Insider raises $121M Series D, Unlocks Unicorn Status
B2B SaaS Unicorn Insider helps 1000+ leading brands like Samsung, Estée Lauder, Avon, Toyota, AirArabia, Nissan, Liv by ENBD, IKEA and Flyadeal accelerate digital growth through best-in-class cross-channel customer experiences.
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Turkey-headquartered customer engagement SaaS startup Insider has successfully raised $121M in its latest funding round at a $1.22 Bn valuation. Unlocking Unicorn status the startup’s Series D Mega Round was led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and recorded participation from Sequoia, Riverwood Capital, 212, Wamda Capital, Esas Private Equity, and Endeavor Catalyst.
Insider—one platform for individualized, cross-channel experiences—enables enterprise marketers to connect customer data across channels and systems, predict their future behavior with an AI intent engine and individualize customer experiences. Founded in 2012 by Cilingir (CEO), Serhat Soyuerel (Chief Revenue Officer), Arda Koterin (Chief Customer Officer), Sinan Toktay (CTO), Okan Yedibela (VP of Engineering), and Muharrem Derinkök (Chief Product Officer), the Insider team has more than 700 team members from 41 different nationalities across 28 countries worldwide. Insider is a female-led organization with 60% of top executives in the company, including the CEO, CMO, CFO, and CHRO, being women.
With Saudi’s first Mega Deal being established in 2021, the enterprise software sector in MENA has risen to new heights over the past year. As recorded in our State of Startup Funding- 2022 Emerging Venture Markets Free Report, available for download, the SaaS space has observed more than 300% YoY growth in VC funding over 2021. With 18% more deals than the year before, venture capital investment in MENA supported AI, automation, data analytics, and B2B solutions across industries. It was major funding rounds backing the likes of AI-powered HR Tech Platform Leena AI and Customer Relation solutions provider Xina AI that put the Arabic langue and NLU as a pivotal part of their market propositions, shedding light on the importance of developing Arab-oriented Deep Technologies. Excluding this Mega Round, the enterprise software solutions sector across MEAPT has raised south of $80M over 30+ transactions in 2022 YTD. With a keen focus on AI and MI solutions as well as data-centric propositions and API integrations with major investments in startups including crediting solutions provider MarketForce (Kenya), HR solutions provider Seamless HR (Nigeria), and AI-powered growth analytics platform Mozn (KSA).
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Today’s consumers engage digitally with brands across six or more channels on average. Marketers are challenged with engaging with customers on their preferred channels when they are most active. Insider’s AI-powered platform brings together the most extensive set of personalization capabilities with emerging messaging channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, RCS, and SMS. Insider technology coordinates all offline and online data into a unified platform that allows enterprise marketers to consolidate data, predict future behaviors, and execute engagement campaigns. Insider’s channel integrations take minutes, not months, reducing dependency on internal IT teams. The platform enables digital marketers to drive growth across channels and throughout the funnel from acquisition to activation, revenue, and retention (AARR), thereby impacting ROI metrics such as conversion rate, CAC, LTV, and average order value.
MEA has been a key market for Insider since its establishment, as the company first expanded into 2 regions in Europe including Turkey and Russia prior to MEA, LATAM, and the US. The SaaS company serves some of the biggest brands in MEA including Samsung, Estée Lauder, Avon, Toyota, AirArabia, Nissan, Liv by ENBD, IKEA, and Flyadeal “MEA region is one of the early markets to adopt Insider and we are very grateful to each of our partners for their trust in us. The Series D funding is perfect timing as the region is gearing up to outpace global economic growth in 2022 by making huge strides in developing its digital economy” declared Leo Thomas, Regional Director MEA for Insider. “We are so thrilled with the series D investment round and we look forward to a very rapid expansion by scaling up sales and marketing efforts not only in MEA, but also in India and Pakistan.”
With this funding milestone, the company also became one of a few female-led SaaS unicorns in the world. Insider has achieved consistent, rapid growth and according to Crunchbase is one of the top 9 B2B SaaS unicorns globally: the fifth largest B2B SaaS unicorn in the U.S., fourth in Europe, second in Asia, and first in Latin America.“We’ve been blitzscaling remarkably in the past three years and achieved 3X growth. In the same period, our global team grew by 300%, and our customer base continues to increase,” said founder and CEO Hande Cilingir. “Following our aggressive expansion in Asia, Europe and LATAM, we’ll carry this momentum in the U.S. market. We are a trusted software partner to leading global brands like Samsung, GAP, MAC, and Santander. We are laser-focused on bringing Insider to additional markets, and becoming the number one choice for every marketer on this planet.”
Insider’s platform is used by marketing teams at more than 1000+ global enterprise brands, including industry powerhouses such as Samsung, GAP, Santander, Vodafone, IKEA, MAC, Virgin, Toyota, Singapore Airlines, Madeira Maderia, Marks & Spencer, BBVA, and Estée Lauder. With teams on the ground in 28 countries, Insider ensures deep localization and support for clients. Mr. Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA stated, “QIA is constantly looking for innovators, both in the MEA region and globally, in line with our increasing focus on the tech space. Insider clearly stands out in the marketing technology ecosystem, and its highly personalized results can provide value to both audiences and businesses.”
Early predictions indicate that in MEA, Insider will invest Dhs 185M over the next three years. The additional capital will be used to fuel rapid expansion, enhance the company’s core technology and scale local sales and marketing investments. Insider has aggressive global hiring plans and anticipates creating more than 50 jobs over the next three years, with an emphasis on hiring female engineers to fill R&D and product development positions.Joe De Pinho, Principal at Riverwood Capital concluded with high hopes for the team, “The bar for competition has been raised across the board in SaaS over the past 5 years. Insider stands out as an outlier. Hande is a truly exceptional leader and, backed by her brilliant co-founders and teams, is building a world-class software company with capabilities beyond those of many in the Valley. Theirs is a different mindset: one that breaks past boundaries and makes what seems impossible to many, a possibility.”
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