Genius.com on Wednesday announced a new round of funding while managing to to misspell their own name. Congratulations, Genius.com, you win the award for the most ironic press release of 2011 (that's right, nothing that comes after this will top it).
Now to get back to the matter at hand. The amount raised was not disclosed, but the round was led by Emergence Capital with help from existing investors Mohr Davidow Ventures, Accel Partners, and Deep Fork Capital. Founded in 2005, the company has raised $40.6 million in four previous funding rounds between 2006 and 2009.
The company offers an automated social marketing solution that allows businesses to connect with potential customers via a simple marketing and sales interface that eliminates the need for IT. The company's 500+ customers include Intuit, Salesforce, Rackspace, and more. In one case study, revenue was doubled while demand generation costs were cut by 75%. In another case study, Genius.com helped increase the number of closed deals by 40%.
The company recently shifted over to a freemium business model, allowing new customers to use the basic service for free with the option of upgrading to a paid service, and the decision has proven to be a success. In addition to the new funding, Genius.com also announced today that it is now profitable. Conversion rates from free accounts to paid accounts increased to 7% in the quarter ending January 30, 2011, up from 2% the previous quarter, and the company says that 20% of the new business revenue was driven directly by the new freemium model.
"Genius.com's unique instant-on technology and cost efficient business model have enabled the company to achieve impressive growth while also becoming cash-flow positive," noted Gordon Ritter, Managing Partner at Emergence Capital, in a statement. "This is a very rare combination of qualities in the SaaS space and marketing automation in particular. We are very bullish on the company's strategy to pursue new opportunities in the small business space."
Also announced today, co-founder and CEO David Thompson is stepping down to make way for Sam Weber, previously the COO, who will step in as CEO. Thompson will stay on as a strategic advisor.
Image source: Genius.com