File-management software firm grabs $1.1 million in first VC haul

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Indianapolis-based SmartFile Inc. announced Tuesday that it raised $1.1 million in equity capital—the first round of venture cash for a firm that's been bootstrapping since 2009.

The enterprise-file-management company—whose 1,400-customer roster includes BMW, NBC and Roche—hauled in the money from Vision Tech Angels and Elevate Ventures, both based in Indiana. CEO John Hurley said he's pleased to get the funding from his own backyard.

"It's good to have that money behind us from people here who will benefit when we continue to grow and there's an exit," Hurley said.

Hesaid the company plans to use about 60 percent of the funding on sales and marketing and the rest on general expenditures. Until now, he said, "we've literally put zero in marketing."

SmartFile software has features similar to Box and Dropbox, allowing users to store and share a variety of documents on cloud, or remote, servers. But it also integrates with them, giving enterprises a single view of all their files.

A few years ago, SmartFile revamped its product in two ways. First, it opened its application programming interface to developers, allowing them to bolt on SmartFile file-management features to whatever they were building. It also created an "on-premise" version for customers in highly regulated industries with security concerns about the cloud.

Hurley said the company, which has annual revenue "well into the seven figures," had been doubling sales each year over the past three years. They decided to raise venture capital to accelerate that pace and blitz the company's target market with its new offerings.

The company has about 28 employees and operates in the Stutz Building near 10th Street and Capital Avenue. It's seeking other downtown digs because "we're about bursting at the seams."

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