Irish company SalesOptimize has won £100,000 in investment from Salesforce after winning a pitch competition at the company's London event.
The company, which was set up in 2013 by PayPal's former European head of telesales, Liz Fulham, and ecommerce veteran Colm Ahern, offers market intelligence and operates as a business-to-business lead-generation and marketing search engine. It helps cut down on time companies spend trawling for contacts.
Ms Fulham said she had been watching reaction on Twitter to an appearance on Today FM when she spotted the tweet about the competition. It was the last day to apply.
Ms Fulham said she never expected to reach the final. Sales Optimize was the only Irish company to make it to the final of the pitching competition, alongside London-based Digital Fineprint and Vytelligence, which is based in Hertfordshire.
“It’s a dream for me; it’s a natural fit,” she said. “I thought I’ve won just by being there.”
The funding comes through Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of the US-founded company.
The Dreampitch competition began at Salesforce’s annual conference in San Francisco, Dreamforce, in 2016. It was extended to London as part of the company’s “World Tour” event, which brings customers together with business leaders and gives Salesforce the opportunity to showcase its products.
Among the judges were serial entrepreneur James Caan and president of TechUK Jacqueline de Rojas.
Companies need to have built their technology stack on the Salesforce platform, or integrate with it, and applications were open to firms that have less than £5 million in total cash funding since they were formed and more than £100,000 gross revenue on an annual run rate basis.
The appearance was also streamed to thousands of viewers around the world.
"At Salesforce, we love seeing start-ups grow into successful businesses and we are committed to helping them every step of the way. That is why we introduced Dreampitch in 2016, which allows start-ups to share their vision with the world, and benefit from valuable feedback from our expert judges," said Alex Kayyal, Europe Head, Salesforce Ventures.
“The quality of the entries was exceptional and we clearly have a vibrant startup scene to be excited about. We are delighted that SalesOptimize was chosen as the winner, and are excited to see the innovation they are bringing to the Salesforce ecosystem. This is all headed up by a passionate leader in Liz Fulham.”
The funding will be used to help localise the content the company currently offers and take it to a global audience. “We’re also working with Salesforce to put the app in Salesforce AppExchange,” Ms Fulham said. “It opens up a new channel for us.” AppExchange is Salesforce’s app store.