Minneapolis—Feb. 2, 2016—Four51, which powers business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce for over 10,000 businesses and nearly 20 million users, announced it closed a $5 million funding round from three private technology investors. The money will be used to aggressively build out Four51’s sales and marketing, as well as its channel exposure and product development, particularly over the next 18 to 24 months.
The company also announced specific figures for staff expansion to coincide with the growth. With 33 employees in January 2015, the now 60-person business intends to ramp its employee base to 225 within three years, with much of that growth coming in 2016 and 2017.
“Market factors, the response we’ve received from the recent opening of our OrderCloud platform and the resulting business forecast indicate that the company is at the beginning of a period of hyper growth,” said CEO Mark Johnson. “To meet the increased demand, while continuing to maintain high service levels, we determined the need for, and successfully executed raising, approximately $5 million of additional growth capital. We also had our own profitability to leverage to support the fast growth. This is a perk of being a 16-year-old, experienced and profitable tech company.”
Johnson noted Four51’s pipeline is six times what it was in 2015 with demand largely being driven by Four51’s opening of its OrderCloud platform last year, along with the simultaneous launching of the OrderCloud Dev Center. Johnson also noted the company’s increased investment in both marketing and sales. With the increased demand, revenue growth was 35 percent in 2015 and the company’s new contract growth rate was closer to 75 percent.
Roxanne Googin of the High Tech Observer, a subscription data and analysis service for portfolio managers focusing on the technology sector, and one of the aforementioned three investors in Four51, said, “The decision to invest in Four51, and the corresponding decision for them to scale now, is driven largely by two things: That enterprises are increasingly opting for cloud-based providers for their computing needs, as well as the fast rise in B2B e-commerce and its evolution to embrace mobile. Four51’s technology and approach is a faster, better way to achieve this, and it’s exactly what the now-Millennial-led workforce is demanding.”
In addition to the funding and projections for staff growth, Four51 continues to expand its OrderCloud customer base with recent wins of Bachman’s, an online and offline retailer focused on floral, gift and garden, and Taylor Corporation, a family of companies that provides a diverse set of customer communication products, services and technologies that help businesses build brands and operate efficiently. These companies are the latest to experience the benefits of OrderCloud, the only cloud-based B2B e-commerce platform live in general release, according to the company. This now gives them access to the all-new OrderCloud Dev Center, a comprehensive online toolset dedicated to helping developers get up and running quickly with building and deploying B2B e-commerce solutions.