$50m investment to bolster US plans for marketing software developer IntelligenceBank

$50m investment to bolster US plans for marketing software developer IntelligenceBank

IntelligenceBank CEO and co-founder Tessa Court.

"I'm a firm believer that great products sell, and if you invest in a product things take care of themselves," IntelligenceBank CEO and co-founder Tessa Court.

A $50 million investment from US-based firm Five Elms Capital is expected to greatly grow marketing software developer IntelligenceBank's presence in California as the company makes a concerted push internationally.

The investment announced this week from Five Elms, a global growth equity firm targeting high-growth B2B (business to business) software firms, will help IntelligenceBank ramp up hiring in the US where it already has an office, giving it the gas needed to accelerate in that market.

Speaking to Business News Australia, the US-born and Melbourne-based co-founder and CEO of IntelligenceBank, Tessa Court, said the investment came on the back of steady growth of around 40 per cent year-on-year.

Founded in 2010, the company develops software that Court describes as essential for mid-to-large-sized marketing teams as Xero (ASX: XRO) is for accounting teams or Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) is for sales teams.

The company's software helps marketing teams manage digital assets, creative content approvals, marketing compliance and creative project management to ensure companies stay on brand and nail regulatory compliance.

It is this focus on merging the creative branding of a company with compliance that Court claims makes IntelligenceBank stand out. 

"Marketing needs a smooth system of record to manage the day-to-day," Court said.

"The uniqueness that we do bring is bringing together traditional MarTech (marketing tech) as well as RegTech (regulatory tech).

"A lot of companies are one or the other, but the two are coming together and that's something that we're taking advantage of in a really interesting way."

Currently IntelligenceBank has a team of 10 in California, but this deal with Five Elms Capital will build out not just the team but the company's research and development capabilities too in the US and Europe.

"Australia, for us, is still a huge market. We have globally over 400 clients, but we still have a long way to go in Australia.

"But we can sell to any mid to large size marketing departmentif you think about Australia hypothetically there are the big six banks, a bunch of credit unions and a bunch of super funds. In the US there's thousands of similar sized organisations.

"With that said, we do still have a tonne of opportunity here in Australia but the US and Europe just give us additional greenfield opportunity that's completely untapped for IntelligenceBank."

Court said the company was also looking to ramp up its own developments in the artificial intelligence (AI) space - something IntelligenceBank already has integrated but can still be improved upon.

"Moving forward we want to take the AI into the compliance space in terms of looking at text in terms of advertising and looking for risk in keywords for advertising so when people have words like 'guaranteed' we can automatically flag those things," she said.

"There is a growing need for IntelligenceBank's marketing system of record to better manage content, deliver go to market efficiencies, and streamline approvals as well as brand and regulatory compliance. The new funding will help us move faster and leverage global market opportunities that will serve our customers' needs." 

Not only is Five Elms giving IntelligenceBank a financial investment, but Court said its expertise will prove useful in making the group's plans a reality.

"We've had investors since 2011 and we've had some amazing seed investors from some local firms, Jungle Capital invested with us as well as some other high-net worth investors, and they've been an amazing support for us and helped us get to the US," Court said.

"But our future is really in the US and also in Europe, so it was important for us to have an institutional investor for our next bigger round.

"Obviously, the cash is importantbut they're able to assist in other ways - we've got some pretty lofty recruitment ambitions, especially in the US, and they have a team of people who are also able to help us operationally as well and that's something that was really important for us moving forward."

Five Elms managing director Joe Onofrio said the firm's decision was based on the belief that IntelligenceBank's platform solves a massive problem for marketing organisations and is uniquely positioned to capitalise on a largely greenfield market opportunity.

"We have gotten to know Tessa and her team over the last four years, and during that time they have efficiently executed on their plan to build a world-class organisation helping clients access, manage, deploy, and control their digital assets at scale," Onofrio said.

"IntelligenceBank has an evangelical customer base across numerous industries and continents. The company's platform is leading the way as organisations manage digital transitions and increases in remote workforces.

"We could not be more excited to support IntelligenceBank in their quest to deliver innovative solutions that enable marketing organisations to be more collaborative, efficient, and strategic."


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