Austin-based S3 Ventures led the round with participation from previous investors Silverton Partners, Noro-Moseley, Harmony Partners, Altos Ventures and Capital Factory. To date, the company has raised $33.8 million.
OutboundEngine plans to use the funds to hire new sales, marketing and product engineering staff at its offices in Austin and Scottsdale, Arizona and on product development and to enter new markets. OutboundEngine has 238 employees with 190 of those in Austin. The company plans to double its workforce in the next few years adding up to 200 employees, said Branndon Stewart, CEO of Outbound Engine.
OutboundEngine, founded in 2012, has grown quickly in Austin. It has local investors as well as investors in the San Francisco Bay area, New York and Atlanta.
“There’s been a lot written about how it’s difficult to raise a growth round in Austin,” Stewart said. “We were able to keep our existing investors happy. We were able to do that in Austin.”
Stewart sees even more opportunity to become an even larger company in the automation marketing industry. It already has more than 8,000 customers in the U.S. and Canada in industries like insurance, real estate, financial services, beauty salons and more. OutboundEngine has created a subscription base service that automates marketing for small business owners. The company has created its own email service and provides social media marketing and content development to small businesses.
Traditionally large organizations have a marketing team that use some kind of platform like Hubspot or Marketo to send email campaigns and manage content, Stewart said. But there are a lot of small business owners and independent businesses like realtors, attorneys, hair stylists and more that don’t have a team. That’s the ideal customer for OutboundEngine’s platform, with prices starting at $179 a month. All of the marketing is done automatically on their behalf, Stewart said. They don’t have to worry about AB testing for email marketing or creating an editorial calendar, he said.
“Basically we make this an autopilot solution for customers,” Stewart said. “For most of our customers it’s table stakes it’s something they know they should be doing they just don’t know how to get it done.”
OutboundEngine has also outgrown its current headquarters at 504 Lavaca Street which it moved into about a year ago. It is moving to a high-rise at Cesar Chavez and San Jacinto. It will be occupying the 12th and 13th floor for a total of about 50,000 square feet.