Guru sets up its 'next stage' with $9.3 million Series A - Technical.ly Philly

Business

Sep. 7, 2017 10:46 am

Guru sets up its ‘next stage’ with $9.3 million Series A

“We expect this to fuel the next two to three years of the company,” said cofounder Rick Nucci.

Guru cofounders Rick Nucci (left) and Mitchell Stewart.

(Courtesy photo)

One of the largest funding rounds this year by a Philly tech startup was announced today: Guru just raised a $9.3 million Series A led by San Mateo, Calif.-based Emergence Capital, with participation from past investor FirstMark Capital and Michael Dell’s MSD Capital.

Per Guru cofounder Rick Nucci, the round is aimed at fueling the startup’s “next-stage” growth and building out the machine learning capabilities of its team-knowledge software solution. Currently at a headcount of 35, the Old City startup is looking to raise that number to 50 by the end of the year.

Numbers aside, the cash will help shape the company’s offering.

“Today, Guru is a system where you can search and find answers to solve customer problems or get answers to questions,” Nucci told Technical.ly. “Tomorrow, the vision is that Guru brings you that information as you need it, and that’s the promise of machine learning.”

Beyond the growth in engineering, sales and marketing will also grow proportionally. Nucci said paying customers have more than tripled since last year, going from 86 to 325.

“We expect this to fuel the next two to three years of the company,” said Nucci, who cofounded and then sold his previous software startup, Berwyn-based Boomi, to Dell.

Last summer, Guru raised its national profile by securing a $1 million investment that included some cash from Slack’s investment vehicle, The Slack Fund. Nucci said the investment helped the relationship between the two companies grow.

“Slack has been an amazing partner for us,” said Nucci. “We have a large proportion of mutual customers: around 75 percent.”

Advertisement

The popular communication tool has been a target spotter for the company: teams that adopt Slack often look to improve the way they share knowledge. Guru launched a Slack bot in May of last year.

The relationship with FirstMark was also helpful in securing the new raise. “They were super helpful in identifying VCs that aligned with Guru’s goal and vision,” Nucci said. “Emergence stood out as a great partner for us for because our visions have crazy alignment. It’s an amazing connection.”

As part of the investment, Emergence Capital founder Gordon Ritter is joining Guru’s board. Jake Saper, principal at Emergence, will also join the board in a board observer capacity.

For Nucci, who was volunteer president of Philly Startup Leaders from 2013 to 2015, the round serves as a signal of how Philly is a place where companies can find fertile ground.

“I’ve known that for a while about Philly, but some people outside the region don’t,” said Nucci. “I like to leverage news like this in this way: Forget about Guru, here’s a Philly startup that’s raised a nice amount of capital from out-of-region investors. It should serve as recognition that Philly is a great place to start a company full of talented people.

-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

Join the team behind a reimagined approach to consumer finances

In Philly, less than a fifth of all VC dollars go to women-founded companies

Catch live pitches from the companies in Philly Startup Leaders’ accelerator

SPONSORED

Philly

This startup is striving to deliver the future of freight

Philadelphia

Perpay

UX Designer

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Pre-Sales Business Analyst

Apply Now
Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Software Engineer

Apply Now

Orai lands $2.3M seed round led by Comcast Ventures

Live Philly wants to liven up your weekend

Food Connect is now saving 12,000 meals from hitting the trash can every month

SPONSORED

Philly

Why Deacom’s team prioritizes collaboration and continuous improvement

Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Software Engineer-Java

Apply Now
Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Product Systems Trainer-LEAP

Apply Now
Horsham, PA

Penn Mutual

Communications Specialist

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!