French startup Azalead just raised $5 million (€4.5 million) from Idinvest, with existing investor Aurinvest also participating. The startup is building a platform for account-based marketing, a recent and interesting trend for marketing and sales teams.
Instead of targeting a mass of potential clients to end up with only a few, Azalead surfaces the most interesting potential clients so that you can pitch them your solution directly. It’s more efficient and improves your conversion rate as you can spend time on fewer potential clients.
“In 2015, we did two rounds of funding, we hired 20 people, we won a bunch of customers,” co-founder and CEO Nick Heys told me. “We’ve expanded the product and platform. It’s not only about knowing who is visiting your website and deciding which company to target. With Azalead, you can now focus all your ad spends on key accounts.”
As a reminder, when I first covered Azalead, the company was tracking your website’s visitors and comparing them with a list of IPs to tell you which company was visiting your website. Think about it like LinkedIn’s stats but for your website.
Now, it’s a much different beast with a few other tools. Azalead works with your website and integrates with existing CRM and email services. When you first set it up, the startup helps you build a list of targets based on your past CRM and email information. Then, Azalead can help you segment your visitors and customize your ad campaigns based on cookies, IPs and other data.
And this is key to understanding Azalead’s product. It leverages a database of millions of data points and combines it with your company’s data to make educated suggestions for your sales team. Microsoft, Europcar, iAdvize and others are already using the service in France.
With today’s funding round, the company plans to double the size of the research and development team. Other teams, such as the sales team, will grow as well. In 2016, the company is looking for a potential U.S. expansion.
When it comes to future product updates, many clients are asking for more customization features. For instance, you can imagine linking Azalead with A/B testing solutions to try different landing pages. Potential clients might not see the same homepage depending on their industries for example.
Azalead currently costs between $15,000 and $100,000 per year based on your data volume and ad scenarios — it’s a lucrative market. And it makes sense as Azalead is working with marketing and sales teams to improve its clients’ revenue. As long as Azalead can improve the bottom line for all of its clients, it seems like a small price to pay.