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Competitive intelligence startup Klue has raised a $15 million Series A led by San Francisco-based VC fund Craft Ventures earlier in September.
The round, which also included existing investors OMERS Ventures, Rhino Ventures, and BDC Ventures, brings the startup’s total funding to $19 million.
Klue uses a combination of information scraped from the internet and employee expertise to give clients such as Cisco and SurveyMonkey an edge over their competitors. It generates a centralized database of insights for teams across the business via a network of embeddable cards that can be accessed in the Klue app, through workflow systems such as Slack and Salesforce, or via email.
Klue is trying to build a new category of ‘competitive enablement’, which goes beyond existing competitive intelligence platforms by harnessing employee knowledge, says CEO Jason Smith.
“The world of competitive intelligence was like a searchable database of intel that you’d find on the web,” he says. “What was missing there was all of the employee knowledge, all of the stuff that they just get from interacting with the market and then they share internally in Slack conversations, Salesforce notes, emails.”
When the pandemic first hit, it was unclear what the impact would be on the business, says Smith, but he said clients went on to double down on Klue’s services.
“We saw a massive expansion with some of our enterprise clients,” he says. “The reason I think why is that when companies have their sales pipelines frozen, so 30% or 40% of the business that you thought was going to come is on hold, you really grip the stick tight for that other 60-70%.”
He adds: “The other reason is that customer success teams were seeing competitors start to target existing accounts … So, customer success teams were looking for battle cards and information to help them sniff if a competitor was poking around.”
The Canadian startup claims to have tripled revenue each year for the past three years and Smith says that the first half of 2020 was “off the charts” compared to every other year.
“When you can triple every year it doesn’t make sense to turn a profit, when you can get the funding,” says Smith. “We want to own and create this category and that means bringing our solution to as many companies as possible.”
The Series A will help Klue to build out its product by deepening investment in machine learning technology so that its system can generate more automated insights. The funding will also help to scale the business across new verticals, such as finance, retail, and manufacturing, and to expand operations in the UK and Europe.
Here’s an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to bring new investors on board:
Source:: Business Insider