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SmarterHQ raises $13 million, eyes new markets

January 4, 2017

Marketing software maker SmarterHQ Inc. has raised $13 million to expand operations, the Indianapolis-based company announced Wednesday, marking one of the area's largest venture capital hauls in recent years.

Boston-based Spring Lake Equity Partners, whose past investments include Shoebuy.com and Wired Ventures Inc., led the round. Battery Ventures and Simon Venture Group—the investment arm of Simon Property Group—also participated in the round.

SmarterHQ has raised $33.6 million in venture financing since 2014. The only local firm to raise more money in that span was Mobi Wireless Inc., which raised $35 million from a late-stage private equity firm in July 2015, according to an IBJ review of securities filings.

The company had been targeting its personalized marketing software to retailers, but it plans to use the fresh cash infusion to expand its client base.

"We are excited to have the backing from investors like Spring Lake Equity as we expand into new markets," said CEO and president Michael Osborne in written remarks. "The company's reputation and experience in the space will be critical to our success as we begin to apply real-time personalized campaign automation to new industries."

SmarterHQ's automated software helps companies tailor messaging based on a customer’s past and expected behavior. Among other things, it can connect online and in-store data points to determine the style of shirt a person likes and what he or she is likely to pay for it, ultimately sending an email suggesting shirts only in that price range.

Its client list includes Finish Line, GNC, Dillard’s and Kate Spade, but it recently began working with companies in other sectors such as financial services company Santander Bank and auto company CarRentals.com.

The company, founded in 2010, debuted on the Inc. 5000 list in 2016 with 2015 revenues of $3.8 million and a three-year revenue growth rate of 585 percent.

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