Cloud

Cloud call center biz Five9 hooks $34.5M from SAP, Adam Street, & others

Cloud-based call center software maker Five9 has raised $34.5 million in new funding to help it take on legacy software makers that still own 95 percent of the market.

Five9 helps its customers transition from call center software that’s on-premise to its software in the cloud. It offers features like interactive voice response, automatic call distribution, and outbound calling features and claims to facilitate more than 3 billion calls in the cloud each year. Five9 now has 1,800 clients including Citrix, NetSuite, AAA, and Caesars Palace.

Mike Burkland, Five9′s CEO, told us that the market he’s focused on is almost exclusively dominated by legacy vendors like Cisco and Genesys. But Five9 isn’t alone in selling cloud-based call center software — it’s also competing with players like InContact, 8×8′s Contactual, and Salesforce’s Social Contact Center.

Still, it’s growing quickly even with all that competition. It generated $43 million in revenue in 2011 and $64 million in revenue in 2012, a growth rate of 67 percent.

The most common use case of Five9′s software is inside a customer service call center with the software integrated with a CRM solution like Salesforce. Five9 also provides the back-end for some telemarketing call centers. “Think of us as a routing engine between customers and agents,” Burkland said.

The new funding is split into two portions: $22 million in Series D equity and $12.5M in a bank revolver debt facility. The equity funding was led by SAP Ventures with participation by existing investors Adam Street Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and Partech International. City National Bank provided the bank revolver debt. Including the new funds, Five9 has raised $71 million to date.

As you might expect, the new funding will give Five9 room to make needed new hires. The company has 250 employees in the U.S., and 100 each in Russia and the Philippines. The new funds will target the hiring of U.S. employees in sales, marketing, and product development.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Five9 was founded in 2001. Burkland would not comment on whether the company would consider going public in the next few years.

“Our mission at this stage is to simply grow revenue and market share,” Burkland said.

Call center art via filitova/Shutterstock

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