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Baird Capital backs WordStream

WordStream said Tuesday that it has received $12 million in funding. Baird Capital led the round. Based in Boston, WordStream is a provider of search engine marketing solutions.


BOSTON, July 8, 2014 – WordStream Inc., a leading provider of search engine marketing software, has secured $12 million in new funding, led by new investor Baird Capital of Chicago, the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co., with participation by current investor Sigma Partners. Of the new funding, $9 million was provided via a Series C venture capital investment, with an additional $3 million in venture debt provided by City National Bank.

The funding will be used to further invest in search marketing software designed to help small and medium-sized businesses obtain vital leads and better manage their own growth and reach. This will include continued focus on the award-winning AdWords Performance Grader as well as making WordStream’s PPC Advisor offering the platform of choice for small and medium-sized businesses.

“We’re very proud of the confidence we’ve inspired,” said Ralph J. Folz, CEO of WordStream. “This funding is largely a response to our continued growth, particularly that of the AdWords Performance Grader, which is now grading three-quarters of a billion dollars in paid search spend every month. We’ll be able to use the new funding to further accelerate development of our full suite of offerings.”

WordStream now serves thousands of customers across a wide range of industries, a client base that has quadrupled in the last two years and grown by ten times in the last three years. WordStream’s revenue has also multiplied in the last three years by a factor of ten. WordStream now employs over 100 staff in Boston. WordStream will add a third floor to their offices at 177 Huntington Back Bay Tower in December in anticipation of continued hiring.

“WordStream has proven itself to be a consistently impressive innovator, and we’re excited about the trajectory of the product under the company’s leadership,” said Benedict Rocchio, Partner in Baird Capital’s Venture Capital group and the newest member of the WordStream Board of Directors. “WordStream’s growth and promise reflects our continuing interest in marketing services and our perpetual commitment to advancing up-and-coming companies in that industry.”

Paul Flanagan, a Managing Director at Sigma Partners as well as a WordStream board member, said, “WordStream’s growth has accelerated dramatically in the past few years and we’re extremely pleased to help support that growth. Helping small businesses acquire customers is an exciting market, and WordStream is well positioned in this evolving field.”

About WordStream:
WordStream Inc. provides software and services that help marketers get the maximum results from search marketing. WordStream’s easy-to-use PPC Advisor software allows for more effective SEM campaigns by providing the 20-Minute PPC Work Week, a customized workflow that guides marketers through steps that can greatly improve their AdWords campaigns, including tools for landing page creation, ad optimization, keyword research, cost management, PPC reporting, call tracking and more. WordStream’s managed services team uses PPC Advisor to deliver quality traffic, clicks and conversions for businesses looking to improve their pay-per-click marketing efforts with minimal time investment. WordStream also offers an award-winning free PPC tool, the AdWords Performance Grader, which evaluates users’ PPC accounts and provides valuable tips for improvement.