PROSPERWORKS RAISES $24M FOR ITS GOOGLE-CENTRIC CRM SOLUTION
Published by Techcrunch, September 27th 2016
ProsperWorks, a cross-platform customer relationship management (CRM) service that plugs into the Google for Work platform, today announced that it has raised a $24 million Series B funding round. The round was led by Next World Capital, an early revenue stage VC firm that specializes in helping its portfolio companies expand into European markets. Other investors include Storm Ventures, True Ventures, Industry Ventures, Devoteam, and a consortium of strategic angels.
ProsperWorks CEO Jon Lee tells me that the company plans to use the new capital to invest into its technology and to grow its sales and marketing team. “There’s no denying the 800-lb gorilla in the room, Salesforce, and its new AI offering, Einstein,” Lee said. “While it’ll surely be a robust platform, we’re looking to make the same kind of insights easily accessible to all businesses — not only large enterprises who can afford custom configurations and complex integrations just to get it to work properly.” Specifically, ProsperWorks plans to introduce its own machine learning-based features that will help sales teams with actionable recommendations to push their sales efforts forward.
It’s worth noting that it’s not just Salesforce looking into bringing more intelligence to its CRM solutions. Microsoft, too, plans to bring more of its machine learning smarts to Dynamics 365 (though this was announced after I talked to ProsperWorks).
ProsperWorks’ funding comes at an interesting time for enterprise companies that sit on top of Google’s productivity suite. Google’s renewed interest in the enterprise means that (assuming Google’s plans work out) the platform will continue to grow. If that happens, it can only mean good things for the businesses in its ecosystem. “Now, with Diane Greene at the helm of Google’s enterprise business, the Google Apps for Work ecosystem is stronger than it’s ever been, and we’re perfectly positioned to deliver a modern CRM experience on the productivity platform of the future,” Lee said.
He also noted that he believes his company’s success is driven by customers who are looking for a user-friendly CRM solution and the convergence of productivity suites and CRM (he cited the recent acquisition of Quip by Salesforce as an example for this).
Being so closely tied to Google comes with some risks, though. Google could release its own deeply integrated CRM solution, for example. But Lee doesn’t seem to be worried. “Google doesn’t need a CRM when they have a partner that’s fully committed to building exclusively for Google Apps for Work,” he said. “Building a CRM isn’t easy — not that Google couldn’t do it. But it requires a dedicated effort across product development, sales and marketing when Google’s efforts could be concentrated on dominating the productivity market.”
ProsperWorks says its “seven-figure revenue” has grown by 504 percent year-over-year and that it now has 63,000 businesses on its platform. By tapping Next World Capital as an investor, it’s obvious the company is looking to expand in Europe as well. Lee tells me the service is already seeing good traction in Europe and the company plans to dedicate significant resources to this market.