Geofeedia Inc., the Chicago-based location-analytics firm that aggressively boosted its Indianapolis presence last year, announced that it raised $17 million in growth capital.
The fast-growing company, which opened a local office in late 2014 and now employs about half its workforce here, said it plans to use the fresh cash infusion on people–including salespeople and marketers to accelerate customer acquisition and programmers to enhance its platform.
The software-as-a-service firm said it expects to at least double its Indiana employment of 25 by the end of 2016.
"Indianapolis is our product and technology hub," CEO Phil Harris said Tuesday, "and we want to build on that."
Founded in 2011, Geofeedia built a name for itself as a social-media intelligence platform that allowed clients such as CNN, the Mall of America and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to monitor and act on location-based social media activity.
The NCAA, another client, used Geofeedia's software last year to guide operational decision-making for its Final Four men's college basketball tournament in Indianapolis.
Social data still represent its core offering, but the company has expanded into allowing companies to analyze and layer their own location-based data on a private map. A manufacturer, for instance, can assess in real time what physical assets it or a supplier has in the vicinity of a natural disaster.
"Our customers have been dragging us into this capability, asking us 'What if?'" Harris said. "It's really exciting. This is the beginning ... and it is the future, for sure."
This Series B round, or second institutional investor round, was led by Boston-based Silversmith Capital Partners, which invested $15 million of the sum. Geofeedia secured $3.5 million in a Series A round in October 2014 led by Chicago-based Hyde Park Venture Partners, which also has an Indianapolis office.
Geofeedia doesn't disclose the annual value of its booked contracts, but claims it grew them 850 percent in 2014 and 250 percent in 2015. It added 200 customers last year and now has more than 500, company officials said.
The company opened its Indianapolis office with about five employees in December 2014. Last April, it announced plans to add 336 workers by 2020 in a conditional tax-credit deal with the Indiana Economic Development Corp worth up to $4.4 million.