Pipeline Deals didn’t need money for its first nine years, bootstrapping its way to success. It earned a coveted spot on the Inc. 5000 list, as it added more than 3,000 customers who used its customer relationship management software.
But now PipelineDeals is announcing $1 million in fresh funding, including investment from top Seattle angel investors such as Geoff Entress, John Keister, Andy Liu, Michael Riccio and Edward Yim. Former aQuantive executive Mike Galgon led the round, and is joining the board.
So, what changed?
“Frankly our growth began to outstrip capital requirements — in a good way,” says co-founder and CEO JP Werlin. “We are excited not just to have raised the first round in our 9 year history, but are even more stoked to be joined by some incredible minds in the SaaS and Internet space as we push forward from here.”
Like Salesforce.com or other CRM tools, PipelineDeals helps sales professionals better manage and track sales leads. The $24 per month service is used by both big and small companies, with customers that include Manpower, Kaplan and Orkin. GeekWire also is a user of the service.
PipelineDeals originally started in the Philadelphia area, but now Werlin says the company is officially based in Seattle. (The laundry list of Seattle angel investors is a testament to that). However, Werlin said that a good chunk of the development team remains on the East Coast.
The company employs 25 people, and Werlin said that the company is growing fast for two very important reasons. First, he said that “there is no true heir apparent to Salesforce” that caters to small and medium-sized businesses.
“Salesforce talks about themselves as a cloud computing company now, not a CRM,” said Werlin, adding that the industry is so fragmented that it is now “wide open for a new leader for which we are well positioned.”
Secondly, Werlin said that they focus intently on customer service.
“We take care of customers with real humans,” he said. “The bar for good customer care in software is so low it is on the floor. We care and it shows. We take care of people and they take care of us. The result is word of mouth is our biggest marketing channel.”