Given its early-stage investments in companies like Facebook, Slack, and Dropbox, if your company raises money from Accel, it’s probably a good sign.
Opal, a marketing collaboration startup based in Portland, today announced a $15.5 million Series B round led by Accel, the 34-year-old Silicon Valley venture capital firm, along with participation from existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Seven Peaks Ventures, and MMC Ventures.
GeekWire reported on the funding back in December, but now we have more details about how Opal will use the fresh cash and the investors involved.
Founded in 2011, Opal has quietly built a market-leading company that helps businesses streamline the production of marketing and media campaigns with one central platform and framework. Clients include NASA, Nike, Starbucks, Target, Airbnb, and others.
A 2013 graduate of the Portland Seed Fund, Opal bootstrapped in its early days before raising a $2.1 million seed round led by Oregon Angel Fund. In 2014, it raised an $8 million Series A round led by Seattle-based Madrona. Total funding in the company is now $25.6 million.
This Series B round marks a pivotal milestone for the company as it looks to establish itself as the top platform of choice for companies that want to streamline their brand marketing process across every consumer touch point.
“We want to accelerate growth and solidify our position as a market leader in this space we feel we are defining,” Opal CEO Steve Giannini told GeekWire.
Giannini stressed the importance of having Accel lead its Series B round, given the firm’s investments in other enterprise collaboration software companies like Dropbox, Slack, Atlassian, Invision, Frame.io, and others.
“This notion of collaboration software and helping the way teams work together to get jobs done is a major investment thesis for them,” he said. “It aligns perfectly with our thesis and what we want to do.”
Opal will use the fresh cash to double its 75-person workforce by the end of 2017 — it has 60 employees at its HQ in Portland, with additional offices in New York City and London (a San Francisco outpost will open later this year) — while continuing to bolster its technology.
Opal helps companies put together their brand messages, whether via social media campaigns, physical retail store setups, or other marketing vehicles. Giannini said the software offers a huge improvement over the hodgepodge process traditionally used by marketing teams that include a mix of tools like email, phone, Google Docs, Excel spreadsheets, and more that weren’t built specifically with modern day marketers in mind.
Opal’s top-notch list of clients pay a licensing fee of $100,000 per year, on average, Giannini said.
“Product innovation is our secret sauce,” he noted.
Giannini said he and his co-founders — “Chief Founder” George Huff, David Gorman, and Matt Oxley — are proud to have built Opal in Portland from Day 1 and to have attracted an investor like Accel to the Pacific Northwest. This is a nice rebound for Portland’s startup scene, which did not see much venture capital activity in 2016. Only four Portland-based startups had venture rounds exceeding $15 million last year, according to data from Pitchbook.
“We don’t have a super strong venture presence in Portland, but great firms are starting to reach into the city,” Giannini said. “The kind of investors we work with really believe in Portland as a place where we can build a capital efficient business. There is a ton of innovation here.”
As part of the new investment round, Accel partner Arun Mathew will join Opal’s board of directors.