Zionsville software startup lands $1M in venture capital

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Zionsville-based Clear Software LLC, which makes business software simpler to use, has landed about $1 million in venture capital in its first venture funding round, CEO Jon Gilman said Thursday.

The 3-year-old startup is part of a growing trend known as the consumerization of business software, a trend that has seen design and user experience play a more prominent role in the software products companies buy. Clear Software takes enterprise software applications used at large organizations, such as SAP and Salesforce, and enhances the user experience through its Web-based platform.

jon gilman clear softwareJon Gilman.

"No one ever takes a training course on how to figure out how to shop on Amazon.com or post things on Facebook—it's just intuitive," Gilman said. "So what we're doing is bringing a consumer-grade, intuitive feel to business applications just by sitting on top of them."

Gilman said Clear Software is a first-mover in the space of making existing products more user-friendly, and competition is heating up.

The company was founded in Chicago in October 2012, but Gilman moved to Zionsville in April 2014, partly due to family reasons. Until now, it had been bootstrapped with investments from family and friends. It had two clients this time last year, but now has 15 customers paying an average of $10,000 a month, he said, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

The venture funding was facilitated by Chicago-based David A. Noyes & Co. It involves multiple investors including Elevate Ventures, a not-for-profit investment group that runs the Indiana Angel Network Fund. Gilman said he plans to use the funding to enhance the product and expand marketing at the six-person firm.

Gilman, 33, said he anticipates having about 10 employees by the end of the year. "Eventually we want to create a platform-agnostic, consumer-grade user experience for all business processes," he said.

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