innovation

Key EDA Programs Enable Radius8 to Compete on a Global Stage

With smartphones and tablets continuing to transform how consumers shop, retailers are seeking new ways to engage their customers. Princeton-based Radius8, Inc. leverages New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) resources to grow as it helps businesses realize the value of being a part of the digital conversation with their customers.

Co-founded by serial New Jersey entrepreneur Sandeep Bhanote, Radius8 is a local engagement platform that delivers hyper-local digital experiences to create new commerce opportunities for any enterprise with physical locations and digital channels. The company sees these experiences as necessary to meet today’s industry standards and consumer expectations and allow clients to improve profitability by increasing consumer engagement.

Customers who have adopted Radius8’s technology include Adidas, John Varvatos, Lucky Brand Jeans, Orvis, and many more.

“The fact that Adidas, a global Fortune® 500 company located in Germany, sought us – a small company in New Jersey – out to help them solve a big problem exemplifies the value we bring to the international marketplace,” Bhanote said. “The support we’ve received from the EDA has been invaluable as we’ve scaled up our model to accommodate our worldwide customers.”

The company is growing and expects to expand its workforce significantly in the coming years. Bhanote pointed to the fact that many of his employees are local residents who would prefer to work in Princeton as opposed to commuting into New York City.

In 2019, Radius8 received $640,000 of investment for which their investors participated in the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. The program offers investors a refundable tax credits against qualified investments in eligible early-stage New Jersey technology and life sciences businesses. Seen as a means to not only invest in emerging companies but also attract capital into the New Jersey, the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program is open to investors throughout the world, not just those located in the Garden State.

Investors participating in the program in 2020 will benefit from an expansion of the program signed into legislation by Governor Phil Murphy in July 2019. Changes to the program, which are in effect for investments made after January 1, 2020, include doubling the tax credit that investors can receive – from 10 to 20 percent of a qualified investment. An additional five percent bonus has been added to the program for investments in a business located in a qualified opportunity zone, low-income community, or a business that is certified as minority- or women-owned by the State.

Bhanote noted that the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program provides an extra tool that companies like Radius8 can use when pitching to investors.

Radius8 also participated in the EDA’s Net Operating Loss Program, which Bhanote said was instrumental in helping with his company’s cashflow. The NOL Program enables eligible technology and life-sciences companies to sell net operating losses in New Jersey and unused research and development (R&D) tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations for cash. The cash can then be used for working capital or to fund research. Since the late 1990s, the EDA has approved more than $1 billion in funding for over 540 technology and life sciences companies through the NOL Program.

In 2011, payments giant Verifone acquired South Plainfield-based Global Bay, which is another company Bhanote co-founded. He and his family live in Princeton.

“Sandeep’s decision to launch his second business in New Jersey is a testament to the Garden State’s highly-skilled workforce, its top-notch education system, and the many resources the State offers early-stage technology companies” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “These assets are instrumental in encouraging startups to launch in New Jersey as we work to reclaim New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation.”

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