VCs Open Wallets for Active Decisions

At a time when venture capital dollars are scarce, CRM vendor Active Decisions was able to secure another round of funding to help finance its growing business. The developer of CRM solutions aimed at call centers, kiosks and Web sites, today will unveil it has closed on $13.1 million in Series D financing. The capital infusion was let by venture capitalist firm Liberty Partners and included investments from The Charles Schwab Corp., as well as previous Active Decisions investors Aspen Ventures, Red Rock Ventures, Novus Ventures, InRoads Capital Partners and The Entrepreneurs' Fund. The privately-held Active Decisions, whose clients include, CNET, Customer's Union, eBay, First Bank of Colorado,, Hewlett-Packard, Nestle and T. Row Price to name a few, plans on using the financing to increase marketing, research and development and its sales operations, Jeffrey Dunn, president and chief executive of Active Decisions told CRM magazine. "We are looking to expand our software, expand our marketing efforts and expand our professional services," Dunn said. Also, Active Decisions is looking to increase its target markets to possibly include the insurance and healthcare industries, he said. The capital infusion comes on the heals of the release of Active Decisions 7, a system powered by Active Enterprise Platform and Active Application Manger, which enables business managers to quickly deploy customized applications for the call centers or on the Web sites. The application offers buying recommendations to customers based on that customer's preferences through a question and answer interface. The 41-person company, based in San Mateo, Calif., is expecting recognized revenue to be approximately $4 million this year, with $7 million in sales actually booked, Dunn said. The increase in funding will help the company put in initiatives which is expected to boost its recognized revenue to $12 million in 2003 with $15 million booked, he said. Although VCs are still raising money, the level has decreased significantly over the last few years as many of these companies got burned during the dot-com crash. For instance, in the second quarter, a total of 30 venture capital funds announced closings with commitments of $4.6 billion, though more than half the capital commitments came from the $2.5 billion final closing of Warburg Pincus's Fund VIII, according to VentureWire, a service that tracks VC spending. This is down considerably from 2001 when $8.9 billion in venture capital was raised, according to VentureWire. By comparison, in the second quarter of 2000, VCs raised a whopping $27.9 billion.
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