CRM intelligence platform provider InsideView announced a new round of funding raised in the amount of $19M led by Split Rock Partners, with participation from the existing investors, Emergence Capital, Foundation Capital, and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

According to the InsideView press release, the money will be used to “accelerate research and development, market expansion, and increase adoption of the company’s CRM Intelligence Platform by B2B enterprises”.   And a quote from CEO Umberto Milletti says, “This investment further validates the market opportunity for CRM Intelligence and provides us with the capital required to accelerate our market leadership in the space”.

Another Sign of the Digital Marketing Times

InsideView has put together a very nice platform that provides fresh information on individuals and companies to keep their customers up to date on what’s going on with their customers and prospects.  And having timely, relevant information is critical today in a world when every millisecond counts.  So I think infusion of cash will definitely help InsideView build even more on its foundation as an intelligence platform for CRM-focused areas like sales and marketing.

What’s interesting is how the platform is being positioned.  The platform has three main applications – InsideView for Sales, InsideView for Account Manamgent, and InsideView for Marketing.  The company started out heavily on the sales end of things, helping sales organizations leverage data from a number of outside sources to more efficiently build relationships and close deals.  They even created Social Selling University to help companies transition their sales organization towards a more social approach.

While the sales-focused parts of the platform may have paved the way for InsideView’s success in its early years, the relatively recently-released marketing plank looks to be where the action is now.  Even by the way the press release was written you can see an emphasis on the marketing app taking place.  And why not, with more corporate emphasis being on digital marketing, it makes complete sense to focus on this area.  InsideView for Marketing is not a marketing automation competitor to the likes of Marketo, Pardot, etc., it’s more of a complementary piece.  Where marketing automation companies focus on lead generation, nurturing, scoring and conversion, Inside View’s marketing app helps by providing additional information about the lead that wouldn’t necessarily come out of their interaction with your marketing content.  So as those nurturing campaigns are taking place, InsideView is looking to append information from other sources to give you a better idea of who this prospect is.

By adding information during the lead management  process, this should help the marketing automation folks be more accurate with their lead scoring, and allow them to have a better handle on when to convert a lead over to sales and the more formal sales process.  And, with more information at their disposal, marketers should be able to fine-tune their nurturing programs for more specific customer segments – and also create content even more finely tuned for each group. And, of course, better defined more timely leads converted over sales should make them happier as well.  So this could lead to a win-win for all involved.

CRM Intelligence, Marketing Driven

No doubt this is potentially really good news for companies investing in marketing automation systems as InsideView already integrates with the likes of Marketo and Pardot, and is looking to do more integrations with other MA players.  They already integrate with many of the leading CRM vendors out there.  So the combination of complementing marketing automation on the front end and feeding better leads to CRM on the back end for sales should drive more opportunities for InsideView – net new customers and add-on business from existing ones.

InsideView has the money to build an even stronger sales/marketing focused CRM intelligence platform.  And marketing looks to be the area that will be at the center of interest.  The press release mentions IV has 300,000 users currently of their platform, but they expect that to double by the beginning of next year according to their CMO Brian Kelly.  With the sales app being much more mature, it looks like the marketing app has the biggest upside and will draw more interest to the platform.  It definitely got the attention of the investor community...again.