Boston-based competitive intelligence platform Crayon closed a $22 million Series B as the company looks to grow its customer base and double its team.
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The round was led by Baird Capital with participation from Baseline Ventures, Bedrock Capital, C&B Capital, Oyster Funds and Gaingels. Founded in 2015, the company has raised a total of $38 million to date.
With every company having a larger digital footprint to mine, Crayon’s platform gathers that growing amount of data to give its clients a more pronounced competitive edge, said co-founder and CEO Jonah Lopin. Hundreds of mid-sized and large enterprises use the platform to help them gain competitive intel in sales, marketing, product development and even corporate strategy.
“We really liked the cross-organizational value the company brings,” said Benedict Rocchio, a partner at Baird.
The market of competitive intelligence is not new, but often has been hindered because data collected for such uses has been gathered manually, and therefore historically lags by the time a company tries to use it to increase its sales and marketing initiatives, Lopin said.
Crayon changes that model, he added.
“We are programmatic, real-time and inexpensive,” he said.
Crayon recently surpassed the 500-customer threshold, and Lopin said the time is right to accelerate in the market. The company typically has doubled in both customers and sales year to year, although it closed last year short of that mark as the pandemic kept some potential customers from buying, he said.
“I think through COVID we learned how resilient the platform is,” he said. “The challenge we faced was getting potential customers off the sidelines.”
Now with fresh capital under its belt, Crayon will invest in improving the platform as it looks for its own competitive advantages in the space against others such as Vancouver-based Klue and San Francisco-based Kompyte. The company also plans to double its 100-person team in the next year, Lopin said.
Crayon is at a “hit the gas kind of moment” in its life, especially as sales technology and enablement platforms continue to see significant growth, Rocchio said.
“I think they are at a true inflection point for growth,” he added.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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