Bill Godfrey, the 48-year-old tech luminary who steered software company Aprimo Inc. to a $525 million sale in 2010, has assembled his former Aprimo lieutenants for a Carmel-based tech startup that targets manufacturers.
The company is called Lumavate, and it sells subscription-based software that allows equipment manufacturers to get information to end-users via smartphone at their time of need. Anyone from industrial drill operators to home furnace repair technicians, for instance, can scan equipment labels to immediately access troubleshooting videos or order product-specific parts, Lumavate officials said.
"There's no easy way to interact with equipment," said Lumavate CEO Paul McGrath, who joined the company in September. "Our idea is to create this channel between a manufacturer and an end-user. ... And once that channel is created by Lumavate, all sorts of information can be extracted."
Lumavate raised a seed round of $750,000 last spring when it was created and $1 million in a follow-on round. It has seven employees and one customer, but officials expect to have nearly 20 employees by the end of the year.
"We have a growing pipeline of very interested prospects," McGrath said, "ranging from small, privately held companies to very large, multinational manufacturing companies."
Godfrey, who was co-founder and former CEO of Aprimo, does not have an operational role within the company but serves as board chairman.
But the Lumavate starting lineup includes Aprimo co-founder Robert McLaughlin, who's Lumavate's executive vice president of product; former Aprimo software architect John Lawrence, who's chief technology officer; and former Aprimo software engineer Tim Butler, who's vice president of customer success.
McGrath, 50, has no Aprimo connection. But he spent two decades in the software industry, including leading the Europe, Middle East and Africa division for publicly traded Bazaarvoice Inc.
"We've assembled a pretty strong team," Godfrey said.
The idea for Lumavate came from Westfield-based Duramark Technologies Inc., which produces label kits for manufacturers. The company got repeated customer inquiries about making "smart labels" that could provide product-specific help directly to end-users, as opposed to having users scour the Web for information.
Last year, Godfrey and his fellow board members at Duramark decided it made sense to address the newfound market demand with a separate company.
Ten Duramark shareholders and three Lumavate executives are the only investors so far.
The company was originally called LabelNexus. But officials decided to change the name to Lumavate, a play on "illuminate" and "activate."
One reason for the switch was to not pigeonhole the company into exclusively using labels to activate help. McGrath said the company envisions using near-field communication technology, in which smartphones would automatically sense nearby equipment.
Aprimo was purchased by Dayton, Ohio-based data-warehousing giant Teradata Corp., which announced late last year that it planned to sell the software unit.