Innovation begins with divergence. As entrepreneurs develop new products they challenge the status quo by diverging from the old business model. While this iterative process is positive it can also lead to fragmentation, ultimately, causing confusion for the user. Every once in a while a product will diverge from the old business model and invent something that makes the user’s life simpler, converging the fragmented landscape. Evernote is a great example. Before Evernote my notes were scattered in various places and were in different formats.Today, my notes are located in one place, tagged with meta data and accessible on any platform.
I now have my notes are in order, but my contacts are a complete mess. I have different groups of friends/contacts on my various social networks, contacts on my phone, gmail contacts, work contacts, personal contacts, family contacts. In addition to these being inaccessible across networks my contacts have out of date information, mislabeled, duplicated and more. FullContact is solving the world’s contact information problem. They are building a web app which will allow me to take back the ownership of my contacts through convergence, making my life simple and organized. I love it. But the team isn’t only building an organizational tool. They have much, much, bigger plans. They have plans to build the technical infrastructure that changes the game.
I met Bart, Dan and Travis in early 2011. They were pitching Who Sent it, an email enrichment that relied on identity resolution. Chris Marks and I liked the idea but we had no idea of the technical difficulty involved in building the infrastructure. Bart often talks about the problem as “schlep blindness”. We really liked the founding team, they had a complementary yet diverse skill set combined with a passion to solve a really hard problem. Fast forward 6 months, the passionate trio was nearing TechStars graduation and had recruited a handful of School of Mines talent to build some solid core technology. In addition they were able to clearly express their business model and the disruption it brought to the market. The team re-branded the company to FullContact, raised their Series A (or series API as Bart likes to call it) with HCV as the lead, and didn’t look back. Over the next year the FullContact team has gone on to build some pretty impressive, cutting edge, technology that has the capability to replace the contacts app on our phones, desktops and CRMs. The API offering went live in January and the team learned a ton from the customers. In a few weeks, FullContact will launch the web app which will provide a viable solution to anyone with a contact management problem (aka. everyone). sign up for beta!
In short, the FullContact team has hit several product and business milestones which resulted in closing a Series B round led by Foundry Group. I’m excited announce our participation in this financing and would also like to welcome Foundry Group as an investment partner. We’ve co-invested with Foundry before, and we are excited to continue the relationship.
Congratulations to Full Contact team on raising the Series B round! I look forward to continuing the journey.