Further proof that the marketing technology gold rush continues — InsideSales.com now has $100 million in fresh Series C funding, bringing total VC investment in the 10-year-old company to about $140 million.
Based in Silicon Slopes, Utah, InsideSales.com’s Software-as-a-Service crowdsources customer-sales interaction data –from customers including ADP, Microsoft, Level 3 and Fidelity — as well as broader information sources to guide sales people. The system uses demographic and broad economic data as well as individual preferences to guide the sales person on who to call next, what products to pitch, and what mode of communication to use, CEO David Elkington said in an interview. Towards that end, InsideSales.com is a big user of Hadoop, Hbase and MongoDB.
InsideSales.com fills the space between marketing automation products like Eloqua or Marketo or ExactTarget and the customer relationship management (CRM) systems from Salesforce.com and Oracle.
The goal is to minimize wasted calls and irritated prospects. Parts of the product run natively on the CRM platform of choice — Salesforce.com’s Force.com for example, but the treasure trove of data gleaned from customer-sales interactions stays on InsideSales.com’s own infrastructure, he said.
Polaris Partners led this round which included contributions from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Acadia Woods, EPIC Ventures, Salesforce.com and Zetta Venture Partners. Current backer Hummer Winblad and U.S. Venture Partners also took part as did some individual investors.
So, what will the company do with all this money? Hire staff — technical and sales people. The company employs about 375 people now, up from about 150 last year, and Elkington said it’s bringing aboard 20 to 40 people per week going forward as the company builds out its product and expands its reach outside the U.S.
Elkington estimates total addressable market for “sales acceleration products” to be $30 billion a year; but he said much of that is unrealized yet since less than half of all sales reps use tools like this now.
He also sees this arena entering the phase that the marketing automation companies hit 4 or 5 years ago when a ton of vendors converged into four major players — Eloqua, ExactTarget, Marketo and Omniture. What’s happened since? Adobe Systems bought Omniture in 2009 for $1.8 billion; in late 2012 Oracle bought Eloqua for $871 million; Marketo went public in April 2013; and a few months later Salesforce.com bought ExactTarget for $2.5 billion.
If and when that history repeats itself in this market, he said expects to be a buyer, not a seller.