Aprimo Lands $12 Million

Marketing startup Aprimo is the latest to receive an influx of cash from investors, as the fledgling field of enterprise marketing management receives another vote of confidence.

Contributors to Indianapolis, Md.-based Aprimo’s $12 million round of financing, the firm’s fourth, include Sigma Partners, First Analysis Venture Capital and Frazier Technology Ventures, all of which participated in previous financing rounds. First-time investor JEGI Capital joined in the newest round as well.

The firm, which sells a Web-based enterprise marketing management service, said the cash would be used in product development and efforts to increase its market penetration.

Aprimo Marketing, the company’s chief product suite, includes applications to manage direct and e-mail marketing campaigns, sales leads, Web registrations and inquiries, events, finances and billing, campaign planning, and marketing communications.

Clients include Amway, Bank of America , Compaq , Ernst & Young, Merrill Lynch , and Pfizer .

The news points to the growing importance in the market of marketing resource management tools and services. In addition to Aprimo, players angling to dominate the field include Dentsu-backed Harmonic and Emmperative, which in December received $27 million from investors including Proctor & Gamble .

Other firms, such as startup Tacoda Systems, e-mail marketer Responsys and CRM giant PeopleSoft , have made moves to offer services that consolidate on- and offline marketing information into data useful for cross-channel marketing and remarketing. DoubleClick , too, is heavily invested in the area through its Abacus unit.

The newest developments also contribute to growing evidence supporting a more hospitable fundraising climate for online marketing plays. Last month, Chicago-based B2BWorks landed $3.25 million in new financing, which it attributed to growing awareness of the effectiveness of business-to-business Internet media and marketing services.

Aprimo, likewise, cites its high-profile client base as an indication that companies understand and have a need for Web-based enterprise marketing management tools.

“Our traction with a growing number of Global 2000 clients is a signal to us that Aprimo Marketing is now recognized in the industry as the standard for enterprise marketing management and is considered a necessary application to achieve accountability in marketing organizations,” said Bill Godfrey, Aprimo’s president and chief executive.

Last month, Aprimo signed an alliance with customer data analysis firm Quaero, which will see the two companies referring leads and jointly marketing their products to prospective clients.

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