What’s so intriguing about the Mautic $5M Series A announcement

Mautic announced this week a $5 million Series A round and the CEO appointment of Matt Johnston, who will now be wrapping up his Chief Strategy Officer duties at Applause through the end of the year.

I find this particularly intriguing because Mautic is an open source marketing automation platform, backed by some of the same investors as, and to be co-located with, Acquia. Mautic aims to make a mark in the marketing automation space similar to what Acquia, with its Drupal community, has done in the web content management space.

Here’s why I think Mautic has a real shot to make noise in a sector that hasn’t had any serious new entrants since the parallel rise of Eloqua-Marketo-HubSpot-Pardot from 2008-2012 (I don’t put Act-on in the same class as those big four).

  • The marketing automation space has been largely headed towards a state of functional parity (or, more bluntly, commoditization) whereby everyone has the same core marketing automation features enabling lead lifecycle stage management, lead management, lead nurturing and lead scoring. The differentiation of late has been primarily around interoperability – HubSpot is differentiated through its COS serving as a company website, and its CRM features aligning sales; while Pardot is looking to differentiate on its Salesforce integration.
  • The true differentiation of these companies, and their brands, is their communities of users and partners. Hence the investment of HubSpot’s Inbound conference and community (projected to have 18,000 attendees at a live conference in Boston Nov 8-11) and Marketo’s branding of Marketing Nation to represent its communities. It’s why both HubSpot and Marketo have made such massive marketing investments to build and develop these user and partner communities.
  • Open source is distinguished by this precisely - the ability to develop a unique, passionate community. Mautic has the potential to do this in the marketing automation space.  Plus the hire of Johnston whose work at Applause was highlighted by the development of a significant online testing community is a key step towards this.

Keep an eye on Mautic.