San Francisco and Sydney, Australia-based startup Autopilot, which aims to help small to mid-sized businesses reach out to existing customers and boost sales with affordable software, has raked in another $12 million in a funding round led by Blackbird Ventures. Salesforce Ventures, Rembrandt Venture Partners and Southern Cross Venture Partners also participated in the round, which brings Autopilot’s total funding to $32 million.
Autopilot was founded by a team of three Australian brothers in 2012, who moved to Silicon Valley after deciding it was a better location for the startup. As serial entrepreneurs, the Sharkey family had launched several successful startups included Stayz.com, which was sold to HomeAway for $220 million.
The visual marketing software provider lists clients such as tech titan Microsoft, enterprise software company Atlassian and on-demand ride hailing app Lyft, among 2,300 others which pay for Autopilot’s products on a subscription basis. CEO Mike Sharkey says the company particularly attracts smaller customers who have found other targeting technology on the market “really unaffordable” to justify.
Autopilot leverages existing customer bases’, sending targeted emails and texts which provide information on discounts and new products. Instead of flooding inboxes, Sharkey says Autopilot seeks to do less with more by using data to “send less messages with higher signal” and at the right time. The startup also facilitates webinars and events for loyal clientele, and has announced plans to launch “Insights,” a program for tracking marketing goals.
Rembrandt Ventures general partner Scott Irwin applauds Autopilot for taking “a big enterprise challenge involving marketing and data, and have been successful in making it accessible to the mass SMB market.”