Singapore-based edtech Cialfo gets $40M led by Square Peg and SEEK

Applying to colleges is one of the hardest parts of high school, especially for students who want to study abroad. Cialfo wants to make the process easier, with a platform that includes school research, communication tools for counselors and students, and Direct Apply, which helps international students find and apply to hundreds of programs with a single application form.

The Singapore-based edtech announced today it has raised $40 million in Series B funding, led by Square Peg and SEEK Investments.

The round, which also saw participation from returning investors SIG Global, DLF Ventures, January Capital and Lim Teck Lee, brings Cialfo’s total raised so far to to $55 million, including a $15 million Series A announced in February 2021.

The company currently has more than 170 employees in Singapore, India, the United States and China, and is partnered with about 1,000 universities around the world, including Imperial College London, the University of Chicago and IE University in Spain.

Ciaflo was founded in 2017 by Rohan Pasari, Stanley Chia and William Hund. The team told TechCrunch in an email that Pasari was prompted by his own experiences as a student. He grew up in India and his high school didn’t have a career counselor. As a result, students were left to navigate the college application process on their own.

Pasari originally wanted to go to a four-year university in the United States, but his parents could not afford the high international student fees, so he applied to schools in Singapore instead, getting a full scholarship to Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Before graduating, Pasari helped his sister and some of his friends through the college application process, which planted the idea of launching a business in his mind.

Pasari originally started an education consultancy firm with Chia, working with about 200 students at its peak. But the two wanted to use tech to scale up their operations, so they sold their education consultancy in 2017 and used the proceeds to launch Cialfo.

The company operates on a B2B model, selling subscriptions to schools. College counselors then invite students onto the platform, which parents or guardian have access to as well.

“Our mission has always been to help one million students in their journey of getting college ready. We believe there are three pillars required—access to information, personalized assistance and financial resources—and bring all of the three together will enable the democratization of education,” the team told TechCrunch.

The new funding will be used to grow Cialfo’s global user base, add more features and look at potential acquisitions.

Will your nose know lamb? Black Sheep Foods is betting it will

Black Sheep Foods, a food tech company making plant-based heritage breed meats and wild game, took in $5.25 million in seed funding as it continues developing its patent-pending flavor compounds.

Sunny Kumar, co-founder, told TechCrunch that where some plant-based meats fall short is relying on the taste to be generated by the mouth. Rather, his company is creating flavors that are detected in your nose and at the right time.

“[Mouth taste] is a rudimentary way,” he added. “We are working on compounds that can be detected in the nose. When people hunted and gathered, they used their nose.”

Since 2019, Black Sheep Foods has been working in R&D to create the compounds, composed of pea protein, and fatty acids and how best to deliver them.

While plant-based versions of chicken and beef have become popular in recent years, Kumar believes that meats, like lamb and other game, that are main parts of diets in the Mediterranean, India, Middle East and Africa, were left behind by the trend.

The trend he is referring to is the global plant based-meat market that was estimated to be valued at $6.67 billion in 2020. As more people examine their diets and seek out sustainable methods for food, that market is expected to reach $16.7 billion by 2026.

The new funding received gives the company an opportunity to propel the plant-based versions of these meats to a more mainstream audience, especially those that Kumar said have tried lamb before and didn’t like the taste.

Black Sheep’s backers include AgFunder, Bessemer Venture Partners, Tastybites’ Meera and Ashok Vasudevan, New Crop Capital, Siddhi Capital and Smita Conjeevaram.

The company put out its plant-based lamb last year with restaurant partners, including Greek restaurant Souvla in the Bay Area. Kumar said the addition was the first time in seven years that Souvla made a change in its menu. This year, the restaurant will introduce Black Sheep Foods meatballs to their Delta Airlines offerings available to first and business class travelers.

This month, the lamb will begin being offered at other Bay Area restaurants like Rooh, Chezchez, Beit Rima, Joyride, Mazra, Monica’s and Ettan.

Kumar plans to use the new funding to answer the common question he gets about how big the market is for lamb and on R&D to continue to push into the synthetic biology space with other flavors, like wild boar.

“The biggest hurdle is getting people to sample the product,” he added. “We sell through our current chef partners, and we have sold out. We’ve looked at how much other plant-based companies are selling and we are beating that metric.”

