I’m thrilled to announce that Crayon has raised $5M in new funding in a round led by Steve Anderson at Baseline Ventures, with participation from existing investor and board member Eric Paley at Founder Collective, Maia Heymann at Converge, and notable angel investors.
We’re incredibly honored and psyched to deepen our relationship with Steve Anderson in the next leg of our journey. Steve has backed some great companies, like Instagram, StitchFix, and Exact Target, and if you don’t know him, this article is a great place to start. (Make sure you don’t miss the video half-way down where his hands get painted gold.)
John and I founded Crayon with one simple idea: businesses should be as good at understanding what’s happening outside the four walls of their company as they are at understanding what’s happening internally.
Most businesses have objective, real-time internal data about things like sales performance & marketing campaigns. But when it comes to external data about customers, competitors, industry, and brand, most companies rely on human-driven research & consulting efforts that are expensive, often lag the market, and aren’t always actionable.
We believe market intelligence should be software-driven, real-time, and actionable. We won’t rest until there’s actionable market intelligence for every employee! This funding round will enable us to grow our market-facing teams so we can serve more customers, and meaningfully increase our investment in product & engineering to drive more value to customers.
Our true north as we accelerate is this: we succeed when our customers succeed. And we’re working on four big things to drive customer success:
Market and competitive intelligence is only valuable if it drives actions & decisions. We love how customers like Fuze adjust their product priorities to stay ahead of competitors encroaching on their space. And we love when customers like Budget Dumpster are able to learn winning SEO and landing page strategies from analyzing their competitors’ marketing activities. We want to enable more stories like that - customers using our market intelligence platform to help sales win more competitive deals, help marketing launch unique and effective campaigns, or help product leaders build solutions that are differentiated and serve market demands.
2. Insight, Not Data
We're proud of the fact that we collect a tremendous amount of data in more than 125 categories and track comprehensive digital footprints for millions of companies. We've built the broadest, automated data set for market intelligence out there. But the true value of what we do isn't about data, it's about insight. At the end of the day, data collection & aggregation isn’t how we create value for customers; we create value for customers in the intelligence layer of our platform where we extract actionable intelligence and meaningful insights that drives decisions and results. It's not about data, it’s about insight.
3. Democratization & Real-Time Intel
To truly derive ROI from market intelligence, you need real-time, personalized access to actionable intel for every employee in every department. Sophisticated market & competitive strategy teams that are centralized can drive a lot of value by analyzing and distributing market intelligence. But we believe the future of market intelligence involves radical democratization of information across the enterprise, and we’re weaving that belief into the fabric of our platform.
It’s traditionally been challenging to measure the impact of market intelligence. But as market intelligence becomes software-driven, we have an opportunity -- and a responsibility -- to measure the impact of our intelligence with concrete, quantitative measures of decisions, actions, outcomes and engagement. Just as the marketing discipline has become far more measurable and less arts-and-craftsy over the past decade, so will market intelligence be scientifically proven over the next decade to drive immense value to enterprises that implement it well.
We tripled the size of our team in the past year and continue to believe that every person who joins Crayon should have the potential to be better than every person who already works here. We’re trying hard to build a remarkable team, and we’ll be hard at work this year recruiting more stars as we more than double in size again. If you know anyone amazing (totally cool if it’s you :)), hit us up.
Thanks to all the Crayon employees, customers, investors, advisors, partners, spouses, boyfriends & girlfriends, pets, and everyone else who has believed in Crayon along the way and helped make our vision a reality.
Here’s to the future!!