Fast-growing Blue Pillar lands nearly $14M in funding

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Indianapolis-based Blue Pillar Inc., an energy-management software company, has raised $13.9 million in equity funding amid rapid growth.

CEO Tom Willie said the funding infusion was the 9-year-old company's largest to date, bringing its venture capital total to about $25 million. Pennsylvania-based EnerTech Capital, New York-based Arsenal Capital Partners, California-based Claremont Creek Ventures and Carmel-based Allos Ventures invested.

"We're excited about it," Willie said in an interview. "It's a big raise in the industry, quite frankly, but certainly a huge benefit for us in terms of where we take the company from here."

Blue Pillar develops software that monitors electrical systems to help building managers prevent or respond to outages, among other things. It targets its dashboard solution to organizations with so-called critical facilities, primarily hospitals and military bases.

The company sputtered in its early years, but Willie said Blue Pillar is poised for hockey-stick growth. In just the first quarter, he said, the company is on track to double the revenue it generated all of last year.

Revenue in 2015 is projected to grow 300 percent over 2014, Willie said, putting the firm in the eight-figure range.

Blue Pillar, which has 36 workers now, expects to grow employment to 60 by the end of this year and 85 in 2016.

Some will work in the company's new Frederick, Maryland, office, but the majority will be based in Indianapolis, Willie said.

Willie took the helm in November 2013. He said a sales and marketing revamp, including hiring former Honeywell executive Fawn Staerkel to lead sales, helped drive the company's growth.

"What I recognized when I came in was that the technology was excellent," Willie said. "But they had not done a good job creating the sales structure and the marketing structure to promote that technology as effectively as they needed to."

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