Silicon Valley investment firm places bet on Philly business-intelligence startup

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER RJMetrics CEO and co-founder Robert J. Moore at his Center City office, where business-intelligence research and analysis gets delivered to clients via the Internet.

Robert J. Moore, 29, of Society Hill, is co-founder & CEO of RJMetrics, a Center City business-intelligence software firm. The fast-growing start-up helps e-commerce companies quickly analyze data to make smarter decisions. In May, RJMetrics landed a $6.5 million investment from Trinity Ventures in Silicon Valley.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for RJMetrics?

A: My co-founder [Jake Stein] and I worked at a venture-capital firm in New York in 2006-07. My job was to help them decide on good investments. So I manually analyzed all data about a company's customers. I saw an opportunity to do this via the Internet.

Q: What about start-up funds?

A: We decided to build the business ourselves and moved back to Philadelphia because it was more affordable and we had roots here. We started in 2009, and it was just myself and Jake. In January 2012, we raised our first outside money, $1 million, from angels, including a customer and local investors.

Q: What does the business do?

A: We provide a website where clients log in and explore their own data collected from various sources. We help them decide where to spend money to get new customers and products to sell to get the most valuable customers.

Q: How's the biz model work?

A: We charge a monthly subscription fee of $500 to $5,000, depending on how many customers a client has. It's good for clients since it doesn't require an up-front outlay of cash and we get a predictable revenue stream.

Q: What are you disrupting?

A: Business intelligence has been around for decades, but new technology has made this affordable for small business. We're democratizing business intelligence, allowing a start-up to compete with a Fortune 500 business.

Q: Who are your customers?

A: Fab, Hootsuite, Frank & Cloak and a local company called Pet Food Direct are some.

Q: What's been the biggest challenge growing the business?

A: This is a very complicated technology we're building. We had to hire 10 engineers before we could hire a single sales person. We want to ensure clients aren't just happy tomorrow but also happy in two or three years.

Q: What differentiates you from your competitors?

A: We're building a new generation of technology. What makes our software special is speed and affordability. Most new client implementations get done in a week.

Q: How many employees?

A: We're at 37 now.

Q: How big a business is this?

A: We don't disclose revenue but next year we expect $5 to $10 million.

Q: What's next for RJMetrics?

A: I want to win and definitely build an IPO-able business where you have billions in market cap and value generated right here. When I think about what I'm going to do with this business, I'm not thinking about buying a mansion in two years and retiring.

On Twitter: @MHinkelman