What: Web and mobile software platform Percolate has raised US$40 million in a Series C round Led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Why it matters: This last round brings Percolate total funding to US$74.5 million and positions the company to expand locally and globally, and compete more closely with other platforms like Oracle and Salesforce.com. Percolate also targets Latin markets in Latin America, the U.S. and Spain.
Web and mobile software platform Percolate has raised US$40 million to take on enterprise marketing cloud acquirers and standalone social point solutions. Led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, the Series C round brings Percolate’s total funding to US$74.5 million after the company raised US$24 million in Series B last spring.
Since being founded four years ago, the company has grown to more than 200 people, with plans to triple its headcount by the year’s end. The company has plans for “aggressive expansion” into the San Francisco market ,to compete closely with Oracle and Salesforce.com., and also to establish a global presence by opening an office in Singapore next year.The company has also increased revenue by more than 155% a year and serves well-known brand customers like Unilever and GE, as well as newer, fast-growing upstarts like Airbnb.
Percolate marketing systems manage campaign, workflow and digital assets. At the enterprise level, Percolate helps centralize campaign briefs across a variety of channels.Although Percolate could be classified as a content marketing shop, Gross, who formerly served as SVP of publishing for Federated Media, recognizes companies that focus on one function struggle to compete long-term.
“This is a growth round, we don’t plan to be acquired, and we want to run out our mission as an independent company to the point of potentially one day going public,” said Percolate’s co-founder James Gross.“Many people who only focus on social … will need to pivot or get acquired,” he added. “We are building this orchestration and workflow for marketers where you can … plan [social] alongside television, marketing automation and digital advertising like banners.There are a lot of analog workflow challenges we’re trying to solve for [because one campaign often involves] six agencies in 50 countries with 900 creative assets,” Gross said. “The marketer wants to know who did good, who was over/under budget and what delivered.”
Programmatic TV and native advertising are other growth areas for Percolate, but Gross says there is a disjointed process between the buy and sell sides and a lack of true APIs to make such executions possible, at least in an automated function beyond Excel.
“The unfortunate thing for Percolate is, we essentially have a lot of the [creative] assets for TV, pre-roll and more, but you can’t actually deliver those assets to networks yet because the plumbing isn’t built the way it would be to push paid media to Facebook or Twitter through traditional RTB,” he said. “We manage the process up until multichannel network distribution, but the way TV networks will compete long-term is they will need to enable this more programmatically.”