Home » 5 companies owned by African-American tech entrepreneur Clarence Wooten

5 companies owned by African-American tech entrepreneur Clarence Wooten

Unveiling the tech empire of Clarence Wooten: 5 companies shaping tomorrow's innovations

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Clarence Wooten

Clarence Wooten, a trailblazing tech entrepreneur, commands a prime position in Silicon Valley’s innovation arena. As the entrepreneur-in-residence at X, Alphabet’s cutting-edge moonshot factory, he spearheads teams developing groundbreaking technologies to address global challenges.

Wooten’s journey kicked off in college, snagging an Autodesk Caddie Image Award for his 3D architectural walk-through animation. This triumph birthed Envision Designs, his inaugural venture, laying the groundwork for future successes.

A serial entrepreneur, Wooten co-founded and led Progressly (acquired by Box), an enterprise software platform revolutionizing business processes into visual, repeatable workflows in the cloud. His startup prowess extends back to founding Envision Designs during his architecture studies.

Wooten co-founded ImageCafe.com, a pioneer in pre-fabricated websites for small businesses. Serving as CEO, he steered the startup to a $23 million acquisition by Network Solutions in 1999, marking an early foray into the SaaS business model.

A Maryland native, Wooten earned honorary and distinguished alumnus titles from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins, respectively. Inducted into the National Community College Hall of Fame in 2016, he holds the distinction of being the sole African-American founder to guide two internet startups to acquisitions by publicly traded companies.

Founder and general partner at Revitalize, a venture studio dedicated to diversifying tech and empowering underserved communities, Wooten continues to make waves. Presently, as entrepreneur-in-residence at X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, he orchestrates teams crafting radical technologies to tackle the world’s most formidable problems.

Billionaires.Africa has identified several companies and holdings associated with Wooten, including five companies where he holds direct or indirect ownership:

  1. Progressly
    Progressly, founded by Wooten in 2013, stands as a cloud-based operational performance management platform. This innovative platform, emphasizing centralized processes, eliminates unnecessary manual interactions. It has particularly benefited businesses in energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and chemical industries. Notably, Progressly was acquired by Box in June 2018, prompting Wooten’s move to Silicon Valley in 2010 where he assumed the roles of CEO and chairman.
  1. Groupsite.com
    Wooten is the founder and Executive Chairman of Groupsite.com, formerly known as CollectiveX. Launched in 2006, Groupsite.com, a Revitalize Venture Studio company based in Oakland, experienced remarkable growth under Wooten’s leadership. The platform expanded to host over 50,000 groups, achieving profitability and attracting over 50,000 corporate customers. This success led Wooten to relocate to Silicon Valley in late 2010.
  1. Revitalize Venture Studio
    Wooten, recognized as a “serial entrepreneur” by Entrepreneur Magazine, has been a co-founder and general partner at Revitalize Venture Studio. Since his undergraduate days and the founding of his first company, Envision Designs, Wooten has been actively involved in launching and operating technology companies. Revitalize Venture Studio aims to diversify the tech landscape by building breakthrough software startups that deliver economic impact and substantial returns.
  1. ImageCafe
    Established in 1999, ImageCafe holds the distinction of being the world’s first online platform for pre-designed websites catering to small businesses. Co-founded and led by Wooten, ImageCafe served as a precursor to platforms like Wix and Squarespace, contributing to the early development of the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Wooten, maintaining his role as CEO, steered the company to success, ultimately resulting in its acquisition by Network Solutions for $23 million, just seven months after its launch.
  1. VentureFund
    VentureFund, a platform spearheaded by Wooten, is designed to facilitate private relationships between entrepreneurs and investors. The platform, through real-time business data sharing, offers mentorship and funding opportunities. For startup founders, VentureFund provides a convenient avenue to showcase their growth data and connect with potential investors.

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