Series B round led by Advance Venture Partners and Sway Ventures, with participation from MassMutual Ventures, Pear Ventures, and SuccessFactors founder Lars Dalgaard
PRESS RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO:
Affinity, the leading relationship intelligence platform, announced today that it has raised $26.5 million in Series B funding to support its mission of building a platform that structures the world’s communication data to harness the power of professional relationships. The round was led by Advance Venture Partners and Sway Ventures, with participation from MassMutual Ventures, Pear Ventures and angel investors including SuccessFactors founder and former CEO Lars Dalgaard. The company has now raised a total of $40.5 million.
“Affinity is changing the relationship management industry by leveraging data in ways no one thought possible,” said Ray Zhou, co-founder, and CEO of Affinity. “Our goal is to create a world in which anyone can tap into the full power of their network to start a company, land a dream job, close a huge deal or otherwise find great opportunities for business success. We’re building the technology infrastructure that will make that possible for everyone.”
The largest relationship-driven industries in the world – including financial services, real estate, and technology – use universal tools such as email and calendars, creating trillions of data bytes every day. These communication streams contain the majority of the world’s relationship information, defining who we know, how we know them, what organizations we are connected to, and so on. However, this data sits unused and unstructured in disparate data silos, and there is no universal platform absorbing, synthesizing and unifying this immense dataset to create value in seamless and intuitive ways.
Organizations spend over $40B per year on relationship management and professional networking systems, but are still mired with problems related to manually entering data, discovering hidden opportunities, and prioritizing relationships efficiently.* Affinity is building a data platform that small and large enterprises alike can use to analyze and synthesize information from communications data, so that knowledge workers always have the information they need to cultivate and expand the relationships that are critical to their success.
Affinity’s patented technology structures and analyzes millions of data points across emails, calendars and third-party sources to offer users the tools they need to automatically manage their most valuable relationships, prioritize the most important connections, and discover untapped opportunities in their network. Affinity uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to analyze relationship strength and illuminate the best paths to warm introductions, enabling users to identify the people in their network who are best suited to make a specific referral. Users also gain a holistic view of their relationships and can track all of their communications in a centralized, automatically updated database without any of the manual data entry required by today’s CRM solutions.
Affinity has experienced success in a variety of relationship-driven industries and currently helps users manage relationships across 20 million people and 5 million organizations. The platform has identified 3 million warm introductions in its users’ networks and auto-populated over 300 million data fields with relevant content. Affinity co-founders Ray Zhou and Shubham Goel were named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for 2019, while its third co-founder, Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir and Addepar, was recently ranked 22nd on Forbes’ Midas List of the best dealmakers in venture capital.
As part of the funding, David T. ibnAle, Managing Partner of ‘Advance Venture Partners’, has joined Affinity’s board of directors. Mr. ibnAle is a veteran venture capital and private equity investor and served as Managing Director and Global Head of Technology Investing at TPG Growth and as a Partner at Francisco Partners before co-founding AVP.
“Data is extremely valuable when it comes to building and nurturing professional relationships, but collecting, recording and accessing this data has traditionally been a time-consuming, manual process,” commented Mr. ibnAle. “Affinity has found a way to harness the incredible amount of relationship data buried in our day-to-day communications and make it useful in a way that both simplifies relationship management and amplifies the value of our professional networks. Advance Venture Partners is not only an Affinity investor but was an early customer, and we understand firsthand how powerful the platform is in helping investment firms source and manage both investment opportunities and other relationships.”
Affinity’s patented technology structures and analyzes millions of data points across emails, calendars, and third-party sources to offer users the tools they need to automatically manage their most valuable relationships, prioritize important connections, and discover untapped opportunities. Affinity uses artificial intelligence to analyze relationship strength and illuminate the best paths to warm introductions. The platform also offers a holistic view of users’ networks in a centralized, automatically updated database without any manual upkeep. Founded in 2014, Affinity is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading investors including Advance Venture Partners, 8VC, MassMutual Ventures, Sway Ventures, Pear Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and Western Technology Investment. For more information, visit www.affinity.co.
About Advance Venture Partners
Advance Venture Partners (“AVP”) provides equity capital and strategic support to innovative emerging growth businesses. The firm was founded in partnership with Advance, a privately-owned media and technology holding company with a portfolio that includes Condé Nast, Charter Communications, Discovery Communications, and Reddit. AVP draws upon the domain expertise and intellectual capital that Advance has developed as an owner and operator of businesses in these sectors for over 100 years. AVP focuses on three core sectors where the firm has meaningful domain expertise and investment experience: commerce, software, and technology-enabled services, and media. For more information about AVP, visit www.avp.vc.
About Sway Ventures
Sway Ventures is a US-based venture capital firm investing in early to mid-stage technology companies. We invest in high performing teams, building revolutionary technology, creating the next enterprise or consumer category. With a focus on strategic capitalization, business development support, and engineered exits, we provide great teams with the support they need to change the future. For more information visit www.swayvc.com.