SessionM Snags $35M From General Atlantic, Salesforce, & Others

It’s a busy week for mobile tech in the Boston area. After text-messaging app firm HeyWire was sold to Salesforce, now comes mobile-marketing startup SessionM announcing it has received a $35 million investment.

The “strategic growth” round was led by General Atlantic. New investor Salesforce Ventures also contributed, along with previous backers Causeway Media Partners, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. General Atlantic’s Jim Rossman will join SessionM’s board.

Salesforce has been busy in Boston this year. In addition to the HeyWire acquisition and its venture arm’s investment in SessionM, it bought e-commerce software firm Demandware for a whopping $2.8 billion in June.

The investment by Salesforce Ventures makes sense. SessionM says its mobile-focused marketing automation and customer loyalty software serves as a “technical bridge” between a company’s customer relationship management database—including integrating with Salesforce’s software—and a company’s marketing tools. SessionM’s cloud-based software gathers data on customer behaviors from a variety of sources, syncs the information to each individual’s profile, and triggers personalized marketing responses. The software can also manage customer reward programs with game-like features such as earning points that can be redeemed for real-world items or money.

Basically, SessionM is trying to help companies paint a single, fleshed-out picture of each of their customers, so they can draw repeat business.

SessionM said this year it has processed 1.5 billion consumer actions each month, associated those behaviors with more than 250 million customer profiles, and delivered 1.2 billion “personalized engagements, each in less than 50 milliseconds on average.”

Lars Albright

“Our platform is built to enable customized customer interactions at scale,” said Lars Albright, co-founder and CEO of SessionM (pictured at left), in a press release. “With General Atlantic’s strong expertise in the marketing technology sector, we look forward to adding even more resources to our platform, acquiring more blue-chip customers, and further expanding our global footprint.”

SessionM currently employs 175 people at its Boston headquarters and offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London. The company told Xconomy it plans to nearly double the size of its staff over the next 12 to 18 months, with most of the hiring in Boston.

SessionM’s customers include AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, and Samsung. Since last year, the company has more than tripled its revenue from large enterprises, according to an e-mailed statement attributed to Patrick Reynolds, vice president of marketing.

SessionM has raised $73.5 million from investors since it was founded in 2011 by Albright, Mark Herrmann, and Scott Weller. Albright previously co-founded Quattro Wireless, the Boston-area adtech firm bought by Apple for about $275 million in 2010. Herrmann and Weller previously had prominent roles with GameLogic, Lycos, and Gamesville.

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