Crosslink Capital leads fifth round raising $16mm in funding for Marin Software

Good news on the fact that Marin Software raised $16mm in funding. Congrats to one of my favorite companies out in the biddable media management space. Sources at Marin have described the recent funding and growth as a positive sign for the company. It’s also an important indication that paid search advertising is a maturing market despite the fact that spend growth has slowed a bit and focus has shifted to display mainly due to the hullabaloo around ad exchanges, attribution modeling, etc. The bid management solutions industry has moved away from “bid” to consider other more practical factors such as quality, workflow, automation, and ease-of-use. This type of trend is typical of a maturing market. The fact is, the variables to success have shifted exponentially towards more of an enterprise based approach that I cringe these days when folks discuss bidding.

The good news didn’t end there, Marin hit the news media with another whammy, announcing that it now manages more than $2 billion in annual paid search spend through the Marin platform. What do we think? 1.5% of those billings plus a small amount of service related fees, not too shabby. I would have paced the announcements a bit, to be honest.

The funds will be used to focus growth Internationally with plans to open offices in Singapore and Shanghai, and expand into France, Australia and Brazil in 2011. Marin services 800 clients on search campaigns in 160 countries, expanded its service to Facebook last August.

In my opinion, Marin is laying the foundation for two possible scenarios IPO in the next 12 months or possible buy out.

Below is the release along with coverage on Marin.

Marin Software Secures $16 Million Series E Financing

Marin Software, provider of the leading online advertising management platform for advertisers and agencies announced it has secured an additional $16 million in Series E financing. Crosslink Capital led the round with participation from Marin’s existing venture capital investors including Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Focus Ventures and Triangle Peak Partners. The company also announced that Eric Chin, partner at Crosslink Capital, will join the Board of Directors as an observer and that former Shutterfly VP of Finance John Kaelle has joined the executive team as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

News Facts:
Marin Software will invest the Series E funding to support the growth of its global customer base which includes many of the world’s leading advertisers and agencies spanning diverse industries such as: retail, education, financial services, insurance, travel, lead generation, automotive, B2B, and local. Marin Software currently serves 800 clients worldwide and manages 600 million keywords and more than $2 billion in annualized paid search spend for its customers.

As the leading global provider of online advertising management solutions, Marin’s technology is used to manage search campaigns in 160 countries and 25 currencies. The company will also use the funding to support continued international expansion. Marin Software recently announced its expansion into Asia with new offices in Singapore and Shanghai, and plans to expand into France, Australia, and Brazil in 2011.

In the past year, Marin Software expanded its product offering beyond paid search and now offers advanced applications for managing Facebook ads, as well as Marin Retargeting, a complete workflow, analysis, and optimization solution for advertisers and agencies seeking to manage display retargeting as an integrated part of the online media mix. In addition, Marin recently launched Marin Professional, which offers the power and ease-of-use of the Marin platform for search marketers who spend less than $100,000 per month.

John Kaelle has joined Marin Software as Executive Vice President and CFO. Kaelle joins the company from Shutterfly, where he was Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. During his tenure at Shutterfly, Kaelle managed company growth from 150 to over 600 employees, revenue growth from $54 million to over $300 million, and a successful IPO in 2006. Prior to Shutterfly, John held executive roles at Thomas Weisel Partners and TriNet Corporate Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust. John earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, and holds a master’s degree in taxation from Golden Gate University and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Quotes:
“Over the past few years, Marin has delivered tangible business benefits to a growing list of advertisers and agencies through the expansion and development of our enterprise-class advertising management platform,” said Chris Lien, founder and CEO of Marin Software. “This latest funding will enable Marin to accelerate our investment on behalf of our customers worldwide as we deliver innovations in product development and client services. Marin is committed to providing our customers with the most powerful and easy-to-use advertising management platform in the world.”
“With $2 billion of global search spend under management, Marin Software is a leading innovator in the online advertising industry,” said Eric Chin, partner, Crosslink Capital. “We believe the company’s strong customer momentum, track record of product innovation and global reach position Marin for continued success, and we look forward to working with the Marin team.”

“Marin Software is an emerging leader in advertising management software, and it has achieved this position in a relatively short period of time through cutting-edge technology innovation, strong client services, and complex global deployments,” said John Kaelle, EVP and CFO of Marin Software. “I look forward to working hand-in-hand with the executive team at Marin to help drive the company’s financial success in this time of rapid global growth.”

About Crosslink Capital:
Founded in 1989, Crosslink Capital is a leading stage-independent venture capital and growth equity firm with over $1.5 billion in capital under management. Crosslink was among the first and largest investment firms in the U.S. to integrate public and private technology investing. This strategy allows Crosslink to partner with its portfolio companies on a long-term basis. With more than 20 years behind it, Crosslink Capital has invested in over 90 private equity portfolio companies, including Miller Heiman, Omniture (acquired by Adobe Systems) Pandora, SeaMicro, Twin Creeks Technologies, Virage Logic, and Yipes (acquired by Reliance Communications).

About Marin Software:
Marin Software is a leading provider of online advertising management solutions, offering an integrated platform for managing search, display, and social marketing. The company provides solutions for advertisers and agencies of all sizes, enabling them to improve financial performance, save time, and make better decisions. Marin Enterprise, the company’s flagship product, addresses the needs of online marketers spending at least $100,000 per month on biddable media. Marin Professional delivers the same power and ease of use as Marin Enterprise, through an application designed for marketers spending less than $100,000 per month on paid search. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices worldwide, Marin’s technology powers marketing campaigns for over 800 customers managing more than $2 billion of annualized ad spend in more than 160 countries.

Source: Marin Software

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