Denver Startup GutCheck Has Its Moment, Raises $4M Series B

6/14/13Follow @MichaelXBD

Here’s an example of the rare “gut check moment” that’s a pleasant thing.

GutCheck, a market-research startup based in Denver, has raised a $4 million Series B round.

Everyone gets the idea of the gut check—when you have to face an unpleasant truth or hear what you don’t want to hear. GutCheck helps companies and advertisers connect with customers to get gut check moments of their own, by gathering market research in real time that’s based on conversations with real consumers.

GutCheck’s software platform does that by recruiting customers online and then asking them what a company wants to know in one-to-one chats conducted online.

The process is a bit analogous to a traditional focus group, but it goes a lot faster, GutCheck CEO Matt Warta said. GutCheck’s software can help its users target and sign up customers, ask their questions in qualitative interviews, and collect the feedback they need.

“The real value proposition is we can deliver in days what most of the industry takes weeks, if not months, to deliver,” Warta said.

That’s the idea, anyway, and some major companies seem to agree. Companies that have used GutCheck include LivingSocial, Pfizer, and Proctor & Gamble. Clients have used the consumer feedback to develop or tweak products before launch, fine-tune marketing efforts, measure brand loyalty, and compare reputations with competitors.

Warta said new and previous GutCheck investors participated in the latest round. The new investors were Grotech Ventures, the firm headed by Denver-based VC Joe Zell, led the round and, along with Crawley Ventures, a Denver-based private equity firm. Highway 12 and Denver-based Village Ventures were the prior investors that participated.

SEC records show that GutCheck’s parent company, Brainyak, has raised $6.7 million in prior equity investments.

GutCheck has a product that’s working and is generating revenue, and now it’s time to start growing, Warta said.

“We’ve been cash flow positive lately, so it is more about investing in the business to grow faster, but in a financially prudent way,” Warta said. “[We have] lots of hiring plans throughout the organization. We are hiring in marketing, engineering, product development, and in our research strategy group and will continue to hire in all areas as we continue to grow.”

 

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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