Siri, show me fintech companies founded in the last two years, which have not increased in the past year, but have grown by 100% in the same time frame; and could it be founded by Stanford alumni whose Twitter traction has grown by at least 50% in the past six months?
This is Harmonic’s vision; well, only if you swap Siri for harmonic‘s text-based startup search tool. The data platform, built by co-founders Bryan Casey and Max Rudermanthinks it can help executives discover the next big startups without hundreds of hours of manual searching and research.
Harmonic is a more specific version of its main competitors, Crunchbase and PitchBook, which collect and organize private boot data. “We go out and look at every nook and cranny of the web where information about businesses can be and we take that structured and unstructured data and figure out how to piece it all together into a canonical view of a business,” Ruderman told TechCrunch.
Harmonic’s aggregation differentiation, according to Ruderman, is the intelligence it uses to help recognize which public data is more accurate for particular fields, then aggregates those sources to develop the “most accurate, new representation at any point in time.”
Harmonic joins a swarm of other startups trying to make businesses more data-driven, more transparent and fairer. In theory, algorithmic investing covers investor biases and pushes emotions aside. Fintech unicorn Clearco and venture firm SignalFire have spent years implementing data-centric investment processes, along with AngelList and Hum Capital.
In a landscape where investors are relearning discipline, data feels safe. But as other solutions have matured, the cleanliness and reliability of said data has come into question. (One founder even joked once by mentioning that Andreessen Horowitz was an investor in his startup on Crunchbase; when other investors were out to put money into his upstart, he explained it was a joke to make the bad quality of data on the platform, Bloomberg reports).
Ruderman admitted that data reliability and consistency is one of the most difficult problems to solve – and that their strategy is a big differentiator for them. “We are able to keep data up to date at scale and aggregate fragmented pieces of structured and unstructured data from all over the internet,” Ruderman said, adding that the most important measure of success is an internal score that they use that capture freshness, inventory, and taxonomy.
When asked for more details on how they get a head start on freshness, Ruderman didn’t share many details (and considering it’s a competitive moat, I’m not too surprised by this). He also said that prices will evolve as the product evolves, but currently startup charges licenses and API usage fees.
Ruderman’s background gives some color to why he’s sure he can search better. The co-founder was with Google for about six and a half years – with his last role as a senior software engineer on a team in Search that was all about building tools to help Google implement UX research and design at scale. to feed. Before that, he spent time learning about behavioral economics in the People Operations department, technical infrastructure in the business intelligence team, machine learning in the finance team, and finally in Search.
So far, his direction and the company behind him has brought Harmonic at least 150 clients, including SaaS startups such as Brex, Vouch, Notion and Carta, and venture companies such as Floodgate, a16z and Accel. Some of those early adopters have even become the startup’s biggest investors. Harmonic announced today that it has closed a $20 million Series A round led by Sozo Ventures, with the participation of Craft Ventures, which led its $10 million seed round last year. Floodgate, another client, was Harmonic’s first investor.
“Creating a really powerful discovery tool in enterprises will allow capital to flow towards greater innovation in a more efficient way… if we bring this to sales teams, teams can provide their service and move forward at the right time,” Ruderman said. “And ultimately, we want to make sure that talent can find startups that match their talents, helping startups move forward.”