Marketing Automation Startup Buzz360 Announces $385,000 Funding Round

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Investors Include Dakota Venture Group and Two Leading North Dakota Angels

Buzz360 combines the experienced management team and practical Midwestern approach that we like in our portfolio.

Marketing software platform developer Buzz360 LLC (http://www.buzz360.co) today announced it has closed a round of funding that includes both equity and debt financing totaling $385,000. Participants in the equity portion of the round include Dakota Venture Group of Grand Forks, the largest single investor; two Fargo-based angel investors, Brian and Howard Dahl; and other unnamed individual investors.

The new capital will be used primarily to expand the company’s sales, sales enablement, and marketing efforts, said Lisa Schneegans, CEO and cofounder of Buzz360. “We’re excited that these new funds will allow us to expand our partner and affiliate programs. We just introduced the second generation of our marketing automation platform, and now we can expand more rapidly throughout the United States,” she said.

“Buzz360 combines the experienced management team and practical Midwestern approach that we like in our portfolio,” said Dan Daffinrud, Dakota Venture Group chairman. “We believe its robust software platform provides small businesses with the tools needed to continue to grow in the 21st century.”

The powerful yet easy-to-use Buzz360™ marketing automation platform is designed specifically to support small business partner marketing. The company’s primary target customers are media companies, distribution companies, and franchising organizations that partner with any of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S. to sell their products. The brandable, white-label Buzz360 software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform gives these larger customers useful tools to bring visibility and marketing value to their small business members, customers, or resellers by allowing them to automate multiple marketing functions with tools such as automated drip email, automated requests for customer feedback and social referrals, a digital sales portfolio, Facebook postings, project communication tools, and a mobile website.

“Selling these digital services to small and mid-sized businesses in local markets offers a vital new revenue source for our media-firm customers, which is why we initially focused on such firms in second- and third-tier markets,” said CEO Schneegans.

“The prosperity of small businesses is critical to our society. Local businesses and the organizations they partner with create a network of social and economic relationships,” said Brian Dahl, a business owner in Fargo, North Dakota, and one of the angel investors in this funding round.  “These local small businesses keep dollars in the community and enrich it. The Buzz360 marketing platform builds stronger online business relationships, which helps support economic development in our local communities.”

The benefits Buzz360 provides to larger firms marketing to smaller business include making marketing more manageable for their customers, removing complexity and automating the process for them, and solidifying the role of the larger firm as a business-generation partner. The platform adds value to the large firms' relationships with their small-business customers. Buzz360 is reasonably priced, and easy to install and brand.

About Buzz360 LLC
Buzz360 (http://www.buzz360.co), based in suburban Minneapolis and founded in 2013, has developed a brandable, white-label software platform that provides “Marketing Automation for Small Business.” It features social and automated marketing tools, plus the best of CRM (customer relationship management), to give large firms that serve or market through small businesses a powerful solution for their customer community. Buzz360 kick-starts small business, leveling the playing field for them in today’s challenging new world of marketing and social business. By branding and implementing the platform, larger firms can sell and profit more by making their small-business customers more successful. Buzz360 grew out of a web site aimed at small businesses in the home renovation industry called ReferralBuzz, founded by the same team more than two years ago. That site grew to more than 100 customers and proved the effectiveness of this business-generating technology, which resulted in the launch of the private–label version of the platform under the name Buzz360.

About Dakota Venture Group
The Dakota Venture Group (DVG) is a University of North Dakota student-run venture capital investment fund. DVG is the first completely student-run venture capital fund in the United States. DVG provides students the opportunity to conduct due diligence, make final investment decisions, and negotiate deal term structure. DVG members represent a variety of academic disciplines and backgrounds, including accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, law, marketing, and engineering. 

By participating in Dakota Venture Group, UND students receive an unheard of opportunity for experiential learning in the field of venture capital and angel investing. The investment strategy of DVG includes making investments in high-growth ventures started by entrepreneurs in the United States, with preference given to regional and student-initiated ventures. All investments are made  with the goal of fostering economic growth. Over the past six years, more than 60 DVG student members have screened more than150 companies and made 13 investments. The Dakota Venture Group was established in September 2006 through a donation from the Dakota Foundation (http://www.dakotafoundation.org). For more information, please visit http://www.DakotaVentureGroup.com.

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Lisa Schneegans, CEO
Buzz360 LLC
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