Q2 2021 VC Report: Record Rebound!
To call the second quarter of 2021 a rebound for investments in Indiana’s tech ecosystem is an understatement: there has never been a bigger quarter (or even year) for tech investment in Indiana history.
That claim is based on a review of TechPoint-collected information on publicly announced investments, which stretches back to 2014, as well as forays into sources like Crunchbase and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Between April 1 and June 30, 2021, Indiana tech companies publicly announced capital raises for a total of more than $193 million and one organization announced a grant of $5 million. Those activities sent the quarterly total investments over the $198 million mark. Additionally, 10 Indiana tech companies were involved in mergers and acquisitions during the quarter.
When Q1 investments are included, Indiana has eclipsed $400 million in tech investments so far in 2021. The prior record for yearly tech investments was 2019 at $358 million.
“To be fair, 2021 has been a record year for the tech sector across the country as investors who held back during the pandemic opened their checkbooks,” said Mike Langellier, TechPoint president and CEO. “Nevertheless, the second quarter of 2021 appears to be the largest single quarter of investment in tech companies in the state, and that’s a testament to the reputation Hoosier tech leaders have earned these past several years. Investors have a lot of options, and they chose to invest here.”
In addition to companies raising capital, Indiana-based investor groups are also raising funds that are often earmarked for Indiana companies. These totals are not included in our reported numbers but they are significant in that they will often directly impact Indiana technology companies. In the second quarter Purdue University was hand-picked, along with other universities by Big Idea Ventures of New York, a global leader in early-stage food technology and alternative protein investments, for a new $125 million fund to commercialize university intellectual property.
Sixty8 Capital, an Indianapolis-based, seed-stage venture capital firm supporting Black, Latino, female and LGBTQ-led startups, announced their first fund at $20 million and then promptly made their first investment in an Indianapolis tech company led by a Black founder. The firm’s name, Sixty8 Capital, stems from the generational, class and political events of 1968, a watershed year in the civil rights movement.
“We’re pleased to see this level of investment, and are excited to see more investment in underrepresented entrepreneurial groups,” Mike said.
Each quarter TechPoint, the state’s nonprofit tech industry growth accelerator, reports public investments and M&A activity involving Indiana technology companies. Share your funding deals with us by contacting Roger Shuman at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you represent one of these Indiana tech companies and it is not yet listed on the TechPoint Tech Directory, please add them today. The listing also enables you to post job openings on the TechPoint Job Board. For additional information and insights on this historic year for Indiana’s tech sector, be sure to stay connected to TechPoint Index by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.
To see how the first quarter of 2021 compares to recent years, see TechPoint’s VC reports for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Continue reading for 2021’s Q2 month-by-month listing of publicly shared investments, grants and acquisitions involving Indiana technology companies:
Schneider Geospatial announced its acquisition of a product line called AccuGlobe Internet from Digital Data Technologies of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to the acquisition of the product, it also expands Schneider’s business inside the state of Ohio. Schneider Geospatial provides cutting edge and industry leading solutions to over 20% of all local and state governments across the US.
RxLightning of New Albany secured $2 million in Seed Funding led by Madison, Wisconsin-based HealthX Ventures. RxLightning offers physicians and patient advocates a free online platform to quickly and easily submit enrollments for patients on any specialty medication to any specialty pharmacy, reducing the time it takes for a patient to get started on a critical medication from 1-4 weeks to just 2-5 days.
Eleven Fifty Academy, a nonprofit organization focused upon immersive software development and cybersecurity courses, received $5 million in Grant money from the Lilly Endowment. The grant will partner the organization with Martin University, Goodwill Industries’ Excel Program, Eastern Star Church, and Innopower to implement promising strategies designed to improve the livelihoods of individuals and families facing complex and varied challenges associated with poverty and financial insecurity
High Alpha Venture Studio company Casted raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Revolution Ventures of Washington, DC. Other participating firms in the round included High Alpha Capital and Elevate Ventures of Indianapolis, along with Tappan Hill Ventures of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Malomo closed $5 million in new growth capital in order to continue to empower merchants to control their delivery experience and turn it into a customer retention asset. The round was led by Base10 of San Francisco, with participation from Harlem Capital of New York, Hyde Park Venture Partners of Chicago, High Alpha, and other investors.
Encamp raised $12 million in Series B funding led by OpenView of Boston along with participation from High Alpha Capital, Allos Ventures, and IU Ventures. Encamp’s software makes managing compliance data and reporting faster, easier, and more accurate for every regulated facility.
