RealTime IT News

Start-up Gets $11.7 Million

E-mail marketing isn't the only direct response Internet play getting attention from investors.

In the world of marketing campaigns, a list is not a list is not a list. Lots of companies, especially smaller businesses for example, often struggle to make sense of the pricey list of data they've just purchased or even painstakingly compiled. But the information list may be too broad for the demographic group the business is trying to reach, or off the mark on income or other metrics.

As a result, their direct mail marketing campaigns, another pricey part of capturing new customers, are built around the old "spray and pray" method of targeting many to gather a few. That produces fewer results than companies would care to admit, not to mention the hours the campaign gobbled up in preparation for the mailing.

It's these frustrations that USAData, an application service provider for marketing information, is targeting with its business model. The start-up's approach has also won over more investors with a second funding round of $11.7 million. Taking part in the investment, led by SI Venture Fund, were Insight Capital Partners, Advanta Partners and Mesco Ltd. Ventures, an affiliate of GartnerGroup.

The company said it would use the proceeds to continue building up and out its web applications for sales and marketing professionals. "This funding will allow us to pursue our mission of helping businesses gain insight into their markets, and then to get customers through our sales prospecting solutions," said Ric Murphy, chief executive officer of USAData.com.

Bruce Meberg, a chief operating officer of USAData.com, said the company's alliance with Acxiom, a major database company and data provider, was also a key strategic relationship. "What we're providing is not just business intelligence, but the whole marketing campaign," he explained of the portal.

"It's an end-to-end, integrated solution for helping the direct mail process. We're able to offer this to businesses that may not have a the resources of a large organization's marketing staff."

The company already has 1,500 customers. Although e-mail marketing campaigns could be a part of the business model later, for now, USAData officials said they have enough to do helping companies get customers more efficiently.