Why HubSpot is Investing in Messaging Company Drift
By Bradford Coffey, Chief Strategy Officer at HubSpot
I’m proud to announce that HubSpot has invested in conversation marketing and sales company, Drift. HubSpot’s investment is part of a $32 million Series B round led by our friends at General Catalyst and with participation from CRV and Sequoia. General Catalyst and Sequoia were both early investors in HubSpot and instrumental in our growth. We’re humbled by the opportunity to invest along side them in Drift.
HubSpot invested in Drift because we believe messaging and bots are the next phase of marketing automation. Messaging in all its forms is simply a better experience for quick questions, short answers and real time communication. As demand for real time messaging rises, Bots help businesses meet that overflow demand, answering common questions and jumping in when staff aren’t available. Bots are to messaging as marketing automation is to email.
The Drift Team
More importantly though — we’re proud to invest in the people at Drift. As most know, David Cancel and Elias Torres were friends, mentors and colleagues of ours at HubSpot before starting Drift. The two of them were instrumental in the growth of HubSpot. They instilled a culture of ownership and accountability within the product organization, and a fanaticism for team-building that permeated through HubSpot. They will always have my gratitude and deep respect for the impact they had at HubSpot in those formative years.
One indelible lesson from David and Elias is the philosophy of servant leadership. Servant leadership focus managers on serving their team, not the other way around. Sometimes that means helping solidify a vision, but more often it means empowering people and teams with an uncomfortable level of ownership. In this model, managers spend less time time making decisions, and more time clarifying ownership and clearing out blockers. Employees spend less time in status updates and internal alignment meetings and more time with customers. Most importantly, everyone learns accountability — and grows as leaders themselves from that experience.
There are few better ways to get to know people than solving hard problems shoulder to shoulder on the front lines of a growing company. You learn a perspective for what’s important and who people are that will last a lifetime.
Congratulations on the round DC, Elias and the Drift team. #ShipIt.