Venture capital is often referred to as an apprenticeship business because so much important learning comes from day-to-day experiences. Yet, as an article published by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) explains, you can shortcut the learning process by learning from experts: “Your learning curve can be shorter—and your results better—if you learn from pros who’ve already mastered key … ... read more
A Message From the Founders: Series B and Beyond
Four years ago, we finished our sophomore years at Stanford and decided to spend a summer in downtown Palo Alto with 20 other like-minded students. What started as a summer of benign exploration of ideas, soon turned into a 12-week series of 50+ interviews with professionals from all walks of life: financial services, business development, sales, even non-profits! We wanted to better understand what all of these professionals were doing for a living, and after our interviews, we realized they all had one thing in common: they managed business relationships for a living. However, their lives were mired with the same problems, so we asked the (then) obvious question: was there a way to solve these problems?
Last week, we announced that Affinity has raised $26.5M in Series B financing. The round was co-led by Advance Venture partners and Sway Ventures, with participation from MassMutual Ventures, Pear Ventures, and SuccessFactors founder and ex-CEO Lars Dalgaard. We have had the pleasure of working with all participating investors as Affinity customers. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them in building a paradigm shift that we think will impact many industries - and ultimately the lives of all professionals.
Affinity’s vision is to build a world where anyone can cultivate and fully harness their network to succeed. To us, relationships are the backbone of the world’s biggest industries. They’re also one of the very few assets that every professional builds up over their careers and lifetimes. Whether anyone is seeking out their next career move, building a company or nonprofit, connecting with new mentors, or building a world-class team - we always start with our network. It’s the root source of opportunity with the power often to change a life.
When we founded Affinity four years ago, we realized that something was missing from the way the world managed and leveraged its relationships. The root source of our relationship data, we realized, actually lives inside our communications. The tools we ubiquitously use to communicate daily - emails, calendars, messages - generate billions of data points every day. This trail of data is actually growing exponentially, and paints the deepest and most powerful understanding of our relationships. Unfortunately, most of that data is going to waste. No platform was unifying it in seamless and intuitive ways to create value for the world.
Affinity is building a new kind of smart infrastructure to open up the shared value of this data, and make it highly actionable and useful for anyone. We think the merging point of AI and communications will power a new generation for all tools in relationship management. From enterprises to consumers, everyone will harness this infrastructure to cultivate and leverage a more valuable network.
Over the last 4 years, we built the most advanced technology for structuring and analyzing communications. With that technology, we brought Affinity’s flagship product to market: a relationship intelligence platform that expands and evolves beyond traditional systems like contact books and CRMs. Today, that product powers hundreds of companies across the world, from the biggest VC and private equity funds to Fortune 100 companies, real estate brokerages, hypergrowth startups, and more. We are proud to be working with partners who have shared our vision, and been at the forefront of a global movement happening across industries in relationship intelligence.
We’re still just getting started at Affinity. Today, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible on top of our platform. We have much more to build on our path to democratizing Affinity and bringing it into powering every enterprise network and professional career. Exceptional people have always been at the heart of Affinity’s mission. If you’re excited to change the way people use and fundamentally think about their networks - join us!