CloudKPI down to the last 9 finalist for $5m US fund

VentureClash Announces Finalists for 2018 Global Venture Challenge
Nine early-stage IoT, digital health, insurtech and fintech companies to compete for $5 million in investments at Yale School of Management in New Haven on October 18

Rocky Hill, Connecticut – September 17, 2018 – Connecticut Innovations (CI), Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm, today announced the finalists for VentureClash, the $5 million global venture challenge. The nine finalists, representing six different countries, will participate in a live pitch event at the Yale School of Management on Thursday, October 18, 2018, in front of a panel of live judges.

The 2018 VentureClash finalists include:

  • CloudKPI (Sandyford, Ireland): An insight engine that enables SaaS businesses to predict likely outcomes
  • DOZR (Kitchener, Canada): A marketplace for the online rental of heavy equipment
  • Invixium (Markham, Canada): A manufacturer of modern biometric solutions for markets needing strong user authentication, convenience and data analytics
  • IronYun (Stamford, Connecticut): A next-generation AI deep-learning, big-data video search business-to-business software company
  • Kasko (London, England): A digital insurance intermediary bridging the gap between the digital and insurance economies
  • Panoply (Tel Aviv, Israel): A smart data warehouse, using machine learning and natural language processing to automate data integration, data management and query optimization
  • Paygilant (Ramat Gan, Israel): A technology that prevents mobile payments fraud on mobile devices in the pre-authorization phase
  • SnapSwap (Luxembourg City, Luxembourg): Offers white-label end-to-end know-your-customer (KYC) services for financial institutions and businesses
  • Voiceitt (Ramat Gan, Israel): A proprietary speech-recognition technology translates unintelligible speech into clear speech in real time

VentureClash brings together early-stage digital health, insurance technology (insurtech), Internet of Things (IoT) and financial technology (fintech) companies from around the world to compete for the opportunity to receive investment, mentoring, customer introductions, grants and services from CI to help them grow and succeed in Connecticut. A panel of judges will determine the distribution of the top investment award ($1.5 million) and the remaining $3.5 million on the day of the event.

“This year’s VentureClash competition has already been another huge success in identifying young and promising companies and introducing them to all that Connecticut has to offer in support of their growth,” said Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “We congratulate all our finalists and look forward to the final pitch competition next month at Yale.”

This year’s VentureClash attracted more than 300 companies from 20 countries around the world, all of whom completed initial applications this past June. Finalists were selected following two rounds of judging by an outside panel of industry leaders and subject matter experts. For more information on qualifications, requirements, guidelines and application, visit www.ventureclash.com.

About VentureClash
Managed by Connecticut Innovations, VentureClash is Connecticut’s global venture challenge focused on early-stage companies. The challenge identifies high-potential companies in digital health, fintech, insurtech and the Internet of Things that will receive investments from a $5 million investment award pool. Learn more at www.ventureclash.com.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm and is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for innovative, growing companies. CI provides venture capital and strategic guidance for early-stage technology companies, and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. For more information, visit www.ctinnovations.com.

Media contact:
Lauren Carmody
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
lauren.carmody@ctinnovations.com
860.258.7829

Every SaaS business needs to know who their most valuable customers are

Every SaaS business needs to know who their most valuable customers are if they are to sustain high growth. To find out they need to be able to join revenue with sales, pipeline data, marketing, and product usage metrics.

Dublin’s CloudKPI is helping fast-growing software firms make sense of their data

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BY JONATHAN KEANEREPORTER, FORA
MAEVE KNEAFSEY HAS seen her fair share of challenges in the world of business.She’s the chief executive of Dublin’s CloudKPI, working alongside co-founder Brenda Jordan.

It is her fourth company, having previously run digital marketing agencies and a marketing software firm called MarketFinder. Kneafsey is also a former chair of the Irish Internet Association.

However the latest business, a data analytics platform that measures client firms’ metrics, was borne out of common frustrations she encountered in her various enterprises.

“We did a lot of work in using analytics to help people to drive decisions, and we were using (business analytics software) tools, for building visualisations and metrics, like Klipfolio and Tableau,” Kneafsey tells Fora.

