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And it looks like the strategy is paying off, as the company is announcing today that it has raised $6.5 million in a first round of institutional funding.
The brainchild of entrepreneur Danielle Morrill, Mattermark compiles and analyzes various kinds of data about startups in order to evaluate, rank, and track their growth over time. The company uses social media, app store rankings, Alexa.com rankings, anonymous tips, AngelList, and news articles, among other things, to do that.
Morrill came up with the idea after looking at various data points and signals for a couple of investor lists she was working on for her personal blog. Now, it’s a full-fledged business that charges a monthly subscription fee for access to its database of more than one million private companies, sells one-off specialized reports, and puts out a free email newsletter with a curated selection of readings.
But as with many things containing a special sauce, Mattermark is also controversial. Because the company doesn’t reveal how exactly it arrives at all its rankings, it could be difficult to trust. A couple of weeks ago, we covered the Breakout List, a compilation of fast-growing tech companies a Stanford student put together whose lack of transparency caused many to question it. Mattermark also has competition, including Dashboard.io, a service that lets funded startups connect to each other and compare their progress to that of other companies in their investors’ portfolios.
And yet, Mattermark has a growing customer base, including dealmaking professionals in venture capital, sales, marketing, merchant and investment banking, commercial real estate, corporate development, private equity, hedge funds, and top tier consulting firms.
Foundry Group led this new round, with existing investors also contributing. Foundry Group managing director Brad Feld is joining the board of directors as part of the deal. [Disclosure: VentureBeat frequently publishes opinion pieces from Feld.]
Mattermark was founded in 2013 by Danielle Morrill, Kevin Morrill, and Andy Sparks, and is based in San Francisco, Calif. This new round brings the company’s total funding to $11.3 million.
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