In the big new world of business intelligence, RJMetrics has found a market helping e-commerce companies easily analyze operations data and make smarter decisions as a result. Big startups have signed on, including Fab, Bonobos, Threadless and thousands of smaller businesses. Today, the momentum has landed the Philadelphia enterprise startup a $6.5 million first venture round led by Trinity Ventures.
SaaS BI, as online business analysis software is called within the industry, is full of competitors. Tableau Software, which is planning to IPO, along with GoodData, Domo and others have been successfully selling to big companies that need complex integrations to best analyze their own data. On the low end, Datahero and Chartio provide quick and inexpensive ways for a small business to get some quality integrations.
RJMetrics has focused on what e-commerce companies need, Moore explains, although he notes that its clients range from online gaming companies to nonprofits. The secret isn’t some magical new type of BI software, but a better focus on lucrative online transactions businesses. If an online retailer wants to analyze how colors of different types of hats are selling against each other, for example, a non-technical sales analyst at the company could go into RJMetrics and quickly create a visual explaining what’s happening.
The company promises to replicate client data to hosted, secure servers and optimize it for analysis within seven days, versus the months required for more complex products, with a set of APIs developed around systems that e-commerce companies are already using. Then it makes a dashboard of data visuals available to the company, including key stats for transaction businesses, such as customer lifetime value, repeat purchase probability, and cohort analysis on database segments. This lets a company answer questions like which types of customers are likely to regularly buy red fedora hats. For clients with technical staffers, it provides access for them to run their own queries on more complex data sets hosted on its own servers. Prices for the basic version of the online service start at $500 per month.
Fab cofounder Jason Goldberg has written effusively about his experience with RJMetrics, and how its analysis helped him prove Fab’s worth to investors when it raised $40 million in 2011.
From a fundraising standpoint, providing access to the RJ data basically said to the VC’s, “here we are, here’s the data, we’ve got nothing to hide, take a look and decide for yourself if you want to pursue investing in Fab.” Effectively, we turned the pitching on its head. Since the RJ data updates several times per day directly from our database, it was many times more powerful than providing powerpoints and excel spreadsheets. This was the real stuff, auto-updating! And, since RJ enables all the data to be downloaded into excel, the analysts at the VC firms were able to do all of their own analysis on the front end of the investment process.
The core RJMetrics product grew out of Moore’s own data analysis work (which has separately resulted in some great guest posts for TechCrunch, like this formative 2009 analysis of Twitter user behavior). The new funding round, which includes participation from existing investor SoftTech VC, will go towards sales and marketing. With the overall growth in the Saas BI industry, Moore says it’s time to focus on the e-commerce part of it.