Seismic raises fresh funds at $3 bln valuation; acquires Lessonly

U.S. one dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Aug 16 (Reuters) - Software maker Seismic said on Monday it has raised $170 million in fresh capital at a $3 billion valuation and will use part of the funds for the acquisition of Lessonly, a venture capital-backed online sales coaching platform.

The funding nearly doubles the valuation of Seismic, which makes software for sales teams, from its prior round late last year.

The latest Series G round saw participation from private equity firms Permira and JMI Equity, as well as from venture capital firms Lightspeed Venture Partners and Jackson Square Ventures.

Financial services company Ameriprise and funds and accounts advised by investment management firm T Rowe Price also participated.

San Diego-based Seismic makes software that helps sales people engage more effectively with buyers and has nearly 2,000 customers including the likes of IBM Corp (IBM.N), Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and American Express Co (AXP.N).

Seismic saw a huge spike in usage on its platform last year with the onset of COVID-19 induced lockdowns and associated layoffs, coupled with a shift to a remote work culture.

Metrics across the board more than doubled almost instantly, Chief Executive Officer Doug Winter told Reuters.

"From February to March or April, all the metrics really took off and they haven't come back down," Winter added.

The integration of Seismic's platform with Lessonly, which is used by more than 1,200 companies including McAfee Corp (MCFE.O) and Dun & Bradstreet Holdings Inc (DNB.N), gives its customers access to remote sales training for new and existing employees besides sales and marketing content.

"I was actually really surprised how many big companies didn't have a way to do remote learning - all their learning was in person," Winter said.

A part of the funds raised will be used to hire new people including engineers and for international expansion, the company said.

Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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