CallRail doubles down on downtown Atlanta, plans 110 jobs

March 29,2017

Source: Urvaksh Karkaria, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Less than a year after moving into downtown’s Equitable building, tech startup CallRail is muscling up.

The marketing analytics startup recently leased an additional 12,500 square feet at the 32-story tower, bringing its office footprint to nearly 32,000 square feet.

CallRail provides businesses greater insight into where a phone call-based sales lead is coming from, and which marketing campaigns are effective. With insights into who is calling and how they found the business, companies can make their marketing and sales more efficient.

CallRail, which employs 90, plans to add about 110 new jobs by end of 2018 to keep pace with growing demand, CEO Andy Powell said. CallRail had more than $11 million in 2016 revenue, up 80 percent from the prior year.

“We've grown the business profitably, so we've been careful not to take too much office space too soon,” Powell said. “We've met our growth projections, so I'm grateful (but not surprised) that the expansion is necessary.”

CallRail focuses on service providers — attorneys, plumbers, auto mechanics — who get phone-based business. Phone call based leads are valuable because the potential customer has taken the effort to call into the business.

“Call tracking has been a fast-growing segment in marketing analytics, and we’ve hit our stride in sales and marketing,” Powell said. “We’re getting a record number of new customers every month, and we’re reinvesting our profits to continue to grow.”

CallRail, co-founded by Powell and Kevin Mann, operates at the intersection of telecom and marketing software — two industries in which the city has a track record of building successful companies and a pool of engineering and management talent. CallRail raised nearly $2 million from serial entrepreneurs Wain Kellum and Reggie Bradford. Other investors include Canal Partners and BLH Venture Partners.

CallRail is one of the few tech firms flourishing in downtown Atlanta, a submarket not known to attract such companies. Downtown’s walkability, access to MARTA and vibrant restaurant scene makes the area easy to recruit young talent to.

“We’ve loved being here — for example, the energy on Broad Street (with about 20 different lunch options) is awesome,” Powell said. “The transit is excellent, and the work that the city has done to make bicycle commuting practical has also gotten more people on the team to bike to work.”

Downtown office space is also more abundant and rents less expensive than the pricey Midtown submarket — a traditional tech startup hub being gentrified by waves of Fortune 500 corporations moving into the area in search of tech cool.

The average Class A office rent in downtown is $24.07 per square foot, compared with $32.28 per square foot in Midtown and $32.30 in Buckhead, as of fourth quarter 2016, said Christian Devlin, a vice president at CBRE. Devlin represented CallRail on the recent lease transaction. Scott DeMyer with Colliers represented Equitable.

Downtown, however, is not without its challenges. The commute from the Atlanta’s northern suburbs can be tedious.

The submarket also “battles a stigma that is more perception than reality,” Devlin said. “Once people get down there, they often love it.”