Announcing the availability of Guru and our funding round
At various points in my career I have been part of teams that were growing. We were adding team members and continuing to improve and change our products. We knew in order to scale we needed a way to provide our customer facing teams (sales, services, support) quick access to accurate, up-to-date information needed to do their jobs. We tried wikis, but after an initial honeymoon period they were forgotten and went stale. We tried good old fashion email, thinking "hey everyone uses email, they will definitely see this important update about our new security certification!". But that email message is just one of hundreds received that day, forgotten once read. We tried messaging apps, and while they are fantastic for real time communication, they don't work for knowledge you want to be able to find later. It’s just too noisy to search through a sea of conversations for that one bit of knowledge. And even if you do find what you are looking for, how do you know if it is still accurate?
We soon realized it’s not just us. As companies grow, the pain of not having key knowledge available about their products, their people, their markets, their partners, etc. is crippling. Analysts report that we spend up to a third of our time just trying to find and verify key knowledge we need to do our jobs! The ability for a company to effectively engage with its customers is impacted, slowing responsiveness and decreasing the accuracy of what we communicate. And yet, the solutions available today have not really changed in decades.
This led us to create Guru. Using Guru, companies capture and share the knowledge they need to operate, put it into the workflow of their teams, and automatically keep it up to date by having their subject matter experts verify its accuracy. We spent nearly two years working closely with our customers to better understand their needs, and we believe the following areas are key to their success:
Guru is a browser extension, giving you instant access to key knowledge without having to change focus or log in to a separate application. Guru surfaces your content as an overlay across the apps you use everyday, such as your email, CRM, support systems and others.
All content in Guru is verified on a periodic basis by an expert on your team. Guru reminds these experts to re-verify their content, eliminating the need to remember to update your knowledge base as information about your company or products evolve.
By connecting your business apps to Guru, companies can surface context-specific information for your team therefore eliminating the countless hours it takes to conduct searches. For example, Guru can push relevant competitive positioning, sales assets and role-specific messaging to sales reps as they are viewing an opportunity in their CRM.
Capturing and sharing knowledge is great only if it helps your team perform better. Guru incorporates usage analytics into our search to bring your team popular and expert-verified content first. By tying usage events to business applications, you can see how employee performance is impacted by using Guru.
Today over 200 companies are actively using Guru. Tom Sauer, Head of Customer Success at Fundera states, “Guru has become a vital part of our sales stack, decreasing ramp up times for new hires, and improving the speed and accuracy of our communication with customers.”
Gabriel Galvez, CEO of CapTarget, added “Guru allows our company to leverage the power of our individual experiences company wide. This has reduced training hours, increased the general knowledge of a team member, and has started to create a culture of knowledge documentation and exploration.”
We are also excited to announce our raise of $2.7 million, led by FirstMark Capital. FirstMark partnered with us at Boomi and we are excited to be working together again. They are joined by MSD Capital (Michael Dell's personal investment fund), Salesforce Ventures, Brett Queener, and several other angel investors.
Guru was founded by Mitch Stewart and I in November 2013. Mitch and I both worked at Boomi prior to starting Guru. I was the founder and CTO, eventually going on to run the Boomi business after our acquisition by Dell, and Mitch was Boomi's engineering leader. We are also thrilled to be working with Linda Crawford as an advisor. Linda spent 8½ years at Salesforce, most recently serving as EVP of Sales Cloud.
We are proud of the product we have created and based on the continued feedback from our customers, we are very excited by the opportunity in front of us! We would love for you to check us out and let us know what you think! You can learn more about Guru here and sign up for our free edition.
Rick and the Guru Team