Atlanta-based FullStory just announced that they raised $1.2 million in a seed round led by Google Ventures. FullStory offers an amazing SaaS-based product that records every user interaction with a website/web application so that marketing, support, and user experience teams can play it back to see precisely what a user did — it’s a game changer, especially when plugged into help desk products like Zendesk.
Only, this great team didn’t start out doing what they’re currently doing. Like most startups, their original vision was something completely different. The core team had worked together many years ago building a web application front-end toolkit that was acquired by Google. After deciding to leave Google a few years ago, they originally set out to build a marketing project management system based on agile principles. Generally, the idea was that the same way that agile software development replaced the waterfall model, so too was that change going to take place for marketing teams.
After building a very slick project management tool for marketers, and working closely with end-users, they finally reached the conclusion that marketers weren’t looking for new project management tools and that the agile process was many years away from becoming mainstream. Many marketing departments were happy with Basecamp or Google Spreadsheets to coordinate projects. They had built a vitamin and not a pain-killer.
While talking to end-users, and doing consulting work to keep the lights on, they realized that a huge pain in the market was understanding how people interacted with websites and web applications. Sure, things like Google Analytics will show macro data of site visits and user flows, but it doesn’t show individual user sessions and how the user moved the cursor around the screen. Web analytics tools don’t provide the full story that marketing, support, and user experience people desperately want to see.
Now, the startup is doing great, signing customers, and raising money from institutional investors. Even an early amount of success requires a tremendous amount of effort and many twists and turns. I’m looking forward to watching the company grow and building a great business. If you know anyone in marketing, support, or user experience that wants to truly understand how their end-users use their site/application, send them over to FullStory.
What else? What are some other thoughts on FullStory?