Lucid raises $60M as it plans to dominate market research

Lucid is announcing that it has raised a $60 million round led by North Bridge Growth Equity. It’s the company’s first outside funding since raising a relatively tiny $2.8 million back in 2011.

Founder and CEO Patrick Comer said that in the years between, he deliberately wanted Lucid to “run really, really lean and pour every dollar into growth of product.” Now, however, it’s no longer a question of finding product-market fit — the company says it’s used by more than 500 customers and that revenue has grown 70 percent year-over-year for the past three years.

“Once we move from a position of, ‘What is our product? Is it going to work and will our clients buy it?’ and now that it’s a global scale issue, then we can fund that scale through raising capital,” Comer said. “Because the market is already there — we built it.”

For Lucid, scale means expanding globally, where Comer said he wants to turn the company into the number one player in market research. He said the company’s surveys have international reach, but that’s mostly been thanks to US companies thinking globally. Now, Lucid is looking to establish a presence of its own in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (it already has offices in London and Delhi).

The company was originally known as Federated Sample but rebranded as Lucid in 2015 as its offerings expanded to include products like Fulcrum, its automated sample marketplace. Comer described Lucid as the market industry’s “programmatic disruptor” — by providing an automated way to test ads and survey consumers, he said the company is giving marketers access to unprecedented “speed and scale.”

“With programmatic [advertising], you could target the right impression with the right message, but you could never test the message with the right audience,” Comer said.

That doesn’t put Lucid in competition with companies like Survey Monkey and Qualtrics, he added. Instead, they can use Lucid to find the audience to take the surveys on their platforms.

Comer also suggested that this round should encourage venture capitalists to take a closer look at New Orleans, where Lucid is headquartered.

“People ask the question: Can you build a category defining unicorn outside of the coasts?” he said. “The answer is yes.”