Friday, November 11, 2016

Crayon Raises a $3.4M Seed, Looks Beyond Marketing

Crayon, a Boston-based startup equipping companies with dynamic market intelligence, announced it has raised $3.35 million in seed funding. The round was led by Eric Paley, managing partner at Founder Collective, and Steve Anderson, founder of Baseline Ventures. BoxGroup and Converge Venture Partners, one of Crayon’s existing investors, participated in the round. And it also included angel investor Scott Belsky, as well as Mike Volpe and Yoav Shapira of Operator.VC.
Crayon plans to use the capital to increase its headcount specifically in its engineering, product and sales departments. It will also hire a head of marketing. Growing its team is critical to further developing its product and striving towards its vision, Jonah Lopin, co-founder of Crayon, told us.
He said, "There’s some scale to what we’re doing already. What we want to do is provide even more valuable insights down the road."
According to Lopin, who previously worked at HubSpot, Crayon currently tracks 117 million websites across 7.4 million domains and 2.3 million companies. With the help of machine learning, its product gives insights to marketing teams - not only about their own companies, but also about competitors, partners and organizations they aspire to emulate.

Jonah Lopin.

Lopin said, looking ahead, Crayon wants to piece together different elements about their organization circulating the web to provide deeper, more comprehensive insights. There are also plans to incorporate predictions - not just real-time updates - into the product. And right now, Crayon is working on integrating its tools with popular software like SalesForce and Slack.
"Our vision is much bigger than the footprint of the product... People value it now and buy the product, but there's so much more we can do," he said.
Right now, customers are mostly in marketing. Lopin said the next area Crayon will look to is likely sales. Beyond that, there will be other applications, he said--but not too fast.
"The risk is you create this broad platform but you didn't create enough value for any core industry," he said. Moving piece by piece, "in a decade we emerge as this massive information company," he said.
With this round of funding, Crayon will also be welcoming Eric Paley onto its board. The venture, nine people total as of today, had previously raised a $1.5 million angel round in April of 2015.

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