Anyone who has worked with a team preparing a response document to a Request for Proposal knows the process typically involves long hours, lots of research, copious writing and numerous revisions.
In a nutshell, it’s not a lot of fun.
Which is where Portland-based RFPIO comes in. It’s a software product designed to make the whole process of responding to RFPs better.
I sat down with Ganesh Shankar, co-founder and CEO of RFPIO, to catch up on the company’s progress since we first chatted about a year ago. Since then, RFPIO has secured significant new funding, expanded its team, and is quickly becoming a must-have tool for many sales teams around the world.
“It’s been an amazing year,” Shankar said. “We surpassed our funding goals and we’re growing quickly. Our customers tell us that our product is really taking the stress out of the RFP process for them and is helping them win more sales.”
Last fall, RFPIO secured $1.5 million in seed funding from local investors. Elevate Capital led the funding round, which included angels from TiE Oregon and other private individuals. In October, RFPIO landed $100,000 at the Bend Venture Conference for the company’s performance in the Growth Stage competition. In December, Stephen Marsh, CEO and founder of Smarsh, whose company was an early customer of RFPIO, also invested $500,000 in the company through his investment vehicle Archivist Capital.
“I invested in the company because I believe that RFPIO has cracked the code on how to simplify the RFP process in a unique way that makes it easier, faster and more efficient than any other solution out there,” said Marsh.
“Our company’s sales team uses RFPIO because it saves us a significant amount of time on RFP projects and, giving us the opportunity to participate in more RFPs with higher quality responses that ultimately help us win more business.”
RFPIO used the cash infusion to expand its support and development teams locally and Coimbatore, India. It also moved into a new headquarters in Portland from its previous home in Beaverton. Shankar expects to add several more people during the next few months, particularly within the support and product marketing teams.
The company also plans to use the funding to build more functionality into the product and add complementary services. The company has a patent pending for its proprietary technology.
Shankar plans to continue his investment in global growth due to increasing market demand. Some of the company’s global customers include professional services firm DTI Global, education technology firm Britannica Digital Learning, legal services firm Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions, and data analytics company DataXu.
In addition to Smarsh, the company’s other local customers include web development firm Metal Toad, interpreter service Certified Languages International, compliance company Compli, marketing software maker Opal Labs, collaboration software maker Jama Software, identity management company Janrain, online learning library OpenSesame, and legal software maker Zapproved among others.
“We are very fortunate to be based in the Portland market. Portland isn’t afraid of supporting new tech — if it works they jump on it,” said Shankar.