Pando

With the launch of a new mobile app, Mattermark finds an unexpected new audience for company data

By Dennis Keohane , written on July 14, 2015

From The Venture Capital Desk

Every day my inbox is packed with newsletters from PitchBook, CB Insights, Mattermark, Seeking Alpha. There seems to be no end of companies providing analysis, research and market data.

But one market story they likely won’t be analysing any time soon is just how competitive they are with each other.

Today, Mattermark has taken an unusual, but pretty smart, direction with the launch of a mobile application in the iOS App Store. That may make life easier for not only VCs, angel investors, and, to be honest, journalists, but also for operators, like sales teams and recruiters.

The app doesn’t feature all of Mattermark’s market analysis information, but does cover a wide range of data. From background on companies, to their employee numbers, growth, and funding rounds, Mattermark also let’s you look up recent news and other possibly important information through its new app.

I’ve been playing with the the app for a little over a week now and it is pretty slick. One of the better features is the side-swipeable competitor tiles at the bottom of each page providing basic information on competitors of the company you may be looking into. So, for instance, if I look up Mattermark, clickable information on CB Insights, Datafox, PitchBook, Estimize, and others will pop up.

According to Mattermark’s CEO and co-founder Danielle Morrill, the side swiping competitor feature was one of the more impressive technologies built into the app.

Morrill’s favorite feature? The list of key employees that the app includes on company pages. “It’s embarrassing, but I really like being able to look up people’s names,” she said.  “Because I feel like going into meetings, I’m always going to forget a co-founders name, and being able to look that up at the last possible moment can help avoid embarrassment.”

“It’s not the sexiest feature, but I think it is really helpful,” Morrill said.

While all the information built into the new app can be valuable for potential investors, especially the growing class of angel and early stage VC investors who often don’t have too much info to go on when doing due diligence on a stealth company, the new app could prove an invaluable and easy-to-access tool for an unintended customer base.

“Initially, we were focused on investors, mostly VCs and angels, and even some hedge funds,” Morrill said. “Now we have other types of folks who aren’t investors but are corporate development -- sales, marketing, and biz dev. The market has gotten a lot bigger.”

According to the Mattermark CEO, while investors once made up 80 percent or more of its customers, that has shifted to the point that it’s a fifty/fifty split between the angel and VC set and the sales and biz dev folks.

“Honestly, we didn’t know what we were doing,” she added. “We just thought, let’s solve one problem for one set of people just because it will feel so good to finally get paid for doing something that’s we know is helping them. And then we were like, 'we’ll figure it out from there.'”

“And this, I guess, is the 'from there' part,” Morrill said. Eventually, in addition to adding more features from the website to the app, Mattermark hopes to build more integrations with CRMs like Salesforce into its products. According to the CEO, the company also wants to add more natural language features so that you can type in a specific question and get all the data you need, as opposed to having to look up specific topics of analysis by keyword, which can be a challenge. The natural language feature is one that Morrill said will keep Mattermark “busy for awhile.”

In terms of the growing competitive nature of the space, Morrill said it’s not something that she is concerned with, but worries it could be something that the employees get caught up in. “If we only solve the problem that we are solving right now, we are never going to build a really great company,” she said on focusing on the future on not on competitors.

“Our ultimate goal now is really to make it so that business people can answer questions more efficiently. and that’s pretty tough now,” Morrill said. “So having a free app is something that lets us do that.”

Whether she realizes it or not, the new app gives the company an advantage in the space and makes it easier for anyone to have a wealth of industry and company data in their pocket. As the app evolves, I suspect that it will become more relevant to the customers that are using Mattermark for more than financial analysis, which could be a boon for all the companies in the business analysis space.