April 15th, 2014

Pouring fuel on the fire: Beaverton’s Act-On Software raises $42 million


Pouring fuel on the fire: Beaverton’s Act-On Software raises $42 million

Yeah, yeah. I know I was really working on not hyping funding announcements, this year, but this one seemed to warrant a post. Especially given the amount of the raise and the company raising it. Act-On Software has raised $42 million, led by Technology Crossover Ventures.

Act-On is a known entity around these parts. But they keep a rather low profile. So what is they do exactly?

Act-On is a leading provider of integrated marketing automation software, helping 2000+ companies to tie inbound, outbound, and nurturing programs together – across email, web, mobile, and social. Users achieve superior return on marketing investment through sophisticated demographic and behavioral data that increases engagement throughout the customer lifecycle, reduces the cost of acquisition, and strengthens loyalty. Act-On’s fresh approach to marketing automation gives sales and marketing professionals full functionality without the complexity other systems impose, and makes campaign creation and program execution easier and faster.

And it’s obviously a space with room to grow. This round is one of the largest single raises for a startup in the Portland area, ever. And maybe—just maybe—the largest raise in history for a startup with a hyphen in its URL. (Okay. I just made that up. But I might be right.)

Putting the amount aside, this raise has some other interesting facets to it. Trinity and Voyager also participated in the round. Meaning that both companies have put even more of their money here to work in the Portland area. Just as interesting, the money will be used to expand just about everything.

According to a post by The Oregonian’s Mike Rogoway:

“You can’t just add one or two people,” said Raghu Raghavan, Act-On’s founder and chief executive. “If you’re going to do this right, then you need to be a certain scale of operation.”

So Act-On plans to add as many as 100 jobs this year to the 270 it currently employs, opening an office in Chicago this summer, another on the East Coast later in 2014, and moving quickly after that to grow in England, Australia and New Zealand. The company plans to expand its engineering team in Beaverton, too.

Investors are betting on the company because of the market and the experience of Raghu, as Taylor Soper outlined in GeekWire:

Erik Benson, managing director at Voyager Capital, compared Raghavan to SNUPI co-founder and serial entrepreneur Jeremy Jaech — “both are repeat founders who have started and built large, successful companies,” he noted. Benson also explained why Voyager has invested in Act-On since 2010, when it led the company’s first venture round.

“While there were other similar companies in the Seattle market such as Optify, we felt the combination of a very experienced entrepreneur, huge market opportunity (some say over $5 billion), a scalable go-to-market team and strategy, and few lasting competitors would come together to build a company of lasting value,” Benson said.

Perhaps most important to all of us is that this marks yet another example of how companies who want to build their startups in the Portland area are figuring out how to get it done. And investors are following.

“Oregon is on the travel schedule of most Bay Area VCs that are really trying to make things happen,” Raghu told Rogoway.

For more information, see the Act-On press release on the funding.

Background that may help (or may not)

3 Responses to “Pouring fuel on the fire: Beaverton’s Act-On Software raises $42 million”

  1. Rob Salzman says:

    Hey Rick – thanks for the article. I’d like to point out that we’re hiring in a mad way – and most of the developer jobs are in Portland. Here is a link to our career page – http://www.act-on.com/careers

  2. Rick Turoczy says:

    *cough* And here’s the Silicon Florist Job Board http://siliconflorist.com/jobs/ *cough* ;)

  3. Rob Salzman says:

    Hi RIck,

    I’ve forwarded your jobboard to our HR team. Hopefully they’ll jump on it & post some jobs!


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