Unpacking the UBS-Wealthfront deal

Banking giant UBS announced earlier today that it will purchase venture-backed robo-advisor Wealthfront in an all-cash transaction worth $1.4 billion.

Wealthfront, which raised just north of $200 million while private, per Crunchbase data, is one of a few wealth management services that grew on the back of offering automatic investing tools to consumers. Betterment ($435 million in funding, per Crunchbase) and Personal Capital ($265 million in raised capital, according to the same data source) are other related plays.

The $1.4 billion price tag for the UBS-Wealthfront deal matters, then, as it could impact the exit values for not only other startups, but also hundreds of millions of dollars worth of invested venture capital.

It’s hard to say with complete confidence whether the sale price Wealthfront managed to command was a strong win for its backers. PitchBook data estimates that the company was worth $700 million in 2014 and $500 million in late 2017 when it raised its last known round of capital, a $75 million sum.

At those prices, the company’s exit price is a win in that it represents a 2x or greater multiple on its final private valuations. But its exit value is also parsable from a number of alternative perspectives: AUM, customers and revenue. We’ll explore each briefly to get a better grip on how the company was valued in its sale, and what UBS is getting out of the deal.

AUM, customers, and revenue

In its release, UBS said that Wealthfront has “over $27 billion in assets under management,” or AUM. That means that UBS is paying around 5 cents per dollar in AUM at the company. Is that a lot?

Pimloc grabs $7.5M to pitch more businesses on AI-for-privacy video tools

Pimloc, a UK computer vision startup that’s sharpened its business pitch to sell an AI service for quickly anonymizing video — automating the blurring of faces or licence plates, along with a suite of other visual search services — has grabbed another chunk of seed funding: Announcing a raise of $7.5M, led by Zetta Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners and Speedinvest.

The startup raised a $1.8M seed, back in October 2020, but says the new funds will be used to scale the business across Europe and the U.S., tracking the spread of data legislation and the evolution of public opinion around the privacy risks of biometrics — pointing, for example, to the privacy backlash around Clearview AI.

As well as building out its sales, marketing and R&D teams, Pimloc says the funding will be used to expand its product roadmap with a focus on video privacy and compliance.

The business need it’s targeting focuses on growing use of visual AI in industries like retail, warehousing and industrial factory settings — for use cases like safety and efficiency.

However the rise of AI-powered workplace surveillance tools create privacy risks for workers which could create legal and reputational risks for companies that deploy remote biometrics.

Pimloc is pitching a third way in which AI is working in service of privacy — saying it’s in talks with companies about “anonymizing visual data used for production efficiency, to help them prioritize worker privacy”.

The startup says its “Secure Redact” product — which it sells as a SaaS or via APIs and Containers to integrate into local video workflows and systems — is already in use by entities that must provide video evidence which complies with data privacy regulations (such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation or California’s Consumer Privacy Act).

Pimloc declined to disclose customer numbers — but CEO, Simon Randall, told TechCrunch: “We have a large numbers of users from around Europe and the US; across sectors including transportation, manufacturing, education, health, autonomous vehicles, facilities management and law enforcement. What’s interesting is that they all have the same needs; whether CCTV, dashboard or body-worn camera footage, they all need to anonymise video for data privacy and compliance purposes.”

Epsilon3 lines up $2.8M seed round to modernize space and launch operations

You’ve got a hundred-million-dollar mission — why are you using software built in the ’90s to design and launch it? That’s the question being asked by many new space companies, and Epsilon3 is looking to help them bring their operations out of spreadsheets and Word docs and into a modern and collaborative work platform.

We covered Epsilon3 when they made their debut last year, and since then the company has been hard at work bringing its OS for launch ops from prototype to product, and signing on customers — of which it now counts a couple dozen. And it has followed that pre-seed round with a $2.8 million seed.

“Last year we were just getting the MVP out to our first customers,” said Laura Crabtree, co-founder and CEO of Epsilon3. “Some people were hesitant to jump on a new platform, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the willingness to adapt to a new way of doing things.”

Part of the company’s time was spent going through its own adaptation process as part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 cohort.

“I come from an aerospace background, so I understand our customers,” said Crabtree, formerly of SpaceX and Northrop Grumman. “I joined to learn about building a business, and how to run a business. Something YC really helped us with was starting that process of, we have an understanding of what we want to build, but opening the line with customers to see what they need, and setting priorities on what to build.”

