Austin Marketing Automation Startup eRelevance Brings in $5.1 Million to Expand

Startup, led by veteran entrepreneur Bob Fabbio, will ramp up sales, marketing and product development

There are literally thousands of high-tech marketing tools to help small businesses try to drum up new customers.

But Austin-based eRelevance says it’s more valuable for business owners to focus on the customers they have by targeting them with special offers and enticing services.

“Small businesses are spending a fortune on these tech tools and tech consultants to try to find new customers,” said Bob Fabbio, a veteran Austin entrepreneur and founder and CEO of eRelevance. “We use big data analytics to help them find more revenue from their existing customer base. When we start generating revenue from those customers in the first month, they are blown away.”

eRelevance lets small businesses target their existing customers with special deals and offers.

The company, which launched in 2013, has signed 800 customers and posted triple digit revenue growth for the past six quarters, Fabbio said. (The privately held company does not disclose specific financial data.)

Now, eRelevance has landed a new $5.1 million round of funding to accelerate its growth. The lead investor in the deal was Rally Ventures, with participation from Chicago Ventures, Miramar Venture Partners, Martin Investment Holdings and Capital Factory. The new money brings the total raised by the company to $13.7 million.

The company is initially targeting the elective health care space, such as medical spas and dermatology and plastic surgery clinics. It has signed customers nationwide and in Canada.

“All they have to do is hand us a digital customer list with ways to contact customers by email or other digital handles, and we provide the service,” Fabbio said.

If, for example, a medical spa wants to offer a Botox special to customers over age 45, eRelevance determines which customers to target and runs a campaign that can include email, text messaging, Facebook ads and other online methods to reach them.

“Maybe you have a busy mom who might not be checking her email, but a text might catch her attention,” Fabbio said. “Or later when she gets on Facebook, she might notice an ad. We’re literally digitally surrounding people.”

The service on average costs about $1,000 a month, and includes to to three campaigns per month.

The company will use the money to accelerate sales and marketing and to further build out its marketing services platform. Plans call for the 58-person company to reach about 85 employees this year.

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