Sparta, the Stockholm-based startup that provides an online platform to help sales managers more easily run sales competitions, has picked up a very modest €100,000 round of funding. However, its new backers are perhaps more noteworthy.
They include Spotify’s European MD, Jonathan Forster, and Henrik Torstensson, CEO of ‘health tracker’ Lifesum and also a former member of Spotify’s management team. Previous investors Johan Attby (CEO of Fishbrain) and Pär Ribbne also participated.
After building an MVP in late 2013, Sparta launched fully in July 2014 after the team began working on the project full-time. It consists of a simple real-time leaderboard for each sales competition, and an easy way for sales reps to keep the rest of the team updated by logging achievements or exchanging sales banter.
The idea is to recreate the “buzz on the sales floor” online, in part by employing a heavy dose of gamification. As CEO James Pember told me last year, “Sales is already a game — each rep starts the month at 0, and must ‘level-up’ to reach their targets and goals.”
In the longer term, however, Sparta wants to become the “Runkeeper for sales”, in reference to the popular mobile app that lets you track your runs and other fitness related data. Keeping fit in the context of Sparta means closing more sales.
[Our] future lies in going deeper into what motivates sales people and how sales leaders can use this data to improve their sales results,” Pember told me previously. “We’re going to go more towards a “Runkeeper for sales” approach, looking at sales behaviour and providing insights for improvement on both the sales rep and sales manager level.”
To that end, Pember tells me the new capital will be used to expand the product offering, including “diving deeper into data”, adding further gamification and mobile apps. This will inevitably also mean growing Sparta’s team beyond its current 5 employees.
There are also plans to expand beyond Sweden and the Nordics, with London likely next in the second half of 2015. Sparta currently boasts Swedish customers such as Bonnier Business Media, Dagens Industri, Vattenfall, Canal Digital, Hyundai, Modern Times Group, and Dagens Nyheter.