InfoArmy, founded by Jim Fowler, announced Tuesday that it's raised a hefty $17.3 million in funding from Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures. Norwest had backed Fowler when he founded Jigsaw, which was sold to Salesforce for $175 million in 2010.
Fowler had originally targeted $10 million, but clearly was oversubscribed. The new round, which also brings Jeff Crowe of Norwest and Patricia Nakache of Trinity Ventures to InfoArmy's board, brings the total round of funding to $19.3 million. San Mateo, Calif.-based InfoArmy self-funded with $2 million, which came from Fowler and his family.
InfoArmy is a crowdsourced platform for comprehensive reports on companies. It's essentially an iPad tool for anyone seeking information about companies. The information ranges from a company's competitors (competitive matrix, competitor funding, competitor revenue), people (founders, investors, board), products and services, customers, financials to social media stats (like how many Twitter followers, LinkedIn followers and Facebook likes).
The profiles are created by researchers from around the world, who get paid for each report that's sold. Currently, the company has 3800 researchers across the globe, who take about two to four hours to put together their first report, said Fowler. The reports are sold at $99 a piece. Once the company hits 10,000 reports, it'll begin charging unlimited access for a subscription price, said Fowler.
At the moment, there are about 1800 free and paid reports, which cover both public and private companies. As Fowler has said to me, InfoArmy is creating an "army of researchers and creating intelligence reports for companies."
As you can see, the reports are pretty comprehensive, including competitive information, such as revenue estimates.
Fowler is indeed pioneering crowdsourced competitive intelligence reports, much like he did when he managed to build a database of contact information by creating incentives for people to build that database for him. Genius, in my opinion.
Fowler believes the company profiles will be of interest to those in the financial industry, and eventually those in marketing. As part of an offering that may appeal to marketers, InfoArmy's intelligence also includes a competitive map of the competitive landscape and the number of Facebook likes and Twitter as well as LInkedIn followers each company has.
For more information about InfoArmy, check out my earlier story in June - just four months ago - which details how InfoArmy's crowdsourcing works.