Local startup Insightpool recently raised $4 million in Series A funding. Founded in March of 2012 by Adam Wexler, Insightpool identifies your target audience through their behavior on social media, and formulates the best ways to reach them based on the information collected. Investors for the funding round include Peter Kight, Steve Chamberlain, Steve Koonin, TDF Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank. The $4 million investment will go towards building a mobile app, growing their team, and expanding to new locations.
Get the inside scoop from CEO, Devon Wijesinghe:
How did you decide to pursue funding?
We looked at the entire market opportunity and the time frame required in order for us to be a market leader. We decided that the opportunity made sense for us to attack it right now and out-innovate any of the existing or potential competition.
When did you start the process?
For most of this round it was not a long process. Several of our existing investors participated and the new ones were really interested and came in within 90 days to close it.
What was the biggest challenge of raising a round?
In our particular case, we wanted to make sure we chose the right folks that could really help define a new category and that had a really large vision, in order to execute it correctly. People like Peter Kight, that built Checkfree from nothing, created a category and thousands of jobs. They fit that mold perfectly, and we can learn a lot from folks that have done it before in a big way.
Did you encounter any surprises?
The biggest surprises were how quickly everyone understood the problem we were trying to solve. The world has shifted to where everyone is now relying upon word of mouth, but now that process is digital instead of just in person. Companies want the ability to incite their messaging sincerely into those conversations. Everyone got it almost instantly.
What was the best advice you received?
Always have a great lead investor. When other people are willing to put their name and reputation on the line for you, a lot of the work and foundation is already laid.
What was the worst?
That industry terms are industry terms. Don’t believe that. You can create a great outcome for investors without using the same terms as everyone else does raising money.
How did you balance raising the round and running your business?
In our case we only raised funding to accelerate the business, not to allow us to survive. When you do that, 90% of your time is focused on running the business and 10% on raising. Investors appreciate that and move quickly when they recognize it.
What advice would you give anyone thinking about raising a round?
Think about nailing fundamentals first. If you have a really big idea and you need millions of dollars just to get it going, then spend your time building a relationship with a great lead investor.
Now what? How do you put that round to the best use?
We plan on adding another 75 people soon, opening up offices in LA, San Francisco, New York City, and other areas to expand our presence as soon as possible.