Today San Francisco-based Radius, which provides companies with SMB data from across the U.S., announced that it has closed $12.4 million in Series B funding from American Express and other existing investors. Originally launched in 2009 under the name Fwix to be a data aggregation platform for media organizations, the company changed its name in the spring of 2012 and now uses the same data to focus on providing information on small businesses to sales professionals. It will be using the funding to build out its own sales and marketing team to scale in addition to product development.
Although co-founder Darian Shirazi did not disclose the exact names or number of the company’s clients, citing the fact that many consider the platform a distinct competitive advantage, he commented in a statement to BetaKit that they were working with several Fortune 500 companies. The need to develop the platform came out of the recognition that data on local SMBs was scattered and often of poor quality.
“We’ve spent the past three years building technology that can correctly associate disparate online and offline data to small businesses,” said Shirazi. “We originally wanted to build an index of information about location in general and went on to focus on the small business market because it is underserved and unmeasured.”
As of now, Radius tracks more than 20 million small and local businesses and has more than a billion pieces of data, aggregated from across the social web, including Twitter, Yelp, and Facebook, in addition to hundreds of thousands of other sites as well as offline data. It ensures the quality of its data through both feedback from its customers, and by verifying across the different sources once the data is merged, however, according to Shirazi it’s a system that requires relatively little human intervention to ensure quality.
With its index, Radius targets marketers and sales teams looking to generate leads, including business insurance, banking, credit cards, telecommunication providers, payment services, and wholesalers. Using the platform they can filter by location and industry to build sales lists and set up an alert each time a new business opens up, while being able to integrate the data with their existing CRM platform. They can also access company profile pages that include their social media accounts, reviews, and prices. Radius charges marketers $99 per month and an additional variable amount depending on the amount of leads they generate and access from the system.
Though there are traditional databases of SMB information such as Dun & Bradstreet and OneSource, there are also players like Factual, which provides data for more 63 million businesses in over 50 countries and Coretera, which focuses on actual purchase and sales data insights. Radius looks to differentiate based on cost, ease of use, and quality of its data for effective lead generation.
Shirazi also mentioned that the company will look to expand its offering from its existing set of tools to include other solutions like credit products and social media monitoring which can be built on top of its platform. With most of its existing client base coming from organic search and word-of-mouth, the funding and company’s plan to add to its sales and marketing team will allow it to continue its growth, while giving its target market the data to do the same. Whether small businesses are on board with the idea that their information is being sold to salespeople is another question, but if Radius doesn’t do it, one of the larger players will.