Product-led sales and growth were big buzzwords last year, and startups are continuing to raise new infusions of capital as they develop their approaches.
In Endgame’s case, the company announced Tuesday it closed on $30 million in Series B funding. The company touts itself as “the world’s first product-led sales platform” and enables software companies to turn customer observations into go-to-market strategies.
Endgame’s product essentially connects the dots between product usage and sales opportunities so that instead of software being sold to executives and funneling its way down to employees that don’t use it, employees are in the driver’s seat — able to try software initially for free and then buy what they like. Revenue teams can tap into those conversion behaviors to better target their sales.
“The product-led growth momentum has been strong with capital following businesses, which for us, has led to powerful early customer wins, like LaunchDarkly, Airbyte, Retool, Algolia, Grain and Shortcut,” said CEO Alex Bilmes. “The other thing that was helpful for us was a more defined product-led sales category that landed incredibly well, which led people to ask us how to do this well and successfully.”
This new round is a fast turnaround from the company’s $17 million round from last July that gives Endgame $47.5 million in total funding since the company was founded a year ago by Bilmes. EQT Ventures led the round with participation from Lachy Groom and existing investors Menlo Ventures, Upfront Ventures and Unusual Ventures.
Bilmes told TechCrunch that the company wasn’t planning to raise, but when he saw the momentum of early design partners converting into customers, and as a result, offering to pay for its product sooner than expected, he took the opportunity to add to Endgame’s war chest.
Though Bilmes would not divulge growth figures or valuation, he did say the company went from several people in 2021 to 15 and will now triple the size of the team with the new funding. He says Endgame has an “ambitious product roadmap” that will leverage data sets that will require scaling of the team in the areas of R&D, data scientists, engineering, product management and go-to-market.
The customer relationship management market is growing at 11% annually and is expected to reach $96 billion by 2027. It’s been interesting to see how the product-led growth market has been going, Bilmes said.
“There has been fascinating dynamics with companies raising money, like Figma, Notion and Airtable, to name a few,” he added. “As companies like that raise capital with the expected elevation in terms of growth, the numbers are huge for us.”
Laura Yao, lead investor in the Series B round and partner at EQT Ventures, said that she is attracted to product-led businesses. The model has been around for a while — think Dropbox a decade ago — but she is seeing it become popular again, especially in the venture capital ecosystem.
The aspect that has struck her more recently is the rise of product-led sales. A lot of people have a lot of software, but sales teams can’t often say how many times a person has used a particular piece of software. More efficient sales need a different set of tools to harvest leads among users a business already has. That’s where Endgame comes in, she said.
“Where we expect companies to go, they have to be super proactive about those opportunities,” Yao added. “Endgame is providing that tool stack for product-led sales. The company gets this is a data problem in a way other companies, like Salesforce, just can’t solve. Endgame is wrangling this messy data on customer usage and billing across SaaS apps and turns it into something meaningful.”