The chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based venture capital firm Elevate Ventures says Indiana tech companies had a “terrific 2018" when it comes to investment.
“I was very encouraged by TechPoint’s report,” said Chris LaMothe. “The fact that they (TechPoint) are doing this quarterly report really tracks what’s going on in Indiana, and I think it is beginning to show Indiana can be a competitor.”
According to TechPoint’s report, venture capital dollars raised in 2018 totaled nearly $135 million, with 21 notable acquisitions connected to Hoosier tech or tech-enabled companies. The nonprofit based its findings on 26 publicly-released announcements.
"2018 included several notable tech venture capital deals, including large rounds at many growth stages ranging from pre-product (MetaCX, $14 million) to series A (Zylo, $9.3 million), series B (Springbuk, $20 million) to series F (Scale Computing, $34.8 milllion),” said TechPoint President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Langellier. “These large rounds signal confidence about the growth prospects of these companies by executives and investors, and it foreshadows hiring, as human talent is a primary cost for most of these companies. All of these things bode well for our tech economy’s continued growth."
And that growth is tangible, especially when looking at the number of acquisitions and VC dollars that flowed into the state last year compared with those from 2017, that recorded six acquisitions and totaled just over $105 million in capital investments.
“If you take just the last five years, Indiana has come out of the blocks. In fact, there’s more activity going on in Indiana than almost any place in the midwest with exception of Illinois. And Illinois is largely driven by Chicago,” says LaMothe. “When you take a look at the growth in seed capital funding, angel capital funding and early stage up to mid-stage funding, Indiana is really beginning to accelerate.”
The Elevate Ventures CEO says that as tech sector funding continues to increase, it will draw more larger private equity firms and VC firms to Indiana.
When asked if Elevate Ventures is zeroing in on anything in particular when looking at its 2019 investment portfolio, LaMothe simply answered, "Indiana."
"We were involved in about 75% of the companies that were cited in the TechPoint report. We made about 88 investments in 88 companies. We invest about thirteen million dollars in start-up and early stage companies. And there’s more and more occurring," said LaMothe, who is very optimistic when looking at the future Indiana’s tech sector."The state’s move with the Next Level Indiana Fund was a smart move that attracts a lot of attention, and it provides the capital necessary for those mid and later stage companies that really can accelerate their growth. Indiana has got the ecosystem to continue to build a significant presence in innovation and entrepreneurship in our country.”