Blog

September 17, 2012
Cambridge Startup Cloze Releases Updated Beta

For salespeople, executives, venture
capitalists, and other outbound professionals, managing the flow of information
without missing key messages is an ongoing battle and few tools manage messages
across platforms. That realization inspired Alex Coté and Dan
Foody to cofound Cloze.com earlier this year. Today,
they are releasing an updated beta including integration with Facebook,
LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Based
out of Kendall Square’s Dogpatch Labs and backed by $1.2
million
in seed funding from Greylock, Kepha Partners, and NextView Ventures,
Cloze creates a single filtered view of key personal and professional
connections.

“For
someone in an outbound role, their network is their career,” explains CEO Foody.
“They tend to be much more connected than the average employee of the company
and get a lot more communications.”

Foody
himself says he gets more than 150 emails per day, adding “no sane person can
keep up with that volume of activity. Having too much info is just as bad as
having none because you don’t have the time to go through it and deal with it
in its entirety.”

In
addition to filtering information according to target, Cloze ranks
relationships based on criteria such as the last time you communicated, frequency,
responsiveness, and how private the communication channel is (for instance, a Facebook
wall post or an email with fifty people cc’ed versus a private email exchange).
Balance of communication is also a factor. “If I were to send 10-page diatribes
and you send back a ‘yup’ or ‘nope,’ that’s a sign of an unbalanced
relationship,” explains Foody.

Users
can pin targets with whom they’d like to create deeper connections and Cloze
will track the targets’ activities on email and social media so users stay
current. “Often outbound professionals will use a channel like Twitter or
Facebook to understand people’s hot buttons,” says Foody. “What are their
favorite sports teams? They’ll use LinkedIn as a channel to find compelling
reasons to talk to someone, like a new job. They’ll do the real communications work
on email.”

By
combining all of those channels into one stream, Cloze tries to help users spot
updates that might otherwise get buried in cyberspace. “Unless you really have
all these networks open all day long, you don’t catch that job change that
could give you the impetus to reach out,” says CMO Coté.

Adds
Foody, “the ability to organize around the individuals you care about versus a
time-centric view gives you interesting insights into the people that are
important to you.”

Another
application of the tool is to quickly get up to speed on a contact between
conversations. “When you get an inbound call from someone, you need a lot of
context to have that conversation,” says Foody. “Here’s everything they’ve been
talking about recently.”

So far, all of Cloze’s
features are free for users, and Foody says they plan to carefully monetize the
site in the future by adding additional offerings on a “freemium-oriented
model.”

Susan Johnston is a journalist and contributor to VentureFizz.  You can follow Susan on Twitter (@UrbanMuseWriter) by clicking here.