Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Interview with Bart Lorang, FullContact
For our interview today, we sat down to catch up with Bart Lorang, the CEO of Denver-based FullContact (www.fullcontact.com), which develops contact management software. FullContact recently acquired Brewster, and in December also acquired another company, nGame, in the social analytics and data area.
For those not familiar with the company, tell us about what you do?
Bart Lorang: Our mission is to help people stay fully connected, which let people master their contact with people. We're a cloud-based, contact management solutions for professionals, teams, enterprise, and developers. We are a unified, 360 cloud-based contact management, solving that problem once and for all.
Tell us a bit about the recent acquisition you have made—nGame and Brewster?
Bart Lorang: Brewster just made a lot of sense, because of complementary technology and their capabilities. We really admired what they brought to the marketplace, and were a competitor in the consumer space. Their team essentially left for RBI, the owner of Burger King, and we decided to give Brewster users a home. We're letting them transition into FullContact, and are incorporating their self-updating address book and identify verification features over time. As far as nGame, and we're seeing more and more enterprises wanting to use FullContact directly. We're using them to add services and solutions to gauge enterprise directly. That's what that is all about.
Are the acquisitions indication of some consolidation in the industry?
Bart Lorang: I'm not sure if it's consolidation, as much as the unified contact management is so difficult and hard that people are solving different, interesting problems I think that we happen to be the solution that is doing that in a holistic way. We may look at other acquisitions in the future year where we see people solving this in interesting ways.
Where is the sweet spot for your solution?
Bart Lorang: For us, it's trying to the foundational, 360 degree contact record. We want to be the center of gravity for contact management. No one has nailed that. We know we've solved the problem. At the end of the day, if you ask yourself the question—are you satisfied with your address book, either personal or business—the answer is likely no. No one has solved the fundamental problem that we're solving.
Where is the company now?
Bart Lorang: We're scaling the company, and are now in multiple customer segments and product lines, and we've now raised over $20M. We're extremely bullish, have great partners, and have over 80 employees, plus we have lots and lots of customers. We have over 10,000 customers, and we're scaling up.
Is there a specific market you are tackling?
Bart Lorang We have a very broad market we are tackling. We are talking with both professional and business users, anyone whose contact matter in their professional life. We are handling multiple segments across broad horizontal markets, it's a universal solution.
What's the biggest challenge you've had to tackle in creating this solution?
Bart Lorang: The nature of the problem is difficult. It's a data problem, it an identity resolution problem, it's a localization problem, it's very nasty problem. The technical hurdles can't be overestimated, it's very hard.
Finally, what should we be watching for over the next few months?
Bart Lorang: I think that over time, we're rolling out a new offering, new integration for the FullContact platform simpler, easier, and we're making it better every day.