The World Trade Center East building. (Highspot Photo)
Highspot will soon have a new spot to call home.
The startup that builds artificial intelligence-powered sales software has leased two floors with options to take more at the World Trade Center East building near the Seattle waterfront. The 55,000-square-foot space, which will be ready around the end of the year, will have room for roughly 450 people.
Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe. (Highspot Photo)
Today, Highspot has about 200 employees and expects to hit 300 when it moves into the space. The company will hold on to its existing offices in Seattle, giving it a total footprint of more than 90,000 square feet and capacity for roughly 800 employees.
Robert Wahbe, co-founder and CEO of Highspot, said the company is experiencing explosive growth in revenue and other key business metrics, and it is hiring fast to keep up.
“We are growing more than 100 percent per year across all the normal business metrics and growing more than 100 percent in our headcount,” Wahbe said. “Given how competitive the environment is we are very focused on attracting and developing world-class people.”
Last year, Highspot landed a $35 million funding round to power its rapid growth. The company has raised more than $64 million in its lifetime.
Wahbe called his company the fastest-growing tech startup with fewer than 1,000 employees in the area. He came to that conclusion by looking at headcount growth numbers on LinkedIn of companies in the Geekwire 200 index of the top Pacific Northwest startups.
Highspot’s customer base is growing 300 percent year-over-year, Wahbe told GeekWire last year, adding to a big-name stable of customers that includes Amazon, Dropbox, Uber, Lyft Twitter, Zillow, Airbnb and SAP. A finalist for AI Innovation of the Year at the 2019 GeekWire Awards, Highspot equips sales teams with artificial intelligence-infused technology to improve how they have conversations with prospective buyers.
Its “sales enablement platform” is a sales playbook of sorts, analyzing hoards of internally-produced information — historical data; marketing presentations; case studies; data sheets, etc. — and then applying AI to optimize the selling process. Highspot also provides communication and analytics tools with a goal of helping marketing and sales teams better collaborate.
Highspot’s future office space. (Highspot Photo)
The concept of bringing sales and marketing teams together has been around since the beginning of the modern office, but the technology hasn’t been there. That all changed around 2010, as mobile technology, AI and software-as-a-service innovations progressed rapidly. Since then, the category has taken on a renewed importance, Wahbe said.
Highspot raises $35M to grow AI-fueled sales software used by Amazon, Dropbox, Twitter, others
“It’s a problem that’s been around that people have been trying to solve, but now that it can be solved, you’re seeing the heads of marketing and the heads of sales really excited about this category and buying this software to help their teams be more competitive,” Wahbe said.
Wahbe named Showpad and Seismic as Highspot’s top competitors. The company’s differentiator is its sophisticated AI that helps identify what content should be surfaced at the right time.
Wahbe got the idea for Highspot when he was working at Microsoft, where he spent 16 years equipping sales teams with necessary information to help craft perfect pitches to potential customers. He quickly realized it was a difficult task and made a bet that others were experiencing the same problem. He founded the company seven years ago with former colleagues with Oliver Sharp and David Wortendyke.
Highspot was recently named to LinkedIn’s Top Startups list for 2018, one of just two Seattle companies to earn the honor — Outreach, another fast-growing sales tech startup and a Highspot partner, was the other.
Seattle has established itself as a hub for enterprise software, led by giants such as Microsoft, homegrown startups, and satellite offices for big companies including Salesforce. Wahbe emphasized Highspot’s commitment to Seattle, saying he didn’t plan to expand its offices internationally anytime soon.
“It’s a little bit against the grain, but we really think the best way to build great software is to be here in Seattle,” Wahbe said.