The news: Highspot raised another big round, this time reeling in $248 million as part of a Series F round. It is now valued at $3.5 billion, which is up 4X over the past two years. The Seattle startup raised a $200 million round less than a year ago.
The tech: Highspot’s enterprise software aims to help make salespeople more efficient, equipping them with technology to improve how they have conversations with prospective buyers, among other features. Customers include giants such as DocuSign, Workday, Siemens, Adobe, and others. The company declined to share specific revenue metrics for the past year.
The momentum: The pandemic changed how salespeople do their job — and it’s been a boon to Highspot, which is seeing “incredible demand,” according to CEO Robert Wahbe.
More deals are getting done over Zoom than in a conference room — “road warriors have become home warriors,” Wahbe said. And that shift is requiring a different skill-set. “Salespeople have to be better than ever in holding the attention of the customer,” Wahbe said.
The shift to remote work will sustain, Wahbe added.
“This new world of work is relatively permanent,” he said. “Using technology to make sure that your people have what they need to be successful is the new status quo.”
The market: The global sales enablement platform market was $1.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $7.3 billion by 2028, according to Verified Market Research. Showpad and Seismic are some of Highspot’s top competitors.
“Sales enablement is essentially a universal problem,” Wahbe said. “This is an absolutely massive market across all industries, all geographies, and all sized companies.”
The future: Highspot hasn’t spent much of the $200 million it raised last year, Wahbe said. With the additional funding now in its war chest, it has plenty of resources to capture more market share. The company plans to increase its international footprint and invest significantly in marketing and product.
Highspot employs 800 people and expects to add another 500 this year. Even with the shift to remote work, Highspot has added more floors to its headquarters space in Seattle that it opened in 2019.
“We can accommodate people in the office, we can accommodate people remotely, and we can accommodate complete flexibility,” Wahbe said.
“No matter how great your ideas are, you need the right people.”
The investors: B Capital Group and D1 Capital Partners, both new investors, led the round. Other participants include ICONIQ Growth, Madrona Venture Group, Salesforce Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, and Tiger Global Management, which this week led a large round for another unicorn Seattle startup, SeekOut.
Total funding to date is more than $600 million. Highspot is one of a handful of Seattle tech “unicorns,” or companies valued at more than $1 billion.
The founders: Wahbe is a former longtime employee at Microsoft, where he spent 16 years equipping sales teams with necessary information to help craft perfect pitches to potential customers. He founded the company in 2011 with former colleagues Oliver Sharp and David Wortendyke.
The secret sauce: Asked about the key to Highspot’s growth, Wahbe offered a couple startup lessons. First and foremost, he said it’s about the team. “No matter how great your ideas are, you need the right people,” he said.
Another important focus: achieving product market fit, especially before you raise a bunch of cash. “Being really frugal before you have that product market fit is a really critical thing,” Wahbe said.
And finally: scale fast.
“In the new world where there’s so much money chasing good teams and good customer value, there is a notion that you need to scale fast and win the market,” he said. “There are outsized returns for winning the market, versus being one of the many players in the market. And that requires capital and management.”