Phone call analytics startup CallRail rings up backing from Wain Kellum, Reggie Bradford

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Marketing analytics startup CallRail has raised funding from Atlanta serial entrepreneurs Wain Kellum and Reggie Bradford.

CallRail provides businesses greater insight into where a phone call-based sales lead is coming from, and which marketing campaigns are effective. With insights into who is calling and how they found the business, companies can make their marketing and sales more efficient.

“Businesses need to understand which campaigns are working and are effective,” CallRail CEO Andy Powell said. “If they are not tracking which campaigns are driving phone calls, then they are not doing it very well.”

When a customer calls into a business, the company often doesn’t know what marketing campaign got that customer to call, Powell said.

“We close that loop,” he said. “We show people which marketing campaigns are driving phone calls.”

CallRail, co-founded by Powell and Kevin Mann, operates at the intersection of telecom and marketing software — two industries in which the city has a track record of building successful companies and a pool of engineering and management talent.

CallRail raised the $2 million from Kellum, Bradford and other investors, including Canal Partners and BLH Venture Partners. The capital will be used for product development and sales and marketing.

For CallRail, Kellum and Bradford bring more than dollars. Both investors have expertise in the telecom and marketing software space and had recent nine-figure exits.

“They’ve scaled sales and marketing teams and that’s expertise a startup like CallRail can leverage,” Powell said.

Kellum helped build Vocalocity, an Atlanta-based provider of Internet-based phone systems to small businesses that was acquired by Vonage Corp. for $130 million in October, 2013. Prior to that, Kellum founded Extreme Logic Inc., which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard.

Last year, Bradford sold social media technology firm Vitrue Inc. to Oracle Corp. for a reported $330 million. Previously, Bradford was CEO at N2 Broadband Inc., which was acquired by Tandberg Television (now Ericsson) in 2005.

CallRail, which expects 2014 revenues of $3.2 million, is chasing a large market. Businesses spend $70 billion annually to drive phone-based sales leads.

“We opened the software up to a segment of the market that was not being served — small and medium businesses,” Powell said. CallRail’s average clients have less than $1 million in annual revenue.

CallRail focuses on service providers — attorneys, plumbers, auto mechanics — who get phone-based business.

Sixty six percent of small business owners rate phone calls as their most valuable type of sales leads, according to a BIA/Kelsey study. Phone call based leads are valuable because the potential customer has taken the effort to call into the business.

CallRail’s software gives businesses greater insight into the marketing dollars that generate results versus the ones that don’t, Kellum said. For the leads that are generated, CallRail provides company’s tools to deliver a much higher close rate, he said.

Smartphone adoption is driving demand for CallRail’s services, as Internet search activity is shifting to mobile devices. Today, the phone call is finally being treated as a “first class citizen,” Powell said.

“People are more likely to click a phone number while doing an online search and complete a call,” he said. “We are seeing more call-based sales leads.”

CallRail offers its services on a subscription basis, starting at $30 a month for 10 phone numbers and 500 minutes. CallRail assigns a unique trackable phone number to each marketing campaign, whether it be online or via phone. When a customer calls in, the service can trace the campaign.

CallRail also offers “visitor level” tracking, where visitors to a company website get a unique phone number. “If they call the number, we know it was them and we can trace what parts of the site they viewed and how long they browsed the site,” Powell said .

CallRail is expanding beyond telephone calls to new communication channels, such as business-to-consumer text messaging. CallRail is also developing technology that allows businesses to quickly respond to Internet leads who may have filled out a contact form.

“When somebody submits an inquiry via web form, the business’ chance of closing the deal is strongly dependent on how quickly they react,” Powell said.

For a startup with limited resources, investing in the right products and feature sets is critical to growth, Kellum said. Making the wrong bets on the product roadmap will mean wasted investment and higher opportunity costs, he said.

Being in a lower-cost market such as Atlanta has allowed the startup to bootstrap — the company invested just $5,000 in developing the technology.

Had CallRail been based on the West Coast, pricey salaries and cost of living would have made it a challenge to get the business to where it is, while still being lean, Powell said.


Source:, Writer for Atlanta Business Chronicles.