A New Brunswick software company is joining a rarified class of tech stars in the province with one of the largest-ever private funding raises in the Atlantic region.
Fredericton-based Introhive Services Inc. has secured US$100-million in funding led by U.S.-based tech financier PSG Equity and represented by Bank of America Securities. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Aegis Group Partners, Evergreen Coast Capital and Mavan Capital Partners are also participating in the round.
Introhive sells “relationship intelligence” software that integrates with and automatically updates customer relationship management platforms.
Founded in 2012 by ex-BlackBerry executives Jody Glidden and Stewart Walchli, Introhive has nearly doubled its revenue since the pandemic began, Mr. Glidden, the company’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.
The growth was thanks in large part to two new products Introhive developed in response to the pandemic, Mr. Glidden said. Time Coach and Deal Coach make suggestions to sales staff, based on their digital activity, such as e-mail and social media, about how to better manage their time and deal flow.
“We had [these products] in mind before but we accelerated them because we thought, if there’s ever a time when people need coaching, it’s when they’re no longer in the office and don’t have people they can ask questions to,” Mr. Glidden said.
Introhive surpassed US$20-million in annual recurring revenue last year, Mr. Glidden said, and he expects the company to reach the US$100-million mark in the next 2 1/2 years. The company has nearly a quarter of a million users on its platform around the world, and serves clients such as accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers and real estate brokerage Colliers international.
“Now we’re sort of looking at, ‘When do we go public?’ ” he said. “At some point I think it’s in the cards that that’s going to happen for us and it really makes me proud as a Canadian, particularly being from Atlantic Canada, where the odds are stacked against us sometimes.”
Tech financings of this size are rare in Atlantic Canada, but startups in the region have attracted attention from large U.S. financiers in the past. Just over decade ago, Fredericton’s Radian6 Technologies, an enterprise software developer like Introhive, sold to Salesforce for a combined US$326-million in cash and stock, putting New Brunswick on the map as a producer of valuable tech startups.
Wednesday’s funding comes almost exactly three years after Introhive raised US$15.2-million, led by Toronto’s Lake Bridge Capital.
Introhive now has more than 300 employees, about half of whom work in Canada, between Fredericton, Saint John, Halifax and Toronto, while the rest are divided among the company’s offices in the United States, Britain and India. Mr. Glidden said the new funding will allow the company to continue to expand its team.
The funding will also be used for strategic acquisitions, sales and marketing and product development. The company will continue to develop new products and features enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), said Mike Mullen, the company’s director of product innovation.
“We have a heavy focus on AI,” Mr. Mullen said, adding that Introhive’s AI seeks to understand what works for its clients and help them replicate their success.
Mr. Glidden credits Introhive’s continued success to the company’s ability to compete in several sectors. While it initially sold its software primarily to professional services companies, he said it’s lately been expanding into other industries, including business-to-consumer (B2C) sellers such as insurance and wealth management firms. It generated 42 per cent of its first-quarter sales this year outside of the professional-services sector.
“We’re a pretty well-kept secret because we’ve never really spent a lot of money on marketing,” Mr. Glidden said. “We’re going to be taking that blow horn and getting out there and further accelerating what we have going on right now.”
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