VC Report: Q3 2019 investments in Indiana technology companies
It was a particularly strong three months for Indiana tech companies raising money. There were 13 publicly announced raises with another five companies receiving grants in the third quarter of 2019 totalling over $76.5 million. Seven Indiana tech companies were involved in mergers and acquisitions.
Indiana-based venture capital firms like Elevate Ventures, Allos Ventures, High Alpha, HG Ventures and the Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund (IUPhV) continue to be active in the state with multiple investments. Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund of Washington, D.C., has remained active with investments in Indiana companies since first touring the state in 2017.
However, of particular interest is that eleven out-of-state firms made first-time investments in Indiana tech companies. Many of these firms are from the Bay Area including Menlo Ventures, Greenhouse Capital, Flat World Partners, LearnStart and Peak State Ventures. Following is a summary of these investments.
PERQ, an Indianapolis-based marketing technology company, started out Q3 investment activity with a $6 million Series A raise led by Poplar Ventures of Louisville, Kentucky and including Indiana investors Elevate Ventures, Allos Ventures, Collina Ventures and 4G Ventures.
Encamp, winner of the “Best of Tech” Mira Award for New Startup of the Year in 2019, brought in $1 million in a seed round led by High Alpha Capital with participation from Allos Ventures and local angel investor Ade Olonoh. Encamp is an environmental software company based in downtown Indianapolis.
Fishers-based Formstack picked up its fifth acquisition in less than two years with the purchase of InsureSign, an e-signature software company located in Charleston, S.C. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund (IUPhV) invested $250,000 in Ziptility, located in The Mill in Bloomington, Ind. The company’s software makes it easier for water utility operators to maintain digital maps of its buried infrastructure.
Cornerstone Information Systems, a leading technology and services provider for the travel industry with headquarters in Bloomington, made headlines with the acquisition of ApexConnect, a fintech company in the Washington, D.C. area.
Kerauno, a mobile-first communications workflow platform company in Indianapolis, acquired Inverse-Square, a custom software and web application development firm, also based in Indianapolis.
DemandJump announced a $5.5 million Series A-2 raise led by BIP Capital of Atlanta. BIP jumped right into the Indiana tech ecosystem by participating in TechPoint’s 2019 VC Speed Dating event held in September. DemandJump’s Traffic Cloud customer acquisition platform enables marketers to find and target new customers.
DoubleMap, an Indianapolis software company focused on transit solutions, made news in January when the fast-growing company merged with Ride Systems LLC of Salt Lake City. In July it was announced that Journey Holding Corporation (the result of the merger between the two companies) was acquired by Ford Motor Company.
FuseMe, an HR-tech company in Indianapolis, announced a $300,000 seed round led by multiple angel investors. FuseMe’s app is designed to provide seamless and continuous talent acquisition information from activities like university career fairs.
Socio Labs finished up the month of July with the unveiling of a $6 million Series A round led by High Alpha with participation from Greenspring Associates of Baltimore. Originally from Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Ind., the event experience software company is now headquartered in Indianapolis.
Graspable, Inc., an Indiana University affiliated company in Bloomington, was one of at least five Indiana tech companies to receive grants during the third quarter of 2019. The edtech startup pulled in a $900,000 SBIR Phase II Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Salesforce made M&A news for the second quarter in a row with the $1.35 billion acquisition of ClickSoftware. Based in the Boston area, ClickSoftware has a global footprint and is known as a leading provider of software for service oriented businesses. Saleforce’s headquarters is in Silicon Valley and its second-largest office is located in Indianapolis.
Aerotronic, an Indianapolis-based, Techstars-backed company that uses artificial intelligence and remote video to capture vegetation and pole top data for the utility industry, received a $50,000 PlanetM Mobility Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Doxly, a legal transaction software company launched by High Alpha Studios in Indianapolis, was acquired by Litera Microsystems of Chicago. Litera is a provider of document technology solutions to the legal and life sciences communities. Financial details of the acquisition were not provided.
SafeKeeping announced a $330,000 seed round led by Solidea Capital of New York. The Indianapolis healthcare IT firm connects residents, families and caregivers to maximize facility ratings, referrals and reimbursement strategies.
Nomad Rides of Bloomington received a $150,000 investment by participating in the Y Combinator Summer 2019 accelerator in Silicon Valley. Nomad is the first commission free rideshare service.
Ontario Systems, a Muncie-based provider of enterprise software designed to improve operations and revenue recovery in a number of industries all over the world, entered into a partnership with New Mountain Capital of New York. The partnership makes New Mountain Capital the largest investor in the company. Ontario Systems plans to use the investment to achieve “next level growth.”
Indianapolis-based Springbuk quietly raised a $17 million growth round in August. The company’s vision is “to prevent disease with data” within the health ecosystem. Springbuk took home the Company Culture of the Year and Scale-up of the Year ($100K-$5M) “Best of Tech” trophies during the TechPoint 2018 Mira Awards.
ConverSight.ai announced its $700,000 seed round led by The Angel Roundtable of Johnson City, Tenn., with participation from Elevate Ventures and other previous investors. Based in Indianapolis, the voice solutions-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform company is currently participating in the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator located in Minneapolis.
120WaterAudit has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards since it was founded in 2016. The Zionsville company won Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition in 2017 which included a $100,000 investment. The latest accolade is a $7 million Series A raise led by HG Ventures of Indianapolis. HG Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of The Heritage Group. Allos Ventures of Indianapolis also participated in the raise along with Greenhouse Capital Partners, a Bay Area firm that invests in businesses that promote health and sustainability to create a positive impact on people, communities, and the environment.
Explore Interactive is a Purdue-affiliated educational tech company based in Lafayette. The company’s platform utilizes augmented reality to allow students and learners of all backgrounds to physically touch and experiment with the educational content in front of them. Shortly after participating in TechPoint’s 2019 VC Speed Dating event it was announced that the company received a $300,000 Phase I SBIR award from the National Institutes of Health.
PlaneEnglish, another Purdue-affiliated tech company, also received a grant in September in the form of a $50,000 SBIR award sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. PlaneEnglish has developed technology to teach young pilots how to effectively communicate with air traffic control.
Zylo tops the list for the quarter with the second highest announced raise from an Indiana tech company in 2019. The team secured $22.5 million in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures, a Bay Area venture capital firm. Bessemer Venture Partners, another Bay Area firm, also participated in the raise as a repeat investor along with High Alpha, Rise of the Rest, the Slack Fund and Salesforce Ventures.
The Bee Corp, an AgTech company that recently relocated to Indianapolis from Bloomington, received a $750,000 SBIR Phase II Grant from the National Science Foundation.
Kenzie Academy, an Indianapolis-based coding academy, announced a $7.8 million Series A raise led by ReThink Education of White Plains, New York. Flat World Partners, another New York-based venture capital firm, also participated in the raise along with Washington DC’s Rise of the Rest and both LearnStart and Peak State Ventures of the Bay Area