While Epsilon3’s platform was originally meant as a modern way to run ongoing launch and satellite operations, even its earliest customers showed that it had uses beyond that.

“We’ve been surprised by all the different use cases for the software in different industries,” said Max Mednik, the company’s COO. “But a lot of our customers are using it for new hardware, integration and testing procedures. They’re finding that using Word or Confluence or Wikipages doesn’t cut it when their teams are growing and they’re trying to hit some ambitious goals.”

A screenshot of the Epsilon3 software platform.

Image Credits: Epsilon3

“Like… you can get by, and some companies we help are getting by, with a giant spreadsheet with links to stuff, or a giant folder on a shared drive with all the files. But it’s really easy to make a mistake,” he continued.  “A lot of times you’re writing down data as you test something, and having access to all your past runs and having an audit trail, other tools are just not good at that. You’re going to have millions of copies of the same thing. If something goes wrong you can lose a ton of time.”

Epsilon3 has an API for live telemetry to track and record data during testing in an equally robust but less ramshackle way. It also includes features like multiple operator sign-off, a must in industries like aerospace and defense where several people need to check and verify a data point or flow.

Integrating other services and platforms is also an important part of being user-friendly. This whole thing may sound similar in some ways to First Resonance, another software platform for space-related development. Since they fit in different parts of the long and complex process of building and launching orbital assets it makes sense for them to be friends rather than competitors.

A screenshot of the Epsilon3 software platform.

Image Credits: Epsilon3

“We’ve already talked to [First Resonance] about passing data back and forth,” said Crabtree. “They’re on the design and hardware piece, we’re later, in testing and ops, and hopefully you have that loop back. We do want to open up hooks to integrate data from other tools, we think that’s a huge value add.”

“A lot of people have been asking for more automation support, and other integrations, like Jira for tools and infrastructure, metrics and analysis — building native integrations beside our API so you can just have things inter-operate,” Mednik added.

There’s a lot on the company’s plate, but their customers seem to be happy to pay for what they’re getting already. Mednik said the company has multiplied its ARR by 50x since last year, and more than tripled its customers. They listed Firefly, Astrobotic, OrbitFab, Venus, Gilmour Space, Stoke Space and more among them, along with others that can’t yet be mentioned publicly.

A screenshot of the Epsilon3 software platform.

Image Credits: Epsilon3

“There was lots of leveling up on the infrastructure side,” he recalled. “They were like, have you even tested it with this many people? Well, we did our best. I think it did OK.”

“It did more than OK, Max. I think it did very well,” replied Crabtree.

“Well, nothing caught fire.”

The focus with the new funding is continuing to expand the product and team. They’ve gone from the original 3-founder team (Aaron Sullivan is the co-founder and Chief Engineer) to 21 total — still small but well beyond the “garage” stage for a startup like this.

The $2.8M seed round included pre-seed investors Stage Venture Partners and MaC Venture Capital, as well as new investors Lux Capital, Village Global, Y Combinator, Pioneer Fund, Soma Capital, and Broom Ventures.

Founders Fund backs Vest, a startup out to give Latin Americans a bridge to investing in the US stock market

Latin Americans seeking the ability to invest in companies trading on the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange now have a new option in Vest, a startup that has launched a mobile-first brokerage app with zero-commission trading in the Americas.

CEO and co-founder Aaron Polhamus said he, Miguel Arroyo and Jaime Rodas were driven to start Mexico City-based Vest in December 2020 because of their belief that while Latin Americans work hard for their savings, “historically their savings have not worked hard for them.”

To help remedy this problem, Vest aims to  provide direct access to U.S. equities investments to retail investors in all major economies in Latin America, as well as in the United States. Today that means the startup operates an active brokerage so that users may buy stocks listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq. But soon the company plans to expand its platform to include a passive investing product (robo funds) and crypto. It plans to have both the active and passive products built with the same user interface so that investors “can use both strategies in the same place, rather than having the fragmented, multi-platform experience that is the norm today,” said Polhamus, who is the former CTO of Mexican fintech Credijusto.

Recognizing that not everyone who wants to invest might have the financial literacy to do so, Vest has also developed what Polhamus describes as “a market simulation environment for learning and practicing” for those who have no previous financial exposure. It also provides in-app content to educate on investing fundamentals and provide insight into current events and economic trends as well as native multi-lingual support.

