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Don Brown leads $2M funding round in Carmel tech firm

February 24, 2017

Lumavate, a Carmel-based software firm, raised $2 million in venture capital from some notable local investors, a round that was led by former Interactive Intelligence CEO Don Brown.

The company sells software to manufacturers so they can give their customers relevant information—such as troubleshooting videos for outdoor power equipment—when they need it. The 11-person company officially launched last February, and this represents its second fundraising haul.

"We're starting to see some success, and we want to start scaling up our sales and marketing efforts," said CEO Paul McGrath. "We've acquired, now, a dozen customers, and we're starting to see some potential and some critical mass and now it's time to put the foot on the gas."

The company raised about $1.75 million around the time it was founded from 4G Ventures, led by former Aprimo CEO Bill Godfrey. (Godfrey was instrumental in starting Lumavate but is not involved in its operations.) In addition to Brown, other investors in this round include Collina Ventures, Allos Ventures and Elevate Ventures. 

Brown is one of Indiana's most pre-eminent entrepreneurs, having started and sold several companies including Interactive, which was acquired by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories last year for $1.4 billion.

Brown rarely has invested—at least publicly—in local startups, but he appears enthused about Lumavate.

"Lumavate is enabling manufacturers to provide real value to customers through a unique, mobile channel," he said in a written statement. "I'm excited about their early success and growth potential."

Lumavate has four main business segments that each account for an equal share of its business, McGrath said, and they involve end users "activating" codes that appear on manufacturers' products to access information.

One segment involves sales or marketing and allows customers to view promotional videos about a product they're browsing in a store. Another involves product registration. Here, a customer would text a code on a washing machine, for example, and get a link to a partially populated registration form online.

The third segment allows end customers to easily order after-market parts, a lucrative revenue stream for manufacturers who convince consumers to choose them over third-party parts makers. The final segment deals with service and support and accessing how-to or troubleshooting content.

Lumavate's customers include Indiana-based Mobile Drill, which makes drilling rigs; Delta Faucet; and resellers for companies including Caterpillar and John Deere.

McGrath said the company is exploring product development opportunities related to the internet of things.

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