LeadPages, a Minneapolis maker of sales-oriented website technology, said Wednesday a new round of funding has raised $27 million, one of the highest amounts for an early-stage tech company in the Twin Cities.
The investment will be used by LeadPages to fund a rapid growth spurt shaped by a hiring spree and potential acquisitions.
The company, unusual for a tech start-up, has generated cash to pay for its operations from the start and has not spent the $11 million it collected in an earlier round of seeking investments, Clay Collins, its co-founder and chief executive, said in an interview.
“It’s common to dig into what the money will be used for but the truth is we’re cash flow positive,” Collins said. “We want to make a couple acquisitions, but mostly we think it de-risks the business.”
The latest round of funding was led by Drive Capital, a Columbus, Ohio, venture capital firm. It was joined by Foundry Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based firm that invested in LeadPages during the previous round, and Arthur Ventures of Fargo, N.D.
An executive from Drive Capital will join one from Foundry on the LeadPages board of directors.
The investment appears to be the biggest raised by a Minnesota tech company since Code42, a Minneapolis software firm, raised $52.5 million in early 2013.
LeadPages was started in January 2013 by Collins and Tracy Simmons, who built page templates that businesses could use on their websites to take orders and get information from potential customers. The company structured the product as a monthly service, giving itself a subscription-like revenue stream.
Also Wednesday, the company launched a version of its product that’s tailored for large companies, called LeadPages Corporate. It said it would hold a user conference, dubbed Converted, on Oct. 20 and 21 in Minneapolis. Collins said he expects the conference to become an annual event.
Since raising its first funds from outside investors in 2013, the company has grown from 6,000 to 35,000 customers and pushed its products into midsize and large enterprises.
For a time, the company was in the CoCo co-working space in St. Paul. It has grown from 17 employees two years ago to 120 today and is now in North Loop office space.
Collins said the company is trying to triple the size of its engineering and product teams and now has four internal recruiters, as well as external consultants, to shape its hiring efforts. “All departments have multiple job openings that are critical,” he said.