Outreach raises $50M as billion-dollar Seattle startup aims to capitalize on remote sales trend - GeekWire
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(Outreach Photo)

Outreach is putting more fuel in the tank.

The Seattle startup, one of a handful of “unicorn” companies in the region, just raised a $50 million Series F investment round, increasing its valuation to $1.33 billion and total funding to $289 million. This follows a $114 million round raised at a $1.1 billion valuation in April 2019.

Outreach CEO Manny Medina said the company has more than $100 million of cash in the bank and didn’t need to raise additional funds. But top tech VC firm Sands Capital expressed interest in investing, and Outreach decided that it would be prudent to take the money.

“This allows us to expand our lead as the No. 1 sales engagement platform,” Medina said.

Sands Capital led the round, which included “strong participation” from Salesforce Ventures, the VC arm of Salesforce. Operator Collective also invested, as well as existing backers Lone Pine Capital, Spark Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Trinity Ventures, Mayfield, and Sapphire Ventures.

The fresh cash gives the company more security going through the economic crisis, though Medina said Outreach has seen growth in recent months given the nature of its product.

More than 4,000 companies such as Adobe, Splunk, SAP, and others use Outreach to automate and streamline communication with sales prospects.

Outreach CEO Manny Medina with his dog Fitzgerald, inside the Outreach offices before COVID-19. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

The sales process looks different in the COVID-19 era. Face-to-face meetings at fancy restaurants or big conferences aren’t happening nearly as much given social distancing orders and work-from-凯发官网登录手机版home mandates amid the global pandemic. Deals are getting done over video conferencing tools, not a dinner and a handshake.

“These sellers need to develop a new toolset, to be able to sell successfully at the same rate and efficiency as they were before — and Outreach allows them to do just that,” Medina said.

Medina said this shift to remote sales will be permanent, even in a post-COVID world.

“People will get used to the increases in efficiency and production for sales reps,” he said. “I have a hard time believing people will go back to a lower return on investment in sales and marketing.”

Some Outreach customers such as DoorDash, DocuSign, and Tableau are seeing surges in demand. They’re using the software to help manage the flood of inbound requests as more people order food delivery or use cloud-based tools, for example.

Outreach, ranked No. 10 on the debuted Kaia, a voice-powered AI assistant for customer conversations. It also hosted its annual Unleash Summit virtually for the first time in May.

The startup has doubled its employee count over the past year to nearly 600 people. It has avoided making layoffs, unlike many tech startups, and still plans to open new offices in the U.S. and U.K.

Outreach competes with SalesLoft, Freshsales, Groove, Vymo, Chorus.AI, People.AI, and others. Medina said the company is larger than all of its competitors combined.

The startup recently hired Melissa Fisher as its new CFO. Fisher was previously at Qualys, a publicly-traded cloud security provider.

Medina said the company isn’t yet thinking seriously about an IPO.

It’s been quite a journey for the Outreach founding team. Medina, a former director at Microsoft, originally launched a recruiting software startup called GroupTalent in 2011 with his co-founders Andrew Kinzer, Gordon Hempton, and Wes Hather. But the entrepreneurs pivoted in 2014 to focus on building tools for salespeople — certainly a wise move, looking back six years later.

Hempton left Outreach in October, while Kinzer and Hather departed earlier this year.

Medina said his co-founders left on good terms and felt that the company was in good hands with new product and engineering leadership.

Hather and Hempton are working on a secretive new venture related to remote work. “We’re still prototyping and proving product market fit,” Hather told GeekWire.

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