Bend-based Manzama announced today that it has raised $1.3 million to help expand its cloud-based software from its key market of law firms to consulting and financial services.

Bend-based Manzama announced today that it has raised $1.3 million to help expand its cloud-based software from its key market of law firms to consulting and financial services.

The Series A round was led by Gold Bench Capital, LLC. Local VC Seven Peaks Ventures and Cascade Angels, Central Oregon’s year round angel fund, also joined the round. Manzama’s software helps clients filter through the constant barrage of online information and developments about key topics to find only what’s relevant to them.

According to Venture Beat, the investment reveals that:

… investors believe lots of companies ought to have tools that can let people easily track critical developments, rather than open- or closed source text-analysis tools that require extensive tinkering in order to use. That’s part of the appeal of social-focused Radian6, which Salesforce.com acquired, as well as analytics-rich social media firehose providers like DataSift and Gnip, which Twitter bought.

But Manzama’s software is more diverse than those services. It mines social media messages, newspaper articles, blog posts, and other sources of text for important tidbits. It also allows companies to bring in other information sources that Manzama can then analyze alongside other sources.

“We knew from the onset that we’d build a platform with the potential to scale both internationally and in other segments,” said Peter Ozolin, Manzama co-founder and CEO via a company news release. “Today we’re seeing trends across professional services organizations that indicate now is the time to expand. It’s exciting to position the company for these new growth markets and regions.”

Brad Kent, managing member of Gold Bench said he was impressed by Manzama’s accomplishments. “Clearly, the team demonstrated its ability to focus and deliver a scaleable technology to their initial market, traits that Gold Bench believes will serve them well as they expand their efforts in making the platform available to other professionals. We are delighted to have the opportunity to get involved,” he said.

Bend is well-represented in this round of fundraising. Dino Vendetti, managing partner at Seven Peaks, said the company “exemplifies the talent and opportunity building in Central Oregon.”

“The company has generated a solid revenue stream by capturing and owning the legal market, and we are excited to see where they take it next. We believe the Manzama investment sets the tone for regional companies to raise a significant amount of capital from investors and deliver a product and service with global reach,” Vendetti said.

This is the third announced investment from Cascade Angels. Still in its inaugural year, the angel fund has invested $100,000 in Bend-based Droplr and recently announced a planned $120,000 investment in the Bend Venture Conference. The fund invested $75,000 in Manzama, said Julie Harrelson, the fund’s manager.

“The team, performance to date, quality of the investors and level of interest in the company prove that we can build strong tech companies in this region,” said Julie Harrelson, fund manager at Cascade Angels.

Manzama was the 2010 BVC winner taking home the $200,000 prize. An anchor tenant of Bend’s burgeoning tech scene, the company been steadily growing ever since. It has raised a $3.25 million in total, and has 32 full-time employees. The company plans to hire aggressively over the next six months.

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of StartupBend.com, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in WSJ.com, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at kellykearsley.contently.com or kellykearsley.com.

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley