Jigsaw successfully monetizing Web 2.0 data

Ronny Kerr · July 23, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/984

Startup leads Data as a Service revolution with business contacts database

JigsawOn an increasingly Web 2.0 Internet, it is only too common to see the daily rise of new Web sites dedicated to planting endless fields of user-generated content. Rarely, however, do we see the founders of these sites actually harvesting the potential revenue from such content-rich services.

One company, Jigsaw, believes it is one of those rare examples.

Jigsaw is a San Mateo, CA-based startup aiming to be the number one stop on the Web for business contacts and company records, by collecting the data from users and clients themselves. The idea is that people will willingly exchange data they have for data they need.Business Card

The startup says it wants to do for data what Salesforce did for software, delivering a Web 2.0 Data as a Service (DaaS) product inspired by the openness of Wikipedia and the empowerment of eBay. Contrary to most user-generated Web services with uncertain revenue models, however, Jigsaw announced yesterday that it saw growing profits over the last two quarters. Not only that, but the company’s revenue has doubled every year for the last four years.

Right now, Jigsaw boasts of hosting over 14 million business contacts and over 2.6 million company records. Not only that, but Jigsaw prides itself on a system that constantly keeps those records updated and complete, held up by the strength and efficiency of a 900,000-member global community.

Regular members, typically recruiters or jobseekers, are motivated to sign up for free accounts on Jigsaw to gain access to these enormous databases. Users can also opt to purchase premium plans, which come with additional added bonuses.

The real moneymaker for the company, however, is expected to be Jigsaw Data Fusion, a product particularly targeting recruiting teams, sales teams, and marketers. Announced three months ago, Data Fusion is a cloud-based, automated system for delivering important data to Jigsaw's customers. Like any standard SaaS model, Jigsaw charges companies a per seat, per month fee to gain unhindered access to its complete business contacts database.

And as more users sign up, filling up Jigsaw’s company contact databases, the startup’s attraction only increases. The company almost has 1,000 customers for its Data Fusion solution.

Jigsaw model
After speaking with Jigsaw CEO Jim Fowler, it looks like the company’s focus for the next year is expansion, expansion, expansion—especially in regards to the very young Jigsaw Fusion: “Over the next year or so, we want to get to a situation where everyone comes to this database and sees their company contact data in the Jigsaw system.”

Admitting that he believes the future big revenue-generator to be data, not software, Fowler states, “We want to lead the DaaS revolution in very much the same way that Salesforce has lead the SaaS revolution.”

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Salesforce.com is the worldwide leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) services. More companies trust their vital customer and sales data to salesforce.com than any other on-demand CRM company in the world.
Salesforce.com was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, who pioneered the concept of delivering enterprise applications via a simple Web site. Salesforce.com is constantly building on that legacy by improving and expanding our award-winning suite of on-demand applications, our Force.com platform for extending Salesforce, and our one-of-a-kind AppExchange directory of on-demand applications.

Salesforce.com has received considerable recognition in the industry, including:
• Technology of the Year (InfoWorld, 2004, 2005, 2006)
• Editors' Choice Award (PC Magazine, 2002, 2003, 2004)
• Visionary Award (SDForum, 2004)
• Best of the Web (Forbes, 2003)
• CRM Excellence Award (Customer Inter@ction Solutions, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
• Top 100 Innovators Award (BusinessWeek, 2006)
• Innovation Award (AMR Research, 2005)
• CODIE Award for Best CRM (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)



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Jigsaw is the industry leader in Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) and business contact information, uniquely leveraging content from its global B2B community. Jigsaw provides salespeople, marketers, and recruiters access to millions of business contacts and company profiles. Every contact is complete with a phone number (70%+ direct dial), position, email, and mailing address. Founded in 2004, Jigsaw is located in San Mateo, Calif. and funded by Austin Ventures, El Dorado Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners.

Update: Jigsaw was acquired by Salesforce in 2010 for $175 million.

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