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Small-to-medium-sized-businesses (SMBs) are a huge market, but they have two prerequisites for cloud-based tools. They can’t be expensive, and they can’t be too complex.

Austin, Texas-based OutboundEngine prides itself on providing an email, social media, contact management, and content marketing platform that is neither. Today, they are announcing a new round of $11 million to continue down that path.

The funds will be used primarily for sales and product, CEO and founder Branndon Stewart told VentureBeat.

“We plan to expand our local sales team by opening several new offices in the U.S. along with expanding our enterprise and channel sales teams,” he said via email. “On the product front, we plan to at least double our product team to accelerate our roadmap with a big focus on partner integrations and mobile.”

A screen from OutboundEngine

Above: A screen from OutboundEngine

Image Credit: OutboundEngine

With so many tools out there for SMBs, how does OutboundEngine compete?

Stewart told us his company’s main competitors are the do-it-yourself point solutions, since it’s usually cheaper for a small business to solve its marketing challenges problem by problem.

“The most common we see is Constant Contact,” he said, adding that his company offers a turnkey solution that includes campaigns, content, design, and testing.

“A simple way to think about it is that most vendors in the do-it-for-me SMB marketing space sit at the top of the customer funnel, focused almost exclusively on lead generation via SEO, SEM, etc. That positioning, while effective at driving short-term topline growth, is hard to sustain and deliver value over a long period of time, resulting in high churn.”

By contrast, he said, OutboundEngine “has a presence along the entire funnel, including prospects and customers” — just as enterprise-oriented platforms Hubspot, Marketo, and Salesforce do. This positioning offers “the most long-term value,” Stewart added.

The Series B round, which now brings the total raised to $17.8 million, was led by Silverton Partners, with participation from Harmony Partners, Altos Ventures, and existing investors.

Founded in 2012 as Promo Labs, the company was initially oriented toward automated email marketing for distributors of promotional products. The integrated marketing automation platform was launched in spring of last year.


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