In the army now: InfoArmy lands $17 million from Norwest Ventures

Big data, SaaS and crowd-sourcing are all hot buzzwords in Silicon Valley. Now comes funding news from a startup that claims to combine all three.

Menlo Park-based InfoArmy, which helps companies gather data on their competitors, today announced a $17.3M funding round. The investment was led by Norwest Venture Partners, and while InfoArmy is calling it a B round, it’s actually the company’s first venture funding: The A round was ponied up by company founder Jim Fowler, who sold his last company, Jigsaw Data, to Salesforce for $142 million.

Fowler’s new startup borrows a page from his last one, using crowdsourcing to build a vast business database. Here’s the full announcement:

 

San Mateo, CA – October 23, 2012

InfoArmy, the startup pioneering crowdsourced competitive intelligence, announced today at CrowdConf 2012 that it has secured $17.3 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Trinity Ventures. Jeff Crowe of Norwest and Patricia Nakache of Trinity will be joining InfoArmy’s Board of Directors.

“Our goal is to recruit a global army of researchers to build the largest and most comprehensive database of business intelligence reports in existence. This raise further validates our model and the whole concept of crowdsourcing and the crowdsourcing industry,” explains Jim Fowler, CEO and Founder of InfoArmy.

This round brings InfoArmy’s total funding to $19.3 million following the $2 million Series A from Fowler, who self-funded the company in 2011.

“InfoArmy is pursuing a large idea, with a tremendous opportunity to disrupt the market for competitive intelligence,” said Jeff Crowe, general partner at Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). “We are particularly excited to partner with Jim again, given his success in pioneering the Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) business category at Jigsaw. We are confident that InfoArmy will be the next big  winner in the world of Data 2.0.”

InfoArmy has gained significant momentum in the four months since its public launch, and already offers 1,800 free and paid reports via its website and iPad. On Oct. 5th, the company announced that they are expanding to cover public companies as well as private.

“As Jim Fowler proved at Jigsaw, the information service industry is ripe for disruption,” says Patricia Nakasche of Trinity. “We are excited to be partnering with InfoArmy as it marches towards its vision of leveraging crowdsourcing to aggregate and deliver deep, accurate, and fresh competitive intelligence.”

About InfoArmy

InfoArmy is pioneering crowdsourced competitive intelligence for businesses. It creates comprehensive and affordable Competitive Intelligence Reports designed for the iPad. The reports are created by a global community of researchers motivated by a crowdsourced revenue-share model. Founded in 2011 and launched publicly in June 2012, InfoArmy has 27 employees with offices in San Mateo, CA and Coimbatore, India.  The free InfoArmy app is available at theiTunes App Store. More information at www.infoarmy.com.

Peter Delevett Peter Delevett (184 Posts)

Peter Delevett covers startups and venture capital for the San Jose Mercury News. He's been a journalist in Silicon Valley since the dot-com daze.