Shawn Carpenter’s RepIQ announces funding, official launch

If you wonder what Chicago serial entrepreneur Shawn Carpenter’s been working on for the past year, now’s your chance to finally take a peek.

His new startup, RepIQ, announced on Tuesday that the full version of its sales intelligence platform is officially open to the public.

“We signed up a couple of thousand users since we opened our private beta in January, and now we’re finally in a place to release it,” said Carpenter.

Founded in 2016, RepIQ leverages artificial intelligence to help salespeople get smarter about how they find and contact prospective clients. Its platform combines an up-to-date database of more than a million companies with a recommendation engine that uncovers top prospects and contact information for the right people within those companies.

In addition to contacts and company descriptions, RepIQ tracks sales signals like employee count, funding data, hiring efforts and the kinds of technologies they use. The platform also has built-in analytics tools that help representatives hone in on the outreach strategies that work best.

Those tracking tools also help RepIQ keep its information up to date without making users or employees perform manual data entry.

“As we add users to the system, it starts to get really intelligent about figuring out when something’s not right,” said Carpenter. “If an email bounces, we figure out why that is. Over time, as the system comes across companies it hasn’t heard of before, it also searches the internet to learn more about that company.”

RepIQ draws on a range of public data sources to ensure that its database is complete and up to date. This data wrangling, said Carpenter, has been the biggest challenge in getting the company ready for launch.

“There’s so many signals we need to gather, and there’s a lot of checks we need to do to validate them,” he said.

Fortunately, Carpenter and co-founder Jonathan Suchland are no strangers to mind-boggling data challenges. In his previous role at Amazon, Suchland filed eight patents related to the e-commerce titan’s recommendation engine. Carpenter, for his part, was Google’s vertical manager for revenue intelligence between 2007 and 2009.

Alongside its launch, RepIQ also announced on Tuesday that it has raised a $1.1 million seed round from Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Amicus Capital, Arba and Hyde Park Angels, as well as current and former executives from Morningstar, Synap and Amazon.

RepIQ currently has seven full-time employees, but with its product in place, Carpenter said the startup is getting ready to grow its team into the twenties by late next year.

“You’re going to see us scale out our engineering and sales teams, as well as our customer base and our data sets,” said Carpenter. “We’re really looking to build a large company here, which is why we’ve spent more time than some companies building out the technology before going to market — but we feel really good about where the product is now.”

Image via RepIQ.

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