Startup Spiderbook, which is building a linked dataset of companies and their partners, customers, suppliers, and people involved in those deals, has recently closed its seed round for $1 million. The next-generation sales intelligence company was co-founded by CEO Alan Fletcher, who was a vp of product engineering, IT and operations at Oracle, and Aman Naimat, who has been working in the realm of CRM software since he was 19 years old and also has a background in natural language processing. Along with other core members of the team, the company puts natural language processing and machine learning technology to work to help sales people better connect the dots that explain business relationships, extracting information from unstructured text to sell more effectively.
State-of-the-art CRM, says Naimat, by itself doesn’t help salespeople sell. Since the days of Salesforce, which he worked on at IBM and Oracle, it has remained the same thing, he says, “just evolving with better technology. But basically it is an internal-facing administration tool to give management visibility, not to help a salesperson sell or create business relationships.”
Built from billions of data elements extracted from everything from SEC filings to press releases to blogs to Facebook posts, Spiderbook’s SpiderGraph is taking on that challenge, starting with the goal of helping salespeople understand who is the right contact to talk to, how he or she can meet that person (through shared contacts, for instance), and who competitors are, including those providing technology or other products already in use at the company. “We have created a graph of customers, competition, and suppliers for every company that is all interconnected,” he says.