RALEIGH — At a time when seed round financing is difficult to come by, a pair of entrepreneurs has done just that at 6th Sense Analytics.
Todd Olson and Greg Burnell founded 6th Sense in 2004 with Burnell acting as chief executive officer. Both worked at TogetherSoft before it was acquired by Borland Software in 2002.
The two convinced Intersouth Partners to lead a $1.5 million seed round that was announced on Friday.
Local Tech Wire asked Burnell and Olson about their new venture, their target market, how they landed their investment, and how they plan to spend the new funds to grow the firm.
What in your backgrounds as co-founders of the company led to the idea for launching 6th Sense?
We have spent the last decade working with software developers to improve their overall ability to build higher quality software on time and on budget. The solutions we will deliver at 6th Sense Analytics fill a void in providing meaningful data to manage the process both at the individual and team level. To be honest, it’s something we’ve needed ourselves for many years in managing large and small development teams.
What work at TogetherSoft prepared you for this new venture?
Everything. TogetherSoft was great success story both in the Triangle area and in the software development marketplace. We learned how to grow a successful company in very challenging times and ultimately deliver shareholder return. Additionally, we learned how to capture the hearts and minds of developers – something we hope to duplicate at 6th Sense Analytics.
Briefly describe how your software works and what needs it satisfies.
Our solution gathers data from the tools that individuals and teams use to deliver software. This data is then delivered back to our customers in the form of aggregated analytics to provide heightened visibility into their development and maintenance activities. Our solution is unique in 2 ways: (1) we do not require individuals to alter the way they work and (2) we objectively show what is happening.
Is this for use by custom software developers only or users within an enterprise? Please explain.
Our solution is for anyone building software. We deliver value and have garnered interest from development teams at large enterprises to individual developers.
This tool appears to be something companies can use to measure the effectiveness of software projects they farm out. True?
Absolutely. Our product is ideal for both companies outsourcing software development and the outsourcers themselves. Companies want and need data about their outsourced development activities to assure that they are achieving an appropriate ROI. Unfortunately, cost is one of the only metrics they have access to today.
For outsourcing vendors, our solution is a competitive advantage to help differentiate their services from others.
Seed round financing is very difficult to come by. What factors do you believe enabled you to land your funding?
That’s a tough one. We believe in our technology and our ability to successfully bring it to market and build a great company. In doing so, we will create value for our investors.
Do you already have customers and are you generating cash?
We are in a beta release process at this time and are looking forward to a general release in the coming months.
How do you plan to invest the seed round?
The seed round will be used to continue the development of the solution, build out the required infrastructure, hire some great people and get ready to support our customers.
How many employees do you have? How many do you plan to add, if any, and in what areas?
There are four of us currently and more joining in the near term. We will ramp up to a dozen or so with this round. Nearly all will be here in the Triangle.
You maintained a low profile as a company for a year. Was there a particular reason for that? Please explain.
We spent the time building software, soliciting feedback and insights from organizations throughout the US and working on funding the company. Now is the appropriate time to let people know we’re here and ready to show them what we can do.
6th Sense: www.6thsenseanalytics.com