Attio wants to build the CRM for the Airtable generation
Meet Attio, a new CRM for people who are familiar with modern collaboration tools, such as Airtable, Notion and Zapier. The startup wants to create a product that can hold all important information about your customers, suppliers and partners, but that is also flexible so that you can organize, view and manipulate data easily.
Attio raised a $7.7 million seed round led by Point Nine with participation from Balderton Capital and Headline. Passion Capital, who was already an investor in the company, as well as several angel investors, also participated in the round. Business angels include Front co-founder and CEO Mathilde Collin, Loom co-founder and CTO Vinay Hiremath, Loom and Hyper co-founder Sahed Khan and Indeed co-founder Paul Forster.
That’s a long list of investors and it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you look at the background of the founder. Attio’s co-founder and CEO Nicolas Sharp previous worked for Passion Capital as an associate and then created Attio with Alexander Christie. He spent a lot of time working on the firm’s deal flow process.
“We think that there’s something incredible happening in business software in general and also in CRM in particular,” Sharp told me. He mentioned Airtable and Notion as inspiration. “It allows customers to build whatever they want.”
“We have that thing happening on one hand, which is interesting by itself. On the CRM market, we have this paradigm shift of this new way of selling things. It’s now all about fostering relationships through different channels,” he added.
In other words, CRM software is no longer restricted to sales teams. Now, many people working for company A interact with different people at company B. It becomes hard to keep track of what’s going on when you don’t have a single point of contact.
Attio pulls data from your existing tools. When you set up your account, you import your team’s contacts. You can also sync email conversations with the CRM platform. You can choose between two sharing levels — metadata only, or subject lines and metadata. And, of course, you can also sync your calendar.
After that, Attio automatically enriches your data with more information from third-party sources, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You can view a timeline of your company’s recent interactions with a specific contact. You can also search for a company and view everybody you know at that company.
It gets particularly interesting when you start building collections. A collection is a list of contacts for a specific project. For instance, you can create a collection with all your investors, another collection with your sales funnel, another collection with reporters you know, etc.
There are multiple ways to view a collection. Like in Airtable, you can choose to add data using a spreadsheet-like interface with rows and columns. You can add columns with new attributes that are relevant to your collection.
But you can also switch to kanban view and move contacts from one column to another. There’s also a calendar view. Each view is customizable with filters and a sorting criteria.
Attio has been designed like most software-as-a-service tools, which means that it works well as a team. You can view recent activity in the activity tab, you can create tasks and add notes to start working on a project as a team.
The company has around 120 paid customers, such as teams working for Coca-Cola, Supercell, Saltpay, Causal and Upfront Ventures. What’s interesting is that Attio isn’t the only ‘new CRM’ trying to reinvent this software category. Other companies include Folk, which I’ve recently profiled, 4Degrees and Affinity.
When Sharp started thinking about the product, the competitive landscape was different. “At the time, Notion was just getting started. We saw people building new spreadsheets, new note-taking apps. And no one was applying those principles to CRM and that category,” he said. It’s going to be interesting to follow this space to see how it evolves. As for customers, they now have a ton of options when selecting their CRM platform.