Chili Piper Raises $33 Million for Meeting Automation to Help Sales Professionals

By Bruce Harpham Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Chili Piper, a marketing automation software startup, has raised $33 million in funding from investors. The business will use the funding to fuel product development and to grow its customer success, sales, and marketing teams. Based in San Francisco, the startup company has more than 100 employees serving a base of business users like Intuit, Twilio, Forrester, Spotify, and Gong. Chili Piper is growing its workforce remotely; it has open remote jobs in sales, marketing, engineering, and other functions.

A man working at his laptop.

The Scheduling App Helps Sales Professionals

Chili Piper produces software for professional sales teams so that they can better coordinate their work. For example, the startup business offers Instant Booker, a sales app that makes it easier to schedule meetings. Chili Piper is well-suited to sales teams that include multiple employees, such as sales development representatives (SDRs) who develop business for more senior sales employees. Business customers that use the tool include Airbnb (an accommodation booking service), Expedia (a travel booking company), Shopify (an ecommerce software business), Monday.com (a project management app company).

Beyond sales and business development, Chili Piper also helps customer success departments improve efficiency. For example, GoCardless used Chili Piper to eliminate six hours of manual work per quarter by integrating the scheduling app with Salesforce. GoCardless is a payments company based in the United Kingdom (UK) that processes payments through ACH debit.

The Business Model Includes a Free Tier

The startup uses a free tier to attract customers. Like Mailchimp, a marketing automation app that has offered a free forever plan for several years, Chili Piper also offers a free tier. However, advanced features such as Salesforce integration and advanced sales reporting are limited to the paid plans. Chili Piper offers email and SMS reminders to maximize the number of business prospects who show up to sales meetings.

Google and Other Investors Support the Startup

The business has succeeded in raising considerable funding despite the pandemic. The startup has raised the majority of its $54 million in total funding over the past nine months. Gradient Ventures, an AI venture capital fund started by Google, invested in the business. Other investors in the company include Base10 Ventures and Tiger Global.

"We originally invested in Chili Piper because we knew customers needed ways to add fire to how they connected with inbound leads. We've been blown away with the progress over the past year," said TJ Nahigian, Managing Partner at Base10 Partners.

Gradient Ventures has a portfolio of more than 60 AI companies like Algorithmia (a business that helps to scale machine learning models) and Test.ai (a company that uses AI-based scenario testing). Base10 Partners, based in San Francisco, has invested in a wide variety of business models, including restaurant payments (i.e., Popmenu) and financial services automation (i.e., Lana).

The Scheduling Software Market Is Worth Over $200 Million

At first glance, scheduling business meetings might not seem like a significant business opportunity. However, multiple companies are building a business around this need. According to Verified Market Research, the appointment scheduling software market was worth $223 million in 2019 and is forecast to reach $588 million by 2027. Capterra, a business software reviews website, reviews more than 400 appointment scheduling apps like Jobber, HoneyBook, AppointmentPlus, and Acuity Scheduling.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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