Introducing Owler — a New Mobile Business App and Service That Promises to Be the Best Single Source for Up-to-the-Minute News, Information and Insight About Companies
Crowdsourcing Pioneer Jim Fowler’s Latest Start-up is backed by Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures
SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Serial entrepreneur and crowdsourcing pioneer Jim Fowler launched Owler.com and the Owler mobile business app (iOS) today to provide a single source for business news and information to help people keep up with the fast pace of business. Owler is the only mobile and online source for business information that provides noise-free news alerts, crowdsourced company profiles and community polls. The Owler app, which is the first mobile app to offer targeted business news and company profiles in one place, and Owler.com business-information services are available for free.
Fowler opened the door for crowdsourcing as a valuable resource for collecting business data when he founded Jigsaw Data Corporation in 2004 and built an enormous database of business-contact information contributed by the Jigsaw community. He sold the company to Salesforce in 2010 for $175 million in one of the most successful tech exits that year.
Taking advantage of Fowler’s considerable expertise in crowdsourcing, Owler uses the strength and knowledge of its community to create company profiles, which serve as living snapshots of more than 900,000 public and private companies from across all industries. The Owler community is also instrumental in providing insight on business trends and company moves through its participation in quick, fun polls. Owler’s “Poll Builder” platform gives members the opportunity to measure market sentiment by creating polls of their own that draw responses from Owler’s community of business professionals.
In addition to crowdsourced company profiles and community polls, another of Owler’s key offerings is its sophisticated alert system for business news. After members select which specific companies they need and want to follow, Owler curates and consolidates on-target business news for the selected companies into one convenient format that is available to members in three forms: 1) online in their Owler news feed; 2) delivered to their inbox; and 3) in the Owler mobile app, accompanied by real-time breaking-news alerts sent to their phone. Robust filters ensure the delivery of customized and up-to-the-minute news. Owler also includes a “Discover” section to help members find interesting business news outside of the companies they follow.
“Business news and information is abundant on the web, making it really hard for people to cut through the noise and get to the critical information they need in order to succeed. Simply put, Owler promotes ‘signal over noise’ by consolidating important information into one place and making it easy and fast for business professionals—especially those on-the-go—to get only what they really need, along with the added benefit of the Owler-community insight from our polls,” said Jim Fowler, founder and CEO of Owler.
Norwest Venture Partners’ Jeff Crowe and Trinity Ventures’ Patricia Nakache have been long-time Fowler-fans and crowdsourcing advocates. Norwest Venture Partners led an investment in Jigsaw in 2004. In 2012, both firms participated in a funding round of $17.3 million to support Fowler’s latest venture when it started as a source for crowdsourced competitive intelligence reports before pivoting into Owler.
“Not only is Jim a proven leader, he has the experience and vision to distinguish how useful and valuable crowdsourced business information can be for companies. The data Owler is gathering from its community will only grow stronger and even more valuable over time. Owler is offering something completely different that we think individuals and companies are going to come to rely upon for their business information and news,” said Jeff Crowe, managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners.
Owler is a free online and mobile source for business information that provides noise-free news alerts, crowdsourced company profiles, and community polls all in one place to help busy professionals keep up with the fast pace of business. Owler’s mission is to present traditionally static business information in an engaging, even fun way by inviting community members to take and initiate quick polls that add depth to company profiles. Launched in June 2014, Owler Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with an office in Coimbatore, India. Led by CEO Jim Fowler, the founding team comes from Jigsaw, which was acquired by Salesforce in one of the most successful tech exits of 2010. Owler Inc. is backed by Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures. More information is available at http://www.owler.com. Follow Owler on Twitter at @owlerinc.
About Norwest Venture Partners
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a global, multi-stage venture and growth equity investment firm that has partnered with entrepreneurs to build great businesses for more than 50 years. The firm manages approximately $5 billion in capital and has funded more than 550 companies since inception. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., NVP has subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India, and Herzelia, Israel. NVP makes early to late-stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including: technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services and healthcare. For more information visit: www.nvp.com. Follow NVP on Twitter @NorwestVP.
About Trinity Ventures
Founded in 1986, Trinity Ventures is a boutique, early stage venture capital firm dedicated to partnering with passionate entrepreneurs to transform revolutionary ideas into reality. With over $1 billion under management, Trinity Ventures believes in personal engagement, mutual respect and goal alignment with entrepreneurs. Trinity focuses on early stage and seed technology investments with particular emphasis on social commerce and entertainment, digital media, Saas, and Cloud.
Trinity Ventures has invested in more than 100 ventures, including such leading companies as 21Vianet, Affinity Labs, Aruba Networks, BeachMint, Bix, Blue Nile, Crescendo Communications, Extreme Networks, Forte Software, Infoblox, IntruVert Networks, KIXEYE, LoopNet, Modulus Video, Network Alchemy, Photobucket, SciQuest, Speedera Networks, Starbucks, Sygate Technologies, Trion Worlds, Wall Data, and Zulily.