State shattering capital raise records with latest 9-figure investment in OnBoard
At the mid-way point in 2021, Indiana has already more than doubled the dollar amount from capital investments and grants received last year by local tech companies and the state has easily surpassed the $358 million high-mark, which made 2019 a record-breaking tech investment year.
Those dollars don’t even include the $240 million raised in April by Chicago-based ActiveCampaign, which is searching for larger office space in Indianapolis to house its growing team here. In its capital announcement, ActiveCampaign said it plans to use those dollars to invest in product development, which is based in Indianapolis, ongoing global expansion, and acceleration of partner ecosystem initiatives.
Indiana tech’s 2021 capital raises also also don’t include the venture capital funds raised by High Alpha ($110 million) and Sixty8 Capital ($20 million), much of which will be invested in Indiana companies.
OnBoard is the latest made-in-Indiana tech company to garner a huge investment in its operations: $100 million in private equity from JMI Equity. Greenlight Guru raised $120 million in private equity in June—also from JMI Equity—and Terminus raised $90 million in venture capital in February.
2021 VC Activity in Indiana Tech has already Shattered Records
TechPoint’s analysis of publicly available data shows that a total of more than $400 million in investments was made in Indiana tech companies so far in 2021 compared to about $174 million in all of the 2020 pandemic year.
“We anticipate Q2 2021 will be the biggest quarter for tech investments since TechPoint started keeping track in 2014. It’s gratifying to see these kinds of investments coming in for companies that we have described as the next big thing in their specialty areas,” said TechPoint CEO Mike Langellier. “Greenlight Guru and OnBoard are both great examples of Hoosier innovation and perseverance, and we’re pleased to see them setting their sights for growth even higher and attracting the growth capital to achieve it.”
Roger Shuman, TechPoint’s relationship manager who supports Indiana start-ups and scale-ups, including connecting them to funding sources, said it’s particularly noteworthy that the latest nine-figure investments are coming into Indiana from out-of-state.
“JMI Equity has been tracking and investing in companies here for the past five years. They invested in HealthX in 2017 and most recently in Bloomerang at the end of 2020. They are also investors in UKG, which has a large presence here in Indianapolis. They clearly see the value of the Indiana tech ecosystem.” Roger said.
JMI is a growth equity firm with offices in Baltimore and San Diego focused on investing in leading cloud software companies. The firm invested $120 million in Greenlight Guru on June 14—which is the largest single capital raise by an Indiana tech company in the state’s history. (ExactTarget raised more in total, but in separate rounds.)
Terminus Software Inc.’s Series C round of funding came from Boston-based Great Hill Partners, with participation from existing investors Atlanta Ventures, Edison Partners, and Hallet Capital.
OnBoard Capital Raise Showcases Steady Rise
OnBoard was primarily bootstrapped for the first 15 years of its existence, growing steadily and organically, until taking on $5 million in funding from Five Elms Capital of Kansas City.
“This is a moment 18 years in the making. Our is a story full of grit and pivots, and through it all our team sticking to our vision” said Paroon Chadha, who launched OnBoard’s parent company Passageways in 2003 on the campus of Purdue University. “There is a need to support public company, private company or nonprofit boards as they embrace digital processes and optimize their performance, and we are poised to meet it.”
Shuman said OnBoard’s success may have been a long time coming, but it’s indicative of how Indiana’s tech ecosystem has been more like the tortoise than the hare in Aesop’s fable.
“We’ve been steadily growing our reputation as a place where tech leaders are serious about creating products and services that are key to the global economy,” Roger said. “We’ve seen it in increased interest in our VC Speed Dating events and in everyday conversations with investors and entrepreneurs. I regularly receive inquiries from new investors curious about what’s going on in our state. They almost always lead to introductions that often turn into growth for Indiana tech companies.”
Look for TechPoint’s Q2 VC Report in the coming weeks, which will identify all of the capital investments in Indiana tech announced in April, May and June.