Philly native AJ Bruno, 33, says people keep asking him why he came back to Philly after six years living in Austin, Texas.
Part of Bruno’s return has to do with family ties to the area, but the entrepreneur and Bryn Mawr resident says Philly made the most sense as a launchpad to start his second venture, sales software company QuotaPath. The startup just raised a $1.5 million seed round led by Austin-based ATX Seed Ventures and angel investors.
“We’re two months into it, but moving far along,” Bruno says of the nascent company — cofounded with Cole Evetts and Eric Heydenberk — which will use the funds from ATX to fuel product development.
Bruno, a Penn State alum, founded his previous venture in 2012: TrendKite, an analytics platform aimed at public relations firm. There, he worked alongside Austin-based cofounder Evetts, who was TrendKite’s director of sales. At the end of 2017, as the Dreamit-backed company raised the latest slice of a $46 million war chest, the way was paved for Bruno to try something new.
Now, with QuotaPath, the founding team is coming at the buzzy sales software space from a curiously blended angle. The first step is a free, consumer-facing app for sales reps and teams that will help them track their quotas and monitor their performance en route to commissions and bonuses.
"They'll be able to say, 'How many deals do I need to close to get a down payment on a house?'"
The second act, aimed at the enterprise software market, is an analytics platform that will let managers get insight into their compensation models and connect the platform with customer relationship management (CRM) software like HubSpot. There’s also a machine-learning component in the works to let execs find the compensation package proven to drive sales.
(Enterprise software, particularly connected to sales, is a big fat market to tackle. A recent report from Gartner says CRM software alone brought in $39.5 billion last year in global revenue.)
QuotaPath is currently a team of four, with plans to grow both its Austin and Philly locations. In Philly, the company has an outpost at WeWork on 19th and Market where it has also hired Product Operations Manager Darby Dupre.
Part of the free app offering, Bruno admits, is about inbound lead generation. But as the B2B component of the tech platform is built out, it sounds like QuotaPath’s fate will depend on getting salesfolks sold on the technology.
“Currently many salespeople use Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel to track their performance,” Bruno says. “What we’re saying is, why not build a dashboard behind that where you can have earning forecasts. They’ll be able to say, ‘How many deals do I need to close to get a down payment on a house?’ for example.”-30-