Freshpaint: A Fresh Approach to Customer Data
By Nick Washburn, David R Mueller and Alexandra Farmer
Inefficiencies have long offered a great opportunity for innovation. Iconic companies have been built by founders who just looked at a status quo process (often then called “the standard”), scratched their heads, and were impelled to fix it. Never satisfied by “that’s just how it’s been done”, the itch to fix a universal problem is just too compelling.
We’ve felt this itch too at Intel Capital, particularly looking for founders fixing huge inefficiencies within the enterprise data circulatory system – a vast and complex beast with many stakeholders and processes. And when looking at enterprise data, the crown jewels are self-generated, first-party customer data.
First-Party Customer Data is the Center of Businesses
Companies of all sizes run their businesses with customer data. It’s the lifeblood of a business. From multinational enterprises to early-stage startups, each of these companies must measure the needs of their customers and how they interact with their products. That vital information informs… everything.
Customer data is universally the best input for product roadmaps, marketing campaigns, sales calls, customer success engagements, growth hacks – the list goes on and on. And naturally the value of that customer data increases when (1) it is proprietary and generated by your own customers, (2) it is consumable by those that need it, (3) it is timely and actionable, (4) and it can be enriched.
As customer behaviors become more dynamic, the pressure is on for product, marketing, growth, and sales teams to understand customer signal and inform new features that drive product discovery, activation, and increased consumption by customers. This in turn drives sales and expansion. A virtuous flywheel powering the business.
The Status Quo of Customer Data Collection is Sadly Inefficient Handoffs
Despite the fact that the first-party customer data is used and owned by non-engineers – be it product, marketing, growth, or sales teams – engineering has historically owned the instrumentation and collection of that data. Specifically, engineering teams had to stand up precision tracking code, which is very tedious work. Maintaining that tracking code is also extremely laborious, particularly when what you need to actually measure changes day to day or even minute to minute. New log-in flow: measure it. New UI on the check-out page: measure it. Alternative marketing campaigns in the North East region on Labor Day: measure it. You get the drift.
So companies have been stuck in this trap where non-engineers need first-party customer data – and need it in real-time – yet they spin up Jira tickets for engineering teams to adjust precision tracking code that ends up just getting backlogged because those same engineers also need to focus on new features, product stability, and countless other workstreams. And this process results in product, marketing, and growth leaders waiting a month or more every time they need engineers to set up new customer events. This is crippling their biggest strategic advantage: Speed.
Enter a Fresh Approach to Customer Data Collection
When our good friend Taylor Clauson at Abstraction Capital reached out about connecting with the Freshpaint team, we were immediately struck by our thesis fit. Freshpaint puts the power directly into the hands of non-engineers, allowing product, sales, marketing, and growth teams to directly and automatically capture first-party customer data and consume it within the tools they already use day to day.
Freshpaint’s features are not limited to auto-track though. There are countless data sources supported (even precision tracking if you really want to!), and very powerful data transformations are supported. And of course, the list of native integrations for eventual data sources put this captured and transformed data directly into the tooling non-engineers use day to day. Freshpaint even offers HIPAA compliant features! As you read through the documentation, it should become clear this is a very powerful platform – ultimately empowering non-engineers with a streamlined workflow. In addition to Freshpaint’s stellar product, we were equally impressed by the founders behind it. Co-Founders Fitz and Malis have a powerhouse of domain knowledge stemming from their experiences building and scaling customer analytics infrastructure. We fortunately had the opportunity to partner with this great team, building a best-in-class product, with impressively efficient growth metrics, by leading their Series A. We look forward to joining their journey helping non-engineering teams drive their most important customer-related decisions.