IoT Analytics Startup Seeq Plans Channel Expansion After $23M Round
Seeq is looking to double its channel partner count after the industrial Internet of Things analytics software startup recently raised a $23 million Series B funding round.
The financing, announced Wednesday, was led by the Altira Group, a Denver-based venture capital firm supported by large independent oil and gas operators. Siemens-backed next47, Chevron Technology Ventures, Second Avenue Partners and other investors also participated in the round. This brings the Seattle-based company's total funding to just under $34 million.
Michael Risse, chief marketing officer at Seeq, told CRN that the company has about 40 channel partners since kicking off efforts with value-added resellers last year — a number that the company would like to double by 2019. The company doesn't have a specific goal for how much revenue is made up of channel sales over time; instead, it's about expanding Seeq's reach.
"Our real goal is about geographic and vertical coverage," Risse said.
Over the past year, Seeq has doubled its number of customers to more than 100 across 10 countries, according to Risse. The majority of Seeq's customers are oil and gas operators while others represent a variety of verticals, including food and beverage, utilities, power generation and life sciences. Customers include Chevron, Devon Energy, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Pioneer Energy.
The 50-person company has also doubled the amount of revenue it makes from customers over those two years, which, to Risse, shows a major opportunity for partners to expand deals and increase margins over time. In fact, Seeq will use some of the new funding to expand existing customer deployments to "full enterprise deals," Risse said.
The core competency of Seeq's software is providing advanced analytics for manufacturing data that companies are already collecting from sensors and machines. The company is specifically helping companies diagnose problems using historical data, monitor systems in real-time and predict when systems will fail or require maintenance. Available for cloud, on-premise or hybrid environments, Seeq's software works with a large number of systems in manufacturing environments.
"We're concerned with the last mile," Risse said. "How do I get insights out of what happening?"
Risse said partners can expect high-margin opportunities from providing services, such as training and consulting. The company's partner program, which is led by Microsoft and Rackspace channel veteran Will Knight, provides online training, sales support, certification, as well as co-marketing opportunities.
"We look toward more [business intelligence], analytics and business impact for partnering," he said. "It's about the how do we take that data to drive insights."
Shawn Sandoval, president of KAASM, a Seattle-based solution provider that primarily sells Siemens software, told CRN that the company recently signed up as a Seeq partner after learning about the vendor's analytics capability through its investor, next47.
"I think their emphasis on channel is really important because it's somewhat of a complex industry," he said, adding that KAASM has hired an employee to solely focus on Seeq. KAASM's customers span the automotive, municipal utilities, and food and beverage verticals.
What Sandoval hopes to get out of being a Seeq partner is stronger relationships with the company's customers that are seeking to get more insights out of their data.
"You can put in a brand new system that requires a lot of investment or you can use something like Seeq and overlay existing data systems," he said. "When we find a partner like Seeq that's addressing a unique, higher-level analytics challenge, we get pretty excited about that."