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Visual marketing service Chute has raised a new round of funding, bringing in $4.1 million from Salesforce Ventures and existing investors. The additional capital will go toward developing applications that plug into enterprise solutions — such as Salesforce, Adobe, and Oracle — and give brands the ability to surface user-generated content at the appropriate time.
The new funds are part of a Series B round that comes three years after Chute raised $3 million in a venture round and four years after it generated $7 million in a Series A round. Chute’s chief executive, Ranvir Gujral, explained that the relatively modest round was sufficient: “Different market, different need. We believe we can get to breakeven with this much capital, or very close.”
When the company launched nearly six years ago, it was focused on helping brands tap into social media, curating content across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks. But over time, it has refocused its efforts away from making tools for brands to producing plug-ins for enterprise platforms. At last year’s Dreamforce conference, Chute launched an app for Salesforce’s Community Cloud to allow administrators to easily incorporate photos and videos.
Gujral said his team plans on launching similar offerings for other Salesforce Clouds, including Marketing, Service Cloud, and Commerce Cloud, which was created through the Demandware acquisition.
And although money came from existing investors Foundry Group and U.S. Venture Partners, it’s the strategic investment from Salesforce Ventures that is most significant. When asked about a potential acquisition, Gujral demurred.
Adobe’s acquisition of competitor Livefyre last year played an indirect influence in Chute’s positioning, as it highlighted the demand from enterprise platforms. “I do believe that others in the space were more interested in partnering with us,” Gujral said. “We have always focused on the enterprise, but we have a small sales and marketing team. By leveraging our integrations with the incumbent providers, we believe we have a more seamless and cost-effective path to addressing the enterprise. And in the case of Salesforce, once they get in with a customer, they obviously want to pursue a ‘multi-cloud’ strategy and sell them other products. and Chute will be right there every step of the way.”
Appealing to enterprise systems is probably an easier way of gaining adoption than operating standalone products. Chute has already released numerous products — for advertising, commerce, rights management, and more. When assembled together, they could prove a powerful tool for managing user-generated content and integrating it into Salesforce, Oracle, or Adobe, where there’s relationship management and additional data to do effective targeting.
Today’s announcement comes a week after cofounder Greg Narain resigned to pursue other opportunities. “Chute wouldn’t exist without Greg’s leadership and contributions,” Gujral acknowledged. “And after six hard years of work, it was clear that Greg was ready for the next challenge. I am thankful for all he did for Chute and for me.”
To date, Chute has raised more than $16 million in venture capital.
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