Purdue University was hand-picked by Big Idea Ventures LLC of New York, to be a part of a new $125 million fund to commercialize university intellectual property. Big Idea Ventures is a global leader in early-stage food technology and alternative protein investments.
ActiveCampaign raised a $240 million Series C Round led by Tiger Global Management of New York, with participation from Dragoneer Investment Group of San Francisco, Susquehanna Growth Equity of Philadelphia and Silversmith Capital Partners of Boston.
The marketing automation company’s raise was not counted as part of TechPoint’s publicly reported total because they are based in Chicago. However, the company continues to significantly grow it’s presence in Central Indiana–well deserving of a mention here.
In March, Jobvite announced the official relocation of its headquarters from San Mateo, California to Indianapolis. Only a month later the leading end-to-end talent acquisition solution provider announced it was merging with Pittsburgh’s JazzHR, a leading recruiting software provider for small and medium-sized businesses, and NXTThing RPO, a high-growth recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) company based in Columbus, Ohio. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. You can read more about companies relocating and expanding into Indiana here.
Emplify, an employee engagement software provider based in Fishers, was acquired by 15Five for $50 million. 15FIve is a leading human-centered performance management platform located in San Francisco.
In late April, DeliverEnd CEO and Founder Nick Turner was named the winner of the first ever Black Founder Pitch Competition held by 1871, a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago that helps digital designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs build their startups and share ideas. In addition to the $10K cash prize, DeliverEnd also took home an additional $10K from Corazon Capital of Chicago, $10K from LOUD Capital of Columbus, Ohio, and $5K from Chicago’s OCA Ventures for a total of $35K in total equity funding.
Beastcoast, an esports and gaming content network that was part of the Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy class of 2020, announced a $2.5 million Pre-Seed Raise with participation from Andover Ventures of Philadelphia, Elevate Ventures, Techstars, and other notable sports technology and media angel investors including Scott Dorsey of High Alpha. The company has offices in Indianapolis, New York City, Las Vegas, and Lima, Peru.
Carmel’s KAR Global, a leading operator of digital marketplaces for wholesale used vehicles, acquired Roseville, California-based Auction Frontier, the developer of the cloud-based auction simulcast platform Velocicast. Financial details of the acquisition were not announced.
In early May Sixty8 Capital announced the first closing of their $20 million fund. The Indianapolis-based, seed-stage venture capital firm supports Black, Latino, female and LGBTQ-led startups. Later that month, the firm made its first investment in Qualifi, an on-demand screening platform allowing recruiting teams to phone interview 100s of candidates in minutes. The $600,000 raise was led by Sixty8 with participation from Elevate Ventures, Queen City Angels of Cincinnati, Flywheel Fund of Bloomington and notable angel investors.
Multiple investments from the Elevate Ventures Community Ideation Fund were made in May. OurSafeQ, Deep Word, Slice and StudiaApp each received $20,000 investments. Born out of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloomington’s OurSafeQ’s technology allows businesses of all types to create and manage lines of people using virtual tickets. Deep Word, another Bloomington technology startup, uses artificial intelligence to create synthetic videos. Slice is a Fort Wayne startup that has created cloud-based software for writers and writing teams to manage multiple types of writing projects. StudiaApp of South Bend offers a website that helps high school and college students study for science classes through multilingual examples and step-by-step solutions.
GittaSitta, a South Bend company committed to streamlining the babysitter hiring process, was awarded the Startup South Bend – Elkhart/Elevate Ventures Grand Prize of $25,000 during the 2021 McCloskey New Venture Competition.
Socio made big news in May with the announcement of their acquisition by Cisco. Founded by event organizers, Socio is a modern event technology platform that manages the full lifecycle of multi-session, multi-track virtual, in-person and hybrid conferences – from registration to post-event analytics. Financial details of the acquisition were not shared.
Market Wagon raised $5 million via their Series A led by Hyde Park Ventures of Chicago. The Indianapolis company creates online farmers markets in cities all over the Midwest with delivery to give consumers more access to local food. New Stack Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm also based in Chicago that participated in Market Wagon’s seed round, also took part in the Series A round.
Jason Becker, CEO of RICS Software, announced that the Indianapolis company was acquired by Fullsteam of Auburn, Alabama. RICS is a producer of point of sale (POS) software used in the retail industry. Fullsteam’s line-up of software products covers a multitude of industries including specialty point of sale solutions.
