Windsor Circle raises more than $1 million

Dec. 19, 2012 @ 06:25 PM

The Durham-based retention marketing software start-up Windsor Circle Inc. has raised more than $1 million in a Series A financing round, the company announced Wednesday.

The round included $405,000 from the conversion of a convertible note into Series A stock, and $685,000 from existing investors as well as from a new investor, Triangle Angel Partners.

Windsor Circle CEO Matt Williamson had started looking for funding in earnest this year, according to a news release.

Existing investors first backed the company with the convertible note of $405,000. Williamson continued fundraising, and by early summer, the company had an agreement for a $1 million investment.

But Williamson said in the release that the company ended up turning that down.

“It wasn’t on the terms we were looking for,” he said.

By November, existing investors, including Durham-based seed-and-early-stage venture firm IDEA Fund Partners, had committed additional capital for the Series A. The final investment of the $685,000 was from Triangle Angle Partners in December. The firm committed $150,000.

“We look for seed and early-stage companies that are poised to grow, are not overly capital intensive and have a product demonstrating success through early revenue traction,” said Rich Harris, president of Triangle Angel Partners, in the release.

Windsor Circle is a provider of customer retention marketing software designed to help online retailers keep customers.

The software allows online retailers to target specific customer segments using other company’s email marketing software.

“Right now what our software platform does is connect an online retailer’s e-commerce platform to their email marketing software, and also marry that data to website analytics data,” said Andrew Pearson, marketing director for Windsor Circle.

The company launched its initial product in August 2011, according to the release. Williamson said that by December 2011, Windsor Circle had 10 customers.

Pearson said the company is releasing an upgrade to their software next year that will give customers access to graphs and charts so online retailers can get a “full picture” of their customers’ behavior.

“Right now, we’re essentially conducting all of this analysis for the retailers using our platform,” Pearson said in a statement. “They just can’t access it in a visual way…so the new release of our software is giving them direct access to our analytics process. They can see it in charts and graphs, and in really visual, dynamic way.”

Pearson said the Series A round of funding gives Windsor Circle a larger marketing budget, and will allow them to hire two staff members who can help expand the company’s client services. He said they’re looking for staff to help clients set up automated marketing campaigns.

Windsor Circle was founded by a team of four that includes Williamson and Brad McGinity, both former employees of Durham-based email marketing software company Bronto. It also includes Chris Humphries and Scot Catlin who are formerly of LSSi Data, a venture-backed company sold in 2007.