Building our team: new funds and partners for growth
It’s all about relationships
At the core, our company is about building relationships. Establishing relationships with our customers. Forming relationships with our strategic and software eco-system partners. Helping our customers build better relationships with their customers.
As we continue to build Apptentive, it’s helpful for us to remind ourselves of this simple fact. It drives how we make decisions and with whom we choose to work.
Today I have the pleasure of sharing that we’ve added some very meaningful partners to our company in the process of raising our Series A. Working with the good people at SurveyMonkey and Origin Ventures, we’re taking the next step in our company’s evolution. I’m also delighted to have the continued support of our early investors, with Golden Venture Partners, Founders Co-Op and our many angels joining all four of the co-founders in participating in this round as well.
On behalf of all of us here at Team Apptentive, I’d like to share some personal thoughts about what this means for our growing company. While fundraising is often perceived as being about the money, for us this is really more about the growth we’re experiencing and the continued investments we need to make in order to deliver on the expectations of our customers and ourselves.
Believing in the concept of “Customer Love”
First, I love that we found people who are as committed as we are to the concept of “Customer Love” in SurveyMonkey and Origin Ventures. We are living in a new era where customers are once again being appreciated for what they really are: the most important strategic focus for every company worth it’s salt. Customers, not companies, are the engines of the modern economy. Earning the love – not just the respect or the admiration – of each and every customer is an increasingly crucial task for every company today. The most innovative and successful companies know this already and are doubling down on this commitment… with great outcomes as a result.
In Origin Ventures, we now have a long-term investment partner which brings deep experience and relationships with many of the largest consumer product and brand companies in the world. Not to mention a team of partners, including Steve Miller and Bruce Barron (pictured here working away on a Mac signed by…oh just, you know… The Woz) and Brent Hill, who really understand not just what kind of mobile software platform we’re building here, but why.
Software development and design innovation are speeding up even as their costs decrease. At the same time, new customer feedback channels have dramatically increased the speed and quality of our insight into what *really matters most* to people. The rise of social media has helped dramatically raise the volume of the customer’s voice. Now mobile devices and applications are quickly changing the game once again. This is why earning customer love – through more efficient and effective mobile app communications – is what we’ve been focused on helping companies do since Day One here.
In Tim Cook’s recent remarks accompanying the latest Apple product releases, he emphasized the importance at his company of delivering an amazing customer engagement experience at every point-of-contact with Apple’s devices, software, and services. We totally agree about the first-priority focus they place on customer delight. But we also want to point out that there is one vital aspect of the mobile experience where Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others in the devices-and-software market simply “go dark” as it relates to customers: inside the applications. This is exactly where companies need to dig deeper and turn their software into communications channels. This is also where Apptentive comes in.
Finding partners who understand this opportunity and who believe in the importance of companies getting more personal has always been a crucial part of our decision criteria. I’m delighted that in our new partners SurveyMonkey and Origin Ventures, we’ve found this shared belief in spades.
Ensuring that Our Customers Love Us
Second, I love the response that we’re hearing from many of our own customers about their experience integrating and using our mobile CRM software tools. Raising our Series A round gives us a variety of options for how best to fuel our next wave of growth plans. One of the most important inputs into these decisions will be the ideas and feedback we’re getting from our current (and soon-to-be!) Apptentive customers. So, keep it coming. We are striving to earn your love of us every day – not only through our software, but also through our team and approach. Consider this a humble request not to congratulate us on this news, but instead to share with us what you love about our company today and how we can do better for you tomorrow.
Growth isn’t just external – often, great growth comes because of internal refinement, insight and focus. Our company has benefited substantially by seeking out mentors and partners who can help us grow into the company we strive to be. In searching for partners who can help us serve our customers better, we really aimed to find great operating experience – people who have built great businesses, delighted their customers, and grown amazing teams in the process. We think we’ve accomplished that goal in this fundraising round.
It Takes A Team to Deliver on Love
Most importantly, I love the team and the company that we are building here at Apptentive. We believe that there is something quite powerful – and motivating – in helping our customers earn their own customers’ love and loyalty through better, more personal communications. We try to incorporate this concept into our priorities for building this company, too. I am so excited about the prospect of welcoming more talented people who share these values and want to join us in achieving this ambitious mission.
So if you know talented engineers, marketers, and customer success and sales people (or if you are one yourself) who have that *extra bit* – the “love your work” bit – woven into the fabric of their careers, then consider this my shameless pitch to get in touch soon. Did I mention that we’re hiring? You can learn more about the amazing team that we get to work with every day here.
It’s been an exciting day to reflect. Now it’s time to get back to work.
Let’s keep building the app love… one customer at a time.
Robi, Mike, Andrew, Sky, Josh, Steve, Red, Andrew, Peter, Matthew, Stacia, Christy, Nick, Blake and Clay (and perhaps, you)