People have been telling me that Dallas isn’t a software or startup town, but I found over 550 active software companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There’s a lot more going on in software in Dallas than anyone can see.
I know, because I created Gregslist of Dallas-Fort Worth software companies. There are now 554 real software and SaaS companies on the Gregslist DFW. And the list grows every month.
I moved to the Dallas area in the summer of 2019 after a 30-year career leading fast-growth software companies in Silicon Valley and Dallas-Fort Worth. I started meeting with Dallas software CEOs, tech leaders, and experienced service providers who are active in the software and SaaS community here.
Local tech leaders all told me the same thing about software tech in Dallas:
“Dallas isn’t much of a software or startup town. We don’t have any local VCs and there isn’t a lot of startup talent or experience here. We used to have some VCs, and telecom used to be big here, but you have to go to Austin to find software companies and startups.”
With all due respect, that’s a bunch of Texas bull crap.
I had heard the same thing five years ago while I was an active tech community leader and mentor in Dallas-Fort Worth after growing two software startups to over $100M revenues there. So I created and published Gregslist of Dallas-Fort Worth software companies. The curated list grew in four years to over 600 real, active software and SaaS companies in Arizona. Now everyone can see that the software tech community in Dallas-Fort Worth is active and growing.
There are over 550 software companies located in the Dallas area that directly employ more than 75,000 people. We just don’t see 80% of them since they aren’t big enough to have their name on their building or they haven’t raised big funding to make news headlines.
Here are some interesting statistics about software companies on Gregslist Dallas-Fort Worth:
1. Location: 95% of DFW software companies are in Dallas and Collin counties
The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is home to 7.5 million people, but software and SaaS companies are mostly located in Dallas, Collin, and Denton counties. Fort Worth and Arlington are home to many successful companies, but they have just 5% of software companies there.
2. Size: 66% of DFW software companies employ between 11 and 200 people
While only 5% of DFW-based software companies have more than 200 employees, over two-thirds have between 11 and 200 employees. The majority of DFW-based software companies aren’t tiny startup experiments, they are serious but smaller software companies with over $1M in revenue.
Dallas is also home to many remote and regional offices of software companies not based in North Texas. 40% of these companies are based in California and 20% are based outside the United States. DFW is the US launching pad for many international tech companies.
|Remote Offices||1-500 employees||48||9%|
3. Funding: $2.4 billion is invested in DFW software companies, but 52% have no outside funding at all
$2.4 billion has been invested by angel, seed, VC, or PE investors in 144 DFW-based software companies. There are 96 companies with venture capital (VC) or private equity (PE) funding. 89 companies have either gone public or been acquired.
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Not all companies are trying to get outside funding. Just over half of the companies on Gregslist DFW are self-funded. Some of these startups haven’t landed funding yet, but most are stable, growing companies that don’t need outside funding to grow and succeed.
|Angel or Seed||68||12%|
4. Employment – DFW software and SaaS companies employ 75,000 people in North Texas
Dallas and Fort Worth are big business towns that are the home of 24 Fortune 500 global companies. The DFW Metroplex is not known as a hotbed for software startups or superstar tech unicorns like Austin, Salt Lake City, or Boston.
But software and SaaS companies employ an estimated 75,642 people in North Texas. This includes all types of employees, from software developers to sales, marketing, executive, accounting, operations, and more.
The largest 18% of Dallas-based companies employ 80% of local employees, so the 80/20 rule applies for employment (just like it does in other Gregslist cities). 9% of software company workers in North Texas work in local offices of companies based outside of Dallas-Fort Worth.
5. Jobs – More than 175 new jobs were posted by DFW software companies in the last two months
We also track and share new jobs posted by DFW software companies on Gregslist. In July and August of 2020, DFW area software companies posted 279 new jobs in sales, marketing, product, and customer success. These jobs help companies grow and succeed. They are a sign of the ambition of local SaaS companies.
The COVID-19 crisis has been a blessing for some tech companies and a curse for others. Fortunately, the boom in software tech in 2020 will expand overall employment in the software industry in all regions.
Current DFW Job Openings by function:
6. Industry Focus – Dallas is a B2B town with many industry-focused software companies
DFW-based software companies are mostly B2B (business-to-business) with only 10% of companies focusing on consumer software.
|B2B – Horizontal||193||38%|
|B2B – Vertical Focus||257||51%|
More than half of B2B software companies based in Dallas are vertically focused on a specific industry (e.g. healthcare, government, financial services, oil & gas, etc.). Vertically focused software solutions typically don’t need as much funding to grow as horizontal software companies that sell across industries.
Here are the top 10 industries focused on by Dallas area software companies
|Entertainment, Hospitality, Travel||21||4%|
|Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation||20||4%|
|Energy, Gas, Oil, Utilities||12||2%|
|Sports and Fitness||10||2%|
7. Women CEOs – 6% of Dallas area software companies are led by a woman
Of all the 504 software companies on Gregslist based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 6%, or 32 companies, are led by a woman CEO. This is slightly lower than the 8.4% average percentage of companies with women CEOs in other Gregslist regions.
Here are the largest Dallas companies led by a woman CEO.
|Match Group||Sharmistha Dubey||1001-5000|
|Marquis Software||Susan Faulkner||201-500|
That’s the list and the rundown of the software companies we have found so far. There’s a lot more going on here than people can see, which is what we are finding in other local tech communities in other parts of the country.
Please let us know if there is a Dallas-Fort Worth area software company we should add to Gregslist.