Investors are Loving Indiana Companies

Investors are Loving Indiana Companies

It’s evidently a confident time for investors in Indiana, as the last few months have brought in quite a few big announcements about companies that have secured new rounds of funding. For business owners with big dreams throughout the state, one can’t help but wonder how news of all the recent fundraising has left them affected. Perhaps they’re inspired. After all, investors are have been clearly demonstrating their support for those dreams.

Infusions have come to early-stage businesses, mid-stage, and companies at other stages of growth, covering a wide assortment. Let’s take a look at who’s been supporting all of those big plans.


$34.8M from Global Company to Machine Intelligence Developer

Scale Computing, an Indianapolis-based leader in edge computing and hyperconverged solutions, announced $34.8 million in Series F funding. The largest investor in the round is Lenovo, a global technology firm.

Scale’s patented HyperCore technology uses machine intelligence and automation to keep applications running without human intervention. Scale Computing recently partnered with Lenovo to bring its innovations to retailers all around the world.

“We have experienced tremendous growth over the past two years, driven by our capability to completely automate the administration of a fully converged platform,” said Jeff Ready, CEO of Scale Computing. “This round of funding, combined with our new partnership with Lenovo, enables us to instantly reach customers at a global scale.”

Scale’s revenue has more than doubled over the past two years, with sales in the retail sector specifically up 4x, closely followed by other distributed enterprises.


$7.5M from New Jersey Investor to Fishers SaaS Firm

Edison Partners, a New Jersey-based company, announced leading a $7.5 million growth investment in Emplify, the Fishers-based employee engagement measurement company. Proceeds will be used for continued product innovation and to accelerate customer acquisition and growth.

Emplify provides a SaaS platform (software-as-a-service) that establishes a performance measurement that ties employee engagement to business performance, giving business leaders a clearer picture of the success of their talent management. During the last 12-months, Emplify has experienced dramatic customer growth, increasing annual revenue by more than 450 percent. The company works directly with more than 200 companies.

Emplify is the third Edison Partners investment in the Midwest over the last four months. The company described Indiana as an “exceptional growth ecosystem,” and said, “the Indianapolis metro-area offers an emerging technology hub with strong state support and economic incentives. Breakout companies like Emplify have enjoyed strong engineering and business talent from local educational institutions. And Indiana’s reasonable cost of living and wages are also very conducive to building a sustainable technology business.”


$500K from IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, and Others, to Cancer Drug Startup

The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund, which provides capital to faculty, students, alumni and staff at all IU campuses to help them further develop their research and innovations into startup companies, has committed to invest $500,000 in Indianapolis-based NERx Biosciences Inc. as part of $2.2 million bridge round. The company discovers and develops targeted therapeutics for cancer treatment.

“The investment, combined with additional funds we have raised, will allow NERx to complete the preparation of a preclinical data package to support an Investigational New Drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” said Katherine Pawelczak, the company’s vice president for research.

NERx Biosciences has received more than $1.2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of General Medical Sciences. It has also received $150,000 in matching funds from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and Elevate Ventures, Indiana’s venture development partner.


$4M from Chicago Investors to Nonprofit Software Company

OneCause, a leader in mobile fundraising, announced it has closed $4 million of new growth financing. The round was led by Chicago-based MK Capital with participation from Allos Ventures, and new investor, WinTrust Ventures.

“There has been explosive growth in the nonprofit software industry and an increasing demand for year-round fundraising solutions that help nonprofits expand their reach beyond the ballroom,” said Kirk Wolfe, general partner with MK Capital.

Since 2008, OneCause has helped thousands of nonprofits raise $1.5 billion for their causes with their suite of fundraising solutions. The organization has grown from a single-point solution centered around event fundraising to a year-round, integrated fundraising platform.

“This investment will allow us to continue the momentum we have created by offering the very best value in SaaS, mobile and integrated payment systems for year-round nonprofit fundraising,” said Steve Johns, chief executive officer of OneCause.


$3.5M from Georgia-led Group to AI Social Marketer

Pattern89, which offers an artificial intelligence platform to improve paid social advertising results, announced that it has raised $3.5 million in additional funding. The oversubscribed round was led by Georgia-based F&M Investments and also included participation from High Alpha Capital, Break Trail Ventures, Elevate Ventures, IrishAngels, and strategic angel investors, including Chris Baggott (co-Founder of ExactTarget and ClusterTruck).

“Pattern89 is delivering incredible results for marketing teams due to their extensive investment in data science and AI. Their proprietary algorithms are impressive and improving the performance of social media campaigns for their early customers who are seeing significant revenue gains from the platform,” said Monica Luechtefeld, board observer and former executive vice president at Office Depot. “At IrishAngels, we are excited to invest in the Pattern89 team and believe their AI to be the next game-changer in the digital marketing space.”

Since launching in June 2017, Pattern89 has built an impressive list of retail customers, including LIDS, Finish Line, and Signature Hardware, plus some high-growth online-only retailers like PupSocks and Tecovas.


A Vote of Confidence

For business owners, all of this news about investors validating and supporting the growth of companies throughout the state must, at the very least, inspire hope. It’s been said that the only true votes we cast in the world are the ones we cast with our dollars. And, in that sense, it would seem that investors are giving Indiana companies a vote of confidence.

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Category Features, Finance