No money changed hands. No calls were placed to movers. Nothing tangible happened Tuesday when Boise tech firms Ferguson Technologies and Agilefront merged to create a software development company, Royal Jay.
The companies had already been collaborating on projects at a shared office they've leased together for the past six months at 6225 N. Meeker Place off of Chinden Boulevard.
The company owners, Jarod Ferguson and Candace Sweigart shared an office as solutions architects at marketing and software development firm Wire Stone in Boise for seven months. Ferguson left to start Ferguson Technologies in 2011. Sweigart left to start Agilefront a year later.
After finding their respective startups in competition, Ferguson and Sweigart figured they were better off working with instead of against each other. Royal Jay will pick up where its predecessor companies left off designing custom software, including projects that enable companies to sell products, food and tickets online; that manage assets such as cattle and real estate; and that provide for secure messaging for healthcare professionals.
"We make a formidable team," Ferguson said. "We'll be one of the top firms in the Valley."
The new company was named after Ferguson's grandfather, Royal Jay Swenson. The first name "Royal" had been in Ferguson's family for four decades but may not have had not yet been passed down from his father's generation.
Royal Jay has 10 employees, roughly doubling the size of either of the previous companies. Sweigart said she expects the company will hire between five and eight employees in the coming year. She and Ferguson share ownership of the new company. Sweigart will be chief operations officer and Ferguson will be chief technology officer. Neither disclosed revenues for their previous companies. Ferguson said both companies were profitable.
Neither bought out the other, making the merger mostly a paperwork matter, Ferguson said. The companies moved to current headquarters from separate Downtown offices in October as a trial run, Ferguson said
"We talked about merging even back then, but we decided to try it out for a little longer to make sure it worked," Ferguson said. "Within a few months, we knew we'd go ahead and merge."
Currently, Royal Jay mostly designs websites and software for small tech startups such as Direct Local Foods, a Boise company that runs a website helping small farmers and restaurants and other businesses looking for locally-grown food to buy and sell from one another. by combining forces, Sweigart said Royal Jay has enough employees to tackle projects for bigger clients. Ferguson said he hopes to soon develop software for emerging wearable technologies such as Google Glass.
Royal Jay will also handle the business side of the operation more efficiently than she and Ferguson could as smaller, separate firms.
"All of the headaches, like payroll, taxes, accounting and HR, we can streamline," she said.
Check out the company's website at royaljay.net.