Seattle Roundup: Outreach, Salesforce, Remitly, Pyramid, & More

[Corrected 10/27/15, 9:54 am. See below.Cloud-based customer relationship management software giant Salesforce is beefing up its presence in the region. Meanwhile, sales software upstart Outreach is raising $9.2 million for what it calls a faster, more efficient approach to selling. Read on for details on these stories, as well as a big new market for Remitly; a $30 million funding round for Pyramid Analytics; a partnership between Spare5 and the IBM Watson Ecosystem; and the true price of Amazon’s acquisition of Elemental Technologies.

Outreach, a Seattle startup making software to help sales teams communicate, has raised $9.2 million. The Series A funding round was led by Mayfield. MHS Capital and Floodgate, which invested in Outreach’s $2.4 million seed round, also participated. Led by co-founder and CEO Manuel Medina, Outreach is building software meant to make sales calls and e-mails faster and more efficient, track responses, and automate tasks such as sales record updating. The funding will support continued technology development and hiring in engineering, sales, marketing, and business development, the company said.

Remitly, a mobile money transfer company based in Seattle, just added a huge new market: Mexico. Until now, the startup had only enabled transfers between the U.S. and the Philippines or India. Remitly says some $24 billion is transferred between the U.S. and Mexico each year. The venture-backed company enables money transfers from mobile devices and says its fees are a quarter of what’s charged by the competition.

Pyramid Analytics, which makes business intelligence software and has U.S. operations in Bellevue, WA, raised $30 million in new funding from Viola Private Equity and Sequoia Capital, an earlier investor, the company said this week. The company will use the funding for hiring and sales as it competes in an increasingly crowded sector with the likes of Seattle-based Tableau Software—just out with a new iPad app to explore data visualizations—and Amazon’s new QuickSight offering. Pyramid is based in the Netherlands and has other offices in the United Kingdom and Israel.

Salesforce, the software-as-a-service giant, is expanding its Puget Sound operations, consolidating in a new Bellevue, WA, office tower. The company, based in San Francisco and with some 17,500 employees, says it will have room to double its staff locally thanks to a lease in the Nine Two Nine Office Tower building. Salesforce will be the largest tenant in the building. The maker of cloud-based customer relationship management software won’t say how many people it employs in the region, but the Puget Sound Business Journal calculates that it is taking enough space—75,000 square feet—for up to 500 people. [An earlier version of this paragraph mistakenly said Salesforce has about 16,000 employees. We regret the error.]

Spare5, the startup that spun out of Madrona Venture Labs and pairs human and machine intelligence for a variety of tasks, is getting into golf instruction by way of the IBM Watson Ecosystem. In concept, golf instructors would use Spare5 to connect with local golfers looking to improve their games. The human tips provided through the app would be used to “train” Watson. The app would also capitalize on the capabilities of Watson—things like deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision—through its “cognitive computing APIs” to help humans tune their instruction. The golf app is meant to be an example of how this combination of humans and machines can be beneficial in a range of scenarios in business and research.

—The price Amazon paid for Elemental Technologies, the Portland, OR,-based video technology company it acquired, is a bit less than some had reported: $296 million, according to an Amazon SEC filing. We cited reports in The Oregonian pegging the purchase price at between $300 million and $500 million, and The Information, which reported $500 million.

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