“An awful lot of work falls back on the user in terms of formulating the metrics and understanding how to do them correctly. There has to be a better way of doing this.”

Her co-founder, whose background is in accountancy, was in a similar boat, Kneafsey says.

“She had been looking at automating and generating financial metrics and also realised that you’ve got to get the right audience for the product.”

The duo felt that companies needed a “360-view of sales, marketing and revenue metrics”.

The result was CloudKPI, which gathers data from companies’ various software systems and generates insights on how the company is performing.

Maeve Kneafsey and Brenda Jordan Co-Founders CloudKPIMaeve Kneafsey & Brenda Jordan
Source: CloudKPI

Kneafsey identified that software startups that are beginning to scale, especially those operating on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, could benefit from a better platform for working with data.

“We have a version of our product that anybody can use because we’re pure analytics, sitting on top of systems that businesses are using to drive the business,” she says, adding that understanding all the data was vital in helping firms to make the right decisions.

Clients

According to Kneafsey, CloudKPI had a good idea of the issues that software firms face, but it needed to get closer to potential clients.

While there are plenty of possible customers this side of the Atlantic, CloudKPI was keen to dip its toe into the US market as quickly as possible.

The company was incorporated in 2012, but it wasn’t until two years ago that it joined the Access Silicon Valley programme with Enterprise Ireland to get the ball rolling on its first product.

The State-supported scheme helps Irish startups to access mentoring networks in the US.

With her experience in building a software business, Kneafsey knew some of the pitfalls that could await CloudKPI but she and Jordan were keen to explore the US market as soon as possible.

“We both knew that to get it right in the early stages, you really do have to know your audience,” she says.

“If we build a product in the UK or an Irish product initially, it’ll possibly be for companies that aren’t the leaders in SaaS, so why don’t we go to where the leaders are and understand what are they doing at the moment?”

The experience was eye-opening for CloudKPI. Through the Enterprise Ireland trip, it found that many scaling SaaS companies were having trouble with keeping track of their metrics and analytics.

Companies were often using ineffective manual tools or were trying to build their own software, which was distracting from work on their main products.

“What the programme gave us was access to the right people. What we learned very quickly was that there was a problem, but you have to pick the company at the right stage in their growth,” she adds.

This opportunity lies with companies that are growing and scaling. For a newborn startup, the metric problem doesn’t quite exist yet, Kneafsey explains, as the metrics are basic and relatively easy to monitor.

It’s when a company starts generating significant revenues, signing partnerships and launching multiple marketing campaigns that things get complicated.

maeve-kneafsey
Maeve Kneafsey Co Founder CloudKPI

This is the sweet spot for CloudKPI – companies that have revenues of €4 million all the way up to €50 million.

“It’s when you start to grow really quickly that it becomes hard work to try and manage your metrics and you need them fast because you’ve got to make some decisions,” Kneafsey says.

“You have investors and everybody else that expects you to grow really fast.”

MVP to full product

After the Silicon Valley experience in the summer of 2016, CloudKPI got its first minimum viable product together and, in June of this year, released the first full version of the product.

To date, it has four paying customers and is in the middle of hammering out a partnership with another organisation that “would give us fast access to a lot of SaaS companies in this space”.

CloudKPI is not without its competitors – including legacy systems in firms that hadn’t moved far beyond Excel sheets, Kneafsey says.

However established tools like Tableau and PowerBI are targeted at a much wider, general pool of users, she adds, while other tools may only focus on sales analytics.

“The customer knows that they need to look at not just revenue, but they need to be able to join revenue with sales, pipeline data, marketing activity and activity in the product to find out who are their most valuable customers,” she says.

“You can’t get that just by looking at revenue, and you can’t get that just looking at sales.”

CloudKPI has ambitions to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to help give its product an intuitive edge.

To achieve that, it is raising an investment round of €1 million to hire more developers as well as expand its sales teams. It has already raised around €125,000, according to company filings.

