Darin Hicks, CEO of Hive9

Darin Hicks, CEO of Hive9

Hive9, which makes marketing software, announced Tuesday it has received $5.4 million in funding from LiveOak Venture Partners and Silverton Partners.

The Austin-based startup plans to use the money to hire five or more additional employees and for product development and marketing, said Darin Hicks, its CEO.

“Hive9 helps companies concentrate their marketing spending on activities that are going to have a positive financial impact on the business,” Hicks said.

Hive9, with 20 employees, spun out of Bulldog Solutions, a marketing agency, in April. Hicks has been working on the software marketing platform behind the product for two years.

When Hicks worked at Bulldog, he felt the pain experienced by large companies that didn’t have a centralized marketing plan. A lot of companies kept their marketing activities in disconnected PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets and a lot of the material was not kept up to date, Hicks said.

“We felt some of that pain ourselves as service providers,” Hicks said.

So Hive9 created a solution. Its software allows companies to put all the marketing information in one place and it allows companies to track performance and focus on revenue generating activities, Hicks said.

Hive targets large companies with big marketing budgets. Its software makes it easy to manage those products and track return on investment in one place, Hicks said. Its clients include TD Ameritrade, Zebra Technologies, Fiserv, Thomson Reuters and Docusign.

Gartner also named Hive9 as a 2015 Cool Vendor.

Hive9’s provides data, analytics and a dashboard products for companies to gauge the impact and return on investment of marketing activities.

“We look to back companies led by strong, domain-rich teams that target large underserved markets. Hive9 has achieved impressive customer traction in a short period of time, which is a testament both to quality of the team and the proven value they deliver to large and complex marketing organizations,” Krishna Srinivasan, founding General Partner at LiveOak Venture Partners, said in a news statement.