Austin-based TrustRadius, which runs a review platform for business-to-business technology, has raised $5.5 million to ramp up growth.
The TrustRadius site, which launched in 2013, lets IT professionals share information in the same way that consumers do on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List.
The site includes reviews and ratings written by participants including IT buyers, chief information officer and sales and marketing professionals. More than 100 technology brands work with TrustRadius including IBM, Oracle and TIBCO.
LiveOak Venture Partners of Austin was the lead investor in the deal, with participation from Silicon Valley-based Mayfield.
“The B2B buyer’s journey has changed, and authentic user insights are now a critical component of the technology purchasing process,” said Venu Shamapant, general partner at LiveOak. “TrustRadius has succeeded in building a trusted resource for buyers as well as a powerful platform for vendors.”
The company will use the funding to invest in product development and marketing. It currently has 26 employees and plans to triple its headcount over the next 24 months.
TrustRadius co-founder and CEO Vinay Bhagat got the idea for the company while he worked at Convio, an Austin software company he co-founded in 1999. The company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new technology, often without getting feedback that might have led to better decisions.
When Convio was acquired by Blackbaud in 2012, Bhagat and David Hart, who was then Convio’s chief technology officer, left the company and founded TrustRadius.
“While buyers are conducting more independent research than ever before, marketing and sales engagement remains a critical influence in considered B2B purchases,” Bhagat said. “Our unique strategy centers around driving the highest quality customer content.”
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