Sometimes the journey to investment is a long one, and that certainly was the case with TrendKite. Mercury originally met TrendKite while they were part of DreamIt Ventures‘ inaugural Austin class in 2013. We liked the Company’s founders, Matt Allison and AJ Bruno, and were fascinated by the concept of real-time earned media measurement. Mercury’s investment in ShareThis in 2007 opened our eyes to the complexity of media measurement, and our numerous SaaS investments excited us about the opportunity to bring technically complex yet easy to understand tools to another industry. The Company had an interesting product offering, but hadn’t yet closed enough customer accounts.
Fast forward to May 2014. Austin-based SaaS executive Erik Huddleston, whom Mercury had known for nearly 8 years, reached out to let us know that he was looking to join the TrendKite founding team as CEO. Erik joining the team really cemented the opportunity for us, given Erik’s long-standing history as a SaaS executive, and his understanding of the MarTech landscape. Erik’s previous role had been as COO/CTO with The Dachis Group, and he had just completed the acquisition of Dachis by Sprinklr. He was looking for his next opportunity, and the opportunity TrendKite was attacking was a solution that Erik had contemplated (and spoken about with numerous agency, retail and brand clients) while at Dachis.
Mercury scheduled a follow up meeting with the Company, and couldn’t help but be impressed by their amazing progress. The product was solving a true pain point that their customers were eager to share with us. We also did additional diligence work on the competitive landscape throughout the marketing stack. Surprisingly, PR is a highly compelling area with large annual spend ($8B, U.S.), and almost no relevant technology in decades – an area ripe for disruption. Erik and the team outlined their vision for making PR spend programmatic, and we were sold. Mercury led the company’s $3.2M Series A round in June of 2014 in conjunction with Erik Huddleston becoming CEO.
During the next several months the Company proceeded to grow faster than any SaaS company we had previously invested in, while being managed with the precision of a Swiss time piece. The Company uses a constellation of SaaS management tools to manage marketing automation, sales activity, customer success, product development and engineering – in an astonishingly integrated manner. Literally every decision made by TrendKite’s product team is driven by customer documented needs weighted by MRR. No wonder this company is growing revenue by nearly triple digit percentages month over month! The Company has also scaled from 6 employees to 35 since we led the last round. By every measure, their growth has been amazing.
We are now happy to announce our participation in TrendKite’s $5M Series B preferred round led by Silverton Partners (who also led TrendKite’s seed round). Both Silverton and Mercury are doubling down on the team and the market opportunity, and want to fuel more growth by scaling the sales and customer success teams.
You can read more about our investment in TrendKite here.