Zenlytic, business intelligence tool for commerce, has secured $5.4 million in seed funding to continue developing its natural language interface for non-technical users who want to unify their customer acquisition, conversion and retention software into a single tool, without to need a data team.
Bain Capital Ventures led the round and was joined by other investors including Primary Venture Partners, Correlation Ventures, Company Ventures, Habitat Partners (Red Antler) and Sequoia Scout Fund.
As my colleague Kyle Wiggers wrote earlier this yearbusiness intelligence is gaining some love from venture capital firms as the category provides more solutions for managing and analyzing large amounts of data so that clients can identify new revenue opportunities.
However, Ryan Jansen, co-founder and CEO of Zenlytic, is intent on turning business intelligence on its head by doing something he says the industry claims to do but has never really delivered — true self-service capabilities.
Before starting the company, Jansen and co-founder Paul Blankley were data scientists consulting with brands on how to use data and noticed that regardless of size, they had similar problems.
“One of the biggest ironies is that they have a wealth of data to make decisions, but because their core product is not technology, they tend to have smaller technical teams, they’re late to developing technical teams,” said Jansen to TechCrunch.
So they set out to build their own take on business intelligence with Zenlytic, which he described as a true self-service tool specifically designed for commercial companies. Users can consolidate all their SaaS tools for customer acquisition, conversion and retention into a single cloud-based data warehouse and access customizable analytics.
“Unreliable data is worse than no data at all,” Jansen added. “Brands need customer logic, but today’s tools tend to be one-size-fits-all. Our technology unlocks better self-service by leveraging natural language capabilities powered by GPT-3 and OpenAI to create the feeling of having a conversation with a data insider.”
The new $5.4 million in funding is spread over two rounds, including one that took place about two years ago and the other, led by Scott Friend, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, this year.
Friend told TechCrunch that trading is one of the firm’s main focuses, and he has spent most of his career in trading analytics. While looking for new software companies helping brands do things they couldn’t do before, he discovered Zenlytic and saw it doing something he recognized a need for but couldn’t find.
“We didn’t have nearly the brilliance of Ryan and Paul, but we thought there should be a self-service way for people to ask questions about their business data without having to hire an analytics team,” Friend said. “We came across Zenlytic and when we saw versions of the product, we were blown away by their idea of being able to ask a question and have the machine do all the analysis. It’s a dream for people managing brands.”
Meanwhile, Zenlytic is still in its early stages, so there’s not much to report on traction, according to Janssen, and much of the funding will go toward expanding the company’s team as it moves toward a product-driven business.
He expects the company to triple its four-person team next year as it adds more product and analytics people to develop additional capabilities.