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Software development firm gets $1 million to relocate to Des Moines


Steve Smith has 1 million new reasons to move his growing software development company to Des Moines.    Last week, the Grow Iowa Values Fund board approved a $1 million loan-grant package to GCommerce Inc.

The company, which is currently in New York state, specializes in software that enables businesses with disparate computer systems to easily share information.

“It was a very easy decision to relocate to Des Moines,” said Smith, GCommerce’s president and chief executive. A former Des Moines resident and graduate of Grinnell College, Smith said he became “very frustrated by the high cost of doing business in New York.”

Currently employing 18 people, GCommerce plans to triple its workforce within the next year and add more than 150 new jobs within the next four years. The new jobs are all high-skill positions, including programmers, database administrators, data center managers and sales and marketing professionals, Smith said.

Smith left Des Moines 13 years ago to get into the exporting business, and entered the technology arena just four years ago.

GCommerce recently signed multiyear national contracts with Kohler Co. and True Value Hardware. The company is currently on its fourth round of fund raising, seeking $4 million in private investments for its expansion.

The company is also in the process of requesting $250,000 in public funds from the city of Des Moines.

GCommerce expects about $2.5 million in revenues this year and forecasts $5.9 million in sales next year.

Last year the company realized a net loss of $290,000, but anticipates a modest profit this year of about $50,000, Smith said.

The company expects to begin its move after the end of its peak season in late November. It plans to lease 10,000 square feet of space, with plans to expand into 30,000 square feet. It’s looking at either downtown Des Moines or the East Village as a potential site, Smith said.

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