Monday Dec 30, 2013 by Dennis Keohane - Senior Writer, VentureFizz
Kona DataSearch is another one of those New Hampshire companies that is building something interesting up North.
The company, co-founded by Dave Hall and Andrew McKay, aims at making Salesforce search easy and more useful.
McKay and Hall met at Newton-based enterprise search solutions company Attivio. McKay had co-founded Attivio, but connected with Hall to take Attivio's Salesforce product, which Hall says "wasn't built right," and build a company around an improved version of the CRM search tool. Hall says that Kona bought the IP from Attivio, and, "re-built the whole thing."
"We were both longtime Salesforce users, and when you are a search guy, you realize that the search they had was not great. Now it's good, but, for a lot of people who have a lot of data, it's a bit too painful. That's why we built search for Salesforce," Hall explained.
As for working with Salesforce, Hall said that the CRM and Cloud Solutions Tool company has six search groups, working on different verticals, spread throughout the world, making it a bit challenging to search large quantities of data. By contrast, Kona acts as a universal search tool, quickly pulling up search results from throughout the CRM. Kona's product is now a native app built into Salesforce.
They have had some traction lately, just finishing up a use case with what Hall called 'an off-the-record Big Pharma company out of the 'Philadelphia-area'." (Revealed at this year's Dreamforce to be Astra Zeneca as seen at the 16:00 mark of this video.) Kona has also partnered with Fortune 500 company United Healthcare for a pilot program.
Right now, Kona is building its client base. However, Hall has been excited with the feedback from the pilots. In particular, United Healthcare was wowed by how fast the search worked in Salesforce.
Kona received a $500K Seed Round of funding in AVG Partners in 2011. They are continuing to build and have quite a few companies lined up for pilots.