Connected2Fiber raises $8 million in funding for SaaS offering
Connected2Fiber, a provider of vertical B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, has secured $8 million in series A funding from a consortium of investors.
Speaking exclusively to Capacity, Ben Edmond, CEO and founder of Connected2Fiber, described the company as: “A vertical SaaS platform built specifically for the connectivity industry to help drive growth by solving serviceability, participation and targeting. We are impacting the connectivity industry by enabling network providers to understand the intersections of location, network and business.”
The consortium comprising of Ascent Venture Partners, Nauta Capital, NXT Ventures and Osage Venture Partners, are investing in the company after a two-year period of sustained growth for Connected2Fiber as location management and marketing are going in demand.
“The choice of our investors was an important one for the team at Connected2Fiber,” said Edmond. “Driven by their understanding of the network industry, their understanding of what it takes to build a great SaaS business and the commitment to our vision so solve a global challenge within the connectivity industry.”
As for the success the company has achieved in such a short space of time, Edmond said that customer focus and addressing industry challenges are the main reasons why.
“I believe that our relentless focus on our customers within the connectivity industry, the teams’ understanding of the challenges that existing processes have presented and collaborating with our clients to solve some of the hardest challenges in the market - challenges like serviceability. “
He went to explain the drivers behind the adoption of this new offering. "Network operators are under tremendous pressure to meet increasingly aggressive business goals – the old playbook is not getting it done. In a buyer-centric world, B2B sales and marketers need to identify the optimal sales targets, deliver dynamic B2B and location intelligence, and extend their serviceability information into the buying process with their prospects. Connected2Fiber's, The Connected World, platform makes that vision a reality for network operators who are connecting millions of locations to create billions of dollars in pipeline through our automated workflow engine on our platform and with our API stack, accelerating revenue through better targeting and participation," said Edmond.
The Connected World, Connected2Fiber’s SaaS platform, allows network operators to visualize, manage and engage their market and in turn accelerate revenue, engage its buyers particularly in the B2B market and promote growth.
“The platform is unique in its ability to visualize the intersection of location, demand, competition and our customers’ ability to service a location or area,” added Edmond. “Our focus on a structured way to manage location - understanding that where and what matter in The Connected World to help drive engagement.”
Through the location management platform sales and marketing teams are able to see serviceability and create OnNet and NearNet building lists in the data formats required by their customers and partners, and directly integrates into top procurement tools - all without the need for developer resources.
"We are thrilled to help drive Connected2Fiber's incredible growth and look forward to working closely with Ben and his team to capitalize on their many opportunities. In short order, The Connected World SaaS platform has gone from initial customers to become a cornerstone for successful B2B sales and marketing teams at companies of all sizes in the connectivity industry. Connected2Fiber is the ‘next generation playbook’ for connectivity B2B marketers and rightfully recognized as the emerging platform of choice,” added Matt Fates, general partner at Ascent Venture Partners.
In the company’s own words this investment will be used to support a number of Connected2Fiber’s strategic growth initiatives, including: accelerating product development and innovation, sales growth, and the expansion of its strategic customer success team.
And according to Edmond there are three specific growth initiatives that the company is focused on; geographic, product and data.
“Our product initiatives include an aggressive development in 2018 to build upon The Connected World platform with additional configuration, price and quote capabilities; demand prediction based on a set of machine learning algorithms learning what creates the need for new and additional bandwidth; and our marketing intelligence capabilities that allow users to build, plan and estimate the opportunities within a targeted area, completely customizable based on key filters of firmographics or location intelligence,” he explained.
Connected2Fiber also references the expansion of its strategic customer success team as one of the other uses for the investment. When questioned on whether this means the company is headed for a period of new hires, Edmond replied: “Yes, absolutely. Connected2Fiber was founded to help our customers drive growth, and that simple mission has enabled us to grow as well, with new hires planned in our Customer Success team, Sales and Marketing, GIS, Data Science and our development teams.”
Interestingly, Edmonds says that the advent of 5G and IoT is having a “profound” impact on the company’s future.
“We see network operators looking at our platform and data to help identify where they should be planning networks, how those networks should be planned and how to better engage the commercial real estate industry that is a key part of both IoT and 5G opportunities.”
And unlike other CEO who may have quoted meeting targets and turning over revenues, Edmond says that his biggest challenge as CEO is to create “a culture that drives our success.” He said that he wants to “make sure we have balance and clarity of purpose”. Adding that “our culture is built around a relentless pursuit of our customers’ goals. Our goal is to build an organization that cares, wants to solve problems at every level and constantly learns. We want to be known as the definitive platform for our industry in the go-to-market process and that can be achieved by delivering a great platform, with the team and capital to deliver.”
As for the future roadmap of Connected2Fiber, Edmond said that their strategy “ focuses on building a continuous pipeline of capabilities and data that help network providers accelerate their ability to manage and convey serviceability, drive participation and enable better resource targeting for faster growth.”