Indiana Firms Draw More Than $22M in First-Quarter Funding

Five innovative Indiana companies attracted more than $22 million in capital during the first quarter of 2016. That’s up from $17.5 million in the same period last year.

Leading the way this year was Indianapolis-based neurosurgery device maker Nico, which closed a $15 million funding round in late February. Investors included previous backers River Cities Capital Funds and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Founded in 2008, the firm has developed a device called BrainPath that allows for minimally invasive brain surgery to be performed soon after an intracerebral hemorrhage, the most debilitating form of stroke.

Nico, short for Neurosurgical Intervention Company, said it will use the funding to support several business initiatives. Among its priorities: a randomized controlled trial that will advance promising clinical data by evaluating the effectiveness of early surgical intervention versus a wait-and-see approach.

The company also plans to commercialize new products, expand its footprint beyond North America, and increase training for medical professionals using Nico’s technology.

“We have a solid foundation of clinical and economic evidence, and that evidence continues to grow, giving us added momentum for controlled market expansion and deliberate steps toward setting a new standard of care in neurosurgery,” Nico President and CEO Jim Pearson said in a prepared statement.

Upstart Indianapolis employee-training software firm Lesson.ly, meanwhile, raised $5 million to accelerate its growth. Boston-based OpenView led the Series A funding round, which closed in March. High Alpha Capital and Allos Ventures also participated.

Lesson.ly’s Web-based software allows companies to centralize and automate employee training. Its first client created the first lesson in 2013, and now Lesson.ly serves more than 250 customers—including brands such as Intuit Workforce, Trunk Club, and Thumbtack—educating 200,000-plus workers, co-founder and CEO Max Yoder said in a news release.

“The High Alpha partners have worked closely with Max and the Lesson.ly team since the business was founded,” Mike Fitzgerald, a Lesson.ly board member and partner at High Alpha, said in the statement. “We believe Lesson.ly is uniquely positioned to be a market leader, and we couldn’t be more excited to help support their future growth.”

Other Indiana tech companies to win investor support during the first quarter include the following:

• Clear Software, Zionsville, $1.5 million in seed funding led by Hyde Park Venture Partners. Founded in 2012, the company has developed a Web-based platform that simplifies and streamlines existing business software, making it easier for employees to use.

• Trek10, South Bend, $850,000 in venture funding. Founded in 2013, the company is an authorized Amazon Web Services consulting partner and reseller.

• Perceivant, Indianapolis, $250,000 from angel investors, according to a report published on Techpoint.org. Once a part of iGoDigital, the firm’s cloud-based data analytics platform gives customers quick access to actionable insights.

Andrea Muirragui Davis is a freelance writer and editor based in Fishers, Indiana. Follow @

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