Spiro raises $3M to build CRM tools for businesses that don’t like CRM

Spiro aims to sell CRM software to businesses that have been avoiding traditional CRM products.

CEO Adam Honig told me that he and his co-founders Andy Levi (CTO) and Justin Kao (vice president of growth) originally set out to build artificial intelligence products that could assist with CRM (i.e. the software that salespeople use to track their customers and deals). But then they started hearing from companies that weren’t using any CRM at all.

So the team ended up broadening its approach, building a full platform for what Honig described as “proactive CRM.” In other words, it accomplishes the job of CRM, but with enough automation that most of the tedious data entry goes away.

A lot of that comes from Spiro’s integration with your email inbox — it can automatically create and update customer profiles based on who you’re emailing. It can also make recommendations, for example about when you should be following up with a lead.

In fact, you can do most of your interaction with Spiro from email. Kao showed me how you can send an email to Spiro asking it to “Remind me to call Anthony on Friday,” and then, when the time comes, you’ll get that reminder over email. He also showed me how a supervisor could ask “What did Andrew do this week?” and get a report on emails sent, meetings scheduled and opportunities created.

“Our goal is to make CRM go away,” Kao said. “We really want to take this recommendation engine to the next level.”

Spiro says it already works with more than 500 customers. According to Honig, many of them come from traditional industries like manufacturing.

The startup is announcing that it has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Geekdom Fund, with participation by MassVentures, Hyperplane Venture Capital and New Harbour Partners.

“We often get asked, ‘Why does the world need a new CRM platform?’ ” Honig said. “We believe — and the Geekdom guys agree with us — that there are just people and companies that CRM has not reached.”