Last month, Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) vendor SalesLoft closed on a $15M Round B twenty-two months after closing on a $10.15M Series A. The new round, which valued the firm at $100 million, was led by David Cummings, the founder of Pardot, and his Atlanta Ventures. SalesLoft chose to work with its existing Atlanta-based investor team. Cummings chipped in $10 million with Spinnaker Investments and Emergence Capital contributing their pro-rata shares.
By extending Round B amongst current investors, SalesLoft was able to “keep our board the same, move fast to close, and get back to the work of serving our customers immediately,” said CEO Kyle Porter.
Heading into the new year, our growth left us with enough cash in the bank and a modest enough burn rate to keep running for the next few years. But we’re on a mission to transform the sales industry and be the clear No. 1 in our category. Achieving that mission requires additional investment in the platform, innovation, and our community so we deliver significant value to our customers. For that reason, we decided it was time to double down on our market and put more capital to work.
- CEO Kyle Porter
The round and funding strategy were proposed by Cummings. “David [Cummings] is a close friend, mentor, investor, board member, and advisor who has been on the journey with SalesLoft since the very beginning,” said Porter. “David’s career journey had imprinted on him the value in being a market leader and he recognized the magnitude of the sales engagement opportunity.”
While the firm’s burn rate was low enough to hold off on another round for a few years, “we’re on a mission to transform the sales industry and be the clear #1 in our category,” blogged Porter. “Achieving that mission requires additional investment in the platform, innovation, and our community so we deliver significant value to our customers. For that reason, we decided it was time to double down on our market and put more capital to work.”
SalesLoft maintains a level of transparency that exceeds most companies with detailed discussions around funding, corporate culture, and product strategy. While most companies provide pro-forma press releases around funding announcements, SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter wrote detailed blogs around both rounds and presented a case study on his decision to abandon SalesLoft’s successful Prospector service while Cadence was still in its formative stage.
The funding will be used towards product, marketing, and opening an office in San Francisco. The 2017 product focus includes improved orchestration between sales, marketing, and supporting executives; enhanced insights and reports; expanded governance tools; role based workflow assignments; and enhanced analytics. Furthermore, “SalesLoft will be at your fingertips at all times, delivering core applications to wherever your reps live in everyday, like Gmail, Outlook, Dynamics, and Salesforce.”
SalesLoft plans to continued expansion of its ecosystem which already includes a broad set of partners:
- Company/Contacts: InsideView, RingLead, Prospectify
- Technology: Datanyze, DiscoverOrg, HG Data
- News: Owler
- Coaching: ExecVision, TalkIQ, Crystal, People.ai, Gong.io
- Workflow: Sigstr, Chili Piper
- Social: ProLeads
Additional partners will be announced at their upcoming Rainmaker Sales Engagement conference.
Although they did not detail their 2017 partner list, the firm named Vidyard and DocSend as 2017 connectors when I was profiling their service for my book. Vidyard provides video integration into emails with the customer service rep option to record a quick intro. DocSend provides intra-document tracking tools and analytics which display information on what sections were viewed and for how long.
In 2016, SalesLoft trebled its Annualized Run Rate (ARR) while phasing out its $4 million Prospector Service and expanding the Cadence ABSD offering. Over this time, the Cadence product increased its ARR by 5,000 percent (from less than $200, 000). Cadence now has over 1,000 customers.
SalesLoft has grown from 5 employees in early 2014 to 125 with plans to add 85 headcount in the coming months.
The firm is focused on “serving the customer,” said Porter. “It was our intention to build a company based entirely on a set of core values and to this date, it’s been the best decision we’ve ever made.”
Porter lists the firms core values as
- Put Customers First
- Focus on Results
- Glass Half Full
- Bias Toward Action
- Team over Self
Focusing on values allows us to be intentional about our behavior on a daily basis. This sets the foundation for healthy teams to establish trust, inspire growth, and achieve something special together.
- CEO Kyle Porter
While many companies view culture as corporate window dressing around perks and office space, SalesLoft COO Rob Forman defines culture as “our values, consistently applied.”