Influitive, the latest venture of Canadian entrepreneur Mark Organ, said it had raised $7.3 million in new venture capital from new backers Hummer Winblad and Relay Ventures as well as bluechip prior backer New Enterprise Associates.
The Toronto-based company has raised about $11 million to date, including $4 million last quarter, said Organ, who founded Eloqua Inc. (NASDAQ:ELOQ), a Vienna, Va., software company that measures on-demand performance for companies as a software service.
The company is only five months old.
Influitive has developed a specialized advocacy software tool targeted initially for technology customers. Dubbed AdvocateHub, Organ said the tool functions “as a cheering squad” for advertisers trying to reach consumers using the Internet for reliable product information.
Customers include Eloqua, now valued around $610 million, as well as the KACE systems management unit of Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Acton International, a marketing specialist.
“Advocacy is very broad,” said Organ, 39, who said Influitive is his sixth startup. Using AdvocateHub, developers of professional products can use everything from print ads to multimedia videos to create a drumbeat for products.
For now, he said, Influitive is pursuing the business market, not consumers. Large enterprises like Ford Motor Co.(NYSE:F) already use major consumer sites headed by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the top consumer social media website.
Organ said it took six years to set up, develop and take Eloqua public. For Influitive, “I'd like to do it in half the time.”
Other venture capital investors in the company, which employs only 25 people in Toronto, San Francisco, Boston and Singapore, are Lightspeed Venture Partners, Illuminate Ventures, Resolute.VC and Common Angels.
Lars Leckie, of Hummer Windblad, and Alex Baker, from Relay Ventures will become Influitive directors.
David Zielenziger is a veteran editor and journalist who has written for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, Asian Wall Street Journal and EETimes, as well as for...