Microsoft Chairman and Former Symantec CEO John W. Thompson to Join Seismic’s Board of Directors
Seismic, a recognized leader in sales and marketing enablement, announced that it has closed a $100 million Series E round of funding. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Existing investors General Atlantic, JMI Equity, and Jackson Square Ventures also participated in the round. The round brings the total amount raised by Seismic to date to $179 million.
Seismic today also announced that John W. Thompson, Venture Partner at Lightspeed and Chairman at Microsoft, will join Seismic’s Board of Directors. Thompson brings with him more than 40 years’ executive leadership experience at companies such as IBM, Virtual Instruments, and Symantec, where he served as CEO for ten years and oversaw 10x revenue growth from $600 million to $6 billion. Thompson currently also sits on the boards of cloud data management company Rubrik and gene sequencing company Illumina.
“Sales enablement has quickly grown into a cornerstone practice in sales and marketing across a wide array of industries and businesses sizes. With the addition of John and new investor partners Lightspeed and T. Rowe Price, we look forward to further leading the way in making it a foundational business practice across the globe,” said Doug Winter, co-founder and CEO of Seismic. “John’s amazing career leading some of the world’s most well-known and respected technology companies will be invaluable as we continue our march towards becoming the next world-class enterprise software firm.”
John W. Thompson commented, “To continue to drive sales in today’s age of the informed buyer, sellers need to have the full resources of their organization behind them. Few technology providers if any enable that kind of support better and more effectively than Seismic. Considering the incredible market opportunity still available to Seismic and the very strong leadership team they have put in place to take advantage of it, I am incredibly excited to help play some small part in their future success.”
Seismic’s sales enablement platform helps sales and marketing teams better engage customers by automatically equipping sellers with the right content, information and training for every customer interaction. Sales enablement has exploded in recent years: CSO Insights recently found that the percent of organizations with a dedicated sales enablement person, program or function nearly doubled between 2016 and 2018 (from 32.7 percent to 61 percent). In September Forrester Research also noted that 54 percent of companies have or are in the process of implementing a sales enablement technology with an additional 19 percent planning or considering doing so in the next 12 to 18 months.
With at least 97 percent revenue growth in each of the past five years, Seismic has taken advantage of the market momentum to become the largest sales enablement provider. The company now serves more than 500 customers across the globe, including Capital One, Glassdoor, Illumina, and Qualtrics.
“Seismic has demonstrated that it has the requisite devotion to product innovation and their customers to become a much larger company,” said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. “We are looking forward to working with the Seismic leadership team in the next phase of the company’s growth.”
Seismic plans to use the new round of funding to accelerate growth in global markets and product innovation. Having launched offices in Sydney, Australia and London in 2017, the company plans to accelerate investment in markets outside the United States from both a go-to-market and global customer implementation and support perspective. Additionally, Seismic will continue to ensure that the company’s platform remains well ahead of competitive offerings. Seismic was recently named a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Sales Enablement Automation Platforms, Q3 2018, receiving top scores in both the Current Offering and Strategy categories.
According to the Wave report, which was authored by Forrester Principal Analyst Mary Shea, “[Sales enablement automation] is becoming a core platform in the 21st century sales and marketing tech stack.”
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