Redwood City, Calif.-based Gainsight just got another $50 million to help companies deliver on its concept of customer success.

Executives told CMSWire the company plans to use the money for research and development, as well as engineering investments. It will also invest into its Pulse community, specifically its annual Pulse conference, a two-day event designed for customer success professionals.

Insight Venture Partners led the Series D funding round, which boosts Gainsight's total funding to about $100 million. It has about 250 employees, up from about 100 this time last year. Other investors include Battery Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Summit Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Anthony Kennada, vice president of marketing at Gainsight, told CMSWire the company plans to "double down our investment in engineering to continue our innovation trajectory on the product."

Road Ahead

headshot of anthony kennada of gainsight

Gainsight has already invested millions in its Pulse initiatives, which he said "hit a crescendo every year" at the industry conference in May.

"Our intention is to continue to create opportunities for customer success executives from all levels of experience to learn and share best practices, network and build their careers, and celebrate being the pioneers in this emerging job function," Kennada said.

In September, Gainsight introduced Success Plans and Relationships — which the company claimed helps those that sell into larger organizations to align on their customers’ strategic goals and drive long-term growth of their relationships.

So what's next? IPO?

"We're still very much in the execution phase, working to not only build this company and product, but also play a small part in building this entire new category of customer success," Kennada said.

Who Benefits?

Asked for the typical customer of the Gainsight platform, Kennada said it's a vice president of customer success or chief customer officer — someone who wants to operationalize his team's approach to customer success. 

screenshot of the gainsight customer success platform

"Marketing teams live in marketing automation tools like Marketo or Hubspot, sales teams live in CRM tools like Salesforce or Oracle Sales Cloud and customer success teams live in Gainsight," he added. "Our end users are typically customer success managers or account managers who are responsible for customer retention or upsell."

The customer-facing teams can better understand their customers by tracking customer health data, Kennada said. They can take action on this data by providing ways to engage with their customer base. They can also more effectively manage their teams and internal customer-related processes, Kennada claimed.

St. Louis Roots

Gainsight was founded in 2009 by Jim Eberlin and Sreedhar Peddineni and incubated at Host Analytics, another company founded by Eberlin. It was then known as Jbara Software and was based in Eberlin's native St. Louis, where Gainsight still operates an office today. A Series A round of financing (led by Battery Ventures in April 2013) led to the hiring of a new CEO, Nick Mehta, and foundation of an executive team in Silicon Valley. 

In addition to Redwood City and St. Louis, the company has offices in Phoenix, Hyderabad, India and Bangalore, India.

“The emergence of the customer success job function is a direct response to the pressure recurring revenue businesses face to retain and expand customers," Jeff Lieberman, managing director at Insight Venture Partners, said in a statement.

Last week Gainsight announced record third quarter sales, up 252 percent year-over-year. Andy Knosp joined the Gainsight executive team as vice president of professional services. He had previously served as vice president of professional services at Hortonworks. Before that, he held leadership positions with VMware, Loudcloud and Procter & Gamble.