The Story Behind Our $3.2M Series A Funding
Today we announced that PeopleLinx has strategically raised $3.2 million in Series A funding to accelerate marketing and sales efforts for our LinkedIn engagement and analytics software. The heavily oversubscribed round includes leading venture capital firms Osage Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners, and Mission Operators Group as well as a number of key strategic angel investors.
It’s certainly an exciting day for the company and our partners; and even more importantly, this announcement represents a major milestone in the evolution of the value we provide for current and future customers as well as for the major social networks like LinkedIn themselves.
It is also the perfect opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’ll be going.
As former and early employees of LinkedIn, my co-founder Patrick Baynes and I have always had intimate knowledge and deep respect for what a strong and revolutionary tool LinkedIn is for business. When we left LinkedIn in 2009 our vision was to create a boutique consulting and training company dedicated to teaching employees of large Fortune 1000 companies to use LinkedIn as part of their daily workflow. Our elevator pitch was simple, “we left LinkedIn to start a company that helps companies use LinkedIn.”
The opportunity that immediately presented itself was that our consulting clients wanted our services to scale company-wide and be delivered via subscription-based pricing. Others began asking for reporting, automation, and features like content management. As a consulting company we obviously couldn’t provide those things, so we had to build a product.
From a design perspective, we knew we had to create a technology solution that would be good for LinkedIn, good for the enterprise, and good for the users. The software we bootstrapped and incubated inside the company over the next two years did, in fact, create exceptional value for all three stakeholders:
- For LinkedIn, we drive new sign-ups, reactivate stagnant accounts, incentivize users to fill out their profiles, connect to their best networks, and share more content all while dramatically increasing a user’s time-on-site (TOS) and the total page-views per session.
- For the enterprise, we help align their employees’ use of LinkedIn to the strategic goals of the organization. We help management understand and measure their employees’ use of LinkedIn, grow best practices for different user types, and ultimately leverage the knowledge and relationships within their professional communities.
- For individual users, the employees of our clients,
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we create a clear understanding of the power of LinkedIn for telling their story online, better manage existing relationships while creating new ones, and most importantly help them meet their own unique business objectives, regardless of their profession or role in an organization.
In early 2012, just a few short months after commercially launching our product out of beta with forward-thinking clients like Prudential, Starwood Capital Group, and FMC Corp., we faced a critical inflection point that many successful early-stage companies experience – how do you take a strong and boot-strapped product that is getting rapid adoption to the next level?
The answer became clear that we needed to find a strategic venture capital partner that would bring much more than just money. After vetting many local and national firms we are proud to say we achieved our goal with three incredible new partners. Osage brings deep expertise in B2B enterprise software, Greycroft has a proven track record investing in successful social network API companies like Buddy Media and Klout, and MissionOG will roll up their sleeves and go shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we scale to thousands of clients and millions of users across the globe.
In closing, this round of funding and the accelerated growth it entails means that PeopleLinx will need talented professionals to help us move forward and we will be rapidly expanding the team in 2013 and beyond. If you are interested in helping us change how businesses succeed in the social marketplace, please tell us why we need to hire you!
Nathan and Patrick
Co-Founders of PeopleLinx