Tracer, a platform that attempts to consolidate an organization’s data sources and enrich them with business insights, today announced that it raised $18.1 million in a Series A funding round co-led by NewRoad Capital Partners, Progress Ventures, and BDMI with participation from S4S Ventures and Arbour Way Investors.
CEO Jeff Nicholson said that the new cash will be put toward Tracer’s expansion efforts, scaling its technology, establishing a sales team and “enhancing” the startup’s client success resources. To date, Tracer has raised $30 million.
“With the backing of our investors and confidence in our future, Tracer is well-positioned to achieve continued success and make a significant impact in the market, not only for marketers but also to empower businesses spanning diverse industries,” Nicholson told TechCrunch via email.
Tracer traces (no pun intended) its roots back to 2015, when co-founders Nicholson and Leighton Welch pitched Gary Vaynerchuk, the entrepreneur and internet personality, on building out a global media department inside of Vaynerchuk’s creative agency, VaynerMedia. Over the next few years, the media department grew from a few people to a few hundred people, all the while incubating a tech company to power the department as it scaled.
The tech company became Tracer, which spun out as an LLC in 2018 at the request of a customer. Nicholson came on as CEO in 2020, and in 2021, Tracer raised its first seed round.
“Most companies today are doing reporting and analytics by building out a ‘modern data stack,’” Nicholson said. “We believe that’s too expensive — and too complicated. The modern data stack is a means to an end — reporting and analytics – and the intellectual property is in how you use it.”
So what does Tracer do, exactly? A few things. First, the platform ingests data ranging from advertising and sales metrics to customer data and web traffic. Then, it overlays business context on top of this data, outputting the results to spreadsheets, emails, databases, dashboards and other channels.
A customer could use Tracer to, for example, visualize their media spend across all major platforms, or view analytics partner data and offline conversion data in a single pane of glass.
“For the data or technical decision-maker or C-suite IT manager, enabling Tracer means cost, time and resources savings,” Nicholson said. “The technology is data agnostic, and we’re able to receive inputs from any source and deliver outputs to any platform … The alternative to Tracer is paying for a lot of different point solutions, and a lot of expensive resources to build and maintain something that is already available for them to use at a fraction of the cost.”
There’s other software that performs the sort of aggregation that Tracer does, including tools sold by Salesforce, ThoughtSpot-backed Mode Analytics and Google-owned Looker. But Tracer has managed to grow slowly but steadily even in the face of competition, recently eclipsing 200 customers — a combination of direct and indirect business via its advertising agency partners — including Sanofi, Papa Johns, Headspace and Condé Nast.
“While Tracer is a software-as-a-service product, we don’t charge by seat or license, meaning our clients have unlimited opportunities to put Tracer in the hands of any and all internal users that may want access — whether a brand, agency or global holding company,” Nicholson said. “Our growth in recent years is a testament to the value we bring to our clients, as well as the value our investors know we will continue to bring to the market as we continue to scale.”