Donegal company Motarme has turned to crowdfunding to invest in new technology and finance plans to ramp up sales in overseas markets.
Headquartered in Letterkenny, the firm has developed an online platform to help business-to-business companies with sales prospecting and lead generation.
The company is raising €150,000 on Spark Crowdfunding, which will be match-funded by Enterprise Ireland. Motarme is a high-potential start-up client of the state agency.
Michael White, Motarme’s founder and managing director, said the funding would be used to boost sales activity in Britain and the US and to invest in new machine learning technology.
“We want to hire three sales and marketing people initially to focus on Britain and the US, and we also want to add a new machine learning component to our platform,” White said.
“That will mean we can analyse the campaigns we have already done so we can optimise campaigns for new customers. We have hundreds of thousands of communication points going back over the last few years. The machine learning system will be able to identify the patterns that produce the most successful results.”
White described Motarme as an account-based sales system that helps businesses to identify and connect with potential customers.
“Businesses need a steady flow of new sales, but a lot of companies have challenges in systematically finding target customers and then connecting with them,” he said.
“Motarme can find target companies that match a specific profile and engage with those targets to start a sales conversation.”
White said Motarme’s primary focus was on large enterprise contracts. The company has 15 customers in the software and manufacturing sectors. Clients include P-Mac, Principal Logistics Technologies and Woodco.
“You often find B2B companies having to deal with a lot of sales activity, messaging and inbound marketing. They can find it hard to cut through the noise,” he said.
“Most of the tools available to them focus on contacting individuals and on transactional deals. With account-based sales, we’re targeting a much bigger group of companies that we’ve done some background investigation on. We use very tailored messages that go out across a number of channels at once, so they get emails, direct mail, social media and online communication, all coordinated with the same message.”
White established Motarme in 2015, having worked as head of marketing at Singularity in Derry and as a senior product manager at Siemens in Dublin and Munich.
He said the company had opted to raise money on the Spark Crowdfunding platform primarily due to its location.
“The vast majority of VC funding still goes into companies based in Dublin or Galway. We’re in Letterkenny, right on the border,” he said.
“It’s harder for companies like us to access investment, because we don’t have easy access to a network.
“With Spark Crowdfunding, you’re appealing to a larger number of smaller investors and your location isn’t such an issue.”
Motarme’s crowdfunding campaign will run on the Spark platform until May 29.