RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. … Branded e-mail provider FullSeven Technologies has added to its coffers and its boardroom as it pushes into new markets and toward profitability.

FullSeven has closed on its second venture funding round, which was led by Southern Capitol Ventures of Raleigh and included local angel investors and out-of-state strategic partners. Chief Executive Ken Arneson declines to specify how much was raised but says the round was oversubscribed.

The cash will fund the four-employee company for at least a year, and Arneson says projections call for FullSeven to become profitable in the second half of 2003.

FullSeven plans to use the funding to add more features to its LetterMark software, which brands individual e-mails for clients and includes clickable links to a company’s website, intranet and other online resources, and to penetrate new markets, he says.

LetterMark already is popular among law firms, banks and other professional service companies, with about 100 customers already using it and more than 3 million views of its templates to date. Arneson says FullSeven now is targeting advertising and public relations agencies and online media.

“These firms understand the power of branding better than anyone else, so we’re confident that they will see the benefits we provide,” he says.

Ad veteran added
To that end, FullSeven has added Richard Upton to its board. A 23-year veteran of the advertising business and a former ad agency managing director, Upton became familiar with FullSeven and LetterMark was serving as marketing and business development director for a major law firm in Chicago. He now is president of UptonGroup, a collaborative
alliance of marketing and business development advisers.

“Dick brings a wealth of industry knowledge to our company, including an insider perspective on the legal and professional services industry,” Arneson says. “In addition to his general business acumen, he has knowledge and relationships that can lead directly to revenue for the company.”

Upton is already introducing LetterMark to a number of leading advertising agencies and law firms on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

Selling to agencies fits with FullSeven’s strategy of using external channel partners to drive sales. The company abandoned its direct sales efforts this summer in order to save money and because the channel partner strategy was taking off, Arneson says.

“We’ve been getting good traction with our partners, which allows us to get to market faster,” he says.

‘Cool to use’
FullSeven has 15 partners currently … some of whom participated in the latest funding round … and Arneson expects to line up several more in the advertising and PR industry.

Jeffrey LeRose, a Southern Capitol board member, says the venture firm likes the potential of LetterMark, noting e-mail is an untapped market for corporate branding efforts and that the features and functionality of the software program already have knocked potential competitors out.

“It’s a real strong product in a good space,” says LeRose, whose own software firm uses LetterMark. “It’s really cool to use. Anytime you send an e-mail and someone comments on it, you know you have something special.”

FullSeven Technologies: