Indianapolis-based MakeMyMove, which offers a platform and services that help communities attract remote workers, recently closed on a $2 million investment to fuel the company’s continuing growth.
MakeMyMove is the doing-business-as name for TMap LLC, which was founded in 2018 by Angie’s List co-founder Bill Oesterle and former Angie’s List executive Evan Hock. The company’s original goal was to lure former Indiana residents to move back here for tech jobs.
After the pandemic hit, the company pivoted to focus on remote workers looking for a new place to live—and the communities trying to attract them. MakeMyMove launched in December 2020.
“We said, ‘Hey, there’s a marketplace developing here,’” said MakeMyMove CEO Mike Rutz. “There’s a ready market out there of workers that are looking for a new place to live.”
MakeMyMove’s $2 million capital raise came from its existing angel investors, Rutz said, and the company expects to close on another $400,000 to $500,000 in investment by the end of next month.
The round was oversubscribed, Rutz said, meaning that the company was able to hit its funding goal and actually turned away some new would-be investors. MakeMyMove declined additional funding because it didn’t want to dilute the shares of its existing investors, plus the company doesn’t want to raise more money than it needs to execute its immediate growth plans, Rutz said.
This is the second funding round MakeMyMove has closed this year—it secured $2.6 million in January. The company has raised a little more than $5 million total since its founding.
MakeMyMove, which has 21 employees, plans to use its new funding to hire between 13 and 18 additional people within the next few months, with a focus on product development, sales and marketing.
At MakeMyMove.com, communities can showcase what they have to offer new residents, be it a low cost of living, cultural amenities, cash incentives or other perks. Likewise, individuals can browse the site to learn about the offers.
Since January 2021, Rutz said, MakeMyMove.com has had more than 1.3 million visits and more than 100,000 people have filled out online profiles to indicate their interest in relocating.
The 162 communities currently on the platform are located around the U.S., including rural areas and cities. They include places like Ketchikan, Alaska; Appalachian communities in Kentucky and West Virginia; Louisville, Kentucky; Baltimore, Maryland; Rochester, New York; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Indiana is also well-represented: To date, Bloomington, Crawfordsville, French Lick, Greensburg, Jasper, the greater Lafayette area, Marion, Muncie, Noblesville, Richmond and Terre Haute, along with several counties and geographic regions of the state, have all signed on with MakeMyMove.
To date, Rutz said, MakeMyMove has facilitated the relocations of more than 300 people to Indiana.
One of the site’s biggest success stories so far, Rutz said, has been Greensburg. The Decatur County town has drawn national attention for its relocation incentives, which include a year’s worth of free babysitting; one-year memberships to the local YMCA, the local community theater, and a coworking space; the promise of invitations to neighborhood dinner parties; a $5,000 cash stipend and more.
“We ended up generating about 2,000 applications for Greensburg,” Rutz said. The town’s population as of the 2020 Census was just more than 12,300.
Rutz said six MakeMyMove users have relocated to Greensburg so far, with others anticipated as the community replenishes its funding for the incentives.
In addition to its online marketplace, MakeMyMove also offers consulting services for communities that want help with things like building incentives programs, targeting talent pools and marketing.
The company makes money from consulting fees, plus fees based on leads or relocations.