Consensus: Moving upmarket with the help of revenue-based financing
Based out of Lehi, Utah, Consensus is a leader in demo automation software. Their goal is to help organizations around the world improve overall sales productivity and create interactive, on-demand demos personalized to the prospect and the features they find most relevant. As a result, Consensus customers reported a significant increase in close rates and the creation of more presales capacity.
Here’s how they were able to accelerate growth and launch into the enterprise market with the help of Riverside Acceleration Capital’s partnership and funding across four rounds of growth loans and growth equity, including a Series A and B.
When we first met the Consensus team in 2017, they were in the middle of a move upmarket, going from primarily serving small and mid-size businesses to prioritizing the enterprise. With limited bandwidth this transition was proving to be difficult as their resources were being split between supporting the existing customer base and selling to the Enterprise. This was a significant shift in strategy and required a complete re-positioning of the company (including a name change!).
Although they had raised some venture capital previously, they knew they would need additional capital to fully support the move – which would require new product development, a full rebranding, and major changes to the team. As they went through this transition, they were keen to defer doing a priced equity round until they could prove the new strategy and accelerate their growth.
We offered Consensus a way to do just that – while accessing the hands-on support of experienced operators who had navigated the move upmarket before. Our growth loans enabled Consensus to access the growth capital they needed without diluting their equity or setting a valuation on the company, and Riverside’s global platform provided the resources to accelerate growth.
Our initial investment and hands-on support
RAC provided an initial investment of $1.1 million in non-dilutive growth capital, which helped to support Consensus’s move upmarket.
Over the following years, Consensus worked closely with Jon Temple and our Growth Advisors to design and execute on a strategic growth plan. Our team of experienced operators were able to provide support for all areas of the business, including positioning, compensation, executive recruitment, and organizational design. As part of The Riverside Company, a global multi-strategy investment firm with over $13 billion in assets under management as of January 2023, we were also able to connect Consensus with the resources, tools, and relationships to support their growth journey. This included but was not limited to, three new customer relationships with Riverside owned companies, access to large-company rates and services with vendors, and a new employee benefits program through a Riverside-owned professional employer organization (PEO) provider.
With this funding and guidance, Consensus was able to successfully launch and validate their new market positioning. This strategy paid off, and the company grew by over 300% in the following three years.
Follow-on rounds and a long-term partnership
We were able to help support Consensus both financially and strategically. They were getting the resources of a global firm and a team vested in their success, with the capacity to make follow-on non-dilutive and traditional growth equity investments. In fact, we’ve now made four separate investments in Consensus.
In early 2020, we provided an additional $500k in non-dilutive capital, which helped Consensus accelerate their growth even further, ahead of a significant Series A equity round that we enthusiastically led later that year.
Throughout 2021, Consensus put this new funding to good use, achieving 137% annual recurring revenue year-over-year growth and a 55% increase in their customer base. These metrics helped position the company for a $15M Series B in January 2022, which RAC led with participation from The Frazier Group.
The company subsequently raised an additional $110M from Sumeru Equity Partners and, as of March 2023, counts half of the 30 largest software companies among its growing list of enterprise customers.
Case study should not be relied upon for investment decision making and should not be considered an offer or solicitation of securities or investment services. For informational purposes only and intended for General Partners or Management teams considering partnering with The Riverside Company. Portfolio company selected based on non-performance criteria
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