Is Mattermark - Data and Analytics Platform for Investors - worth using?
What is Mattermark?
Mattermark is to private markets what Bloomberg is to public markets. It's a data platform that connects investors and interested companies with startups with the financial information that they've published. Mattermark's platform, both API and basic dashboard, gives insight into what trends within the startup community in which venture capitalists might be interested.
Other things that Mattermark might be helpful for would be to find prospective leads for sales teams who might buy their product. It's a core data product and it's very helpful on both fronts, both for startups and for investors.
It's founded by Danielle Morrill, who is a thought leader in the startup space. Danielle is somebody whom I've spoken with before, and, as a personal disclosure, I passed on Mattermark as an investment. Now that I'm reviewing it, in hindsight, I do believe it would have been a smart investment to make. I admit my defeats and my faults openly.
Here are the pros and cons with Mattermark. Hopefully, this will help other startups and venture capitalists better understand the platform. What are the positives of Mattermark? What are the things that they do well?
Like I said Danielle is a phenomenal startup leader in this space and in the startup world, and she has done great things for the community. She was an early employee at Twilio and actually started a company called Referly that was a Y combinator company. Since then, she has launched Mattermark. She's constantly asking the right questions and building products that people want to use. She's not just a thought leader, but also somebody who's innovative and understands the market both from a public and private perspective.
Beyond a great team, Mattermark also has an excellent deal flow and data sets for both startups and investors. They have their own analytical tools that allow you to rank and sort companies based on how well they're doing. Based on the Mattermark score, you can see essentially how a company fits in within its particular niche and it's particular industry, and see if there's a signal there that might make sense for you as a venture capitalist to invest.
Mattermark has their own analytical tools that allow you to rank and sort companies based on how well they're doing.
There's constantly updated deal flow. The data that they pull in are regulatory filings, news sources, third party data providers like AngelList, CrunchBase, as well as some of machine learning they combine all into a Mattermark raw data score. That score is very relevant. If you have a high score and you're a startup, then that means that you're more likely to be noticed and have customers, who are buying your products. That's sort of how the data combines all in one.
The third thing that I think they do well is their newsletter and their content. I've mentioned this so many times at Angel Kings that if you're a startup or if you're a company and you want to do guerrilla marketing, you want to get customers for the least amount of money spent and create content. Constantly create content. I can't speak more highly that you have to spend money to make money. Even though the Mattermark newsletter is free as of right now, they're spending money pulling together fantastic articles because people are sharing that information. They discuss rankings, trending startups and they have other thought leaders in this space besides Danielle who are commenting on their newsletters and writing articles. Their newsletter is something they're investing in. I think it's very wise. I'm a subscriber and I think it's done good things for the startup world.
How does Mattermark help startups and investors?
However, even if Mattermark is a great platform, I think that there's 2 things that I want Danielle and the Mattermark team to consider. Number 1 is the subscription fee. It's phenomenally cost prohibitive for startups. They do have a free trial but essentially the pricing comes down to around $600 per month with a year contract or about $6,000 per year. It gives you phenomenal access like I said to millions of companies and investor portfolios. You get news alerts, you can make custom-lets, export data. That's all great.
However, if the mission of Mattermark is to provide transparent data to a larger audience, then by not providing startups who have less money the opportunity to connect or to use the platform creates an impediment. I would encourage Mattermark to think broadly. I get the idea that on the public market, you've got Bloomberg, which is an expensive $20,000 a year turmoil at the very low end, and that Mattermark is positioning itself in that same vein for private companies.
I think the newsletter is a free feature which is again helpful for startups. I would like them to consider rewarding startups for wanting to be part of the Mattermark platform, which might be a reduced fee. There could be some creative ways to provide startups with a more cost friendly platform.
Other thing is let's create a way through Mattermark to have data that's verified by the startups. Right now, a lot of these data points are estimates. If I'm a venture capitalist subscribing to their platform and I'm making reasonable estimates about whether or not I want to invest or connect with a startup, then that can be troublesome. There has to be data points that are verified and I hope they create that.
Overall there are several more positives than there are negatives here. I think it's a great platform. I love what Danielle is doing for the community. I think that it could provide insight both for startups and venture capitalists. The Mattermark team also should add more specific case studies. I hope they reduce the yearly fee and charge more by data. Charging by date and by usage could potentially be a 20, 30, 50x multiple on Mattermark's valuation for themselves as a company, and it will also help startups and investors who just want a little bit of data but not necessarily need the platform all the time.