Vest’s platform is live and its app is available for download on iOS and Android in all of Latin America except for Panama, and in the U.S. states of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Washington and Puerto Rico. The startup currently offer users integration to local banking in the U.S. and Mexico, with plans to extend that capacity to other large markets this year.  

Image Credits: Vest

To further its mission of building the “next-gen” investment platform for LatAm, the company is also announcing today that it has raised $6 million in a seed round led by Founders Fund that included participation from Nazca, Class 5 Global, FJLabs, Tamarack Global and angel investors such as Kavak founder Carlos García, Tiger Global’s Scott Shleifer, Loft founder Florian Hagenbuch, M1 Finance Founder Brian Barnes (Founder, M1 Finance), Nico Barawid and Gerry Giacomán Colyer (founders of Casai and Clara) and the Moons founding team. It is valued at $22 million, post-money.

“We want to empower investors throughout the Americas to build their financial future via a world-class investment and education platform….Financial services for investing and cash management in the U.S. offer best-in-class efficiency and pricing, and Vest is making these benefits accessible to a surging regional retail investment market across Latin America,” Polhamus said. “New investors don’t just need a transactional medium, but a framework for making wise investing decisions.”

Vest’s founding team is not deterred by recent stock market turmoil. In fact, they view it as an opportunity — to communicated with its users about what’s most important as they build their financial foundation: investing for the long-term, in high-quality companies and assets that compound over time, without obsessing over perfect timing.

“There’s a saying from one of our favorite books, The Psychology of Money: ‘timing the market is way less important than time in the market.’ Some trading apps focus on promoting a high volume of transactions, where customers are enticed by visions of hitting a home and growing their net worth considerably overnight,” Polhamus said. “That’s not us. We are a far more AUM-focused business, both philosophically and in terms of how we are building our product roadmap for 2022….Although things may get rough in the short term, historically speaking, time is the investor’s friend. Businesses that promote quick profits may struggle in volatile market moments, while businesses that promote sound investing disciplines oriented toward the long-term will ultimately win the trust of their customers – through the market’s ups and downs.”

Presently, Vest has 36 employees, up from five a year ago.

The company plans to use its new capital mostly toward hiring across its product, content and operations teams, acquiring the necessary licenses to operate in its various markets and to engage strategic partners.

Founders Fund Principal Matias Van Thienen said his firm had been looking for an investing and savings platform in Latin America that could offer global equities with a high-quality product and a suitable regulatory approach. It was introduced to Vest by one of its portfolio founders, Carlos Garcia.

“We invested based on the founding team’s strong engineering background combined with deep understanding of the regulatory complexity required to scale this type of business,” Van Thienen wrote via email.

Because Vest is structured as a U.S. brokerage operating in Latin America, it can offer global equities while operating in several countries without requiring local licenses, unlike most local offerings in the region, the investor points out.

“Beyond that, Vest’s product has the breadth to appeal to a wide range of users, from highly active stock traders to those looking for a more passive savings product,” he added.

Van Thienen is originally from Argentina and grew up between there and Miami, so he’s naturally always had an eye on LatAm. Founders Fund has also backed Brazilian fintech giant Nubank and auto marketplace Kavak.   

Is today’s market sad or sane?

Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.

This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single topic, think about a question and unpack the rest. This week, Natasha and Alex brought on Bessemer partner Mary D’Onofrio to chat about the public market slump, but more importantly, its trickle down impact on private companies. Our big question was a broad and important one, built off of our most recent three views column for TechCrunch+.

How is this change in market conditions going to affect startups?

As a trio, we chatted about the obvious and non-obvious impact on startups as companies like Peloton, Netflix and indexes like the BVP Nasdaq Cloud Index, flash warning signs. We asked questions like what is ahead for startups that raised at premium valuations during the market peak and how the exit market may shape up in the coming quarters. D’Onofrio gave two particularly hot takes on the future of due diligence and the nearly-shuttered IPO window, so make sure to tune in.

We don’t do too many guests on the show these days due in part to our all-virtual recording setup thanks to COVID. But D’Onofrio was a blast to have on, so we’ll be asking her back before too long. Enjoy!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.

Polly snags $37M in Menlo-led Series B to automate workflows for mortgage lenders

Polly, a SaaS technology startup aiming to “transform” the mortgage capital markets, announced today that it has raised $37 million in a Series B funding round led by Menlo Ventures.

