SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Influitive, the advocate marketing company, today announced it has raised $7.3 million in Series A funding from Hummer Winblad and Relay Ventures. Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Illuminate Ventures, Resolute.VC, Common Angels, and several renowned angels and firms also participated in the round. As part of the announcement, Lars Leckie from Hummer Winblad and Alex Baker from Relay Ventures will join Influitive's Board of Directors.
The new funding will be used to build world-class marketing, sales and services teams, and 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. As the founding CEO of Eloqua, 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," said Lars Leckie, managing director at Hummer Winblad.
"This is a team that has pioneered a multi-billion dollar industry in cloud-based marketing automation," said 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."
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 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. AdvocateHub is an advocate community where customers can participate in online or offline campaigns like lead referrals, demand generation, events and product reviews. As they complete challenges, advocates gain points, badges and levels that can be used for a variety of perks and privileges. The market has embraced Influitive's clever marriage of peer influence, competition and social capital since its launch in August 2012. Influitive has, increased active advocates by 180 percent, sales by 145 percent and successfully launched a free version of its application on its website.
"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," said Mark Organ, CEO and co-founder of Influitive.
Influitive, based in Toronto and San Francisco, is changing the face of B2B marketing through its innovative AdvocateHub platform for advocate marketing. Today's buyers are leveraging knowledgeable peers at roughly twice the rate than they did even four years ago. Influitive's AdvocateHub lets marketers capture the enthusiasm of their best customers, followers, and evangelists, turning that into direct support through all stages of the buying cycle, from social media reviews and customer referrals to case studies and references.
Influitive's customers include some of most successful and fastest-growing business-to-business software firms in the world, who use their AdvocateHubs to massively shorten their customers' buying processes while maximizing win rates against competitors. For more information, please visit http://www.influitive.com.
For further information:
Tanya Espe, Kulesa Faul for Influitive, +1-650-340-1912, firstname.lastname@example.org
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