Two years after raising a six-figure seed round to scale up its platform that helps customers expand their sales and marketing partnerships, Ottawa startup PartnerPortal.io has been sold to a U.S. firm.
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Two years after raising a six-figure seed round to scale up its platform that helps customers expand their sales and marketing partnerships, Ottawa startup PartnerPortal.io has been sold to a U.S. firm. Austin, Texas-based Relevize announced Tuesday it acquired PartnerPortal in late December. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. PartnerPortal helps companies scale up their sales partnership networks, tracking data such as who is bringing in new business and how much they’re getting paid, as well as metrics such as close rates, revenues and commission payments. Originally bootstrapped in 2019 by co-founders Jonathan Coy, Josh Garellek, Steve Kanter and Eddie Patzsch, the Ottawa-based company secured a pre-seed round in early 2022 led by Partnership Leaders Investments, an angel investor syndicate that includes executives at Amazon, Google and Salesforce. PartnerPortal now has more than 1,000 customers, including enterprise clients such as events.com. Yet despite tripling its monthly recurring revenues over the past two years, the seven-person company needed new sources of capital to fuel its continued growth at the same time that the “VC market kind of dried up,” Garellek told Techopia this week. Management believed that seeking an acquisition partner was “the best approach … to help ultimately grow the company,” Garellek explained. Headquartered in Austin, Relevize makes software that automatically generates sales leads for customers such as Salesforce and Shopify. In 2022, the company raised US$6 million from a group of investors led by Insight Partners, a New York-based firm whose portfolio also includes Shopify, as well as fellow Ottawa tech firms Rewind and Knak. “The team at PartnerPortal.io has built an impressive piece of technology which we look forward to bringing to partnerships teams worldwide,” Relevize CEO Mike Nardella said in a news release. “PartnerPortal.io truly rounds out the Relevize offering, enabling us to deliver new and unique value to current and future customers alike.” Garellek, who will continue to work with Relevize as an adviser, said the two organizations began discussing a potential deal late last summer and talks progressed quickly from there. “The two solutions work really well together, and we’re going to kind of bake the products together and really come out with a best-in-class offering,” he said. “We weren’t really looking to sell, and then magic happened and we put a deal together.” The veteran tech executive called the transaction “bittersweet.” He said divesting PartnerPortal will allow him to devote more time to his other ventures, which include digital branding and app design firm Arctic Leaf and SmartBrokr, a customer relationship management platform aimed at realtors that is scheduled for a soft launch in April. “I think it’s just a natural progression as an entrepreneur,” Garellek added of the decision to sell PartnerPortal. “We took a product from inception to exit in four years. I think we learned a lot throughout the process.”