Digital marketing startup Torchlite plans to add 140 workers

Torchlite, which connects client companies to freelancers who specialize in digital marketing, announced Tuesday morning that it plans to swell employment from 16 to 156 by 2019.
The Indianapolis-based company—founded in June 2015 by Susan Marshall, an alumna of Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc. and—said it is investing $514,086 to triple the size of its Indianapolis offices on Massachusetts Avenue.

In return for the new jobs, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is pledging $2.8 million in tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants. The incentives are performance-based, meaning Torchlite is not eligible to claim them until workers are hired.

Torchlite has enjoyed torrid growth since its launch. It secured $1 million in recurring annual revenue within its first 40 days and has doubled revenue every month since. Its largest clients are headquartered in Delaware, Georgia and Florida.

The startup is one of many nationally seeking to tap into the gig economy—a trend led by ride-sharing powerhouse Uber Technologies Inc. Some of the companies that connect consumers to freelancers at the touch of an app include Chicago-based Dolly Inc., which is for moving and hauling, and San Francisco-based Thumbtack Inc., which is for professional jobs like painting and voice coaching.

To help capitalize on growth opportunities, Torchlite said it is seeking additional funding from the Indiana Seed Fund, which is managed by Elevate Ventures in partnership with the IEDC. 

The firm also is moving into larger quarters. It has agreed to lease 5,500 square feet on the second floor of the Marott Center, 342 Massachusetts Ave. It currently is on the building's fourth floor. As the firm grows, it could take additional space in the building or look at another option in the Mass Ave area, a representative told IBJ.
"Torchlite is in a high-growth mode as we're getting ready to finalize another round of funding,” Marshall, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “The tech community in Indianapolis has been unbelievably supportive of our venture and has played an integral role in our success as a company."

Torchlite said the new jobs on average will pay more than 2.5 times the average wage in Indiana, which is about $42,000.

“This announcement further solidifies Indianapolis’ place as a hub for the tech industry,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement.
According to TechPoint, Indiana’s technology initiative, computer and IT jobs in central Indiana grew by 17 percent—more than double the rate of all occupations—from 2009-2014, creating more than 5,000 jobs.

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