Local software startup Elate lands $4.9M VC investment

Indianapolis-based software startup Elate Inc., which launched its first product in August 2021, has closed on a $4.9 million venture capital investment, the company announced Tuesday.

The Series A funding round was led by Palo Alto, California-based WestWave Capital, with participation from other new investors: Pritzker Group and Hyde Park Angels, both based in Chicago; and Capital Midwest Fund, based in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The round also included returning investors: Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures; Champaign, Illinois-based Serra Ventures LLC; Chicago-based M25; and the Bloomington-based Flywheel Fund.

Elate was founded in 2019 by Brooks Busch and Abby Parker, who had previously worked together at Indianapolis health data analytics company Springbuk.

The funding round was oversubscribed. Busch said Elate had originally planned to raise between $3.5 million and $4 million, but ended up with $4.9 million because of strong investor interest.

Elate’s software is a platform that helps organizations develop and execute their strategic plans. A company, for instance, could use Elate to formulate a three-year sales growth plan, to come up with quarterly actions for achieving that growth, and to make sure that its various departments are working together toward the goal.

Elate is targeting mid-market customers—organizations with between 500 and 5,000 employees. Current customers span a range of industries, from sports and entertainment to software, construction and manufacturing.

Busch said he sees a lot of growth potential because strategic planning is such a universal organizational activity.

“Every organization does it, and everyone struggles with it,” Busch said. “The total addressable market is so wide.”

The company now has 15 employees, all of whom live in the Indianapolis area.

Busch said Elate does not have any full-time remote employees because of the value the company sees in in-person collaboration. Elate uses a hybrid model in which employees are in the office three days a week.

“Right now, we’re really intentional—we want folks that are based in Indy so we can have them in the office.”

The company’s current office is at 414 N. College Ave., but it plans to move to the Stutz Building this spring once renovations are complete.

Elate plans to use its investment on product development, customer support and hiring. Busch said Elate aims to add another 10 to 15 people to its payroll by the end of next year, bringing its total headcount to 25-30.

But the company will be prudent so that it doesn’t over-hire, Busch said. “We want to be realistic about the conditions of the market.”

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