The company formerly known as NewsCred has a new name and a new product: Welcome.
Co-founder and CEO Shafqat Islam explained that this follows a broader shift in the company’s strategy. While previously known as a content marketing business, Islam said NewsCred has been increasingly focused on building a broader software platform for marketers (a platform that it uses itself).
Eventually, this led the company to sell its content services business to business journalism company Industry Dive and its owner Falfurrias Capital Partners over the summer. Now Welcome is officially unveiling its new brand, which it’s also using for its new marketing orchestration software.
“It’s not often that startups like ours get to close one chapter and open another chapter,” Islam said. “We kind of went back to being a Series A, Series B startup, iterating and working very closely with our customers.”
While today is the official launch of the Welcome platform, Islam said the company has been moving the software in this direction for the past year, and that this side of the business has already seen significant growth, with daily average users up 300% year-over-year.
Islam also suggested that while this was the right time to come up with a new company name, it’s something that’s been discussed repeatedly in the past.
“Every time we raised money in last 10 years, the new investor would say, ‘What about the name? Can we change it?’ ” he recalled. “We could never do it, because we had this content heritage built up and enough brand equity. Finally, with this deal, and with the launch of the new software … we came up with the name Welcome.”
While there’s no shortage of marketing software out there already, Islam said marketers need an orchestration system to manage their projects and workflows — most of them, he said, are stuck using “horizontal” project management tools that aren’t really built for their needs, such as Asana or Jira.
“Marketers have very specific needs,” Islam said. “It could be a simple thing like … marketers work with campaigns, so what are your specific campaigns, marketing briefs or marketing-specific workflows? Our approach was: How do we create something that’s really specific to marketers versus all horizontal solutions out there?”
He also noted that “close to half the engineering team works on the interoperability problem,” so that Welcome can integrate all the other tools that marketers are using, like HubSpot and Marketo. The goal, Islam said, is to become “something marketers standardize on,” the way that salespeople log into their Salesforce accounts every day.
Islam also argued Welcome will take advantage of the way that the pandemic has accelerated changes in the enterprise sales process.
“I personally believe the way people buy software is changing,” he said. “The days of wining and dining and selling to the CMO, that still exists, but that’s not how everyone wants to buy anymore.”
To adapt to this new world, Islam said the startup is adopting a more “bottoms up” sales approach, with a free version of the platform due for release next month.