(Updated 2.5.15 at 10:45am PT, as SteelBrick revised its total raised.)
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) companies will never be the sexiest ventures on the block.
But SteelBrick, which provides a price-quoting and order-capture tool on the Salesforce1 platform, is sexy enough to attract a new $18 million in funding. Announced today, this investment brings the total raised so far by the company to $30 million.
“Our customers’ sales teams can quickly generate customer-friendly proposals with the best-fitting products and accurate pricing,” CEO Godard Abel told VentureBeat via email.
Even in companies with customer-relationship management systems, he said, this work is often “done manually, using Word, Excel, and other tools outside of the business systems.”
He gave the example of enterprise data-management provider Cloudera. Before using SteelBrick, Abel said, Cloudera employed an email-based approval process for discounting and standard Salesforce price books with some customizations. Sometimes, he said, sales reps neglected to include support packages.
Now, he said, the post-SteelBrick Cloudera’s simplified configuration and pricing improves margins “by controlling discounting practices globally while increasing average order values, and improving renewal rates by ensuring the optimal set of products and services are included on all orders.”
In addition to the new funding, SteelBrick is announcing a winter ’15 update that expands the product’s capability to handle massive and complex quotes.
The new funds will go toward making new hires in support of the company’s product-development, global-sales, and customer-service teams. In the last 12 months, SteelBrick has grown from five to 75 full-time staffers, and it expects to double in the next year to improve the app and to boost marketing and sales globally.
The biggest competitors in many cases, Abel said, remain “Word, Excel, and manual quoting processes.” Other CPQ providers include Callidus, Oracle with its BigMachines acquisition (Abel was a BigMachines cofounder), and Apttus.
Those companies “represent first-generation CPQ products that typically take many months or even years to implement and are really only affordable for Fortune 500-type companies.”
By contrast, he said, SteelBrick is the “only next generation CPQ solution that can be consistently deployed in five-to-10 weeks,” making it affordable for smaller and midmarket companies.
Shasta Ventures led this Series B round, with participation from existing investors Emergence Capital and the company’s leadership team, along with new investor Salesforce Ventures.