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Using data to make better decisions faster helps startups in the crowded SaaS space improve product development, identify hidden market opportunities and complete work with fewer false steps, important priorities as these startups seek out a piece of the booming SaaS market, projected to increase by 19.7% over the next six years.
A Singapore- and California-based startup called Houseware has built a platform that ingests data to help startups in those efforts. Today Houseware is emerging from stealth with $2.2 million led by Tanglin Ventures Partners with participation from GTMfund and Better Capital, as well as angel investors from among some of the most iconic, scaled-up SaaS companies around, including execs from Snowflake, Superhuman, Stripe, Zendesk and others.
When Divyansh Saini, co-founder and CEO of Houseware, was at data analytics company Atlan, he had a chance to work directly with companies like WeWork, Postman and Plaid. Saini noticed a disconnect between how data teams talked about, say, metrics and what revenue teams demanded out of those numbers.
“[Traditionally,] the data team sits farther away from the problems and is treated as a service function,” spending weeks modeling data for particular use cases, Saini said.
Houseware was founded in 2021 by Shubhankar Srivastava and Saini with a simple question: “What would it take to flip the value of the data warehouse from data and engineering teams to the revenue function inside organizations?”
Houseware, which offers an easy-to-use, no-code interface for operations and revenue teams, wants to bring SaaS companies closer to using data more efficiently in their day-to-day use cases across businesses.
Houseware allows users, for example, in the customer success team, to model insights on the go on product pricing, which in turn can then be used by finance teams as they consider how to alter those prices, Saini explained.
This is significant because while products like Snowflake have made it easy to work with large volumes of data at scale in the last half a decade, most companies’ revenue teams are still untouched by that paradigm shift, according to Saini.
Houseware’s target customers are SaaS enterprises with more than 1,000 employees. The company says its end users are revenue, marketing and sales groups, as well as marketing and finance analysts. Houseware tracks the percentage of employees activated as a key metric across companies using its platform.
“We have seen up to 30% of an organization’s employees being regular users of Houseware,” Saini, who likes to speak about “democratizing access,” said. It has onboarded users from public SaaS companies, and the fastest growing edtech and SaaS companies, among others over the last couple of quarters.
Houseware considers Clari and People.ai its closest competition, alongside some horizontal platforms like Thoughtspot, Saini told TechCrunch. He also pointed out that companies like Retool, which raised $45 million at a valuation of $3.2 billion last year, and Streamlit, which acquired Snowfake for $800 million, have made the space popular for developers and data scientists, respectively; Houseware aims to do the same for non-technical users.
Saini told TechCrunch it is “currently building out a layer of intelligence on top of customer data using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to solve for use cases like identifying the risk of churn” and “building intelligent account health scores on top of customer data.” The startup is looking to roll these out for its customers in Q2 and Q3 of 2023, Saini added.
The company also plans to grow its team, hire for go-to-market roles in the U.S. and double down on its partnerships with Snowflake and dbt Labs.
“Executives across the revenue function are under tremendous pressure to find avenues for growth,” Saini said in a statement. “Investors are focused on solid unit economics and the path to profitability, so a lot will depend on hard-core, disciplined, top decile business execution.”
“Data and metrics have come into sharp focus over the past six months across SaaS businesses with board meetings now seeking answers to the cost of customer acquisition, which lead channels are working the best or how product usage links to churn,” Saini said in its statement.