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IU-funded app maker Haven gains $1 million in seed funds, preps for expansion


 FISHERS, Ind. — Haven, an IU-funded developer of a mobile and Web application that helps homeowners maintain their property, announced its recent completion of a $1.03 million seed funding.

The Innovate Indiana Fund, along with Elevate Ventures and 16 angel investors, provided capital the company will use to triple its eight-person staff, fund marketing efforts and enhance its product known by the same name, company officials said.

 Haven intuitively tracks maintenance items that most homeowners constantly face but tend to neglect amid their hectic schedules. Among its many functions, Haven can issue reminders for routine tasks such as changing an air filter; schedule lawn or pool service; or summon quick response for events such as a water leak or storm damage.

 When maintenance services are required, users of Haven’s free, downloadable app can obtain instant pricing information based on their personal information, schedule an appointment with a pre-approved contractor and pay for it within the app.

 “We are constantly faced with the struggle of personal work-life balance, and finding time to mow the lawn instead of watching your kid’s soccer game is a difficult choice,” said Ken Green, manager of the Innovate Indiana Fund. “For others, having someone clear the driveway of snow before work would be ideal. We all want to do more, and Haven gives homeowners the tools to achieve our own personal balance.”

 The app is in its final, beta-testing stage, with a January 2015 launch set in Apple and Google Play stores. The company was founded in February and is one of 12 companies in the Innovate Indiana Fund portfolio.

 “As Americans, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year taking care of and improving our homes, yet almost every aspect of it is frustrating,” said Jim Brown, Haven’s president and one of its three co-founders. “This (seed funding) investment gives us additional resources to continue with our vision of enlightening and empowering homeowners.”

 Brown is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, as is Haven’s head of marketing and co-founder Joe Wanninger. Co-founder and head of product Craig Sturgis is a Purdue University graduate.

 Brown formerly served as director of business development with Indianapolis-based Compendium, a cloud-based marketing content provider acquired by Oracle in October 2013. Wanninger came from Indianapolis-based Orbis Education, which he also co-founded and had served as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Sturgis was lead developer and manager at Indianapolis-based Smarter Remarketer.

 The Innovate Indiana Fund provides early-stage capital to companies with an Indiana University connection. The fund also assists in such areas as technology assessment, market analysis and planning, management recruitment, product development, sales strategy, customer acquisition and next-stage capital.

 Indiana University is designated as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. This recognizes IU’s commitment across all its campuses to being a leading institution in fostering regional economic development.