At one point in my career, I spent time in sales for an advertising agency, where I was responsible for finding and bringing in new clients. Word of mouth was always the best, but we spent time on outbound marketing too. The challenge in that role, as with most sales roles, is knowing if the business is the right fit for the product or service you are selling, and then figuring out who the right person at the company is to speak to.
Clearbit puts this superpower in businesses' hands. By building the world's best data provider, Clearbit enables businesses to get a more complete picture of their current and potential customers; with a simple API, companies enrich their customer data and prospect lists with more complete personal and company information.
Clearbit was founded by Alex McCaw, Harlow Ward and Rob Holland who have backgrounds from Stripe, Twitter, and Heroku respectively. We were introduced by Josh Buckley, the founder of MinoMonsters; I invested in Josh's company when I was at Ignition and we became friends. He mentioned that Alex was starting Clearbit and I jumped at the chance to meet. After hearing the pitch and having felt the pain, I was eager to invest, so much so that our initial investment was just $20k, which isn't typical for us. Alex was only raising a $200k friends-and-family round; most of it was spoken for, and I wanted to get involved early. Later he raised a proper seed round and we invested again -- sometimes you have to make exceptions for the exceptional.
Since being founded in 2015, the company has gone on to develop a number of different data products. Enrichment allows businesses to look up personal and company data using only an email address or domains. Clearbit's Prospector helps find contacts at a given company; and Connect puts the power of Clearbit in your email via a free Gmail extension.
Companies are also using Clearbit in their marketing efforts to create more accurate segmentation and targeting, build advanced retargeting, optimize advertisement spending, and personalize websites and forms to drive higher conversions.
The company built integrations with Salesforce, Slack, Marketo, Zapier and more to automatically enrich new leads across any platform for better qualification and segmentation.
The company has been profitable almost from day one, and now has 100k+ happy users across 1000+ businesses, including Stripe, AdRoll, Optimizely, Asana, Zendesk, Segment, Intercom and Flexport. We're excited to be partners with the Clearbit team!