Startups

Another Notch In Indianapolis’s Belt: Marketing Platform Torchlite Raises $3M

Indianapolis-based Torchlite, a SaaS platform for finding and managing on-demand digital marketing talent, has raised $3 million in a strategic round of funding.

Susan Marshall

Salesforce Ventures was the largest investor in the round, according to Torchlite Founder and CEO Susan Marshall. The financing also included participation from existing investors such as Executive Chairman Scott McCorkle, an executive in residence at Indianapolis-based venture firm High Alpha.

Torchlite has raised $5.5 million since its inception in 2015, Marshall said. Elevate Ventures – also based in Indianapolis – invested $500,000 in an earlier round.

Torchlite joins other Indianapolis-based startups who have raised money as of late. Last month we reported that Sigstr and Emplify had also brought in venture dollars to the city, which is becoming an unlikely hotbed of B2B tech startups.

Torchlite’s platform provides mid-sized businesses and enterprise firms such as Cummins Inc. with a private marketplace of certified, on-demand digital marketing freelancers, such as technical architects, content creators, and writers. The company doubled revenue in 2017 compared to 2016.

“As digital marketing becomes increasingly specialized, many companies are turning to on-demand, independent consultants to fill gaps on their teams,” Marshall said.

Torchlite plans to use the latest infusion to expand its network of digital marketing freelancers. It currently has 16 full-time employees and a network of 450 independent contractors.

“We’ll be hiring more developers and investing in our recruitment and vetting team to make sure people coming into our network are fully certified and able to leverage the technology,” she said.

Marshall previously worked on the product side at email marketing startup ExactTarget and then for Salesforce after the latter acquired the former for $2.5 billion in 2013.

“I found that we had so many customers that were purchasing our technology but couldn’t find the right people, so they weren’t really using a lot of the functionality,” she told Crunchbase News. “So we developed a marketplace of certified marketing cloud experts that companies could access on demand so they could get more out of their technology.”

Torchlite operates under the premise that more technology companies are “thinking differently about their workforce” in that they are more open to using freelancers or independent contractors.

“So many companies are purchasing all this great marketing technology but can’t find the right people to get the most out of it,” she said. “That’s where Torchlite comes in.”

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