Discovering Harmonic through word-of-mouth: “It has better coverage than the more established databases”
Fin first engaged with Harmonic after Fan Wen, Principal & Head of Data Science, had enough friends in the VC space recommend it. “I immediately noticed that the platform has better coverage than other providers in terms of pre-seed and seed-stage companies,” he recalls. That’s because Harmonic uses a variety of data sources—legal filings, business registries, social platforms, and more—to uncover the earliest-stage companies long before other providers do.
The firm loved the platform so much that, after just a few months of using it, Logan Allin, Fin Capital’s Founder and Managing Partner, and the firm decided to make an investment. They participated in Harmonic’s Series A.
Sourcing early-stage and recently-founded companies: “Harmonic eliminated so much manual research”
As part of his daily workflow, Fan views his saved searches in Harmonic for the newest companies that match the firm’s investment criteria. He utilizes Harmonic’s Relevance Scoring—a feature he was initially “suspicious of because other data providers offer similar features that often miss the mark. But Harmonic’s algorithm was surprising.” Many of the companies Harmonic recommends through high relevance scores are “similar to companies Fin has invested in, or ones partners have found compelling in the past”—whether in terms of their revenue model, the sectors they serve, or the stage they’re in.
As Harmonic’s powerful behind-the-scenes algorithm uncovers relevant new companies for the firm, it also serves up important information about them—founding year, headquarters, headcount growth over time, investors, funding history, and more. Before Harmonic, Fan says, he regularly searched different databases for signal and due diligence—“Crunchbase, SEC filings, LinkedIn. But no database had coverage on everything. Harmonic eliminated all that manual research. I no longer feel like I’m missing critical pieces of data.”
Connection discovery: “Now we know the best path into a conversation”
When anyone at Fin lands on a company they’re interested in, Harmonic shows who in the firm has connections with that company, along with the title and high-level information of those connections. Historically, Fan explains, when an investor uncovered a compelling company, they would “search LinkedIn for first- or second-degree connections. That would take time. With Harmonic’s browser extension we now do that in a single click.” Within seconds, the firm knows its best intro path.
Fan describes Harmonic’s Best Path In feature as “super powerful. Harmonic’s API has been a wonderful asset for the team because it checks LinkedIn connections, not just email history, across the entire team.”
Ongoing portfolio enrichment: “Harmonic is a powerful piece of infrastructure in terms of monitoring”
Fan monitors early-stage companies that have already raised a round and are likely to raise another round soon. With Harmonic’s support, he built a “watchlist” that he uses to track numerous metrics on the companies he’s following, leveraging that data to enhance his analysis of each company. “Harmonic serves up the companies to begin with, and their enriched growth and traction data updates our list.” This allows Fan, for example, to order a list of portfolio companies by headcount growth over the last 90 days. “We can immediately see which companies aren’t doing well,” he explains. “That’s very powerful.”
Leveraging Harmonic for better LP support: “It helps us demonstrate transparency and gain trust”
The firm’s LPs appreciate the transparency and insights Harmonic affords them, Fan says. “In the past, if LP’s wanted portfolio insights, the process was cumbersome. Now, we have access to the data in real-time allowing us to keep our LP reporting current.” That data is comprehensive, and it’s always available, Fan adds. “It’s the most transparent VC-LP relationship I’ve been in.”
The market opportunity is big. And Harmonic has a better product and more competitive pricing
Even today, Fan is regularly comparing Harmonic to the databases he comes across—“but I still haven’t found anything that competes in terms of data coverage,” he says.
Looking to the future, Fan pans out to the bigger picture. Harmonic is targeting an enormous opportunity, he says. “They have great data, an easy-to-use API, and they’re working on a number of exciting capabilities.” Fin Capital is seeing the value, and so far they keep renewing their partnership with Harmonic. “I’m excited to be along for the ride with them, as partners, customers, and investors.”