irise.gifiRise has raised $20 million to help companies model their software before a line of code gets written.

iRise, like competitors Blueprint and Serena Software, is trying to reshape the standard model of software development. Traditionally, the business analysts and other decision makers outline what they want using Microsoft PowerPoint or Visio, or perhaps something as low-tech as pen and paper. Then, the tech crew takes the outline and builds a mockup or the product itself.

Unfortunately, there’s a big risk of miscommunication or misunderstanding when you’re working with relatively simplistic tools, and businesses can waste money building a product that isn’t actually what they wanted. iRise, on the other hand, says businesspeople without any programming knowledge can use its software to create interactive demos that make their needs clear.

Asked by Startup City TV how iRise stands out, chief executive Emmett Keeffe III touted the software’s ease-of-use. One of iRise’s best features also seems to be its real-time collaboration, which allows team members across the country to contribute to the design remotely. (You can read a comparison of El Segundo, Calif.-based iRise and its competitors here.)

In his Startup City interview, Keeffe also notes that iRise’s software is available to a wide range of customers, with prices ranging from the tens of thousands to the millions of dollars. Last year, iRise helped cut development time in half for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s new electronic medical records.

The new round, iRise’s third, brings the company’s total funding to $46.8 million, according to Tech Confidential. First-timers Gold Hill Capital, SVB Silicon Valley Bank and Deutsche Bank join previous investor Morgan Stanley Venture Partners.