Google Ventures, Sequoia, Salesforce Give HubSpot $32MMarch 08, 2011
Wall Street Journal
by Deborah Gage
In the early days of the World Wide Web, a famous New Yorker cartoon depicted one dog saying to another with dawning amazement, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”
So when Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded HubSpot Inc. in 2006, they took it one step further. On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog – or a one-person company.
In a nod to the growing need for small businesses to have a presence on the Web – and to look like big businesses — Google Ventures today joined Sequoia Capital and Salesforce.com Inc. in a $32 million Series D round for HubSpot. The company has now raised $65 million.
Halligan and Shah met when they were both Sloan Fellows at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management in 2004. They created a software platform that’s licensed as a service and combines website management, blogging, search engine optimization, lead management, marketing analytics, e-mail marketing, landing pages and social media monitoring for small business owners who can’t afford these services or don’t know how to provide them.
The company now claims that its software is used by 4,000 companies in 31 countries.
All three of HubSpot’s previous venture investors – General Catalyst Partners, Matrix Partners and Scale Venture Partners – also returned for this round, which will be used in part to buy out other current shareholders.
“We agree with HubSpot’s belief that search engines, social media and mobile devices have fundamentally changed how businesses should market themselves,” said Rich Miner, a partner at Google Ventures and a co-founder of Android Inc. (which Google acquired in 2005), in a statement. “We’re thrilled to support their efforts to help thousands of small and medium businesses reach potential customers.”
In October of 2009, Halligan – who’s also HubSpot’s Chief Executive – told VentureWire that the company was aiming for cash-flow positive in early 2011 and a public offering in early 2012. At the time, he said HubSpot’s revenue was up year over year by 350%.