One would think a software company would hate seeing its competitors go public or get acquired for billions of dollars. But after those things happened to marketing automation vendor Salesfusion, the news wasn’t all bad.
If anything, Salesfusion has found a chance to shine. Proof comes in an $8.25 million funding round the company revealed today.
The company’s software shows marketers whether people click the links on the emails and social media messages they send and how they check out company websites later. Then marketers can serve more relevant material to interested parties, and they can set rules about which leads can get sent to salespeople.
Salesfusion has watched other companies providing those services get bought up lately.
Innovation on another marketing automation tool, Pardot, slowed down almost to a standstill after ExactTarget bought it in 2012, and after Salesforce.com in turn bought ExactTarget last year, Salesfusion’s chief executive, Christian Nahas, said in an interview VentureBeat.
And something similar happened at Oracle after it bought marketing-automation company Eloqua. “Eloqua slowed down feature cadence a lot when they got bought by Oracle,” Nahas said.
And at another popular marketing automation company, Marketo, things have changed since the public offering, he said. “Marketo is just big, so you’re just sort of beholden to the customers that you have,” Nahas said.
Salesfusion, for its part, has been spending its time on what Nahas calls marketing automation 2.0 — going beyond the more traditional abilities around setting up workflows for potential customers based on their interaction with marketing materials.
For example, Salesfusion has made its system capable of interpreting the top leads and recommending new leads for marketers to focus on.
“Find me more things that look like the thing I just closed,” Nahas explained. “Think about it like the Pandora of leads — it becomes smarter and smarter about what’s important to you.”
And that capability might one day be of interest to bigger companies. Oracle just last month announced it was tacking on new marketing-automation savvy with the $1.5 billion purchase of Responsys, and Adobe shelled out $600 million for Neolane, another marketing automation company, last year. Salesfusion could end up as a piece of some larger company’s marketing cloud.
For now, Salesfusion is on a $4.8 million revenue run rate, with around 750 companies currently using the software and most of them paying for it, Nahas said.
Salesfusion plugs in with many popular tools that salespeople use to store and track their leads, including customer-relationship management software from, Microsoft, NetSuite, Salesforce.com, and Saleslogix.
BLH Venture Partners, Hallett Capital, and Noro-Moseley Partners led the round. To date the company has raised $10 million, Nahas said. The new money will go toward sales and marketing efforts and additional product development.
And even if Nahas is right about the lack of substantial marketing automation product development at Oracle and Salesforce recently, those companies know how to land piles of big contracts. And perhaps a lack of noise from the big vendors might show that significant new features could be on the way, which could present challenges to smaller players. All of that makes funding for Salesfusion an important add-on.
Salesfusion, based in Atlanta, started in 2007. Hitatchi, IBM, and Sears are listed as customers on its website.