“We’re doing a seed round at the moment to allow us to get that (artificial intelligence) functionality built into the product. We started off building our predictive models, and now we need to actually incorporate them into the product.”

There are three developers currently on the Sandyford-based team with Kneafsey and Jordan.

“The developers are here in Ireland and that will probably always be the way, the development will be focused here.”

That said, the company will continue to make its big sales push in the US, Kneafsey says.

“It is of course really important because there are so many (companies) there and a concentration of SaaS companies.”

https://fora.ie/cloudkpi-metrics-4230472-Sep2018/?utm_source=more

CloudKPI Named 2018 VentureClash Finalist  

 

SaaS leader CloudKPI down to final 9 for Connecticut’s $5 million global venture challenge

San Francisco, California

September 7th, 2018CloudKPI today announced the company has been named a finalist in the 2018 VentureClash competition. VentureClash, managed by Connecticut Innovations, is a $5 million global venture challenge for early-stage companies in digital health, financial technology, insurance technology and the Internet of Things.

This year’s VentureClash competition attracted nearly 300 applications from more than 20 countries around the world. After already advancing through the semi-final round with 33 other companies, CloudKPI will now compete in the final pitch event as one of just nine start-ups vying for a share of the $5 million prize at Yale University, CT, on October 18th.

CloudKPI co-founder Maeve Kneafsey said, “My co-founder Brenda Jordan and I decided to focus on the US market, convinced that we had to design our solution around the needs of the world’s leading SaaS customers so as to become the leader in analytics for cloud-based software companies, worldwide.

“Becoming a VentureClash finalist has validated everything we have done to date. Connecticut is an ideal place for CloudKPI to base our next US office as it gives easy access to our key markets in New York and Silicon Valley and to our developers in Dublin, Ireland. However, for now, the focus is on winning the main prize in Yale in October! Being shortlisted means we’re on our way to fulfil our global ambitions and this will help hugely with our $1m seed funding that we’re about to close.”

Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations added, “This year’s VentureClash competition has been both intense and exciting, as it has attracted so many impressive early-stage companies from around the world. The selection of CloudKPI as a finalist reflects the positive impression the company has made during the process. We look forward to seeing their final pitch presentation next month at Yale.”

VentureClash 2018 finalists will compete in front of a panel of expert judges at a one-day pitch event to be held on October 18, 2018, at the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut.

CloudKPI background

CloudKPI aims to become the world’s leading analytics solution for cloud-based businesses. The company’s two co-founders, Maeve Kneafsey and Brenda Jordan have focused their solution on the US, home of half of the world’s fast-growing SaaS companies. Brenda has previously founded and built a management accountancy firm before developing an automated financial metrics solution for SMBs. CloudKPI is Maeve’s fourth successful startup, having previously founded Ireland’s first digital strategy and analytics agency as well as a digital benchmarking solution for retail banks.

About CloudKPI

CloudKPI’s insight engine transforms aggregated cloud business data into insights that can’t be found otherwise.

Using metrics from across the entire customer journey, the solution identifies a business’s most valuable customers, shows how to acquire more at the lowest possible cost and how to retain the ones they already have

Focused initially on the 80% of software companies that will migrate to the cloud-based subscription model (SaaS) in the next 36 months, CloudKPI is customised to meet the needs of the SaaS industry. The software automatically aggregates data from right across the business. It formulates the complex metrics (churn, CAC:LTV, pipeline MRR etc), delivers them in consumable visualisations, supports dynamic reporting and reveals insights. Using predictive models and deep machine learning the solution can automatically spot anomalies or trends and alter the team to take action. As a plug and play solution, CloudKPI can be set up quickly and deliver value from the outset.

About VentureClash

Managed by Connecticut Innovations, VentureClash is Connecticut’s global venture challenge focused on early-stage companies. The challenge identifies high-potential companies in digital health, fintech, insurtech and the Internet of Things that will receive investments from a $5 million investment award pool. Learn more at www.ventureclash.com.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Maeve Kneafsey, Co-founder, CloudKPI  00 353 87 240 1919

Media; Conall O Móráin, CEO, The Media Group, 00 353 87 2463 111