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Our Investment in Clari, Intelligent Tools for the CRO

AUTHOR: S. Somasegar | October 10, 2019

We, at Madrona Venture Group, are excited to invest in Clari, a company applying AI to the multi-layered task of revenue operations.

Earlier this summer, we raised the first Madrona Acceleration Fund and Clari is the first investment out of that fund. The fund’s focus is to invest in great companies and teams that have found product-market fit and are ready to scale to the next level. Clari already has had incredible success and is on that path.

Over the last year or so, we have focused deeply on a number of themes that have guided our investment activities.  One such theme is intelligent applications. Clari is a great example of an intelligent application that ingests data from a variety of sources (CRM systems, marketing tools, customer success tools, email, calendar and the like) and applies AI and ML techniques to provide better insights and forecasting capabilities to drive revenue operations for an enterprise.

We believe there are some key trends in the industry which make a platform tool such as Clari a “must have” solution for all Go-To Market (GTM) employees in an enterprise today.  These trends include:

  • Companies continue to rapidly innovate on business models. Driven by changes in customer behavior, over the last decade we have seen a strong movement from traditional license models to subscription models.  And we are in the early days of moving from subscription models to consumption models.  As these business model innovations continue, the challenges that businesses and organizations and people deal with are getting more complex.
  • The rise of the CRO (Chief Revenue Officer). More and more enterprises are looking to have a top-level leader who looks holistically at all aspects of revenue operations.  This has started shining the spotlight on and the opportunity to manage revenue generation as a predictable end-to-end business process and managing  marketing, sales and customer success as one integrated system as opposed to different silos.
  • ML and AI technology advances have truly enabled every application that is being built today to be an intelligent application. Being able to bring data together from multiple sources and build a continuous learning system that provides better insights and predictive capabilities is becoming more possible today than ever before.

Clari is an AI and ML platform that looks holistically at revenue operations by unifying sales, marketing and customer success systems and data to provide insights and forecasting capabilities. It is led by a fantastic team including Andy Byrne (CEO and Co-Founder) and Venkat Rangan (CTO and Co-Founder) who have a long history of working together in a variety of successful start-ups over a couple of decades and they bring a tremendous amount of experience and expertise to solving this problem in a best-in-class way for all businesses.

We heard amazing feedback from Clari’s customers about why they love the product.  Hearing things like “sales folks just love the product”, “my CEO doesn’t ask me for forecast information anymore and just looks at Clari’s forecast”, “my Board member’s first question always on the plan is how does this relate to Clari’s forecast”, etc. reinforce how Clari’s core value proposition resonates strongly with customers.

For these reasons, we are thrilled at the opportunity to invest in Clari and to be a valuable partner in the journey as we build the next generation AI-driven revenue operations platform for companies around the world.


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