Fishers mobile app developer lands $1M in VC funding

Bluebridge Digital LLC, which creates and manages mobile software applications primarily for not-for-profits, announced Tuesday that it closed a $1 million round of venture capital fundraising and plans to double its work force within a year.

The Fishers-based startup, which was founded in 2011, has 26 employees and expects to surpass 30 before the year ends. The recent cash infusion, which is convertible debt, was led by Bill Godfrey, founder of Aprimo, and Tim Kopp, former chief marketing officer of ExactTarget.

“Consumer use of mobile apps is exploding,” Kopp said in a written statement, “and organizations are recognizing the necessity of having a mobile app presence.”

Convertible debt gives investors the option of becoming equity stakeholders. The fundraising round marked the company’s first securities offering.

Bluebridge, which is the largest tourism app developer in the world in terms of number of clients, has hundreds of customers across the country, including Purdue University and the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tennessee. Instead of charging a one-time fee like many app developers, the company builds and maintains client apps through a subscription model.

“We have experienced tremendous success since pioneering the field of mobile apps as a service just three years ago,” said Santiago Jaramillo, founder and CEO of Bluebridge, in a written statement. “Now, with a talented team of 26 employees, a host of exciting new features and services and a remarkable mix of investors, we are well positioned to move into our next stage of growth.”

Bluebridge operates out of an office park off USA Parkway, where the town of Fishers initially subsidized some of its rent based on hiring commitments.

Last December, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it would grant Bluebridge $1.85 million in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on Bluebridge’s pledge to add 199 workers by 2022.

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