Zenlitic, a business intelligence tool, has secured $5.4 million in seed funding to continue developing its natural language interface for non-technical users who want to move their customer acquisition, conversion and retention software into one tool without the need for data teams.
Bain Capital Ventures led the round and was joined by other investors, including First Class Venture Partners, Correlation Ventures, Company Ventures, Habitat Partners (Red Antler) and Sequoia Scout Fund.
As my colleague Kyle Wiegers wrote earlier this year, business intelligence is getting some love from venture capital firms as the category brings more solutions for managing and analyzing large amounts of data to help clients identify new revenue opportunities.
However, Ryan Janssen, founder and CEO of Zenlytics, is out to change the mind of business intelligence by doing something the industry believes it’s doing but has never actually delivered.
Before starting the company, Janssen and co-founder Paul Blankley noticed that data scientists were consulting with e-commerce brands on how to use data and faced the same challenges, regardless of size.
“One of the big ironies is that they have a lot of information to make decisions, but because their core product isn’t technology, they generally have small technology teams, they’re slow to develop technology teams,” Jansson told TechCrunch.
Therefore, Business Intelligence set out to build their own vision with Zenlytics, as a true self-service tool designed specifically for business companies. Users can access all of their customer acquisition, conversion and retention SaaS tools into a single cloud data warehouse and customizable analytics.
“Untrustworthy information is worse than no information at all,” Janssen added. “Brands need customer logic, but today’s tools are typically one-size-fits-all. Our technology unlocks better self-service by rolling out natural language capabilities powered by GPT-3 and OpenAI to make you feel like you’re chatting with an inside data person.
The $5.4 million in new funding was distributed in two rounds, one that occurred two years ago and another this year led by Scott Friend, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures.
The friend told TechCrunch that business is one of the company’s main focuses and has spent most of his career in business analysis. While looking for new software companies to help brands do things they couldn’t do before, he found Zenlytics and saw that it was doing something he knew he needed 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,” says Friend. “We stumbled upon Zenlytics and when we saw versions of the product, we were frustrated by their idea of asking a question and letting the machine do all the analysis. It’s a dream for people who run brands.”
Meanwhile, Zenlitic is still in its early stages, so there hasn’t been much to report on traction, Janssen said, and most of the funding has come as the company’s team transitions into a product-driven business.
The company expects to triple its four-person team next year, adding more products and analytics to develop additional capabilities.