A Norwegian startup in Silicon Valley

Medallia aims to build customer experience into the DNA of the world’s companies

Photo courtesy of Medallia Borge Hald and wife Amy Pressman started Medallia in 2001.

Photo courtesy of Medallia
Borge Hald and wife Amy Pressman started Medallia in 2001.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Medallia was started in Silicon Valley in 2001 by Norwegian Borge Hald and his wife Amy Pressman. The company is changing the way businesses listen to, understand, and act on customers’ feedback. Today they are the fastest-growing company in their field with an over 50 percent increase in each of the past two years alone. Earlier this year the business journal Upstart ranked him and the company among the top 100 most innovative startups.

Before starting Medallia, Hald led the strategy and operation improvement projects for the Boston Consulting Group. He also worked at Morgan Stanley and P&G, and served as a lieutenant in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. He received his bachelor of business administration from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford. While serving in the Air Force and while stationed at a remote radar installation north of the Arctic Circle, he lugged home a frozen reindeer for his family for Christmas.

In July, Medallia announced that they had raised $150 million in growth equity capital in a round led by Sequoia Capital. This new investment follows a period of rapid growth, during which the startup welcomed a number of additional large enterprise customers to its client base, substantially grew revenue, launched partnerships with several prominent professional services firms, and expanded its global operating footprint.

According to the Norwegian CEO and co-founder, consumers are increasingly making purchase decisions based on customer experience data like online reviews and social media feedback rather than pre-existing brand recognition. To deliver consistently great experiences, leading companies are shifting from merely collecting customer feedback to engaging with customers and embedding their feedback directly into operations. The company’s recent round of funding is an important step in the company’s journey to build customer experience into the DNA of the world’s companies and change the way they operate.

The company first raised venture financing in late 2011 and has now raised a total of $255 million. They plan to use this most recent investment to further enhance its operations with a focus on developing additional new product capabilities and tools, and to expand its operating footprint in major markets, building on a global team that has doubled in size to over 700 employees in the past 18 months. Medallia raised their first funding round after the company reached 100 employees and profitability.

The investment is Sequoia Capital’s largest ever and has drawn comparisons to what it did with WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired for $19 billion. This inspires entrepreneurs back east in Norway!

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 4, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.