Thursday Feb 27, 2014 by Keith Cline - Founder, VentureFizz
Smarterer has been making some major waves as the company evolves towards solving an enterprise problem for companies with their skills assessment platform called Flock.
As part of this shift, Smarterer raised $1.6M in funding, which puts their total funding to date at $4.6M. Investors in the company include Google Ventures, True Ventures, Boston Seed Capital, Rethink Education, Deborah Quazzo (Founder & Managing Partner of GSV Advisors), and many additional seed investors.
Serial entrepreneur and investor, Dave Balter (who is a co-founder in the company) recently took on a more active role as their CEO. It is interesting to note that the original idea for the company actually came about as Dave was interviewing a candidate for an Analyst role at BzzAgent (his former company). Since he didn’t have experience in this type of position, he thought… how can I properly qualify this person’s skills? Thus… like any good idea... there must be a better way!
Smarterer’s consumer-centric platform leverages Response Theory, Bayesian Theory and machine learning algorithm models to assess an individual knowledge around a particular topic. The topics for their tests range from things like HTML to Google Analytics or Product Management to Social Media Marketing. For the end user taking the tests, it is very much a current, consumer experience which makes taking their tests a lot more interesting, fun, and competitive. Since their launch, over 2.3 million test sessions have been taken and 25 million questions have been answered.
Based on the traction they have gained with the consumer-centric platform, it now makes sense to package their solution for the enterprise with Flock. This platform allows companies to unleash the knowledge of their own people, which is ultimately its most valuable asset. The platform creates skills based tests by crowdsourcing questions from employees, which can be used for a variety of purposes, such as recruitment, knowledge management, learning & development, employee evaluations, compensation reviews, etc.
Smarterer’s platform is being used by Elance to inform job matches for their 2.8 million freelancers, as well as Care.com for their 4.5 million caregivers.
As with most companies, there are lessons learned to figure out the overall market fit and revenue opportunity. Now that Smarterer has a solid platform in terms of its technology, a really solid team (Dave, plus Sarah Hodges (one of the top marketers in Boston), Michael Kowalchik (CTO) and others), and now a go-to-market strategy… we can expect to see some really exciting things out of Smarterer moving forward!
Keith Cline is the Founder of VentureFizz. You can follow him on Twitter (@kcline6) by clicking here.