Today, Toronto-based Loopio announced that it raise $9 million USD in a Series A funding round led by OpenView. The company was founded in 2014 and has financed itself with revenue from customers up to this point.
Loopio is one of many companies that are applying software as a solution to business problems that were previously solved by hand. The company is also part of a new wave of enterprise-focused SaaS startups drilling ever deeper into the business process stack to find problems that haven’t been solved yet. Loopio is not without competition—Qvidian, RFPIO, RFP365, among others are all players in the RFP software market. But it seems well-positioned for its more automated solution to gain more ground in a mostly analog problem space.
A Better Way To Respond To RFPs
A Request For Proposal (RFP), as the name may suggest, is a formal solicitation by a company or agency for proposals and bids to provide goods, services, or other assets to that company. These documents take multiple forms, ranging from Excel files with hundreds of questions to Word docs with scanty guidance on how to answer questions.
Loopio’s cofounder and CEO, Zak Hemraj, told Crunchbase News that ultimately these documents are all tied back to a compliance or due diligence process to “thoroughly evaluate” prospective vendors.
Hemraj said the premise for Loopio came from his eight-year tenure at Achievers, a Sequoia-backed SaaS startup based in San Francisco. Hemraj joined the then 20-person team as its first sales engineer and left when there were over 300 employees. He observed that, for most companies, the process of responding to RFPs is messy and chaotic. In many organizations, this RFP response process is scattered. Hemraj said this is especially problematic for younger companies where product roadmaps, budgets, timelines, pricing, service design, and other factors are still in flux.
Hemraj told Crunchbase News that Loopio helps over 300 companies including IBM, Thomson Reuters, Citrix, and Sprinklr create a “central library” of content and tools to save its users time when managing and responding to RFPs, Requests for Information (RFIs), and security questionnaires.
The Investor’s Perspective
According to a statement from the company, OpenView partner Ricky Pelletier will join Loopio’s board.
In response to questions from Crunchbase News, Pelletier said that despite being bootstrapped, Loopio “looks more like a late Series A [or] early B” stage company. He also said that OpenView has “done several” investments in bootstrapped companies like Loopio, and that the firm “will continue doing so.”
Loopio is only OpenView’s second Canadian portfolio company. The firm led Waterloo, ON-based Auvik Networks’s Series B round in August 2017.
The company says it will use capital raised in this round to expand its headcount at Toronto HQ. They plan to hire fifty people throughout 2018, mostly in engineering and sales, to double the size of his team.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias