I wrote about Varolii last summer after ACCE and noted its focus beyond traditional outbound applications. It captures a lot more data about an interaction, which helps in finding patterns and trends. This “decision engine” feeds information back to the system in order to attain the most desirable outcome for a customer.
This 250-person company based in Seattle has some major customers: Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, SunTrust, Time Warner Cable, and Southern California Edison, just to name a few.
A few months ago it also found a new president and CEO, David McCann, formerly with Microsoft.
Now it has raised $8 million from existing investors to pour into development of mobile capabilities for its products. This is a noteworthy cash injection because these days with cloud communications API offerings from Tropo and Twilio, it has leveled the playing field for smaller companies or individual developers to make competing products. Varolii may need the cash to fend off such threats.
Full press release from Varolii:
SEATTLE—July 26, 2011— Varolii Corporation, the market and technology leader in interactive text, voice and email communications for customers and employees, announced today that it has closed Series D Round financing of $8 million from all its current investors: BlueRun Ventures, Draper Fischer Jurvetson, Institutional Venture Partners and InterWest Partners. The company also announced that Seattle veteran software executives, Lee Roberts and William Bryant, are joining its Board of Directors. Both bring to the Board deep industry experience in financial services, software and mobile technology, as well as more than two decades each in technology executive and entrepreneur roles.
This financing will be used to accelerate the development of new capabilities and solutions that integrate customer and employee interactions across outbound, inbound and mobile channels. These capabilities will extend the reach of Varolii Interact applications to Android and iPhone mobile devices, enabling organizations to get higher rates of successful interactions with customers and employees to reduce costs and increase profitability.
“Varolii already enables more than 400 major U.S. brands to interact with over 75 million consumers and 8 million employees each year. With this round, we will be able to accelerate our innovation and further increase customer outcomes across financial services, healthcare, utilities, telecommunications, retail and airlines,” said David McCann, CEO at Varolii. “This funding allows us to deliver on the innovations that major organizations are looking for by moving to the smartphone and building capabilities to further take costs out of the 5,000 large enterprise contact centers where budgets are continuing to decline and organizations are leading their customers to self-service.”
“Varolii is an innovative market leader that offers a unique service to its Fortune 1000 customers,” said Doug Pepper, general partner at InterWest Ventures. “We are confident in the company’s new vision and strategy established by the management team to drive growth and capture market share.”
Varolii Appoints New Board of Directors Members
Varolii also appointed Lee Roberts, former CEO and Chairman of FileNet (acquired by IBM in 2006 for $1.6 billion), and William Bryant, a venture partner with DFJ, to its Board of Directors.
“Welcoming Lee and Bill to our Board represents a new chapter for Varolii,” said McCann. “Their extensive experience in the financial services, software and mobile arenas will be easily applied to their future work with Varolii as we look to help the company grow across regions and vertical markets. We are honored to have both of these outstanding executives on Varolii’s Board to help guide us during the next phase of growth.”
Lee Roberts is the president and CEO of BlueWater Management Consulting, a provider of information technology and executive consulting. Prior to his current role, Roberts served as vice president and general manager of IBM’s software group and was responsible for enterprise content and business process management software for a multi-billion dollar business unit. Roberts also brings to Varolii his experience as the former chairman and CEO of FileNet Corporation, whose software was used extensively in financial services. Prior to FileNet, Roberts was general manager of IBM’s network division and also held a variety of executive positions across the company. Roberts serves on the Boards of QAD Software, an enterprise resource planning company, Unisys, a multi-national provider of complex systems integration services and server technology, and Noetix Software, a Seattle-based start-up in the business intelligence analytics market.
“Varolii has an excellent opportunity for growth over the next several years, with its breadth of customers and with corporations accelerating their embrace of cloud services,” said Roberts. “I’m pleased to be part of the company and look forward to participating in Varolii’s future success.”
William Bryant has been involved in more than 25 leading software, Internet, digital media and mobile companies, as a founder, senior executive, investor and Board member. Prior to his role with DFJ, Bryant was the founding vice president of Sales and Marketing for Visio Corporation, which was acquired by Microsoft. He also served as president of Netbot, the creators of the first comparison online shopping agent, as well as the CEO and chairman of Qpass, which was acquired by Amdocs for $275 million. Bryant has extensive background in mobile technologies having worked with Qpass, Medio, Viafone, NearMe, HandsOn, Swype, Intrinsyc, Jabber, Mixxer and Z2Live. He also serves on the Boards of Opscode, a cloud infrastructure automation provider, Z2Live, a mobile game developer, and AdXpose, a provider of digital advertising analytics solutions.
Varolii has delivered more than 5 billion communications across voice, email, SMS text messaging and digital channels on behalf of companies in a variety of industries, with more than 2 million sent every day. Varolii works with 20 percent of Fortune 100 companies, including five of the 10 largest health plans, two of the three largest U.S. banks, five of the top 10 airlines and 30 of the largest U.S. utilities.
About Varolii Corporation
Varolii is the market and technology leader in intelligent, personalized interactive communications. Its cloud-based communication solutions help organizations easily and effectively reach and interact with large numbers of consumers and employees, reducing operational costs, improving business continuity and enhancing customer service. Varolii provides the industry’s only cross-channel communications technology, which blends voice, mobile and email channels to drive profitable action. At the heart of the platform is Varolii ID™, which automatically analyzes each recipient’s past responses to personalize future communications. With Varolii, organizations can execute true 1-to-1 communication on a large scale, achieving better results from fewer interactions. More than 400 companies trust Varolii to send over four million communications every business day. For more information, visit www.varolii.com.
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Edelman PR for Varolii