UKG, a provider of HR solutions with offices in Indianapolis, announced their acquisition of EverythingBenefits, Inc. of New Providence, New Jersey. EverythingBenefits is a six-year-old technology scale-up company that created end-to-end benefits technology solutions.
Authenticx landed $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Signal Peak Ventures of Salt Lake City, with participating and new investments from M25, Sopris Capital of New York, Allos Ventures and Elevate Ventures. Funding will be used for ongoing product development and hiring. Founded by former healthcare executive Amy Brown, Authenticx makes it possible for healthcare and insurance organizations to have a single source of truth that combines existing customer interactions across call center recorded calls, texts, chats, emails and more.
Coupa Software, a publicly traded, Bay Area software company that helps companies spend their money smarter and safer, created a $50 million corporate venture fund in June. Coupa Ventures will invest in early- and growth-stage companies, breaking down inefficiencies in how businesses manage their spend. Indianapolis-based Zylo was one of the first two companies to take on strategic investment from Coupa. Financial details of Zylo’s growth round were not shared. However, the High Alpha company has raised more than $32 million in venture capital since 2016 with major investments from Menlo Ventures, GGV Capital, Bessemer Ventures, Slack and Salesforce.
Sharpen Technologies, developers of the agent-first omnichannel cloud contact center platform, secured $14 million in growth funding. Bridge Bank of San Jose, California, and Multiplier Capital of New York led the investment round, along with participation from the company’s existing investors, including Cultivation Capital of St Louis. This raise will be used across all departments to support the Indianapolis company’s rapid growth.
Indianapolis-based Greenlight Guru sent shockwaves throughout the Indiana tech ecosystem with the announcement of their $120 million strategic growth investment from JMI Equity of Baltimore. The historic raise is the largest single investment ever procured by an Indiana technology company since TechPoint began tracking publicly announced investments. Greenlight Guru is an all-in-one medical device success platform helping solve the unique challenges of device makers across their entire product’s lifecycle. The platform helps companies bring safer products to market faster, simplifies FDA and ISO regulatory compliance, and provides a single source of truth by connecting the management of quality, product development, and regulatory processes.
Surf Broadband Solutions of Elkhart announced their acquisition by Bain Capital Credit, a global credit specialist with offices in New York, Boston and Chicago. Financial details of the transaction were not available. Surf Broadband provides high-speed broadband to residential subscribers, businesses, educational institutions, and municipalities across Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Bain Capital Credit, along with previous investor Post Road Group of Stamford, Connecticut, will essentially provide a major growth capital investment for Surf Broadband to accelerate the deployment of fiber to underserved communities across the Midwest.
Less than a year after taking on a strategic investment from New York’s Newlight Partners, Pondurance announced their acquisition of advisory and assessment services provider Bearing Cybersecurity of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Indianapolis-based Pondurance will integrate Bearing Cybersecurity’s flagship cloud-based platform, MyCyberScorecard, into its portfolio of advisory and managed services solutions. MyCyberScorecard analyzes and visualizes an organization’s cyber exposure to make it easy to identify and prioritize the most significant gaps while developing a plan for cyber resilience. The company did not share financial details of the transaction.
Core BTS, a managed services provider based in Indianapolis and owned by Tailwind Capital of New York, announced their acquisition of Aptera, a Fort Wayne-based software development company. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Yourco recently announced a $212,500 seed raise from a group of angel investors. The Indianapolis-based company has created a two-way communication platform between managers and their team members who don’t have a work email address.
Intrepid Phoenix Ventures, a LaPorte startup focused on substance abuse recovery, has received a $20,000 investment from the Elevate Ventures Community Ideation Fund. Intrepid was launched in 2019 in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame and Bowen Center. The company partnered with Notre Dame’s IDEA Center in 2020 to develop a prototype and an initial version of the app, which is currently in beta testing.
Driven Data secured $4.5 million in seed funding from private investor Rick Gibbs and JHCapital, LLC of Vermont. Driven Data is an advanced software marketing provider and digital marketing agency serving the automotive retail industry. Rick Gibbs, who co-founded Dealer.com which was acquired for $1 billion in 2013, will serve as Driven Data’s Chairman.
This amazing quarter ended strong with Mandolin’s announced Series A of $12 million co-led by 645 Ventures of New York and Foundry Group of Boulder, with returning investments from High Alpha and Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce. The High Alpha company is a digital platform designed to help artists, venues, and fans connect through live music.