A Missoula technology company founded in 2016 is looking to add 25 more employees to its staff and launch a new investment round to position itself for additional growth in the global tourism industry.
Evan Tipton, founder and CEO of TOMIS, said the marketing company for tour operators has a strong client base in Montana and has recently established a global footprint.
Missoula County this week approved the company’s application to the state’s Big Sky Economic Trust Fund job creation grant.
“We’ve been hiring at a good pace over the last six months,” Tipton said. “Given the position we’re in with revenue growth, I’m in the middle of an investment round to expedite that growth and hire the 25 positions we’re applying for.”
Tipton in 2017 edged out an edible cricket farm to win the Montana Shark Tank pitch competition, and TOMIS has been growing ever since. In 2018, it claimed 30 employees and brought on talent from the likes of Amazon, Walt Disney, Microsoft and the University of Montana.
Eleven of its current employees are UM graduates, Tipton said, adding that his company navigated the COVID-19 pandemic with revenues now up 115% over 2019.
“We’re consistently breaking our previous quarterly revenue,” he said. “We’re uniquely positioned in what’s now a $200 billion global industry without true competition.”
TOMIS provides proprietary software and digital marketing assistance for tour operators, ranging from fishing guides to wine tasting. The software integrates and analyzes marketing and sales data – something that had been missing from the tourism industry.
The resulting data can boost the operator’s bottom line and ensure the business is prominent in web-based searches.
“There’s a real pain point for small and medium sized business, and marketing is complex. We provide proprietary software and full-service digital marketing.” Tipton said.
Tipton completed his undergraduate and master’s degree at UM in tourism development before moving to the Silicon Valley. There, he completed the StartX business incubator program at Stanford and was the first employee at Xola – a successful Silicon Valley startup.
Seeing an opportunity in tours and activities marketing, he returned to Missoula to launch TOMIS.
“It’s one of those industries that’s been historically ignored,” he said. “We now have a good client base in Montana but a global footprint.”