New backers Movement Mortgage, First American Financial and FinVC joined existing investors 8VC, Khosla Ventures and Fifth Wall in participating in the round. The latest financing brings the San Francisco-based startup’s total funding raised to $50 million.

Adam Carmel, founder and CEO of Polly, says the company has increased its customer count by nearly 3x over the past year, including “several of the country’s top 100 lenders.”

He founded the company in 2019 under the premise that while many industries have undergone digital transformation initiatives, the mortgage industry is still largely reliant on “the same expensive and cumbersome processes and tasks that have been in use for decades,” Carmel said. 

Polly’s mission is to fundamentally change the way lenders and loan buyers operate by giving them the ability to make data-driven decisions. The company’s software is “uniquely configured to automate customer workflows and improve execution — from rate lock to loan sale and delivery,” Carmel said.

Carmel previously founded Ethos Lending (which sold to Fenway Summers in 2014) and it was that experience that helped him conclude there were serious gaps in the market for automating workflows for lenders.

The need certainly seems to be there. For example, one company in the space is Optimal Blue, which was purchased by Black Knight for $1.8 billion in 2020. 

Carmel believes Polly stands out from others in the industry in that it is helping create a fourth category in the mortgage sector — capital markets.

“I viewed it as a sizable opportunity to build a vertically integrated software platform that would automate workflows for a mortgage company,” Carmel told TechCrunch. “My view is that over time consumers are going to expect not only a digital experience but also a mortgage product, loan and associated pricing that are customized and tailored for specific purposes.”

To that end, he added, Polly is laser focused on doing just that so that its customers “can configure individual loans as dynamically as they would like.”

“The goal is that ultimately, they are able to deliver a lower mortgage price to their consumers or to their customers while increasing their own profitability,” Carmel said. “We want to help these lenders move away from spreadsheets and telephony and email as a transaction medium, and instead do everything in the cloud. Over time, we want to be able to transition into a system of record for the customers themselves.”

Polly, he said, is able to help configure loans on a multi-dimensional basis.

The startup has increased its customer count by nearly “3x” over the past year and signed several of the country’s top 100 lenders. While it invested mostly on its product in 2021, it plans to put some of its new capital toward its go to market strategy while continuing to be “heads down focused on product.” That includes expanding its product and engineering teams and investing in AI and machine learning capabilities. 

“The next year or two is going to be a really exciting time for us,” Carmel said. “We see this as a compelling window and opportunity to really help transform the market.”

Menlo Ventures partner Tyler Sosin, who is joining Polly’s board of directors as part of the financing, believes the startup is “taking on a sector held back by sclerotic incumbents with dated, disconnected and dragging solutions” and “driving transformation and winning customers at an impressive rate.”

He said Menlo was interested in leading the company’s Series A round but “was a little bit too slow.” Impressed with Polly’s traction even at that point, the firm still participated in that financing with a smaller check and stayed close to the company.

We’ve gotten to know Adam and seen how the customers and the product and the team had evolved, so we leaned into the lead this round,” Sosin told TechCrunch.

CaptivateIQ raises $100M at a $1.25B valuation to help companies design customized sales commission plans

Less than 10 months after raising a $46 million Series B, CaptivateIQ announced today that it has raised $100 million in a Series C round at a $1.25 billion valuation.

The San Francisco-based startup, which has developed a no-code SaaS platform to help companies design customized sales commission plans, says it “more than tripled” its revenue compared to the year prior, although it declined to provide hard revenue figures. 

A trio of firms co-led CaptivateIQ’s latest investment, including ICONIQ Growth and existing backers Sequoia and Accel. Sapphire Ventures also joined as a new investor in the financing, which brings the company’s total funding raised to date to $164.6 million.

CaptivateIQ’s customer base includes “hundreds of organizations across industries and continents,” including more than a quarter of the Forbes’ Cloud 100 and Affirm, Amplitude, ClassPass and Podium.

CaptivateIQ was founded in the winter of 2017 and came from Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 batch. In a nutshell, CaptivateIQ is part of a new wave of Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) solutions that have sprung up in recent years to help companies automate and improve the “complex” task of designing, processing and reporting commissions, according to Mark Schopmeyer, co-founder and co-CEO.

“Sales compensation represents the single largest go-to-market investment for most B2B companies, making commissions a mission-critical process for businesses,” he said. “However, managing commissions is difficult, and companies have been forced to choose between two suboptimal choices for the process — manual, opaque and error-prone spreadsheets or rigid and costly legacy solutions.”

