Backing the First Customer Insights Engine: Our Series A in Retain

This article first appeared on the Emergence Capital website

We at Emergence are thrilled to announce we have partnered with the Retain team to support their mission to help customer-facing teams drive repeatable success. We are pleased to lead the company’s $23 million Series A round, alongside existing investors Baseline Ventures, Upside Partnership, and Afore Capital.

As a firm, we’ve been bullish about a future where enterprises can leverage Coaching Networks to capture human brilliance and make better decisions across the organization. Our investments in Chorus.aiTextio, and Guru are long-term bets on the power of enterprise network effects in the domains of video, writing, and knowledge management respectively.

We are now excited to partner with Retain, creators of the world’s first Customer Insights Engine (CIE).

According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of converting an existing customer is 60-70%, compared to only 5-20% for new prospects. Companies are now realizing it’s equally, if not more important to delight existing customers than it is to land new ones. That means spending time on the right customers is especially valuable. Retain provides customer-facing teams the data-driven insights they need to ensure they are focusing on the accounts and activities that matter most. It does this by providing a unified view of customer engagement across teams, processes, and applications. Unlike self-reporting or rigid integrations that provide incomplete data, Retain seamlessly integrates with every browser-based application to create a detailed picture of customer engagement on a one-to-one level, allowing companies to optimize revenue growth and mitigate potential churn – all in a privacy-rich way. 

At Emergence, we’ve been focused on finding a Coaching Networks company that is building a way to identify and disseminate best practices among customer-facing teams. During this time, we met Eric Chernoff and Vlad Shulman and were immediately impressed by their passion for this space. Within the first five minutes of our meeting, ideas were flying back and forth between us. Eric has an undeniable grit and a real sense of hunger that was palpable from our first meeting. Besides his relevant experience with data integration from his time at LiveRamp, Eric has a true growth mindset, making him an unbelievable learning machine. His Co-Founder Vlad is the perfect complement, with extraordinary technical capabilities and product vision. We knew that together, they were the right team to build a customer intelligence platform unlike any other.

We have been blown away by the early response from Retain customers – proof they are on to something big. In the last 12 months, Retain has 10x’ed its customer base, with early customers including Salesforce, Nielsen, Google, among others. The company has made incredible progress, experiencing 8x ARR growth, with 36x average customer seat growth. Their traction is evidence of the power and ease of implementation of the product and the team they have assembled.

Retain comes at a crucial time for the changing enterprise. Before Retain, customer teams were flying blind—unsure of what was working and what was not. The parallel would be running a Sales team without a CRM. Eric and Vlad knew that the modern enterprise would require a new approach and that AI could help customer-facing teams be more strategic with their time. We’re strong believers in Coaching Networks and their ability to augment the capacity for human learning. We believe Retain will be the next company to link enterprise workers to the institutional knowledge they need to thrive, while unlocking incredible amounts of value for the customers they serve.

All of us at Emergence are thrilled to partner with the talented team at Retain to build out this critical platform.

‍Congratulations to Eric, Vlad, and the entire Retain team!

– Gordon Ritter, Founder + General Partner