FullContact Raises $7M to Bring Contact Management APIs to Business Users

Denver, CO-based FullContact announced today that it has raised $7 million in Series B funding for its cloud-based contact management service. The funding round was led by Foundry Group, with participation from High Country Venture and 500 Startups, among other investors. The company launched its contact management APIs in 2011, and has had thousands of developers access their solutions to date.

FullContact currently offers contact management APIs that help companies flesh out their contacts with social profiles, add location-specific information and cut down on duplicate contacts, all with the goal of building out richer and more complete address books. Founder Bart Lorang said the funding will be used to grow the product team and expand on the platform, and to launch the FullContact Cloud Address Book web application, currently in private beta, which will make the company’s products available to businesses and individuals.

The Cloud Address Book will let users sync contacts from various platforms, and add social profile information. Currently in private beta, the Cloud Address Book tool will launch by the end of August, and Lorang said that while they haven’t finalized pricing, it will likely be a subscription-based model. After they launch it to the public, Lorang said they’ll be focused on building integrations with “every app out there that has an address book on it,” everything from marketing automation and CRM apps, to support desk tools.

“We had some really good success with our initial API platform rollout, and we said there’s an even bigger opportunity to not only service developers, but individuals and businesses who have contact management problems,” Lorang said in an interview about the upcoming product. “We like to say if you have an address book, you have an address book problem.”

FullContact isn’t the only company trying to fix the address book for businesses and consumers. We wrote about similar solution ContactMonkey earlier this year, and Google and Apple also integrate contacts from multiple networks into their mobile address book apps. But Lorang said they differ because rather than focus on consumers or businesses first, they built out their APIs, and focused on user experience second. “We believe you have to have a holistic solution, and in order to have a holistic solution, you have to build an API first,” he said about the company’s initial focus on developers. “We’re taking a big data approach to it.”

The company graduated from the TechStars boulder startup accelerator program in 2011, and raised $1.5 million in funding in September 2011. Today’s funding comes the day after the company announced it would be offering paid, paid vacation to each employee (15 days paid vacation, plus $7,500 to each employee to take a trip), and Lorang said they’re hoping to use that as a way to attract top talent. Lorang said the response has been overwhelming, and they’ve already had thousands of applicants in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday networking application Hashable, which aimed to replace the traditional business card, announced it is shutting down this summer. And while companies like CardMunch (acquired by LinkedIn) have attempted to reinvent the business card, or at least the way we store contacts, there isn’t one app that seems to be the de facto solution. If FullContact can focus on winning over businesses, individuals and third-party partners, while also continuing to build their functionality into third-party apps through their API, they could stand to gain a share of the contact management market.

 

 

 

 

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

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