Stockholm-headquartered Funnel helps data-driven companies and marketers automate their data collection and feed the data into any destination so they can focus on analysis and action.
At a glance
Founders: Fredrik Skantze, Per Made
Year it was founded: 2015
Where it is based: Stockholm
The problem it solves: Automates marketing data
Funding: $10 million
Fredrik Skantze was running an ecommerce company in the UK. He and his wife were expecting their first child and it was time for him to “come home” to Sweden. There he met Per Made, who had been an online marketing pioneer at media agency Keybroker. Fredrik and Per decided to join forces and spin out some of the technology developed at Keybroker around Facebook advertising. This marked the formation of their company and its first product, which was called Qwaya.
“As the team was contemplating how to evolve the product, it asked advertisers about the problems they were facing. What kept coming back was the issue of reporting. They said there were a lot of tools to help them make and optimise ads, but when it came to pulling together the complete picture with costs and results, and constructing the P&L for their advertising, almost everyone was using a spreadsheet,” says Fredrik Skantze, CEO and Co-founder of Funnel.
There were tools out there that allowed advertisers to make a siloed report for one or two advertising channels or grab data into a spreadsheet, but nothing that solved the whole problem.
The team realised that what advertisers needed was to build a marketing reporting stack. In its simplest form, this stack comprises two layers: a data import layer and a data visualisation layer. Larger advertisers also benefit from having the data import platform put the data in a data warehouse where it can be picked up by the data visualisation tool, essentially creating a three-layered stack.
The timing for this was right with large business intelligence vendors launching cloud-based versions of their software at attractive per-seat pricing and Google launching the Data Studio tool for free. The data visualisation layer was readily available.
“With more and more advertising becoming digital, the impact of marketing is now measurable. Data-driven organisations that take advantage of this by putting in place the right infrastructure to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing will have a competitive advantage and be able to drive strong growth in their businesses at the expense of less sophisticated competitors," Fredrik says.
With Amazon and Google launching cloud-based, self-service data warehouse solution, this layer was also in place. What was missing was the data import layer. The team set out to build this in 2014 and launched the Funnel data import platform in beta in 2015 with a full launch in 2016. The product gained strong traction in the marketplace with many large and mid-sized ecommerce and web-based businesses using it to import their marketing data.
New data integrations
Funnel is based out of Stockholm, Sweden, from where it serves the European market. At the end of 2016 the company set up an office in Boston, US, to serve the US, Latin American, and Asian markets. This now accounts for approximately 30 percent of the company’s turnover.
Currently, Funnel is integrated with close to 400 marketing platforms and the company builds out 5 to 10 new data integrations every week.
Funnel has three main features:
Data import: Pulls in data from close to 400 advertising and marketing platforms.
Data organisation: Cleans, transforms, and maps the data.
Data export: Puts the data in a data warehouse, business intelligence tool, spreadsheet, dashboard tool, or makes it available through an API.
Funnel is sold as a monthly subscription. By the end 2017, Funnel had 355 customers with annual recurring revenue of $2,240,000. Funnel has raised a $10 million Series A round, led by Balderton Capital, in the summer of 2017.
“Funnel currently helps companies report on their marketing data. However, we have observed that in all different organisational areas and types of companies there are a line of business users that fail to get automated access to their data for analysis and reporting purposes. As a result, Funnel will continue to expand the types of data it imports for customers with a vision to provide ‘your data as a service’ to all types of business users,” says Fredrik, on the startup’s future plans.