Signpost, a nine-year-old startup developing a cloud marketing platform for local businesses, today announced that it has secured $52 million in late-stage financing from HighBar Partners and BMO Bank of Montreal, with participation from Georgian Partners and Spark Capital. This latest round brings the New York-based company’s total raised to nearly $90 million following a $20.5 million series C in April 2015, and it comes after Signpost broke even early this year and notched 43% year-over-year growth and less than 1% customer churn.
Founder and CEO Stuart Wall said the capital infusion will enable Signpost to scale its footprint and “extend its leadership.”
“While large corporations have used powerful marketing technology to drive extraordinary growth for years, local businesses — which make up 99.7% of all U.S. businesses and account for nearly half of GDP — have been left behind,” said Wall. “Signpost puts the power of the world’s largest marketing departments in the hands of local business owners and empowers them to instantly capture their customer data, get better online reviews, and win new repeat business automatically and effortlessly.”
Signpost’s customer relationship management suite boasts tools aimed at automating data collection and cross-channel marketing. It’s able to capture the contact information of folks who call, text, email, or buy something from a business, and it autonomously sends personalized messages designed to drive feedback and acquire new customers. Its full-featured payments solution — Signpost Payments — comes with complimentary card reader, and the Signpost’s customer success team provides tips and tailored advice to increase engagement and revenue.
After an onboarding process that Wall says typically takes less than five minutes, Signpost connects to a client’s phone systems, email providers, and other key services like Mindbody and Quickbooks, and collates the customer contact information it uncovers in a master database. Mia — Signpost’s automated assistant — then intelligently detects things like purchases and solicits feedback or reaches out to customers who haven’t made purchases recently, and it helpfully flags buyers who leave positive reviews as promoters.
The way Wall tells it, businesses depend heavily on customer reviews in local Google Maps, Facebook, and Yelp searches for growth. He cites stats from a Search Engine Land survey conducted last year, which found that at least 82% of smartphone shoppers conduct “near me” searches and that 90% are likely to click on the first set of results.
“Local business owners struggle to manually create and maintain a customer list and to send consistent marketing communications,” said Wall. “Too often, they don’t have the time or resources to devote to marketing, which can make the difference between the success or failure of their business.”
It’s a message that’s resonated with Signpost’s over 20,000 customers, who’ve used its tech to scrape behavioral data on 70 million shoppers across the U.S. Signpost says that most local businesses leveraging its tools see a 34% improvement in ratings and 14% increase in revenues.
“HighBar’s investment is a vote of confidence in the right approach to applying technology to level the playing field for local businesses,” said HighBar Partners managing director Brian Peters, who intends to join Signpost’s board of directors. “The turnkey setup and level of automation in Signpost’s platform, as well as their ability to follow through on reviews and engage the modern customer well beyond their first interaction is what really sets them apart. When we consider the strength of the team, their focus on execution, and the magnitude of the market opportunity that sits before them, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Signpost.”
Signpost expects to add employees to its headquarters this year, as well as to its offices in Austin and Denver.