Earlier this month OMERS Ventures led a US$5 million Seed round in Nudge, a modern sales platform that helps B2B sales teams build stronger relationships with their customers and identify who in their network has the best access to key accounts. This investment marks (i) OMERS Ventures’ seventh seed investment and (ii) our first investment in a company based in OneEleven, a Toronto-based post-seed tech accelerator, in which we are a proud founding partner.
Today, an individual’s personal and professional networks are fragmented across many applications. These networks treat each relationship equally, despite the realities of more relevant and frequent contact on different platforms. At its core, Nudge empowers individuals to take control of their relationships by unifying disparate networks into a single platform. Nudge provides users with comprehensive relationship analytics for managing their connections, customers and potential clients. As Nudge continues to digest and analyze data from users, its platform becomes smarter by applying machine learning techniques to provide actionable recommendations that empower users to strengthen their networks and leverage them to achieve their business goals.
OMERS Ventures’ investment in Nudge is grounded in its thesis around the emerging Personal Relationship Management (“PRM”) market, a sub-segment of the broader Customer Relationship Management software (“CRM”) market, which has no incumbent leader as of yet. The new PRM market has an estimated total addressable market size of $2.2 billion and is being driven by five trends: data democratization; social network sprawl; advances in machine learning capabilities; growing demand for sales acceleration tools; and the “consumerization” of the enterprise. The overall global CRM market grew by 15.0% from $23.2 billion in 2014 to $26.7 billion in 2015. Microsoft’s recent $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn is built around this same concept of PRM, with a focus on bridging the gap between CRM and relationship intelligence platforms.
Our investment in Nudge is also a reflection of our confidence in Paul Teshima and Steve Woods, two Canadian “unicorn” founders who shaped modern marketing. After successfully guiding Eloqua to a market leader in marketing automation, through IPO and acquisition for $957 million by Oracle, Paul and Steve have set out to solve another massive challenge facing sales professionals – building trust with customers.
We believe Nudge is building the first modern sales platform that focuses on relationships and that it will change the way people approach enterprise sales. Our investment is a testament to our belief in the strength of the early-stage start-up ecosystem in Canada, and we are excited to join Paul and Steve on their journey.