Cello, a platform for B2B user referrals, hits 250,000 referral users, preempts seed round—Pioneering new category of user-led acquisition strategies for SaaS

JULY 20th, 2023 Berlin, Germany — Cello, a user referrals platform for SaaS, has announced today that it has raised €3.1m in a preempted seed round led by HV Capital, together with angel operators Alison Pickens (dbt), Phil Chambers (Workday), Julius Göllner (ARRtist), Dr. Patrick Andrae (HomeToGo), and others. Cello counts high-growth SaaS companies like Personio, Superside, sevDesk, and tl;dv amongst its customers.

Cello allows any SaaS product to be shared and discovered in only a few clicks. The platform rewards software users to generate word-of-mouth growth, significantly lowering customer acquisition costs. This solution gives SaaS businesses a powerful tool to reduce costs while investing in new user growth.

“With the twin trends of product-led growth (PLG) and community, B2B companies are turning to near-$0 CAC channels to drive efficient growth. With Cello, businesses can add a new ROI-positive, scalable channel in hours to improve their payback period, LTV:CAC, and capital efficiency”, says Stefan Bader, co-founder, and CEO at Cello.

As increasing acquisition costs and external macroeconomic factors squeeze SaaS margins, companies are rushing to become default alive and investible. Cello is among the bold examples of a new category on the rise gaining from these tailwinds and the about-face of venture-backed startups’ toward capital efficiency.

“Cello’s solution is well-timed with the current market trends. The team continues to make quick progress, especially considering the global market conditions where building rapidly growing SaaS is challenging. This is one of the many reasons we believe that Cello is well-positioned to reinvent how companies sell and market products.”, says David Stefan Fischer, Principal at HV Capital, one of Germany’s leading all-stage investors.

With an experienced team of serial entrepreneurs and former operators from Meta, Pitch, and Twilio at the helm, the company will use the investment to grow its engineering organization and build out market share in Europe and North America.


Stefan Bader
+49 174 267 1670

About Cello

Cello is a platform for user referrals that helps businesses harness their most passionate users to drive word-of-mouth growth at scale. It allows any SaaS product to be shared and discovered in only a few clicks. We are reinventing how companies sell and market by inspiring and rewarding users for sharing products they love.

Category leaders including Personio, Superside, sevDesk, and tl;dv rely on Cello to put growth in the hands of their users. Backed by leading operators and venture capitalists, including HV Capital, byFounders, Notion Capital Partners, and Tiny VC, Cello is on a mission to help B2B product growth by making word-of-mouth rewarding.

About HV Capital

Since 2000 HV Capital has invested in Internet and technology companies through various generations of funds and is one of the most successful and financially strongest early-stage and growth investors in Europe. HV Capital has already invested in around 225 companies, including Zalando, Delivery Hero, FlixMobility, Depop and SumUp. The company supports startups with capital between €500,000 and €50 million. This makes HV Capital one of the few venture capitalists in Europe that can finance startups through all growth phases.