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Banzai CEO and Chairman Joe Davy.
Banzai CEO and Chairman Joe Davy

In his previous job as general manager for sales tax automation firm Avalara, Joe Davy observed a recurring problem. It was difficult for marketers to sell products without relying on a robust inside sales team. He joined forces with Avalara engineer Alexey Melnichenko and marketing consultant Andy Linteau to come up with a solution, and they’ve now launched their own startup.

Joe Davy co-founded Banzai with Andy Linteau and Alexey Melnichenko.
Joe Davy co-founded Banzai with Andy Linteau, left, and Alexey Melnichenko.

That was the impetus for Banzai, an on-demand inside sales and marketing platform launching publicly this week. The Seattle startup provides a suite of tools to automate and streamline the sales pipeline and a pool of freelancers, around the world, to work on leads.

“We wanted to build a product that could basically be purchased online without the need for us to build and hire a traditional sales team,” Davy said. “But we also knew that having those human interactions was going to be really important for a large sector of our customer base.”

Banzai’s customers include Avalara and several other software and business intelligence firms. The startup is focusing primarily on business-to-business companies for now, but Davy sees opportunity in wider markets too.

banzai_logo_transparent_clear“All kinds of different industries have this need to connect with their customers and our goal is just to give them a really easy, transparent way to do that,” he said.

Banzai’s freelancers are, for the most part, in the Philippines, though the company is looking to branch out to other regions. The on-demand workforce, Davy says, is one factor that makes Banzai different from other CRM sales technology platforms, like Seattle-based Outreach.

About $550 per month buys access to the Banzai platform and customers can pay for usage incurred on top of that fee.

Davy and his six-person team have primarily bootstrapped Banzai, with some small investments. The startup is considering additional funding from investors that could add value and expertise.

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