Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Clarity, the business advice service for entrepreneurs in the tech industry, has just raised $1.6 million in funding from Baseline Ventures, Freestyle Capital, and Mark Cuban. With this inflection of cash, it will move towards being a leading source of business advice when needed and also inches the service closer to its goal of helping 10 million people by 2022.
When serial entrepreneur and investor Dan Martell started Clarity, one of the things he wanted to do was help struggling founders who didn’t have any place to turn to for advice or help on running startups.
Having failed in one himself, Martell tells us that he wishes that this service would have been around — instead, he had to turn to others who unfortunately wasn’t able to understand his plight. Fast forward to today and now over 12,000 calls from across 47 countries have been processed — all since the service launched in May 2012.
To support his efforts, Martell has brought on board some interesting investors, including Baseline Ventures, Freestyle Capital, Mark Cuban, Real Ventures and Version One Ventures, 500 Startups, Venture 51, Ariel Poler, Howard Lindzon,Gerry Pond, and Haroon Mokhtarzada. Clarity will continue to grow the company through key hires in the engineering team and focusing on localization whereby those who speak non-English languages will be able to talk to advisors in the same language.
Have a need, but don’t know who to talk to?
Along with the funding news, Clarity is also announcing the launch of a new feature called Clarity Needs. With this feature, entrepreneurs who have specific needs, but are unable to determine who they should talk to can post it online and the system will offer some recommendations on who they should chat with. Through the use of a sophisticated algorithm, results will be for those who not only match the need, but also are compatible with people’s interests, profiles, and personalities.
The company says that behind the scenes, its learning engine will look at peer recommendations to allow for better categorization and “curation of experts” based on speciality, responsiveness, and other factors.
As Martell explains it, the odds of Mark Cuban speaking with first-time entrepreneurs is probably pretty slim so the algorithm needs to pair that entrepreneur with someone in the area that has an understanding about what’s going on.
To add to its role as being business advice service, Clarity has also launched a new blog that will not only share educational tidbits, but promote its members, who Martell playfully describes as “badasses”. He wants to share each of their stories with the world. Eventually the site will contain not only memoir-type posts, but resources and information relating to call requests on Clarity.
Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
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