Percolate, a four-year-old enterprise that creates software for marketers to manage their campaigns and departments, just raised $US40 million in series C financing.
Now Percolate thinks it has the muscle to take on huge enterprise software companies like Salesforce, Oracle, and Adobe to become the “system of record” for marketing.
Those larger companies may have their own branded marketing clouds, but Percolate says they are more focused on the delivery of messages to consumers, rather than the entire day-to-day for a marketer.
Percolate CEO and co-founder Noah Brier told Business Insider: “We have ambitions to build a very large-scale enterprise software company. Our point of view is that the biggest enterprise software companies in the world, the biggest SaaS [Software as a Service] enterprises, own the entire piece of the enterprise. But we are bringing software to marketing for the first time, that process of managing marketing … what Salesforce did for the sales process, Percolate is doing for managing the marketing process.”
Percolate’s latest funding round brings its total funding to date to $US74.5 million. The most recent round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with additional participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, GGV Capital, First Round Capital, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
Brier won’t reveal revenue figures, or whether the company is making a profit — “we are totally focused on growth right now” — but it’s fair to say Percolate probably has a long way to go if it really wants to play in a league with the likes of Oracle, Adobe, and Salesforce in terms of revenue and valuation. Salesforce, for example, is valued at $US44 billion.
It is winning on one measure, however. Percolate is one of the best-performing social relationship platforms, according to Forrester.
What makes Percolate interesting to investors (and Forrester) is that it focuses on an area that the legacy software companies don’t, Brier says.
He adds: “The chief marketing officer is the only member of the c-suite that does not have a system of record they can turn to at the board meeting to show what they have been doing for the last three months since the last board meeting. Salesforce and Oracle certainly recognise [the importance of marketing software] but they are very focused on the delivery of messages, not the workflow, and collaboration tools, and the pieces that are fundamental.”
Nevertheless, recent news that Salesforce is subject to an acquisition bid from an unknown buyer has had a positive effect on Percolate. Brier believes it shows the market the incredible scale and margins software companies offer investors, and proves entrepreneur Mark Andreessen’s famous view that “software is eating the world.”
Brier added: “I think [the Salesforce acquisition news] is great for our business and is further proof that software is the future. I think it would be a pretty incredible thing [if Salesforce’s sale] actually happened. I, like many other people, would be slightly surprised if it does because of the size. But I also think it would be a pretty incredible move for any one of those companies that have been rumoured to have the guts and the ability to pull off a purchase like that.”
Companies rumoured to be in the running for Salesforce include Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and IBM.
Percolate plans to invest its latest financing into global expansion, including opening a second product office in San Francisco, increasing its worldwide headcount from 200 to 300, and exploring acquisitions.
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