A Q&A with InsightSquared co-founder and CEO Fred Shilmover. The Cambridge, Massachusetts–based company was founded in 2010 and completed a $4.5 million Series A funding round in mid-May. Investors include Atlas Venture, NextView Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce.com.
SUB: Please describe what InsightSquared is, and the value proposition you offer to businesses.
Shilmover: InsightSquared is business intelligence (BI) for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). While there are many costly and complex BI tools for the Fortune 500 companies of the world, InsightSquared was built specifically for SMBs with cost, value, and simplicity in mind. There’s no lengthy set up time or large set up fee—you can start using InsightSquared within 48 hours and pricing starts at $99 a-month. Our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution requires no IT investment, no data experts on your end, and is also available on mobile devices.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Shilmover: SMBs in general. We have clients as small as five-person shops, to 300-plus. We are always increasing the number of CRMs we connect with, in order to service more and more of the SMBs looking for BI solutions. We’ve recently launched our Salesforce.com connector which will really broaden our reach.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Shilmover: We don’t really see any who are competing in quite the same space of SMBs as we are aiming for. We’re targeting a neglected segment of businesses who want analytics and we are competing against Excel or not using BI at all.
SUB: What differentiates InsightSquared from the competition?
Shilmover: Compared to other BI solutions on the market, what differentiates InsightSquared is cost and usability.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Shilmover: The company was founded in 2010. I had the initial idea of doing BI for SMBs in a brand new way. I got Sam Clemens—Chief of Product and co-founder—on board with my vision and a messy Excel spreadsheet. Sam helped to bring on Bryan Stevenson—Chief of Technology and co-founder—who built out the first version of InsightSquared as a web app in record time.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for InsightSquared? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Shilmover: I was an intern at GoodData and Salesforce.com. There, I recognized that there was a better way to be doing business intelligence and just how difficult the current options for BI were for small businesses. Traditional BI was expensive, took too long to get to value, the upfront investment was too large for SMBs, and in general just too complex to be used as a daily analytics tool. InsightSquared was designed to change all that.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Shilmover: Hiring talented people. We can’t seem to hire fast enough.
SUB: You recently raised $4.5 million in Series A funding. What are your plans for the funds?
Shilmover: We plan to invest it all right back into our company, in two main ways: hiring the right talent, and developing the product. We plan to add more connectors, more features, and reach more SMBs all over the world.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
Shilmover: We are not looking for any more funding at this time.
SUB: What are your goals for InsightSquared over the next year or so?
Shilmover: We want InsightSquared to become the top BI solution for all SMBs. Is that too ambitious? I guess since we just released our Salesforce.com connector, we can start there first and see what the rest of 2012 has in store for us.
InsightSquared – www.insightsquared.com