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Jan 14 /

5 Startups to Watch in 2016

Since 2012, the Venture Atlanta editorial team has made its annual picks on the Atlanta startups to watch. Our record the last two years?

Three — GroundFloor, Predikto and SalesLoft — on our “5 Atlanta Startups to Watch in 2015” list had a better than average year in the fundraising department; collectively raising $19 million over the course of 2015. Of the 2014 list, only Springbot had a stand-out year having received an infusion of capital and talent with a $6 million raise led by TTV Capital and the addition of the very capable Erika Jolly Brookes from Oracle Social as the company’s CMO.


Making picks in any arena is dicey business but in the realm of startup success where the odds of a startup “making it” is pegged at 10 percent, it is even more so. So with a batting average of .350 over the last four years, we’re taking another swing with 2016’s five startups to watch.


Research firm IDC predicts that marketing executives will drive $32.3 billion in marketing technology spending by 2018. SalesFusion and Terminus are well-positioned to ride this wave.



With the addition of enterprise software marketing veteran Carol O’Kelley as CEO in March 2015, SalesFusion charged forward with an emphasis on customer growth in the hyper-competitive b2b mid-market sector. The company added fresh marketing and client services talent to its executive ranks and was named to Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in Tech Go-to-Market” list. It also won a place in Gartner’s highly coveted CRM Lead Management Magic Quadrant.


SaleFusion has the advantage of offering customers a fully integrated digital marketing platform with built-in CRM, SEO optimization and marketing automation functionality. The completion of a $13.5 million Series B round in November with participation by Noro-Moseley Partners, BLH Venture Partners, Alerion Ventures, Tech Square Ventures, and Hallett Capital, gives SalesFusion a war chest with which to compete for mid-market customers.


Finally, the fact that SalesFusion is built on the Microsoft stack makes the company an interesting acquisition candidate should the tech giant be looking to shore up its marketing technology portfolio in 2016.   



terminusFounded in 2014, Terminus has built a reputation as one of the leading providers of account-based marketing (ABM) tools. In December 2015, it reached an important milestone for SaaS startups: $1 million in annual annual recurring revenue (ARR).


A companion to b2b key account selling techniques, ABM technologies span the continuum of providing predictive analytics to identifying profitable micro-segments of the market at the company level so that customized messages can be delivered to those micro-segments.


The Terminus platform allows companies to deliver highly tailored advertising messages to prospects across multiple digital channels based on those that are already in the company’s CRM system. To date, the company’s platform only integrates to Salesforce.


With a base of more than 60 customers over a 12-month period and the closing of a $1.8 million seed round in October, this startup is definitely one to keep an eye out for in 2016. 




StarMobile IncIT spending on mobility is on the rise. In a September 2015 study conducted by research firm IDG Enterprises, 70 percent of respondents said they will spend close to 20 percent of their IT budgets on mobility and another 25 percent said it was going to take up between 20 and 50 percent of their 2016 budget. StarMobile is making moves to capture this market with its codeless enterprise mobile enablement technology which lets IT department create mobile app versions of their enterprise software systems without the need for programming.  


In April, Gartner named StarMobile to its “Cool Vendor in Mobile App Development” list and a month later, software sales veteran Jeff Newlin formerly of Outsystems and Silverpop joined the company as executive vice president of sales. StarMobile announced support for  VMware® customers in August and in September, announced support for SAP and Oracle applications.  


The company currently has a team of 20 employees and more than 20 customers. Partnerships with both HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expected to accelerate growth in this upcoming year.



rescour_logoREscour provides market intelligence for commercial real estate brokers, analysts and investors. Founded in late 2012, the startup was incubated at Tech Square Labs.


REscour leverages data mining techniques and analytics to retrieve and classify millions of data points from structured and unstructured data sources pertaining to commercial real estate properties. Commercial real estate professionals can access important information such as development pipeline, demographics, sales and rent comparables and major employers pertaining to a property. REscour can provide further data customization and market insights based on a client’s investment portfolio.


The company’s solution featuring rich data presented in a modern interface is timely.  Trends point to commercial real estate professionals increasingly calling for real time data and technology tools that offer consumer app like experiences. REscour raised $2.9 million in funding in  2015 from blue chip investors and venture capital firms including  Jason Calacanis, Mosley Ventures, Tom Cousins’ Nonami Investments and former CEO Chip Perry.



Rubicon Global logoLast but not least on our 2016 list is sustainable waste and recycling solutions provider Rubicon Global headquartered in Atlanta. 


The company had an eventful 2015 closing $56.9 million in funding from Nima Capital, Goldman Sachs, Wellington Management Co., KKR founder Henry Kravis, Tudor Investment Corp. founder Paul Tudor Jones and actor Leonardo DiCaprio!


The company is looking to turn the waste management industry on its heels by “uberizing” waste disposal. It wants customers to use its mobile app to order trash removal only when dumpsters are full. The company works with a network of independent waste management service providers providing them with new customers and lower fuel costs with an additional benefit of reducing environmental impact.  


David Plouffe, former top aide to President Barack Obama joined the board of advisers late in 2015. The company also named former LivingSocial CFO John Bax to the CFO position sparking rumors of an impending IPO filing in 2016. If these rumors prove true, Rubicon would join Dell SecureWorks, also based in Atlanta, in the 2016 IPO queue.




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