Toronto-born Influitive has raised $7.3 million in a Series A funding round led by Hummer Winblad and Relay Ventures.
Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Illuminate Ventures, Resolute.VC, Common Angels, and other angels and firms also participated, according to the startup.
Influitive's new funding will be used to build marketing, sales, and services teams, as well as accelerate development of AdvocateHub, its advocate marketing platform. AdvocateHub makes it easy for marketers to recruit, mobilize and recognize an army of advocates that support marketing campaigns, refer new clients and help close deals faster.
“Influitive is exemplary of the kind of company in which Hummer Winblad looks to invest: at the forefront of an exciting market opportunity, management with a proven track record, and momentum that underscores and validates its market approach," explains Lars. "As the founding CEO of Eloqua, [Influitive founder] Mark Organ has a deep understanding of the crucial importance of customer advocacy for the growth and profitability of B2B companies. We are excited to help bring his vision of the ideal advocate experience to the market."
As trust in corporate sales and marketing continues to drop, B2B buyers are increasing their reliance on social media and blind peer endorsements when selecting products and services, Influitive says. The Canadian startup helps businesses mobilize their advocates, fans and evangelists to drive more references, referrals, success stories and online endorsements that are critical in today's social buying era.
“This is a team that has pioneered a multi-billion dollar industry in cloud-based marketing automation,” notes Alex Baker, principal at Relay Ventures. “We are seeing companies increasingly dependent on peer referencing for acquiring customers, and believe that Influitive’s advocate-centered, self-service approach is going to win out in a new multi-billion dollar Advocate Marketing space that is forming.”
AdvocateHub is an advocate community where customers can participate in online or offline campaigns like lead referrals, demand generation, events and product reviews, according to the company. As they complete challenges, advocates gain points, badges and levels that can be used for a variety of perks and privileges.
“This new investment will help us address a critical point of friction in the B2B marketing and sales marketplace by providing a platform that empowers customer advocates. Our users have enthusiastically embraced our unique solution because it focuses on the advocate experience, is highly engaging and drives measurable business value,” says Mark Organ, CEO of Influitive.