Pipedrive, which offers Software-as-a-Service designed to help small companies manage and increase sales, has closed another deal of its own. The Estonia/U.S.-based startup and AngelPad alumni has raised a $9 million Series A round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, money it will use to accelerate growth and further build out its product. Paua Ventures also participated, along with existing investors, Rembrandt Venture Partners and AngelPad, the latter of which incubated Pipedrive in all the way back 2012. The company, which now boasts 77 employees based in the U.S. and Estonia (the latter is where its development office is located), has raised a total of $13.4 million. "Pipedrive’s growing base of more than 10,000 paying small business customers shows that the company’s simple, intuitive approach to helping them sell better by visualizing the sales pipeline works,” said Alex Ferrara, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, in a statement. “We invested in Pipedrive because we that it has the potential to be the CRM tool of choice for small businesses globally.” Of note, the company recently had a change in CEO. Last month co-founder Timo Rein stepped down from the role and now serves as president of the company where he's said to be focusing on "product, engineering, infrastructure, integrations and support services." He's been replaced by Steve Oriola, a previous VP of business development and early employee of email marketing company Constant Contact, which he helped see through to its IPO in 2007. He joins Pipedrive from Crossboard mobile, a mobile and social ad tech company where he was also CEO. Targeting small to medium sized businesses, and used by a number of tech companies, including Fortumo, Postmates, FalconSocial, and Blippar, Pipedrive aims to fix the broken CRM/sales software experience. Specifically, it says that CRM solutions typically require far too much data entry and have poorly defined workflows, resulting in software that nobody likes using and, ultimately, lost sales. Instead its SaaS takes a more visual approach with a dashboard that shows deals in a pipeline from an initial contact, to contract negotiations to done deals. Or, put more simply: “This is what I am working on, this is what I have to do and this is where I want to get to”. In addition it offers iOS and Android apps to support sales reps on the go, powered by its own API, which is also open to third-parties. Pipedrive counts competitors as Zoho CRM, Base, Capsule, Insightly and PipelineDeals. Meanwhile, everyone in the CRM market competes with Salesforce at the high end and with the humble spreadsheet at the low end. "Pipedrive is unique in that it helps you manage your deals and move them along the pipeline, whereas other sales tools manage abstract 'customer relationships or contacts," Pipderive CEO Steve Oriola tells me in an email. "We’ve found that with our approach, salespeople know exactly where and how to focus their time each day so that their most important deals don’t get dropped. We are focused on making closing complex deals simpler for small and medium sized businesses."
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