Nashville-based personality startup Crystal has raised a $5 million Series B round from Birchmere Ventures, Falmouth Ventures (formerly CEB Ventures), HubSpot and Salesforce Ventures. Since launching in 2015, the machine learning platform has added over 2,000 customers.
“We spent the last three years focused on product and technology,” says founder and CEO Drew D’Agostino. “We built a very solid foundation for our personality data set and now, the main reason for the funding is we’re ready to grow the business.” The funding will help Crystal expand in both engineering and sales to fuel growth.
“We’re moving into new markets and that requires us to build out the team some more. We have a longstanding relationship with Salesforce Ventures and HubSpot so it became a natural partnership, but we’re working closer with them in the next few months,” says D’Agostino.
The startup functions as a personality discovery platform that uses machine learning to analyze anyone’s personality, behavioral style, and communication preferences from public data like your social media profiles.
For sales professionals and recruiters whose job requires them to communicate with strangers, Crystal’s Chrome extension and personality analysis API can help them predict their outreach target’s personality with 85 percent accuracy based on their online presence. With this data, the platform coaches the users on how to communicate better by writing personalized emails, have more productive working relationships with team members, and close more deals.
“We started out with these tools that were particularly useful for sales people and recruiters — one-to-one communication. Over time, we realized that the people signing up for Crystal are actually using it as a personal profile to understand their co-workers,” says D’agostino.
“There’s a big gap for psychographic data (insights to one’s personality). People have LinkedIn profiles and resumes, but no one has a hub for their behavior, motivations, and core values.”
Now, D’Agostino pictures Crystal’s users using their psychographic profiles as a complement to their LinkedIn profiles and resume when seeking new jobs or integrating into new teams. This behavioral data allows leadership teams to better pair up employees based on personality traits, leading to more successful outcomes.
“At HubSpot, we strive to provide our customers with tools that help them understand their own customers better than anyone else,” said Brad Coffey, chief strategy officer of HubSpot, in a statement. “As users of Crystal ourselves, we’ve seen first-hand the power of the platform’s accurate personality insights. We see great things ahead for the company, and we’re excited to partner with them more closely in the future.”