The time has come to remove “emerging” from the description of Indiana as a major tech hub.
It’s the middle of December and the Indiana tech ecosystem is about to put a bow on another record-breaking year for attracting venture capital. Couple that with a surge in tech companies relocating and expanding to Indiana, and 2021 will go down as a year to remember for our growing tech ecosystem.
We see it as a year of proof points that Indiana is one of the country’s most productive and valuable major tech hubs. Note that we refrained from calling the state an “emerging” tech hub. No, we think it’s past time to retire that moniker and boldly claim our spot in the global tech community.
Despite our Hoosier tendency to demur when it comes to self-promotion, there is nothing wrong with highlighting facts, and the facts—as you’ll read about in this story—support the viewpoint that Indiana has leveled-up and maintains a place of significance and continuous contribution to tech around the world.
2021 has been a headline grabbing year for venture capital in Indiana
The series of massive investments began in February when Terminus announced a $90 million Series C raise. The martech company originally launched in Atlanta, acquired Indianapolis-based Sigstr in 2019, and later claimed the city as one of its HQ locations with with well-known local tech executive Tim Kopp as newly appointed CEO. Terminus joined Salesforce and ActiveCampaign as globally significant marketing tech companies with large footholds in Indianapolis. ActiveCampaign later announced its own $240 million Series C in April, and just this week announced plans for new office space at 342 Mass Ave, in downtown Indianapolis.
The record breaking capital raises continued into the summer when two Indianapolis-based companies announced the first and second largest capital raises ever recorded by tech companies in the state. OnBoard announced a $100 million raise in July and Greenlight Guru announced a $120 million raise less than a month earlier. Both of these raises were led by JMI Equity of Baltimore and San Diego, which also has investments in other companies based in Indiana or with Indiana offices including Bloomerang, Zipari (formerly Healthx), UKG and HackerRank. JMI, who also operates in San Diego, were also investors in Seismic’s $170 million Series G raise earlier this year that led to the company’s acquisition of Indianapolis-based Lessonly in August.
“Indiana has been a top location to build high-quality software companies with talented teams,” notes Larry Contrella, general partner with JMI Equity. “We strongly believe the state will only continue to attract and nurture growth companies at the leading edge of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. As our recent investment partnerships with OnBoard, Greenlight Guru and Bloomerang demonstrate, software companies in Indiana consistently prove their ability to develop great products and provide jobs and other opportunities throughout the state. We’re proud to be a part of the burgeoning Indiana tech scene and are excited to see it continue to flourish.”
By mid-summer, TechPoint was already talking about Indiana’s biggest year ever for tech capital along with the two single biggest raises ever attained by Indiana tech companies. Then came Fishers-based Formstack’s $425 million raise in November led by Silversmith Capital Partners and PSG, both growth equity firms based in Boston.
In a November article on TechPoint Index, Kathryn Loheide, Formstack’s senior vice president of marketing called the raise a “great validation of the tech ecosystem here in Indianapolis and of mid-sized companies.”
Indiana’s own venture capital sources continued to thrive, grow and diversify in 2021. In March, High Alpha Capital announced their newest fund, High Alpha Capital III, coming in at $110 million; then an $18 million High Alpha Studio III fund was announced in October, the latter of which will be used to create and launch High Alpha Studios tech companies, often based in Indiana.
The VC studio trend continues to take root in Indiana with the growth of NEXT Studios and Boomerang Ventures, both with offices at the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis. In May, Sixty8 Capital, in partnership with Allos Ventures, announced their first fund–$20 million designated to be invested in startups with diverse founders.
This year marked the return of Elevate Ventures’ Kinetic conference for Indiana entrepreneurs and investors from all over the country.TechPoint also grew its own VC Speed Dating series by expanding it to two events that brought in 36 unique investors and 47 unique companies. More than 350 investor-to-founder meetings were conducted.
If your tech company is raising capital and/or interested in learning more about the Indiana tech ecosystem, please contact us today.
Indiana’s deep talent pool is THE key ingredient for growth and success
Indiana is increasingly seen as a major tech hub, evidenced by the results of work by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and TechPoint. Much of this growth is thanks to the incredible amount of tech and business skilled talent found in our state, and on the campuses of our world class institutions of higher learning.
Several companies that made commitments to growing in Indiana earlier this year are wrapping up 2021 with record growth and plans for more next year. Bay Area-based Celigo, recently announced a capital raise and made a commitment in Q1 to grow their team in the state. They are ending the year with 50 employees in Indiana with goals to open an office and increase headcount in the coming months. New York based Wunderkind acquired SmarterHQ in late 2019 and doubled down on their investment in the Indiana ecosystem, ending the year with a new downtown office and 120 employees in Indiana.
Making the decision to relocate or expand is complex, complicated and time consuming. Here’s a quick look at some of the companies that took on those challenges to relocate or expand operations in Indiana:
- Paxafe: Indy native and Paxafe CEO Ilya Preston moved his SaaS platform company that’s focused on predicting adverse events in the supply chain from Wisconsin to Indiana. Paxafe opened an office in downtown Indianapolis and is focused on hiring 68 Hoosiers over the next few years.
- Atrium: Montana-based AI consulting startup, Atrium has opened a hub in Indianapolis and is committed to hiring Hoosiers and building a team over the next few years.
- Entelo: Bay Area-headquartered Entelo is a talent acceleration platform that helps recruiters find the right talent using data driven strategies. The company is expanding globally and growing an organic team in Indiana.
- ActiveCampaign: The Chicago-based email marketing company announced the expansion of their footprints in Indianapolis, as well as in Dublin, Ireland, and Florianopolis, Brazil.
- Folio: The Chicago founded software company helps enterprises streamline their research, analysis and idea generation practices relocated to Bloomington in 2020. IU Grad and Co-founder and CEO Ravi Bhatt says the company plans to hire 40 employees over the next few years as the company scales.
TechPoint is committed to helping the Indiana tech ecosystem grow through attracting and retaining innovative companies dedicated to and ready to invest in our community.
If your team is interested in learning about what benefits there are to relocating to Indiana, click here.