Jan
06
2021
--

Atlanta’s SalesLoft raises $100M for its digital sales platform, now valued at $1.1B

The COVID-19 pandemic and specifically need for social distancing to slow the spread of the virus have continued to keep many of us away from the office. Now, increasingly, many organizations and people believe that it could usher in a more permanent shift to remote, distributed and virtual work. Today, a startup that has built a set of tools specifically to help salespeople with that change — by way of digital sales — has raised a substantial growth round to meet that demand.

SalesLoft, a sales platform based out of Atlanta, Georgia that provides AI-based tools to help salespeople run their sales process virtually — from finding and following up on leads, through to helping them sell with virtual coaching tools, and then assisting in the post-sales process — has closed $100 million in funding.

The company’s co-founder and CEO Kyle Porter confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is now valued at $1.1 billion post-money, a substantial hike on its previous valuation. In April 2019, well before any global health pandemics, the company had raised a Series D of $70 million at around a $600 million valuation (a figure we confirmed at the time with sources close to the company).

This latest round is being led by Owl Rock Capital, with previous investors Insight Partners, HarbourVest, and Emergence Capital — a VC focused specifically on enterprise startups, which notably was an early backer of Zoom and many others — also participating.

SalesLoft has now raised some $245 million, an impressive sum for any startup, but also worth pointing out for the fact that it’s not based out of the Valley but Atlanta, Georgia (a state in the news for other reasons at the moment, as the focus of a hotly contested U.S. Senate runoff election).

The company has been on a growth tear for several years now, as one of the big players in the area of so-called sales engagement: tools to help salespeople sell better to clients (or would-be clients), which can include real-time monitoring of interactions to provide coaching to improve the process, suggestions for supplementary content to enhance the pitch and more basic software simply to manage records and communications.

Even before the pandemic hit, this was a key growth area in enterprise software, with both in-person and online/digital salespeople relying on these kinds of products to help them get more of an edge with their work, but a lot of the focus had really been on inside sales (B2B sales focusing on bigger purchases). Porter described the effect of COVID-19 as a “tailwind” propelling that already strong trend.

“The effects of COVID have been a tailwind due to the effects of digital selling,” he said. “All sellers immediately became remote. But now the genie is out of the bottle and not going back in. It’s meant that inside sales are now all sales. Whether the opportunities are mid-funnel or upgrades or renewals, we are establishing ourselves as the engagement platform of record because it’s all becoming digital and all sellers are finding more success.”

He added that SalesLoft’s own sales cycle has improved by 40% since the pandemic, a reflection, he said, of the “urgency and need” for tools like those that the startup develops.

Another shift has been in terms of the kinds of customers SalesLoft works with. The company originally was focused on the mid-market, but that has changed with more larger enterprises also coming on board. Google, LinkedIn (which backs SalesLoft and is in a strategic partnership with it), Cisco, Dell and IBM are all customers, and Porter said that more “mainstream” businesses like Cargil, 3M and Standard & Poor are also increasingly becoming clients.

That is leading the startup to building out bigger solutions, beyond the basic pitch of “sales engagement” that has been SalesLoft’s mainstay up to now. The company competes against a plethora of others, including ClariChorus.aiGongConversicaAfiniti and Outreach, as well as biggies like Salesforce. Outreach, notably, had a big mid-COVID round of its own, raising at a $1.3 billion valuation in June last year, a mark of that wider market demand. Porter notes that SalesLoft’s big selling point is that it offers an increasingly end-to-end sales solution to customers, meaning less shopping around.

Jul
23
2019
--

CircleCI closes $56M Series D investment as market for continuous delivery expands

CircleCI launched way back in 2011 when the notion of continuous delivery was just a twinkle in most developers’ eyes, but over the years with the rise of agile, containerization and DevOps, we’ve seen the idea of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) really begin to mainstream with developers. Today, CircleCI was rewarded with a $56 million Series D investment.

The round was led by Owl Rock Capital Partners and Next Equity. Existing investors Scale Venture Partners, Top Tier Capital, Threshold Ventures (formerly DFJ), Baseline Ventures, Industry Ventures, Heavybit and Harrison Metal Capital also participated in the round. CircleCI’s most recent funding prior to this round was a $31 million Series C last January. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $115.5 million, according to the company.

CircleCI CEO Jim Rose sees a market that’s increasingly ready for the product his company is offering. “As we’re putting more money to work, there are just more folks that are now moving away from aspiring about doing continuous delivery and really leaning into the idea of, ‘We’re a software company, we need to know how to do this well, and we need to be able to automate all the steps between the time our developers are making changes to the code until that application gets in front of the customer,’ ” Rose told TechCrunch.

Rose sees a market that’s getting ready to explode and he wants to use the runway this money provides his company to take advantage of that growth. “Now, what we’re finding is that fintech companies, insurance companies, retailers — all of the more traditional brands — are now realizing they’re in a software business as well. And they’re really trying to build out the tool sets and the expertise to be effective at that. And so the real growth in our market is still right in front of us,” he said.

As CircleCI matures and the market follows suit, a natural question following a Series D investment is when the company might go public, but Rose was not ready to commit to anything yet. “We come at it from the perspective of keeping our heads down trying to build the best business and doing right by our customers. I’m sure at some point along the journey our investors will be itching for liquidity, but as it stands right now, everyone is really [focused]. I think what we have found is that the bulk of the market is just starting to arrive,” he said.

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by TheBuckmaker.com