Crayon raises $3.35M to help marketers track competitors in real time
Artificial Intelligence Marketing Insights Company Founded by Former HubSpot VP and AdMob Product Manager Raises $3.35M to Accelerate Growth
BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Crayon has raised a $3.35 million seed round to accelerate growth as it seeks to help every marketer on planet earth track, understand and take action on everything happening outside the company's four walls.
Crayon tracks 117 million web pages across 7.4 million domains spanning 2.3 million companies, and uses a variety of machine learning techniques to produce insights that are actionable in sales and marketing. Users have access to an all-in-one dashboard covering over 100 categories, including pricing changes, messaging and positioning changes, new product launches, and online reviews.
The financing was led by Midas List investors Eric Paley at Founder Collective, who is joining Crayon's board, and Steve Anderson, founder at Baseline Ventures. BoxGroup is also a new investor, and previous backer Converge Venture Partners participated in the round. Notable angel investors in the round include Scott Belsky, founder of Behance, Mike Volpe (ex HubSpot CMO), and Yoav Shapira (ex HubSpot VP Engineering) of Operator.vc.
Crayon's founders, Jonah Lopin and John Osborne, are best known for their prior work at HubSpot and AbMob. Jonah was the 6th employee at HubSpot and served as VP Customer Success until 2012, and John was part of the early AdMob product team, which was acquired by Google for $750M.
Crayon believes many teams have a shocking lack of data about what is happening in their market, with competitors, customers and partners. This poor external visibility is in stark contrast to the rich, nuanced data most executives enjoy about their own organizations, often leveraging popular products like Salesforce.com and HubSpot, which transformed the way organizations managed lead flow and campaign performance.
"What HubSpot did to help companies manage their internal processes, Crayon is doing to help them understand and act on their competitor's information," says Paley. "Crayon is executing on a massive opportunity and we're thrilled to partner with them to build a remarkable company."
"Marketers have never had a great way of understanding what's happening in their market - who is running experiments, who is making moves, who are new entrants you should be watching," says Volpe. "Crayon solves that problem for marketing teams in a really innovative way."
Crayon has over 42,000 users, and the company has quadrupled the number of paid customers since July, signing up notable companies like Zendesk and Continuum Managed Services.
"The landscape is changing very quickly in our market, and it's critical that we understand competitor positioning, offers, campaigns and product roadmap changes as they happen," says Sam Boonin, VP Product Strategy at Zendesk. "Crayon is great for us because they consolidate all the tracking & intelligence into a single interface, continuously monitoring the footprints of our competitors."
"Crayon gives us a 360 lens into the competition, saving us time and surfacing competitive insights we never would have found," says Jeanne Hopkins, CMO at Continuum Managed Services. "How can we be differentiated in our content marketing if we don't know what the competition is saying in eBooks, whitepapers, webinars and blog posts? How can we do product marketing without a real-time understanding of our strengths relative to the competition that Crayon surfaces from forum discussions and online reviews? Crayon provides critical context to our marketing team so we can do our best work."
Steve Anderson at Baseline Ventures said, "I've been fortunate to invest in companies like ExactTarget, which have reshaped their markets and created billions of dollars of value, I fully believe that if properly executed Crayon could join them as a pillar company in the B2B market."
Maia Heymann, G.P. at Converge Venture Partners added, "The ability to gather competitive intelligence is a necessity in today's business climate and the market for AI enabled solutions like Crayon is therefore extremely large. The business momentum that Jonah and his team have built in a very short period of time underscores the value that Crayon creates for its clients."
Crayon plans to use the new funding to accelerate its path to world domination, including hiring stars in engineering, product, marketing and sales.