Building a Data-Driven Business Development Platform

RelSci engaged Very to build a freemium version of their data-driven platform to increase their conversion rate and expand their database.


"Very knew how to use their agility to our advantage. The process was never the focus, so it never got in the way. Instead, it allowed the project to move forward quickly, while helping us keep an eye on the big picture."

 Emma Griffin, Chief Product Officer at RelSci

The Background

Headquartered in New York City, Relationship Science (RelSci) uses big data to drive business development. The platform allows individuals and organizations to see connections between — and make connections with — influential people and target companies, including power brokers, C-level business executives, and dealmakers. Profiles include information about philanthropy, family, political affiliations, board positions, and professional circles — a “six degrees” approach to networking. RelSci currently maintains a database of more than six million people and 1.5 million organizations.

The Concept

RelSci is always seeking to drive conversions and expand its client database, so in addition to their paid, “professional” level membership, RelSci wanted to build a free, scaled-down version of the platform. They believed it would become a lead generation tool, giving potential users a taste of what they’d get with a paid membership. RelSci engaged Very to augment the new platform with offerings targeted at specific user segments.

The Process

Our engagement with RelSci began with a validation cycle. During a two-day sprint, we helped RelSci identify their needs, wants, and desires for the new platform; analyzed the feasibility of a build; and began release planning within RelSci’s budget parameters.

Once the concept was validated, RelSci chose to move forward with the build. A pair of our engineers, a designer, and a project advisor, augmented their in-house development team. Tech-savvy and highly engaged, RelSci’s developers already followed an agile framework, so they knew how to prioritize — and reprioritize — functionality throughout the build, and they were committed to high-touch communication from start to finish.


Still, there was some heavy lifting to be done: we knew from experience that “scaled-down” doesn’t always mean “simpler.” RelSci wanted to be sure that new subscribers could understand the breadth of information and level of detail that they could access as a paying customer. So users needed to be able to plug into RelSci’s massive database, which required strategic integrations and high levels of functionality. RelSci also wanted the platform to be built with React — part of the reason they engaged Very, as our engineers have extensive backgrounds in React development.


The Results

Ultimately, the process was seamless and the build a success, resulting in a highly functional, usable platform that will strengthen the company’s lead generation efforts and continue to expand their database.

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