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Sales Startup MindTickle Picks Up $27 Mn From Canaan Partners, Others

Sales Startup MindTickle Picks Up $27 Mn From Canaan Partners, Others

With The Investment, The Sales Enablement Platform Is Looking To Accelerate Expansion

San Francisco and Pune-based sales enablement platform MindTickle has raised $27 Mn (INR 174 Cr) in a Series B funding round led by Silicon Valley-based VC firm Canaan Partners. Existing investors Accel Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Qualcomm’s investment arm, Qualcomm Ventures, also participated in the round.

This brings the sales-focussed startup’s total fundraise to $41.3 Mn to date. As per the company’s official statement, the newly-secured financing will be utilised to facilitate product innovation and global expansion.

Commenting on the development, Joydeep Bhattacharyya of Canaan Partners stated, “Sales Readiness is the single most important metric that every public company CEO is paying attention to and the best predictor of future performance. MindTickle is the leader in this new massive area of applications for sales teams, with tremendous customer adoption.”

As per the terms of the deal, Bhattacharyya will be joining MindTickle’s board of directors post the investment.

Varsha Tagare, MD at Qualcomm Ventures said, “MindTickle is among the new breed of Indian product companies that are category creators and global leaders in mobility-led enterprise software. The quality of customers that MindTickle has signed up over the past two years is exceptional and is a testament to their vision and the team that they assembled to go after the opportunity.

MindTickle: A SaaS-based Sales Readiness And Sales Enablement Platform

Founded in 2011 by Krishna Depura, Nishant Mungali, Mohit Garg and Deepak Diwakar, MindTickle is a SaaS platform that focuses on improving sales of clients. It promises to cut training time for salespeople who need to be kept up-to-date on rapidly changing products, and consequently improve their effectiveness in handling potentially difficult sales situations.

Through the platform, clients can align their sales teams to make their managers and representatives more efficient.

Headquartered in the US, the data-driven sales readiness startup offers solutions for onboarding, micro-learning, skills development and coaching to companies that have been using legacy learning management systems (LMS).

As stated by Depura, MindTickle aims to bridge the knowledge and skill gaps that are commonly found in customer-facing teams. To that end, the company combines on-demand online training, bite-sized mobile updates, gamification, coaching and role-play to ensure consistent execution and boost sales performance.

Its clientele include big names like Symantec, Phillips, Micro Focus, DexCom, Ola, Cloudera, and Nutanix, among others. MindTickle had earlier raised $12.5 Mn Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates. In the last two years, the team has scaled from around 40 people to nearly 150 people and is slated to nearly double in the coming year with hiring across all functions in both India and the US.

Speaking about the latest round, MindTickle co-founder and CEO Krishna Depura said, “In today’s dynamic and highly competitive environment, companies need to prepare their sales teams like never before. MindTickle’s comprehensive readiness platform enables companies to be at the forefront of sales excellence through its unique combination of gamification, automation, and a strong analytics framework for correlating learning and performance. This additional funding will allow us to accelerate the vision we share with our customers for data-driven sales enablement.”

Recent Bets And Exits Of Silicon Valley-based VC Firm Canaan Partners

Founded in 1987, Canaan Partners is a US-based early-stage VC firm that entered the Indian market in 2006. Until 2014, it had invested $160-170 Mn in over 15 Indian companies including, CarTrade, Naaptol, Happiest Minds Technologies, Iyogi and Equitas Holdings, ceasing operations earlier that year.

In April 2015, it was reported that foreign fund house JP Morgan Asset Management had bought Canaan Partners’ India portfolio for over $200 Mn (about INR 1,260 Cr). Over the last three years, Canaan Partners has made over 30 exits, clocking over an ROI of 5.2x on its investments.

Some of the ventures that the firm has exited in the last couple of years include Ebates (acquired by Rakuten for $1 billion), Labrys Biologics (acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical for up to $825 million), Civitas Therapeutics (pending acquisition by Acorda Therapeutics for $525 million), Dermira ($125 million IPO), Durata Therapeutics (pending acquisition by Actavis for up to $800M), Skybox Imaging (acquired by Google for $500 million), Metacloud (acquired by Cisco) and Israel-based PrimeSense (acquired by Apple), among others.

In the sales enablement market, MindTickle faces competition from older LMS firms like  Cornerstone on Demand and Litmos as well as other SaaS-based platforms like Brainshark and InsideSales. With the Series B funding from Canaan Partners and existing investors, MindTickle is looking to capture the still largely-untapped sales enablement market.