‘There’s More Opportunity in an Emerging Market’: Florida Tech Firm Optym is Relocating to North Texas

Optym, which uses optimization software solutions to make the transportation industry more efficient, plans to hire around 70 at its new HQ at Cypress Waters. Also located there will be the company's newly founded VC firm.

Optym's Ravi Ahuja and Vic Keller

Optym, a global provider of next-gen optimization software solutions, is headed to North Texas.

Optym currently sits on a 10-acre campus in Florida, but Dallas real estate developer Billingsley Company announced this week that the company signed a lease at Cypress Waters. The privately-held tech company aims to move into its 17,327-square-foot space this August.

As long as construction is done, CEO Vic Keller doesn’t anticipate the COVID-19 pandemic to slow down the move. In fact, the team added more square footage to the space recently and has been seeing more growth during this time.

“It’s important to have a highly collaborative environment for all of our developers and innovators to be able to work together,” he told Dallas Innovates. “I think that the businesses we serve—the trucking industry and logistics—have been really critical as we’ve been dealing with COVID. The technology that we deliver to the marketplace has been very helpful for trucking companies to be able to get PPE and other supplies in the hands of medical personnel. We’ve also been able to drive some efficiencies around route planning and optimization that has allowed trucking companies to get groceries delivered efficiently into distribution points.”

Keller says the decision to move Optym to North Texas was multi-dimensional. Not only is he based here, but he recognizes the region’s favorable business environment, diverse economy, and booming young talent.

“While being in Florida was great for the first season of the business, as we move into new waters, there’s more opportunity in an emerging market,” he told Dallas Innovates. “I don’t think there’s a better business friendly and growing tech hub that I know of than what we have in DFW and in Texas.”

[Photo: Courtesy Billingsley]

Optym has around 300 associates globally, but will relocate around 35 people to the new headquarters. The facilities being built can seat 100, though—”we plan to grow,” Keller says.

In the next 18-24 months, Optym plans to hire around 70 new positions, everything from executives to developers to product managers.

“We believe some of the best and brightest talent in the country is based in Dallas, Keller says. “We’re really looking forward to inviting those people into our company.”

Founded in 2000, Optym is all about using optimization to make the world more efficient. Its intelligence solutions can be used for planning, scheduling, and real-time execution. Companies in a variety of sectors—auto, defense, energy, finance, healthcare—benefit from Optym’s algorithm-based technology to reduce costs, increase profits, optimize routes, and deliver goods more quickly.

Optym’s clients include Southwest Airlines, easyJet, YRC Worldwide, BNSF Railway, and more transportation enterprises. The company says its work mainly focuses on solving complex problems: determining airlines’ most profitable schedules, calculating railroads’ train schedules to increase network capacity, and optimizing routing plans for trucking to reduce cost.

Optym has two core products, RouteMax and Haul, but Keller says a big launch is coming later this year when the team releases an industry-leading TMS platform called Axele.

“We’re in a position to grow significantly over the next few years,” he says. “The markets that we serve are seeing rapid innovation and expansion.”

Most recently, Keller and the team launched Optym Ventures, a venture capital firm within the company. They’ve already made their first tech investment in Elocity, which focuses on digital solutions for the cleantech space. Optym Ventures will be located within Optym’s global headquarters at Cypress Waters.

Meet the Optym team

Keller, a lifelong Texas resident who’s currently based in Dallas, was appointed CEO of Optym in November, with Founder Ravi Ahuja, Ph.D. moving to chief science officer.

An academician-turned-entrepreneur, Dr. Ahuja launched Optym while researching transportation and logistics companies. His background—his academic career spans more than 35 years—showed him that there was a disconnect between industry practices and academia.

So, Dr. Ahuja created a startup that would help the the transportation and logistics industry benefit from optimization and computer science. Today, Optym is a global provider for decision automation and optimization solutions.

Keller himself is a local serial entrepreneur, and also the founder and CEO of local private equity firm KLV Capital.

Under Keller’s leadership, Dr. Ahuja said Optym will be able to augment its superior software development capabilities and enter new industry verticals. The duo expects to grow Optym exponentially—they say the potential impact on business is “tremendous.”

“We are on our way to building Optym into a multibillion-dollar enterprise,” Keller says. “With world population growing and consumption per capita increasing every year, our assets and resources are more constrained than ever. It is our social responsibility to use our precious assets and resources most efficiently—this is also Optym’s mission and we do that through the use of leading-edge optimization intelligence.”

Optym’s move to Cypress Waters

Optym’s new space will sit at 3401 Olympus Boulevard in Coppell. The headquarters joins additional offices in Armenia, India, and Australia.

The high-tech collaborative space, currently being built, will be a place where innovation is driven, according to Keller. A company he previously founded was actually one of the first tenants at Cypress Waters—so the decision to move Optym there wasn’t difficult.

[Photo: Courtesy Billingsley]

“It is always a big deal when a company decides to relocate to our region,” Lucy Burns, Partner at Billingsley, said in a statement. “We have focused a great deal on creating a vibrant, amenity rich community situated on the water. Each group that joins our community strengthens what we have started here.”

Located in the City of Dallas and the Coppell Independent School District, Cypress Waters is a 1,000-acre mixed-use development with office, retail, residential, and three schools.

The Offices of Cypress Waters is a sustainable, suburban corporate campus that reflects 21st-century corporate values, according to Billingsley Company. With its natural landscaping, pedestrian trails and streets, and lakeside restaurants, the development aims to represent the lifestyle and values of Generations X, Y, and Z—and thereby enhance the brands of its corporate tenants.

Christopher Fleeger at Morrow Hill represented Optym in its real estate search, and Marijke Lantz represented Billingsley.

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