For a long time now, I’ve been drawn to the consumer insights and market research space—both as a consumer and investor. In fact, through the course of studying promising consumer companies over the past few years, I’ve spent no small amount of time designing and deploying surveys on consumer behavior, including fumbling through various non-intuitive survey creation workflows online, struggling to find the right target audience and then ultimately abandoning the exercise altogether upon realizing that my small study was going to cost me thousands of dollars.
Over the past year, I’ve dedicated a lot of time to identifying the right investment in this space. I am thrilled to announce that NEA has led a $16M Series A for Attest, a London-based SaaS company with a vision to democratize real-time consumer insights. I’ll be joining the board to work alongside some wonderful existing investors from Oxford Capital and Episode 1.
Attest is an end-to-end research platform that enables self-service, drag-and-drop survey design, custom sample creation based on a variety of demographic/behavioral filters and programmatic syndication of those studies across a vast network of more than 100M potential respondents globally. It brings the time-to-insight down from months to minutes.
Our enthusiasm for the business stems from the following:
- It’s a giant market: Consumer insights and market research comprise one of the biggest markets around, with estimates of market size ranging from $23B (IBISWorld) to $76B (Consultancy.org). However, the customer relationships have historically been dominated by a few traditional market research firms, such as Kantar, Ipsos, Nielsen and GfK, which still operate on an expensive, project-based model where it can take months to get the first piece of insight. In a world where consumer sentiment can turn on a dime, this just isn’t good enough anymore.
- An opportunity to be the full-stack leader: The “insights stack” today can be complex for an enterprise—siloed and difficult to integrate (see example stack below), and there is pent up demand for an end-to-end solution for running consumer studies. Our conversations with decisionmakers in consumer insights/analytics, marketing, innovation and brand management teams indicated that the typical enterprise or brand may have to use many point solutions today to complete a consumer study. Some vendors, such as SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics, have strong adoption for front-end survey creation, but no single vendor excels across the stack, encompassing study creation, custom respondent targeting, real-time study syndication and fulfillment across a variety of channels and finally dashboarding/analytics. Conversely, Attest does it all, enabling customers to consolidate the stack and simplify their workflows.
- A ripe customer base & market: The rise of enterprise software companies targeting this space, such as SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics, has helped educate white collar workers on the availability of self-service research tools and weakened the hold of traditional research agencies—which in turn has validated the enormity of the budgets that are up for grabs today.
- Compelling traction & adoption: The Attest team saw >1,700% ARR growth in 2018 and ended the year with 50 customers including Unilever, Twitter, Deliveroo, and Samsung. Customers are renewing early, upsizing their licenses and spreading the product across teams, reflective of the strong value that the platform can bring throughout customer-facing teams.
Most importantly, the Attest team is a joy to work with—co-founders Jeremy King and Tony Hunter have impressed us with their huge ambitions, breakneck execution, purposeful culture and passionate team – and all while maintaining an appropriately British modesty!
We look forward to working closely with this team as they sprint closer to their ultimate goal of enabling every business to be consumer obsessed. And, they can definitely count on me to not only be a company supporter, but also a product user.