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Catalyst, a New York-based company that mobilizes customer data for enterprise growth, today announced that it has received strategic funding from Databricks Ventures, the venture capital arm of Databricks.
While the amount injected remains undisclosed, the move marks Databricks’ first investment in the growing customer intelligence category. Prior to that, the Ali Ghodsi-led data and AI firm primarily supported well-known data packaging players such as dbt Labs, Matilion and Alation.
Catalyst says the investment will deepen the integration between its offering and Databricks’ lakehouse, enabling a better user experience for their joint customers.
Catalyst offers customer intelligence for retention, sales
Founded in 2016, Catalyst is a SaaS platform that aggregates customer data from multiple sources into one intuitive view and provides sales and success teams with detailed insights into customer maturity, health and sales potential.
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“We help businesses organize all their customer data from CRMs like Salesforce, customer usage data from platforms like Databricks, Redshift and BigQuery, and any other user data (like support tickets , emails), which can be deployed inside tools like Mixpanel, Zendesk, Jira. and Gmail,” Catalyst CEO Edward Chew told VentureBeat.
Once this data is organized, Catalyst performs analytics using Databricks’ lakehouse and AI engine to identify which customers are up for sale/expansion and which are at risk of churn. It also combines insights with automation capabilities to automatically perform necessary actions at the right time for each customer, such as sending targeted emails.
With this investment, Catalyst expands its engagement with Databricks, enabling joint customers to directly integrate the data they own into the Databricks lakehouse. The company says this will simplify the user experience and enable customers to get more value from their existing investments in Catalyst and Databricks.
Chiu said Catalyst and Databricks also plan to launch a product feature where AI-based predictive intelligence will signal when a customer is ready to spend more money. The function will be called Expansion Signal.
While companies like Gainsight and Totango operate in the same space as Catalyst, Chiu argues that they are legacy solutions built on outdated architectures and not modern in their data ingestion workflows. He said Catalyst’s integration with Databricks can get customers up and running in weeks, as opposed to more than six months for other solutions.
This leads to faster ROI, which is important in the current economic scenario where companies are struggling to acquire new customers and looking to generate more revenue from existing ones.
Notably, the CEO added that Catalyst is the only platform that proactively tells businesses which of their playbooks are actually producing positive results in terms of customer adoption or increased spend.
Prior to this investment, the company had raised a total of $65 million and its most recent public valuation was $245 million.
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