Startup Spotlight: Find Candidate Contact Information With @Prospectify

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Mar 11, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

This week, the Startup Spotlight shines on Matt Ekstrom of Prospectify.

What is your background?

I’ve only worked at tech companies, most of which have been recruiting tech organizations. I was blessed to land at right out of college, where I learned how to hustle in a more traditional sales environment. From there, the last five years or so, I’ve found my home in startups. Before, I co-founded HiringSolved and still feel so lucky to have had that experience. It was truly serendipitous the way I met Shon and Trevor.

After stepping away from HiringSolved, I created a monthly event out here in Phoenix called Sales Hack Night, partly because I wanted to meet more people who thought about sales the way I do. Mission accomplished. One of those people I met is now my partner, Noah. He’s a unique cat in that he’s a killer developer by trade, yet he has exceptional sales and business acumen as well.

It turns out we each had a very similar idea for a product based on the foundations some other cool apps pioneered by the likes of SalesLoft. We loved some of the existing products like Prospector, but, of course, saw untapped opportunities for innovation. And, that’s what Prospectify is, and where it’s going.

Tell us about the team you have built so far.

At the moment, our team is comprised of just the two of us, full-time. We’ve had some assistance from part-time folks in design and development, though, we don’t envision hiring many full-time employees for the next few months.

What financial support did you have to launch the business?

We’re completely bootstrapped so far. We’re not ruling out funding in the future if the time is right; however, we’re not in a hurry nor are we currently in a place that makes sense for any seed or venture funding.

What problem are you trying to solve?

For business people in general (sales, recruiters, and many others) finding accurate contact information and other actionable data can be costly in many ways. If it’s not money, it’s time. And, often both of those can be saddled with the cost of quality. Initially, we’re seeking to instill confidence in quality at scale without costing a fortune and eliminating the time spent copying, pasting, guessing, etc. Then, we’re planning to move to tackle eliminating as much importing, exporting, and other organizational hazards.

Who do you expect your customers and users to be at launch?

We’ve launched! We’ve been blown away by the fact that (in less than a month) we’ve gone from early Beta to over 100 users. We’re also super interested (and delighted) that there’s been more team interest (not just individual users) than we anticipated. We still think our core audience, will be for teams of 1-10, but we’re happy to be proven wrong. 😉

What is the business AND revenue model? What is your strategy for profitability?

Imagine sending automated emails to a competitor’s hot prospect mentioning a mutual connection and some common interests. Better yet, imagine this email sent while you sleep. Or, approving new company leads with a swipe right while ordering your morning coffee.

We take the strategies of the best sales person on the team and automate them for everyone on the team.

By leveraging the combination of a chrome extension and intelligent prospecting backend system, we are not only able to give our users the best email hit rate in the space, but we also combine that with actionable insights which allow a level of organization and personalization of outreach that others just … don’t. Think of the best warm email you have ever received. Now, it’s at your fingertips to send to all of your candidates and prospects.

We’re profitable and have been so since day 7 or so. We’ve bootstrapped and have stayed extremely lean through this process, so we’re fortunate to have had the opportunity to become profitable very quickly. However, now and in the near term, we’re re-investing 100% of revenue into innovation. We’ve had plans to do a LOT more than what you see in the app since we first started working on Prospectify.

The revenue model is a SaaS monthly subscription model, but we’ve had requests for annual rates, which we can accommodate. There’s a talk to sales request button on our pricing page.There is a try before you buy option, of course. We’ve attempted to make the pricing as dead simple as possible. It is merely variable based on the number of verified emails/prospects/candidates you need per month.

Did anyone tell you this wasn’t going to be successful?

Not to me, but I’m sure many have thought it. Having said that, we both have great, supportive families and networks. We’ve had many people that have been super generous in offering whatever assistance they can.

How will you measure success 12 months from now?

We’ll ask ourselves some questions like:

When we failed, did we fail fast? When we failed, did we learn from it and incorporate those learning in future decisions? Did we take calculated risks? Did we help people solve problems? Are our users sticking with us?

If we can answer yes to those questions, I have no doubt we will have had some success worth celebrating.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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