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SteelBrick raises $48 million to help businesses fix sales quotes

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SteelBrick, which sells software for generating complicated sales proposals, has more than doubled its previous venture backing thanks to a $48 million Series C round led by Institutional Venture Partners.

The infusion, disclosed Tuesday, brings SteelBrick’s total outside funding to more than $78 million within the last 18 months. Aside from IVP, the company also got more money from existing backers Emergence Capital, Shasta Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.

The latter investor isn’t all that surprising, given that SteelBrick’s cloud software is built on top of the widely used Salesforce (CRM) customer relationship management platform. Its system uses that data to optimize deal pricing and build complex proposals that help sales teams sell more products or services into existing accounts.

SteelBrick’s software is used by approximately 350 businesses, including fast-growing tech companies such as Cloudera and Marketo (MKTO), and specialized divisions of conglomerates like Mitsubishi Electric.

Its subscription billings grew by more than 300% over the past year, and the sweet spot of its potential customer base includes “100s of thousands” of midmarket organizations with between 1,000 and 2,500 employees, according to Godard Abel, SteelBrick’s CEO.

“Our customers are able to go live in a month, without expensive services engagements,” he said.

Abel was the cofounder of Big Machines, a sales automation and pricing software application acquired by Oracle in October 2013.

SteelBrick’s most direct competitor? That honor probably goes to well-funded “quote-to-cash” company Apttus, although it tends to focus on larger accounts that require a high degree of customization. Oracle (ORCL), obviously, is another big potential rival.

The new money will be dedicated to hiring more sales and marketing resources, and to scaling services and support resources in Europe, where the company is growing quickly.

Right now, SteelBrick employs about 150 people. It should double that number by the end of next year, Abel said. Last month, the company bought Invoice IT, a subscription relationship management system similar what’s sold by Zuora, which recently announced an expansion into Japan.



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