Denver software company specializing in customer references buys top competitor

Mar 2, 2016, 6:00am MST

A Denver-based company that specializes in connecting happy customers with potential customers to seal million-dollar deals has acquired its biggest competitor.

RO Innovation has acquired Boulder Logic – one of three Colorado companies that work in customer reference management software. The acquisition happened after RO Innovation raised $1 million in capital funding.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RO Innovation and Boulder Logic each began in this niche operation about 12 years ago. Boulder Logic offered a web-based tool to streamline customer reference management and was a top competitor of RO Innovation.

He got the idea of starting his own company to match up references with potential customers of companies who have deals on the line.

“Let’s say someone is going to spend a million dollars but they say, ‘I won’t do it unless I can speak to a customer who is happy,’ ” said Tony DeLollis CTO and COO of RO Innovation.

RO Innovation matches those references with the potential customer by tracking sales and keeping in touch with clients.

The concept was new a decade ago. But it’s picking up speed.

This week, RO Innovation is at the Customer Engagement Summit in San Francisco meeting with potential customers.

“There is a whole practice now and even job descriptions,” DeLollis said.

B2B marketing must include the voice of the customer in its outreach to buyers and current customers, DeLollis said. In a 2015 SeriusDecisions study on customer references and advocacy, 83 percent of B2B companies said references are critical or valuable to the sales cycle.

With the acquisition, RO Innovation now has 30 employees and about 120 customers including Jive and New Relic.

“We are very excited about the increased capacity and talent this strategic purchase of a well-managed and successful company provides,” Mooney said.

Monica Mendoza covers banking and financial services, legal services, the economy and economic development, and sports business and contributes to the “Finance & Law” blog. Phone: 303-803-9230.