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Mattermark raises $7.3M at a $42M valuation to expand its B2B search and analytics tools

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The death of Instagram for brands

Mattermark, a startup that mines and crunches public Internet data to provide investors, sales teams and others with search tools and other business intelligence, has raised another $7.3 million in funding — a Series B round that values the company at $42 million.

The new cash injection will be used to hire more talent; and to keep expanding the product with better analytics for more categories of business users — or, in the words of CEO and co-founder Danielle Morrill, “unlock the web for modern professionals.”

This latest round brings the total raised by Mattermark to $18.4 million, and it comes from existing investor Foundry Group and new backer Jon Hallet, with participation also from previous investors. There have been more than 40 that have backed the startup to date.

The fact that a small army of VCs has backed the startup fits with the company’s earliest incarnation. Founded in 2013 as a pivot from Y-Combinator-backed Referly, Mattermark initially made a name for itself providing signalling data to investors — specifically tech investors.

VCs still make up a large part of Mattermark’s business — some 44% of all revenues — but that has been evolving over the last couple of years. The company today has “over 500” customers, with some 50 of them from public companies, Morrill tells me.

A B2B Google for professionals

There are dozens of BI tools on the market today, from startups like Birst through to products from tech giants like Salesforce and Microsoft (and others, like TC’s own affiliate CrunchBase, which also has ambitions to make its own mark in the space).

Mattermark’s unique selling point is that it focuses not on a company’s internal data, but on the much larger pool of data exists on the public Internet — a vast trove of information, but one that has been a challenge to tap for most companies in any kind of an automated way because most of the data is unstructured.

Much like Google organises the web for a wide variety of searches by consumer users, Mattermark has been trying to do the same for professional, business-focused users. It says it uses techniques like distributed web crawling, deep neural networks and natural language processing to essentially reorganise and order the public Internet. It then uses that information to build profiles of companies — of which there are about 1.5 million today in its customer-facing database.

Data covered in these profiles include details like web traffic, inbound links, employee count, social media followings, news mentions, key executives and more.

(As a point of comparison, when I wrote about Mattermark’s Series A in 2014, there were 1 million companies in its database. Morrill says there are actually more than 1.5 million being tracked but these have not “graduated” to a high enough quality of coverage to be listed.)

But if Google’s job as a search engine is essentially done after you hit “search”, Mattermark aims to take the search and discovery chain further and deeper. Customers can, in turn, use this database to ask questions either about specific companies or about trends that might cut across a number of them. (Example: “Show me all companies in the Bay Area who have raised their Series A in the past 6 months and have grown their employee count by more than 50%.”)

Mattermark today charges $6,000 for a single user license per year to start, with pricing breaks for larger accounts. Customers using enterprise integrations like Salesforce, Excel, and the API have packages starting at $50,000 per year.

The company has been on steady growth path, booking $1 million in revenue in 2014, $2.4 million in 2015, and generating nearly $300,000/month today. It’s not yet profitable but says the focus is very much on getting to breakeven — a goal that may have been less emphasized in years past but is becoming increasingly more talked-about these days. To that end, three specific roles Mattermark looking to fill are VP of Sales, Sales Director, and Sales Development Manager.

On that note, it’s interesting that Mattermark actually signed the term sheet when it still had 14 months of runway left.

“The market made me nervous,” Morrill, who — in building Referly and now Mattermark, has also carved out a reputation for herself as a straight-talker on the subject of startup life.

“When Foundry offered us attractive terms and an amount of dilution we could live with we felt the best choice was to take it and save months of fundraising hassle,” she added. “I didn’t think it made sense to take the risk that 15 months of hard-earned growth might not mean much soon, or that we might need to double the company yet again just to get the same valuation in 12 months that we could get right now.”

Indeed, the declining value of annual recurring revenue is a trend that, ironically, Mattermark itself has been noting and writing about.

Featured Image: Ted Major/Flickr UNDER A CC BY-SA 2.0 LICENSE