Why We Took Money from HubSpot

A few weeks ago, we announced our $16M Series B. We were incredibly pleased that past investors chose to continue showing their faith in Grow.com. We’re also excited to welcome a new Grow investor and partner: HubSpot.

HubSpot has nailed the SMB market

HubSpot’s story is inspiring for any startup founder or entrepreneur, and I’ve long admired their company. Like a great underdog tale, HubSpot started from humble beginnings and has gone on not merely to succeed on a fantastic scale, but to re-write the book on an entire industry.

One of the things I’m most impressed by in HubSpot’s story is their relentless focus on the SMB market. When they came on the scene, the marketing automation industry was saturated with enterprise-level solutions but overlooked small and mid-sized businesses. There simply were no suitable tools that met the needs of SMBs without going overboard (and way over budget).

But HubSpot saw the potential of those SMBs, saw their hunger and their drive, and created a product that was specifically designed to help them achieve—and even far exceed—their goals. They also took a complex technical product and gave it a beautiful, creative, and intuitive user interface. They made the power of marketing automation SMB-accessible in every sense.

Grow makes BI accessible to SMBs

At Grow, we’re doing the same thing with BI. (In fact, early on at Grow, I used to say we were “the HubSpot of BI.”) The current business intelligence landscape is filled with enterprise-level providers whose tools and services require hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to build, in addition to internal IT staff to support the product. As such, the SMB market is left with few true BI options without making enormous compromises.

I’ve said it before: I can’t believe that such a huge market of eager entrepreneurs could be so incredibly underserved. But the opportunity to make business insight and intelligence accessible to SMBs so that they can win with data is what makes it so exciting and fulfilling to be at Grow.

We look forward to supporting the success of many more SMBs, and our recent funding is going to accelerate our ability to provide great BI for them.

Why HubSpot is choosing Grow

You can, of course, hear it straight from HubSpot’s Chief Strategy Officer, Brad Coffey.

From my perspective, our similar origins and customer bases make the Grow/HubSpot partnership and investment a natural fit. We’re trying to serve the same types of customers, and we share a mindset that is focused on creating the right outcomes for those customers, rather than just increasing our own margins.

But there’s more to it than that.

Grow provides enhanced reporting

Adding Grow is a great solution for HubSpot customers who want more control over how they view and leverage their data. Since becoming a HubSpot Connect Certified Partner last year, we’ve been able to give mutual customers enhanced capabilities as they use our tools together.

Matt Racz, co-founder and chief operating officer at USEED, has said, “Both HubSpot and Grow are incredible companies that we rely on every single day … Through these two resources, my team is much more empowered to develop agile solutions that are reliable, effective, and competitive.”

Through Grow, users multiply the power of their HubSpot data. For example, while HubSpot makes it possible for companies like USEED to attract and store leads, Grow allows them to blend in other sources of data for deeper insights. They’re able to find answers to questions like “What is my cost per lead?” or “What is my customer acquisition cost?” and continually monitor those metrics to truly understand and optimize the health of their business.

Grow provides flexibility

Every company is unique. Goals, processes, and organizational structure can vary widely, even between two sales departments in the same industry. To serve the diverse reporting needs of their customers, HubSpot has determined that partnerships are the most effective and efficient solution, rather than building out their own BI/reporting tool.

In the process of deciding to invest in and partner with Grow, HubSpot conducted extensive customer interviews and reviewed NPS scores to ensure Grow is the right fit for their customers. One of the great strengths of the Grow platform is its flexibility. We already serve customers whose use cases are all over the map, which means that we’re ready and able to provide HubSpot users of all varieties with the robust reporting solution they need to win.

Grow prioritizes beautiful, people-centric design

For many companies, design is an afterthought. But HubSpot and Grow share the belief that design should be a priority. HubSpot has long been a proponent of achieving things creatively and creating things that are artful. You can see the value they place on aesthetics in everything they create.

Clean, beautiful design is also a core quality of the Grow platform. Why? A few reasons:

  1. Good design makes software easier to use. We want our customers to have the most intuitive experience possible when they’re using Grow.
  2. Good design makes data easier to understand. To get the insight and intelligence our users need from their data, their data visualizations have to communicate clearly.
  3. Good design makes intelligence easier to share. Our dashboards are designed to be put on display, and teams that can see their data are more likely to use their data (and get more insights and make better decisions).

In short, design doesn’t just make our product look good—it makes it more useful and usable for our customers. And for customers who use Grow and HubSpot together, they can be assured of the same high aesthetic and usability standards in both platforms.

Grow aims to educate

HubSpot is perhaps best known for their inbound methodology, for turning away from the bullying, Mad Men-style of advertising to leading with education and creating content that invites the world to come to you.

Similarly, we at Grow don’t just want to provide a tool; we want to teach people how to grow their businesses through data. (After all, the best business intelligence platform in the world won’t do you any good if you’re tracking the wrong things.)

As a BI platform, we have the advantage of being able to dig into lots of data. Currently, our 12k+ users are tracking over 270k metrics in Grow, and as we’ve analyzed what they’re tracking and how they’re measuring growth, we’ve gained powerful insights into the metrics that drive success. Armed with that knowledge, we’re providing specialized training and producing content to help our customers and prospects drive and accelerate growth with data.

We also host our annual Data Driven Summit to bring together industry experts and thought leaders to empower attendees to accelerate and scale their business. We’d love to have you join us at Summit this year, October 1-3, 2018 in Snowbird, UT.

So why is Grow really taking money from HubSpot?

Our primary goal as a company is to be the #1 BI for SMBs in the world. So far, I think we’re doing a great job at it. We’ve got stellar team members who raise the bar in every aspect of our business, and our board and investors are a powerhouse of insight and experience. We’ve also got incredible customers who are accomplishing big things with Grow and showing us that we’re on the right track.

As such, choosing to work with HubSpot isn’t about the money, but what the money symbolizes: a commitment to a mutually beneficial partnership that will allow us both to provide a better experience for our customers.

In HubSpot, Grow also gains a partner that has walked the road before us, and we value the support and guidance that they’ll bring to our partnership. What they’ve done for SMBs with marketing automation, we intend to do for SMBs with BI. Their show of confidence in Grow will help us accomplish our goal that much quicker.

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