Knowing who uses your competitors’ products can be a huge competitive advantage. Knowing when potential customers start a trial of your competitor’s product could be a lifesaver.
That’s the appeal of Datanyze, the “Google of sales and marketing.”
The company, which trawls the web for scraps and pieces of code that reveal what software-as-a-service products companies are using on their website, announced today that it has raised a $2 million seed round from investors such as IDG Ventures, Google Ventures, and Mark Cuban. And that it’s been growing at the astonishing rate of 25 percent per month all this year.
“Datanyze enables salespeople to uncover not only who is using a competitor’s software, but also determines when they started or stopped using it,” the company said. “If a competitor requires annual contracts, Datanyze can pinpoint the day a client deployed this competitive technology and send notifications a few months before the contract is up for renewal.”
Clearly, that’s gold to salespeople and marketers.
In January of this year, Datanyze was already well on the way to $1 million in annual revenue — without having taken a penny of investment. With barn-burner growth ever since, it’s unlikely that the company needed the seed round, although it will help accelerate progress. But a good seed round does provide a good ramp to a bigger round of capital down the road, and a basis for a valuation, both of which are important for a potential future IPO or acquisition.
And founder Ilya Semin doesn’t have small plans:
“Our goal is to become the de facto lead generation solution for every technology provider,” he said in a statement.
Datanyze is not just pursuing its own technology and product. It’s also working with frenemies and coopetors, such as HG Data, a company representative told me recently. HG Data, based in Santa Barbara, does something similar to Datanyze, but instead of spidering websites, it searches the hidden web: PDFs, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets, the digital trash of modern companies, which also reveal important clues to what technology you are using.
The difference is that HG Data’s information is better at revealing technology purchases that don’t hit the website and might not be SaaS-based: servers, CRM that’s not integrated with the web, switches, and back-office functionality such as corporate databases. In addition, HG Data searches out a much larger universe of technologies.
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“We have 1,700 technologies, they have about 4,000,” the representative told me. “HG Data will sell Datanyze’s data, and Datanyze will sell HG Data’s data.”
All told, that puts the number of technologies that Datanyze can supply data about at over 5,000 (there’s some level of overlap). And because Datanyze has invested in a slick user-friendly interface — which HG Data has not — partners have the option of pretty charts and graphs as well as just exports of and API access to raw data.
Early adopters including KISSmetrics, Fastly, and Dyn, and the capabilities have excited the ultimate celebrity investor, Mark Cuban:
“Like investments, sales is all about context and timing,” the NBA Mavericks owner said in a statement. “When I saw what Datanyze was doing with technology data, I knew I was in.”
Datanyze updates its data with daily web crawls to ensure freshness.
Investors in this round include AngelList, Gil Penchina, Neeraj Agrawal, Jeff Epstein, and Kyle York, as well as the already-mentioned Mark Cuban and Google Ventures, and the lead investor, IDG Ventures.