ExactTarget’s McCorkle Hatches MetaCX to Improve Software Experience
MetaCX launched last week with $ 14 million in seed funding led by Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures. Upfront Ventures partner Kobie Fuller will join the MetaCX board along with McCorkle and Scott Dorsey, managing partner at Indianapolis startup “studio” and investment firm High Alpha, where MetaCX was incubated.
Dorsey was a co-founder and the former CEO of Indy-based marketing software company ExactTarget, which Salesforce acquired for $2.5 billion in 2013. McCorkle served as president of technology and strategy at ExactTarget before it was acquired by Salesforce, and he went on to lead Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Earlier in his career, he was vice president of IBM’s customer relationship management product group and president of software firm Mezzia, according to McCorkle’s LinkedIn profile.
“I’ve been doing software-as-a-service (SaaS) since 1999,” McCorkle says. “I thought long and hard after leaving Salesforce. If we were starting over with business-to-business (B2B) SaaS, how would we do it?”
McCorkle says MetaCX seeks to address a few issues he’s encountered in the software world. Suppliers want to know what buyers are doing with their software, and whether they’re “achieving value,” but there’s no easy way to track and manage outcomes, he maintains. Suppliers and buyers also want a place to continuously collaborate outside of e-mails, visits, and calls.
“That’d be software I’d want, so I said, ‘Let’s build it,’” says McCorkle, who co-founded MetaCX and serves as CEO.
MetaCX’s software, McCorkle explains, builds a digital bridge between the suppliers and buyers of enterprise software, enabling better collaboration and more visibility into how well the software is working for buyers. (In the “customer success” software sector, customer refers to the company buying the software, not individual consumers.) Enterprise software has a reputation for sometimes struggling to meet expectations, and McCorkle thinks MetaCX can help with that by managing outcomes and the renewal process, as well as increasing transparency between buyer and seller.
“We’ve been in stealth since January and we’re in beta now, but we expect to launch the product early next year,” McCorkle says.
The 16-person company, based in Indianapolis, plans to continue hiring as it brings its software to market.
MetaCX is striving to understand the needs of the end software user better than its competitors, of which there are many in the realm of customer success, including Gainsight, Totango, and ChurnZero. However, McCorkle thinks there’s room for MetaCX to make an important contribution to the industry.
“If you look at trends with buyers of B2B SaaS, enterprise software is more sophisticated and expectations are higher, and there are so many alternatives,” he says. “That gives even more power to buyers. We need to focus on outcomes and managing relationships toward achieving goals.”