Business engagement software startup Apollo.io announced a bumper of $ 110 million new round of funding today that brings its total amount raised to date to more than $ 150 million.
The Series C round, which comes just three months after Apollo raised $ 32 million in its Series B round, was led by Sequoia Capital and saw participation from existing investors Tribe Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and NewView Capital.
Apollo, officially known as ZenLeads Inc., has created a go-to-market acceleration platform for business-to-business firms that helps connect their salespeople to customers that might be interested in their products or services. It does this by combining tools that include a rules engine to automate prospect routing and a lead scoring tool and analytics to measure results.
The company also throws data from more than 200 million contracts signed at 10 million companies into the mix. It integrates with customer relationship management tools such as Salesforce, with the aim to play the role of matchmaker between sellers and buyers.
In summary, Apollo’s platform helps sales professionals to access accurate and affordable prospecting and sales data, making it easier for them to find new customers and close on deals, bringing more revenue into their companies.
It brings in a lot of revenue for customers too, with the company claiming that some of its users have seen sales increase by 10 times since they started using its platform.
If that’s true, that would certainly explain Apollo’s popularity. The company said it has grown its paid customer base by almost 60% since the Series B round, with more than 15,000 paying customers on its books. Moreover, its annual recurring revenue has almost tripled over the last year, although it did not provide absolute numbers.
Liz Miller of Constellation Research Inc. told SiliconANGLE there’s every reason to believe in Apollo’s popularity because sales teams have been crying out for a platform that can improve their productivity. She said sales technology has for years had a far too narrow focus on tracking performance and relationships. It means sales teams are forced to spend tedious hours manually prospecting for leads, she explained.
“Monolithic CRM solutions have failed to evolve beyond tracking basic records and events, so sales teams are tired of talking about how to work smarter, not harder,” Miller said.
What sales teams want, the analyst said, is a platform that helps them be more productive and land smarter, more profitable deals.
“Solutions like Apollo’s are intended to make the work of sales more streamlined and productive, but the extended benefit is that it often creates a better experience for the buyer as many times they can route leads to best fit the prospect’s needs,” Miller continued. “What buyers of these tools are looking for is a win / win, with improved performance and an optimized experience”.
Apollo founder and Chief Executive Tim Zheng said the company’s mission is to make a world class sales platform simple and accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
“We are one of the fastest-growing sales platforms integrating the most accurate buyer data with powerful engagement, automation, and intelligence tools to easily find and target the right buyer at the right time with the right message,” Zheng explained. “This funding will enable us to hire the very best people in the industry, continue to build and market our category-leading sales intelligence and engagement platform, and accelerate our growth with investments in marketing and sales.”
Apollo’s press release mentioned that the company plans to step up investment in product and engineering by almost 300% to achieve those goals.
Sequoia Partner Sonya Huang said the firm invested in Apollo because it simplifies the incredibly convoluted and manual processes involved in sales prospecting, saving companies hundreds of hours that would otherwise be spent searching for leads.