The HubSpot $32Million series D funding round from new investors, Salesforce.com, Google Ventures and Sequoia Capital, with all original investors doubling-down is old news by now, but the ripples are now being felt in all parts of the marketing automation industry.
The picture C/- Wikipedia is of an F-18 Hornet taking off from a carrier with afterburners on. Afterburners are generally used only when it is important to have as much thrust as possible...in HubSpot's case in powering away from the pack.
Worried? I would be if I was a competitor of HubSpot.
I saw a piece by Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua in his blog going big on small last week, which while positive on HubSpot's execution and vision, was all about erecting fences to keep HubSpot out of their market segment, positioning HubSpot as a small business play, while they focus on marketing automation for large companies. (By the way this is not a slight at Eloqua products or the company as they are both great!)
What HubSpot is doing is leading a transformation in marketing from an outbound, interrupt driven model to an inbound, permission based model and creating new opportunities for their customers and partners to increase marketing effectiveness while lowering their costs.
HubSpot is at the same time disrupting existing market participants with the breadth and integration of their offering. The HubSpot platform includes 19 different applications to provide the functionality required to execute the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Methodology.
As a customer and partner of HubSpot, I'm delighted with the investment round. It means that HubSpot will accelerate delivery on promises made at the HubSpot First User Group Meeting HUG2010 last year; of improving the quality of all aspects of the product and continuing to innovate with needed functionality to make marketing easier for a new generation of Inbound Marketers.
I asked David Skok of Matrix Partners, one of HubSpot's investors from the B round onwards and HubSpot board member, for his thoughts on what the funding round meant for HubSpot's existing and prospective customers and to the market in general. (David's blog at forentrepreneurs.com is compulsory reading if you are in technology sales or marketing management.)
1. "HubSpot has shown that they have broken away from the pack and are accelerating their company building efforts.
- They have a proven sales and marketing model and their own success is clear evidence that the Inbound Marketing methodology works.
- The product is proven and customers love it.
3. Integration of the tools to execute the marketing function is a valuable asset in the market-place.
- They have solved the big problems and the system creates leads;
- it converts visitors into prospects and through nurturing, it converts prospects into customers.
- They have created a more powerful view of the customer, gathered from social media, forms, email and phone data integration.
I have a question for those who are sitting on the fence in a decision on HubSpot for Inbound Marketing. What are you waiting for?