In First Outside Round, MindTouch Raises $12M to Extend Growth

San Diego-based MindTouch, which provides software as a service that helps companies profitably repurpose their own user manuals, training materials, and other “help content,” has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by PeakSpan Capital. SK Ventures and SAP SE also participated, according to a statement today.

MindTouch CEO Aaron Fulkerson said in a recent interview that the financing followed four buyout offers that MindTouch received over the past year. Today, a letter from Fulkerson to MindTouch employees and others is headlined, “Happy 2016! We’re Not Selling The Company.”

“While the interest to acquire MindTouch was flattering,” Fulkerson writes, “as founders we decided to take our first outside investment and fuel growth. Steve Bjorg and I are excited to scale the business while maintaining our company culture. We see the investment as a means of increasing the impact we have as a positive disruptive force.”

The round also marks the first outside investment in MindTouch since the company was founded in 2005.

In recent years, MindTouch has grown to about 65 employees by plowing its revenue back into the business. “In 2014 we grew our annual recurring revenue by 71 percent, and in 2015 we grew it by 55 percent,” Fulkerson wrote in his letter. “We’ve been growing quickly without posting losses for years. That’s…uncommon.”

The company’s customers include such well-known companies as Whirlpool, Newmar, MakerBot, and Remington, as well as startups like Code42, Zuora, and Docker.

MindTouch says its online technology ingests a company’s help content, which often consists of printed documents like training manuals, PDF files, and other product-related materials, and converts it into Web-based product information. Such content, Fulkerson says, is the nervous system for a company’s buyers, and it is far superior to listicles, tweets, and blog posts.

It is the sort of content that a shopper might come across while searching online for a product, but Fulkerson says the added value becomes apparent in post-purchase interactions, as customers return to learn more about the products they purchased. MindTouch says its technology enables a company use its own content to become the core of its customer engagement strategy.

“The content drives really effective self-service,” Fulkerson said. “Users interact with that content, and MindTouch is building reports on traffic and who’s using that content.”

According to a statement today, MindTouch plans to use the new funding to improve its product capabilities and expand its marketing, business development, sales, and engineering teams. The company also is moving from its existing space in downtown San Diego into space that’s more than twice as big at 101 W. Broadway.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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