Sagar Shukla

Sagar Shukla

Foresight, a Nashville-area software startup that aims to help other software companies target potential clients more efficiently using data, has raised more than $500,000 in a seed funding round led by local investors.

The new injection of capital, which comes just seven months after the company launched, will allow the business to double its workforce from three full-time employees to six and move into a Brentwood office space in January, according to Foresight co-founder Sagar Shukla.

"There is a huge opportunity to fundamentally change how companies understand value and we are seeing this in trends across the industry,” FINTOP Capital Managing Partner Joe Maxwell, one of the local investors, said. “Sagar and Nigel are building something that has been long overdue in the SaaS market.”

Shukla and co-founder Nigel Hammond, two former DealCloud employees, relocated to Nashville in April from New York City and London, respectively, to develop and launch Foresight.

During their five-year tenures at DealCloud — a publicly traded financial software company — the pair of software salesmen was forced to rely on anecdotal evidence to generate leads and craft their pitches.

“It's not an efficient or effective way to sell financial software,” Shukla said. “The industry is driven by data, but we were selling with stories.”

Noticing a gap in the marketplace, the two sought to develop a data-driven sales enablement software made by software salespeople for software salespeople.

“Our [platform] accelerates and provides a more accurate discovery process,” Shukla said. “Ultimately, it will allow software companies to more effectively distill their value proposition.”

Foresight’s strategy isn’t necessarily new — HubSpot, Amazon, Oracle and other big name companies all offer customer relationship management products specifically geared toward the IT industry. Those companies and other CRM providers have ratcheted up their business over the past 24 months in an effort to capitalize on the pandemic’s digital push.

The global CRM market was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic. More companies are embracing and investing in digital tools to stay connected with customers. In 2020, the industry was valued at $52.64 billion dollars. Since then, it has ballooned by $5.4 billion — a more than 10 percent increase year-over-year — to $58.04 billion in 2021. Economists expect the growth to continue and project the market will reach $128.97 billion by 2028 at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.1 percent.

Shukla said that the rapid growth of tech startups has contributed to the overall growth of the CRM industry and, more importantly for him and his company, bolstered the demand for IT-specific CRMs.

“I am excited to be involved,” Maxwell said. “Keep your eyes on Foresight. It's going to be a winner.”

Shukla said he and Hammond chose to launch their company in Nashville as opposed to a “more established” tech town like San Francisco or Austin because they wanted to be a part of the growth of the ecosystem.

“This city, its investors, its people really care about the companies here,” Shukla said. “Foresight wants to be a part of Nashville’s story because it’s going to be a Cinderella [story].”

“Nigel and Sagar are exactly the types of talented individuals we are seeking to attract with our TechIntoNashville campaign,” Greater Nashville Technology Council President Brian Moyer said. “We look forward to watching the success of Foresight.”