Today, we are pleased to announce that People.ai received $30M in Series B funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz, with Lightspeed, Y Combinator and GGV Capital also participating. We will use these funds to build more, hire more and expand more quickly. Check out the official press release here: https://people.ai/news/seriesb-andreessenhorowitz/
Artificial Intelligence (AI) are words that are used a LOT these days. People.ai gives you two things with how we apply AI: 1) We give you time; 2) We give you actionable insight to accelerate revenue growth. You can learn more about our products at www.people.ai.
Let me take a step back and explain a little bit about how we came up with the vision and potential for People.ai. Early in my career I was a sales rep. I was diligent, I was driven and I used our company’s CRM religiously. It took me a LOT of time to enter all the activity that I was doing to work with prospects. I didn’t like it. Once, our COO forced me to spend a week on manually cleaning up our CRM data. I thought I should be spending more time with prospects and less time entering data, but, as I said, I was diligent and I did my job. Soon after that, I was managing a sales team. Now I had a group of people who I relied on to enter their sales activity into our CRM so that I could have visibility into our pipeline and track how we are doing against our targets, etc. I learned quickly that not all salespeople were as diligent as I had been in entering sales activity. My insight was only as good as the data that was input…and, to put it mildly, the data was, at best, incomplete (at worst it was complete garbage!). I knew there had to be a better way to manage critical sales data.
In early 2016, I invited some of my engineer friends to help me build something that would automate the capture of all sales activity into the Salesforce CRM. It would pull from emails, calendars, chat sessions and anything that we could think of and deliver sales activity into a specific prospect’s or customer’s CRM contact or account (currently, we pull from 90+ sources). Such automation would immediately give all salespeople the gift of time. It would also give all sales managers the gift of data. Shortly thereafter, Y Combinator funded us to help us get this idea off the ground. I’ll never forget how during our first YC interview (with mostly B2C-focused partners), some people looked at us like we are out of our minds when we explained to them that the whole enterprise world is still doing this manually. They sent us for re-interview where Michael Seibel got instantly onboard.
With some seed funding from YC, Shasta, Index, 65+ angel investors, a handful of brilliant engineers and a great problem to solve, we went about building People.ai. Giving salespeople time back on their calendar is already significant, but our customers wanted to be able to see the sales data and use it to sell better. More than just helping sales, if we did this right, we knew this would have major impacts on anyone touching the customers, including marketing, support, services etc.
Using AI, we were able to see what activities and people were needed to move a deal from opportunity to sale…and once we had the customer, how to move them to buying more. We use our company’s own data to see which activity pattern works, which ones don’t and what’s the ideal buying group needed to get the deal across the line. If you will, we are able to build a step-by-step playbook on how to get a prospect to say YES.
In late 2016, Lightspeed, GGV Capital, and Y Combinator came on board to fund our Series A. We raised $7M and we’ve been able to fully build out our Enterprise platform with security and scale, we’ve been able to acquire over 50 Enterprise customers, and we have thousands of sales people using People.ai every day. We are gaining momentum. It turns out that enterprise companies want their salespeople to be more productive and they want insights into what works in their company’s sales motion. Who knew?
Present day: The $30M that we announced today led by a16z will help us hire more data scientists and continue to improve on our exciting, new People.ai platform. We are talking about “AI for Enterprise Revenue” and this is accurate, because we help multiple people across the Enterprise see more, know more and do more for their revenue model. But what we really give people is time and insights. If your company wants either of these, we hope you’ll check us out.
I would like to thank our great investors in helping us build a platform that we are all excited about. All of our customers have renewed their People.ai subscriptions and are finding value in our tools. As you’ll see from the press release, our customers validate the value we bring. We save time and we help your enterprise sales, marketing and customer success teams operate in a more seamless, cross-functional manner when it comes to enterprise revenue activities. We hope we have the opportunity to prove it to you.