Businesses are falling short of their potential because they lack the means to access insight that would unlock faster growth. So argues Houseware, a US-based start-up that is today announcing a $2.1 million seed funding round that it hopes will help accelerate sales of its data and insight platform.
Houseware is targeting the popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) sector, where businesses worldwide are racing to achieve sustainable growth – and to overcome macroeconomic uncertainty and volatility. “Many SaaS businesses are reaching maturity but they lack the cross-functional data they need to make rapid progress,” says Divyansh Saini, the CEO of Houseware, who co-founded the business with colleague Shubhankar Srivastava. “We want to empower them to do that.”
Saini’s diagnosis of the problem – based in part on his own experience at growing SaaS businesses – is that key decision makers lack speedy and straightforward access to the information they need to deliver growth, particularly in a fast-moving and volatile market environment. In particular, business leaders with a responsibility for revenues can’t get the data and insight they need in time to act.
That reflects two issues, Houseware says. First, argues Sani, the data that decision makers need today is increasingly cross functional. Marketing, say, doesn’t have the complete picture if it only sees marketing data; it also needs data from sales, from product development, from finance, and from more. And second, Sani adds, while some firms have launched data teams and units to tackle this challenge, these take time to respond to requests from business users.
Houseware’s solution is to give functional teams access to cross-functional data for themselves, rather than having to rely on data teams to generate a report. Indeed, the company’s name is intended to be a play on the word warehouse: “Houseware flips the typical model of waiting for insights from a data warehouse on its head,” Haini explains.
The idea is that an executive in, say, the marketing function should be able to easily access company-wide data on the go, generating the insight required to make smarter marketing decisions. To deliver on that need, Houseware drags in data from all the apps and tools that the business currently uses. “The true identity of a user, customer, invoice, or transaction is split across hundreds of point solution tools,” Haini argues.
The company is making some big promises about what its platform can do. Data and insight requests that might previously have taken a business three weeks to generate using data teams can now be secured in a matter of days, Haini says. “Time to reliable insight is dramatically shortened,” he promises. “It also means that organisations can begin to discover new insight they had not previously considered.”
It’s early days for the company, but Haini points out that at clients that have already adopted the platform, a third of users are already using it daily. “Executives across the revenue function are under tremendous pressure to find avenues for growth,” he says. “Metrics and access to these insights to run experiments are at the heart of this problem; Houseware is becoming mission-critical.”
The company’s investors believe it can now capitalise on a strong start. The $2.1 million round is led by Tanglin Venture Partners with participation from GTMfund and Better Capital, as well as a number of prominent angel investors best known for their roles at leading SaaS businesses, including Snowflake, Superhuman, Stripe and Zendesk.
“During my time as an GTM operator at various SaaS companies, I would have loved to have something like Houseware,” says Scott Barker, co-founder and partner at GTMFund. “The experience of being able to run with use cases across different segments is powerful for any scaling SaaS company looking to find its alpha – and now even more critical during this downturn.”
Houseware intends to use its seed funding to grow its customer base, expand its team, and to double down on alliances with partners such as Snowflake.