain Capital Ventures so the company could stay in Pittsburgh.

Dynamics Inc.'s round, announced Wednesday, was led by Boston-based Bain Capital and will be used to double the firm's staff to around 60 employees by the end of the year.

"We interview four to five people a day. We have 10 headhunters," said Mr. Mullen. Applicants interested in engineering or senior management positions may email jennifer@poweredcards.com for information.

Dynamics Inc. has already won numerous trade show awards for payment technology that revamps traditional credit and debit cards.

One card, the MultiAccount, consolidates information from multiple accounts on a single piece of plastic. Another, the Hidden, requires a pass-code to reveal the credit card's full number.

The firm partnered with Citi in October on a card that allows shoppers to redeem loyalty points by pressing a button on the card. The local firm's card innovations are entering a market of 550 million credit cards and 500 million debit cards circulating in the United States, and they work with existing payment equipment.

As part of the closing, Bain Capital Ventures managing director Jeff Schwartz will join the Dynamics Inc. board of directors.

In 2009, Dynamics Inc. secured $5.7 million in Series A funding led by Adams Capital Management of Sewickley. Mr. Mullen deflected talk Wednesday of a Series C round, saying his company was already "making meaningful revenue."

Dynamics Inc. was founded in 2007 and was a student project supported by Project Olympus, the young company incubator program at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dynamics was one of the first student companies to move into Olympus office incubator space on Craig Street, where the staff developed the first card prototypes in an upstairs office. That space is considered "charmed" by student groups that occupy it now, said Project Olympus director Lenore Blum.

On Wednesday, Mr. Mullen said his firm would most likely move from its McCandless site to some other Pittsburgh location by the end of the year.

Erich Schwartzel: eschwartzel@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.


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