ProsperWorks, which provides a customer relationship manager (CRM) for G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work), announced today that is has raised $53 million to take on industry giant Salesforce. Norwest Venture Partners led the round, with participation from new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures), and returning investors Industry Ventures, Next World Capital, Storm Ventures, and True Ventures.
Founded in 2013, the San Francisco-based startup focuses on helping sales managers and reps better manage their teams and workflows through integration with apps like Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar. According to ProsperWorks cofounder and CEO Jon Lee, the number one priority is to make CRM more usable.
“We want to do for CRM what Apple did for mobility,” he said, in an interview with VentureBeat. While Lee confirmed that the team is already using artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the new funding will allow the startup to ramp up efforts around automation and to make the system smarter.
“Salesforce might have Einstein, but if you give Einstein garbage, it will give you garbage results,” he added. ProsperWorks basically wants to become the number one alternative to Salesforce, an ambition it isn’t afraid to share.
The CRM is based on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, billed monthly or annually. Customers, which include Google, Udacity, and Houwzer, pay between $20 and $120 per user, per month. Lee claims to have about 25,000 customers, 40 percent of which are international.
While ProsperWorks is recommended by Google and was built for G Suite, the startup runs its software on Amazon Web Services (AWS), not on the Google Cloud Platform.
To date, ProsperWorks has raised a total of $87 million. It plans on using the new cash to further develop its product, add more AI and machine learning capabilities, expand internationally by building new sales offices, and build a third-party application integration platform, similar to Salesforce’s AppExchange.
ProsperWorks currently has 140 employees.