Category Archives: Marketing Software

Big Data meets Marketing Again – this time in the world of “offline” CPG

This is a guest post by my colleague Ajay on why we invested in InfoScout. See how this startup is fundamentally disrupting the market research industry via mobile.

Ajay Agarwal: Startups, SaaS, and Steelers

Today InfoScout announced the launch of their company and their analytics dashboard for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) marketers. Bain Capital Ventures, along with Founder Collective and Dunnhumby Ventures, led a $5M Series A funding round in the company. We are thrilled to be partnering with the InfoScout founders, Jared and Jon, along with the entire InfoScout team.

We’ve discussed in the past here and here the rise of Marketing as the next great function in enterprise technology. A new wave of startups is leveraging Big Data and cloud computing to deliver incredible power to CMOs, giving them access to real-time insights and helping them drive faster, more data-driven decisions. InfoScout is leading this trend in the CPG industry where the marketing challenge is even more acute since the CPG brands don’t’ have direct access to the customer data (this is owned by the retailers) and the customer purchases take…

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“To run my business is to run it on Wrike”

Why we are in investing in Wrike

Today, Wrike announced a $10MM Series A funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures. We are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Filev and Team Wrike! Here are just a few qof the reasons why we are excited to be on board.

Because Wrike is a great product

We could tell you that Wrike is a unique product because it adapts to your existing workflows, vs. requiring you to change how you get things done. Or that it sits across task management AND collaboration, vs. just doing one. Or my personal favorite – it works in your email.

But task management software is like ice-cream – everyone has their favorite flavor. So let’s just look at Wrike by the (engagement) numbers:

Being boot-strapped, Andrew and his team had to build a product that users love (and pay for). These usage metrics speak to something special. In the words of one customer:

“Wrike is the backbone of our company. It is so integrated within our company that it would be painful – and painful is not a strong enough word – to replace it.”

Because the “work cloud” needs more connective tissue

Between Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, email, etc., businesses have an incredible amount of data and documents in the cloud. Managing workflows across those platforms is increasingly challenging. Doing so within the app that most knowledge workers live in – email – is even harder.

And the next generation of knowledge workers will be even more cloud centric.

 

We think Wrike, with its flexible workflows and Drive / Dropbox / Email integrations, can be the connective tissue across those cloud apps.

Because “land-and-expand” is already working

As noted earlier, Wrike customers more than double their number of seats within the 1st year of using the product. That only happens if you have a great product and happy customers.

BCV has a long history of backing companies with “land-and-expand” DNA, including SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI), LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), SurveyMonkey, Rapid7, Optimizely and many more. When we see those fingerprints in a company, we know it can be special.

Because it all starts with the people

Andrew and his team have delivered a category-leading product, happy customers and huge growth with no outside capital. And they have built a great company culture with a real sense of mission around empowering their users.

Those are incredible achievements, but we get the feeling that Wrike is just getting started. We are excited to see what this crew does with a full tank of gas!

What’s Next After SaaS? Big Data Applications

This is a guest post by Ajay Agarwal, my colleague at Bain Capital Ventures, who was the Series A investor in BloomReach. That company has the kind of story that gets all of us excited to build great tech. Congrats to the team!

Today one of our portfolio companies, Bloomreach, announced a new funding round led by NEA and their partners Scott Sandell and Ravi Viswanathan. Bain Capital Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the round.  We are thrilled to work with NEA and welcome them to Bloomreach.  I have known NEA for 17 years…their managing partner, Peter Barris, was on the board of Trilogy.  Peter, Scott, Ravi and the entire partnership at NEA are world-class.

I had the good fortune of meeting Raj De Datta and Ashutosh Garg, the co-founders of Bloomreach, four years ago.  At the time, it was the two of them and an idea. The founders wanted to solve the “content discovery” problem online and make sure that every web business in the world could be effectively “found” by their respective customers.   Together, we at Bain Capital Ventures and the founders spoke to over 25 CMOs to validate this opportunity – the feedback was extremely strong and helped shape the initial product vision. We subsequently led the Series A funding in March of 2009, alongside a great group of strategic angel investors.

Less than four years later, Bloomreach employs 100 people and is on path to being the fastest growing SaaS company in history.  They are one of the pioneers in the emerging Big Data Applications space: using data from inside and outside the enterprise to transform enterprise functions.  Bloomreach uses techniques such as machine learning, web crawling, and search technology to mine a massive amount of data. That data drives marketing insights, new customer traffic and most importantly, new revenue.  On average, BloomReach customers see 94% lift in non-branded, natural search traffic.

Unlike the last generation of SaaS and cloud marketing applications, Bloomreach is not a “form on top of a database” or a repository of manually entered data and workflow.  These types of sales and marketing automation solutions are necessary and important, but fail to deliver real measurable business value and ROI to the enterprise.  In contrast, Bloomreach and companies like it are helping web businesses large and small enjoy high margin revenue through an automated service and by doing so, are transforming the marketing function….which we believe is the next 10 Billion dollar opportunity in enterprise technology

Raj and Ashutosh have been outstanding founders and exemplary leaders.  They have created a company and culture that is built to last.  The last four years have been a fantastic journey.  The opportunity for Bloomreach is awesome and we look forward to deploying the new funding in relentless pursuit of our vision.

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