Local startup Bluebridge Digital LLC, which builds and maintains mobile apps primarily for not-for-profits, has landed $500,000 in venture capital from a group of investors including former ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey.
The nearly 4-year-old company, based in Fishers, recently hired some former ExactTarget Marketing Cloud officials and is gearing up to move into larger offices. The developments come on the heels of a year that saw its workforce double to 25 and South Africa sign on as a client.
"Santiago [Jaramillo] has been a known commodity for a number of years, just an absolute superstar on the launchpad," Launch Fishers CEO John Wechsler said about Bluebridge's 25-year-old CEO. "And it's just great to see him continue to realize his full potential."
The investment that included Dorsey closed in December, but was announced Thursday by Bluebridge. The $500,000 is an addition to the $1 million financing round that closed in the fall. Jaramillo said the cap was raised after investors sought more convertible debt-to-equity notes than were available.
Bluebridge develops and manages smartphone apps on a subscription model, often referred to as software-as-a-service. Its clients include municipalities needing tourism apps, as well as colleges and churches seeking apps for patrons and visitors.
It signed South Africa for its tourism platform last fall, Jaramillo said.
The additional capital has been used in part to make some key hires, bringing its employee count to 30. The employees include Mallory Lee, a former ExactTarget marketing manager, who joined Bluebridge in January as vice president of marketing; and Dave Sears, former director of accounting at ExactTarget, who was named Bluebridge controller in December.
This April, Bluebridge intends to move into 9,000 square feet in the new headquarters of construction firm Meyer Najem in downtown Fishers. The new home will be twice the size of Bluebridge's current space at 11313 USA Parkway.
"Space is tight here at the office, which makes for awesome collaboration and great conversations," Jaramillo said, "but you also start feeling it."
Born in Colombia, Jaramillo spent his formative years in Florida and attended school at Indiana Wesleyan University. He started Bluebridge out of his dorm room in 2011.
He interned for ExactTarget in 2010. Dorsey once recognized him in a company-wide email for helping close a sale with a Spanish-speaking prospect.
"To think, from an intern of a 700-person company looking up to its CEO to, four years later, he's an investor in a business that I'm running," Jaramillo said. "That's kind of an awesome, meaningful thing for me to have him on board."
Dorsey co-founded ExactTarget in 2000 and left the company in 2014, about a year after its $2.5 billion acquisition by Salesforce.com. An investment by Dorsey carries significant cachet. His recent investments include Indianapolis-based software startup Lesson.ly LLC. He recently joined local sales technology firm TinderBox Inc. as its chairman.
IBJ featured Jaramillo earlier this month as a member of its Forty Under 40 Class of 2015.