Connor Murphy and Ray Smith

Datahug was founded in 2009 to help firms drive sales and business development by pinpointing who knows who across a company’s network of connections

Datahug co-founders Connor Murphy and Ray Smith.

Datahug co-founders Connor Murphy and Ray Smith.

 

Connor Murphy and Ray Smith founded Datahug in 2009, to help firms drive sales and business development by systematically pinpointing who knows who across a company’s network of connections, allowing the business to tap into previously unknown business relationships.

They believed that by mining all the communication data within a company and utilising existing business relationships more effectively, companies could drive new business opportunities and enable smarter cross-selling and more effective key account management.

Prior to Datahug, Murphy worked as a management consultant with PA Consulting Group in New York, Jamaica, Denmark, Dubai, Washington DC and London, while Smith worked as a manager in Accenture’s systems integration and technology practice. Whilst still at university, Smith sold a jet engine diagnostic solution to a leading global airline.

Headquartered in Dublin with offices in London, San Francisco and New York, Datahug raised more than $5.5 million in Series A funding, from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Esprit, Oyster Capital, Ron Conway, and salesforce.com. The company’s customers include Grant Thornton, Silicon Valley Bank, Enterprise Ireland, CPL and Calidus Cloud, and earlier this year it won Best European Enterprise and Business Start-up at the Europa Tech Awards.

How did you secure your first investment?
It took six months of very hard work to secure our seed investment of $1.5 million. We spent months talking to potential investors ranging from Enterprise Ireland, angels and VC’s in Ireland, UK and the US.

We blitzed the big global VC firms seeking investment. At the eleventh hour with signing terms, serendipity introduced us to Oyster whom we signed with.
What was your “back-to-the-wall” moment?
While seeking investment, we were fully depleted of cash having boot-strapped for over a year and the initial funding round was taking longer than expected. We had some VC terms on the table but held out for the right investors (Oyster).

What moment or deal would you identify as the “game changer” or turning point for the company?
It was Gartner selecting Datahug as Cool Vendor in CRM Sales for 2013. Gartner are the biggest and most respected analyst firm in the world and advise most of the Fortune 500 firms. To have been selected over thousands of other vendors is a fantastic honour and recognition of the innovation and disruption we are bringing to the $18 billion CRM market. The initial “game changer” was the Maples Spark of Genius award at the Dublin Web Summit. This really kick-started our traction. Paddy Cosgrave was instrumental in creating these opportunities.

What is your biggest business achievement to date?
Growing from a single person/idea to a 30 person company and with the world’s leading organisations as our customers is a good start in three-plus years.


What are the biggest challenges you face now?
Scaling sales & marketing in the US with founders living in Ireland. Staying true to our product vision. Staying ahead of the competition.