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New Raptor Technologies CEO eyes growth in school safety software sales, offerings
Nov 17, 2020, 6:00am CST| By: Chris Matthews
Gray Hall is back to doing what he does best — leading a growth-oriented technology firm.
Hall, the former CEO of Houston-based cybersecurity firm Alert Logic, was named the new CEO of Houston-based school safety technology provider Raptor Technologies LLC in early November. The company provides digital tools for visitor, volunteer and emergency management to more than 34,000 K-12 schools across the nation.
Hall has a history of scaling technology companies. While leading Alert Logic from 2009 to 2018, he grew the cybersecurity company’s revenue from less than $10 million to more than $125 million annually. Alert Logic was No. 2 on the Houston Business Journal’s 2019 Largest Houston-Area Cybersecurity Companies List, based on its 2018 revenue of $130 million. Before leading Alert Logic, Hall grew Houston-based managed hosting, colocation and infrastructure services provider VeriCenter to annual recurring revenue of over $80 million before selling to Pennsylvania-based SunGard in 2007.
Hall has similar growth goals in mind for Raptor Technologies. He said the market for school safety technology is wide open and ripe for disruption.
“Even today, more than half the schools in the U.S. don’t yet have school safety software capabilities like visitor management or emergency management in place,” Hall said. “So as the market matures, we intend to be the preeminent school safety software provider, and that’s just a huge opportunity.”
One part of scaling includes growing Raptor’s customer base. The company has a presence in more than 25 states, but Raptor is focused on the entire national market of over 100,000 schools, Hall said. The company has a large customer base in Texas, including massive districts like Houston Independent School District, Dallas ISD, San Antonio ISD and Austin ISD.
Another part of scaling includes growing Raptor’s headcount. Raptor employs more than 100 workers companywide, and Hall said the firm plans to hire new employees “in every functional area of the business.”
The company also intends to continue growing its software offerings for schools. Raptor was founded in 2002 with a visitor management product, and the subject of school safety has only grown in scope since that time. School shootings have impacted communities across the nation — including in the greater Houston area at Santa Fe High School in May 2018.
Some states mandate that schools have emergency communications systems in place to better alert law enforcement of a life-threatening emergency on campus. Raptor’s “Raptor Alert” product features a mobile panic button to quickly alert emergency personnel about a threat to school safety.
“Many schools are, of course, adopting that even without the state requirements,” Hall said.
Raptor has been able to scale its tech offerings even during the Covid-19 pandemic. In July, the company launched new software capabilities for schools to perform Covid-19 screening and contact tracing. Since then, the software has been used to screen 350,000 people in the U.S. and more than 100,000 people in Texas for Covid-19, Hall said. Raptor was recently named one of the HBJ’s 2020 Best Places to Work. The education tech firm is headquartered at 631 W. 22nd St. in the Heights.