Sports-software company raises $1.1 million in latest round

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Indianapolis-based Upper Hand Inc. announced Wednesday that it raised $1.1 million in venture capital, with some existing investors upping their stakes.

The 4-year-old company sells software that coaches, trainers and sports outfits use to manage and market their businesses. Elevate Ventures and three former Finish Line executives who invested in past rounds for the company contributed to this round, too.

"Continued support from Elevate provides more than funding," Upper Hand CEO Kevin MacCauley said in prepared remarks. "This investment gives us ongoing access to an entrepreneurial development partner, critical startup scaling experience and the resources needed to build an innovative and sustainable business."

The company has raised $2.4 million since 2014, the lion's share of which came in the past 15 months.

Upper Hand plans to use the money to grow its sales team and improve its software platform. It has 21 employees today at its headquarters at 47 S. Meridian St., and plans to have 27 by the end of the year.

The company had already been enhancing its software before the raise. Earlier this year, it said, it added business-intelligence capabilities, point-of-sale functionality and mobile applications.

Over the past year, the firm said, its user base has grown 125 percent, revenues are up 165 percent and payments made through the platform, which Upper Hand gets a cut of, have increased more than 14-fold.

In addition to the fund raise, the company said it added investor former Finish Line president of e-commerce Don Courtney to its five-member board of directors. Courtney is principal at eBricks and a SmarterHQ board member. 

The other two Finish Line executives who've invested are co-founder Larry Sablosky and former president and chief operating officer Steve Schneider. They both sit on Upper Hand's nine-person advisory board.

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