Emeryville, Calif.-based e-commerce and marketing company Lithium Technologies has raised a whopping $53.4 million in new capital. New investor New Enterprise Associates led the round, with participation from new backer SAP Ventures as well as “all existing Lithium investors,” the company said. Lithium previously raised capital from investors including DAG Ventures, Tenaya Capital, Benchmark Capital, Emergence Capital and Shasta Ventures. The Series D round will go towards growth, including bolstering sales and marketing efforts.
Lithium Technologies, the leader in Social Customer Experience, today announced that it has completed a $53.4 million round of financing, led by prominent new investor New Enterprise Associates and including new investor SAP Ventures as well as all existing Lithium investors and several key industry advisors. The financing round will accelerate Lithium’s growth and cement its leadership position in the fast-growing market for cloud-based Social Customer Experience solutions.
Additionally, Lithium announced that Pete Sonsini, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) Partner and Co-Lead of NEA’s Enterprise, Infrastructure & Services (EIS) practice group, will join Lithium’s board of directors. The appointment of Sonsini, a recognized leader in venture capital and former VMware executive, builds on Lithium’s recent world-class board and executive leadership appointments.
The addition of both NEA and SAP Ventures adds significant additional strength to Lithium’s existing investor base and validates the future opportunity for Lithium and its customers. Significant recent investments by NEA include Workday and Groupon. SAP Ventures’ significant recent investments include Box and LinkedIn. The latest funding round also includes additional investments from all existing Lithium investors, including Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Emergence Capital, Greenspring Associates, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital.
Lithium plans to use funds from this Series D funding round to substantially increase its sales and marketing investments across new and existing geographies, aggressively grow its digital agency ecosystem and significantly increase ongoing investment in engineering, new product development and service delivery for existing customers.
“Every brand recognizes that social engagement with customers across the Web is critical for business success and competitive advantage,” said Sonsini. “Lithium has established itself as the clear market leader in turning this vision into reality through its unmatched technology, global customer base, and strong leadership. I look forward to working closely with Rob and his team to continue building on Lithium’s tremendous momentum.”
Lithium President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Tarkoff said: “This successful funding round will help us extend our leadership in the Social Customer Experience market, giving us both the operational flexibility and financial strength to double our company in 2012. It’s clear that brands will continue to go social in an even bigger way in 2012 and beyond. It’s equally clear that Lithium is incredibly well positioned to drive this transformation.”
CEO’s first 100 days focused on long-term success
The latest news comes as Tarkoff completes his first 100 days as CEO, during which he has significantly expanded Lithium’s competitive leadership, strengthened its executive bench with renowned industry veterans and solidified Lithium’s core technology strategy for long-term success.
“Since joining the company, I’ve been entirely focused on making sure Lithium remains singularly focused on meeting our ultimate strategic goal: enabling brands to build innovative and engaging social experiences for their customers – whether that’s in communities or across the social Web,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to the exciting, game-changing initiatives that Lithium will undertake in 2012.”
Lithium’s latest funding round follows numerous milestones achieved in the last six months.
· Lithium saw significant additional investment in its products and services by existing customers.
· Lithium saw continued new customer penetration of strategic vertical markets, including retail, consumer products, travel and leisure, technology, telecommunications, automotive and financial services from industry leaders such as BskyB, McDonalds, Nestle, Nissan, SuccessFactors and Telstra.
· Appointment of several key executive leaders, including President & CEO Rob Tarkoff, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales Jim Drill, and Senior Vice President of Business Development & Global Alliances Ed Van Siclen
· Strengthening of Lithium’s Board of Directors with the appointment of former Documentum Chairman & CEO Jeff Miller.
· Launch of the company’s monthly, seamless SaaS upgrade model – Lithium.now – and Lithium’s LevelUp application suite for the Facebook Platform.
· Announced “Lithium Technologies Positioned in the ‘Leaders’ Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for both Social CRM and Externally Facing Social Software”.
· Published clear evidence of Industry leading ROI models for its platform with the Lithium Customer Success Book.
About Lithium Technologies
We help great companies build brand nations for their most engaged customers. With Lithium, clients such as Best Buy, AT&T, Sephora, Univision, and PayPal turn their customers’ passion into marketing, product development, sales, and customer service assets. For more information, visit lithium.com, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own nation–the Lithosphere. Lithium is privately held with headquarters in Emeryville, California.
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $11 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 170 portfolio company IPOs and more than 290 acquisitions, including investments in technology leaders like Data Domain, CareerBuilder, Diapers.com, Groupon, Juniper, Macromedia, Playdom, Salesforce.com, and TiVo. In the U.S., NEA has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; Menlo Park, California; and New York City. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit www.nea.com
About SAP Ventures
SAP Ventures partners with outstanding entrepreneurs worldwide to build industry-leading businesses. We are funded by SAP AG (NYSE: SAP), the market leader in enterprise application software, and we leverage the relationship with SAP and its ecosystem for the benefit of portfolio companies. SAP Ventures invests in technology businesses that serve enterprises as customers or have enterprises as go-to market partners as well as companies that service consumers in their professional lives. Over the last 15 years, SAP Ventures has supported more than 100 companies on five continents. Past investments include Commerce One, Greenplum, MySQL, Red Hat, and WebEx. Current portfolio companies include Alfresco, Alteryx, Control4, Endeca, iYogi, LinkedIn, OnDeck, OpenX, SAVO, Spring Wireless, Tealeaf, Tremor Media, and Zend. For more information, visit www.sapventures.com.
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