Those legacy solutions, Schopmeyer contends, can only handle specific types of commission plans and require users to learn “arcane” programming languages.

“They are also often cost prohibitive with implementation fees in the six-figure range,” he said.

Image Credits: CaptivateIQ

In his view, CaptivateIQ alleviates these pain points by taking the flexibility of spreadsheets and combining it with the scalability and performance of software technology to configure commissions plans with minimal support. 

“Calculating commissions is really complicated and mission-critical — think of it like a very complicated form of payroll — each company has a unique commission plan that involves a lot more calculations and data than your typical salary payroll math,” co-CEO Conway Teng told me at the time of the company’s last raise. “Also, in recent years, companies have access to more data than ever, giving them room to incentivize employees on more performance metrics.”

For now, the company is in growth mode and focused on investing in the product, R&D and “building a great team,” Schopmeyer said.

Speaking of which, CaptivateIQ has more than 200 employees, up from about 90 at the time of its Series B in April of 2021.

For his part, ICONIQ Growth General Partner Doug Pepper believes the market opportunity in sales commissions is “enormous.”

Unlike spreadsheets and legacy solutions, CaptivateIQ is extremely powerful and flexible, capable of adapting to diverse compensation plans and sales organizations as these organizations scale,” he wrote via email. “At the same time, the product strategically preserves familiar features of spreadsheets that makes using the platform highly intuitive to users.”

No-code is having a moment. Last week, Walnut, a company that creates sales and marketing demo experiences, announced a $35 million Series B financing. And Softr, a Berlin-based startup that lets customers build apps atop Airtable databases, recently raised $13.5 million in a Series A round.

Atrium grabs fresh capital to help sales teams meet their quota

With sales teams now operating remotely, it is even harder to monitor how well they are performing. Atrium wants to make sure sales managers, sales development managers and customer success leads have the data-driven insights to be able to do that.

The sales management technology company closed on $20 million in Series A funding to continue developing its tools that automatically monitor a company’s most important key performance indicators, get insights into performance to evaluate what is working and what isn’t and how to proactively coach the team to improve productivity and revenue.

The latest round of funding comes nearly a year after Atrium raised $13.5 million in seed funding. The Series A was led by Craft Ventures and included existing investors Bonfire Ventures, BullPen Ventures, Charles River Ventures and First Round Capital. The company has now raised a total of $33 million in funding.

Jason Heidema, co-founder and CEO of Atrium, said the new investment was a little earlier than the company initially planned, but after meeting Mike Marg, principal at Craft Ventures, Heidema felt that Marg was an expert on go-to-market and understood how to help Atrium build a new category of sales management.

Smaller companies don’t have the kinds of resources larger organizations have for sales management, Heidema said. At the same time, people are having to do much of the performance analysis manually when software could be used to solve that.

Heidema believes that sales management is having a “Money Ball moment” in that with the move to remote work, there is a need for metrics to be the eyes and ears for sales organizations to run well and improve the quality of the sales.

“The focus is on how we take sales managers and out-of-the box monitoring of every metric that matters to the organization and alert them what is working, what is not working and what to do about it,” he added. “We are working on product development to get more data-driven insights, and from a go-to-market perspective, we are continuing to expand our footprint into more sizes of companies and geographies.”

When we last spoke with Atrium in 2021, the company was working with over 100 customers, and today, the company has doubled its customer base and also tripled its revenue during the same time. Its net revenue retention is at 150%, which Heidema explained tells the company that it has figured out the formula and can now build a team to manage the growth.

As mentioned, the new funding will go toward product development and market expansion while also adding to the company’s current 50-person workforce. He expects to double the size of the company in the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, Marg said he is bullish on sales technology in general, which has experienced some “crazy tailwinds” as more companies understand that business-to-business sales is the pathway to “an amazing business model.”

A big thesis for Craft Ventures is the SaaS business model, and there is a lot of go-to-market technology out there accessible for sales teams. However, he believes that sales teams can only go so far with having something like Atrium.

In talking with customers about what their salespeople were doing with productivity, he found their biggest specific need was predicting their performance.

“That is what Atrium does,” he added. “There are a hundred different ways to slice the data, but Atrium comes up with insights you would normally miss or see trend data and call it out so you can address it with your team. Sales managers were always constantly putting out fires, but there are more now.”