When Brandon Bornancin first developed the prototype for a sales tool that would eventually become Seamless, he had no plans to share it with anyone else – much less develop it into an artificial intelligence sales company.
Bornancin was an entrepreneur-turned-salesperson, and while selling to companies like IBM and Google, he realized the costly and time-consuming nature of finding the right contacts and customers. As a solution, in 2015 he developed what he called his “secret sales weapon”: a search engine that allowed him to research and pinpoint potential clients by supplying accurate, real-time contact information.
He initially used the platform as his personal sales tool, but a few months in, he realized the potential the concept could have on a wider scale.
“It had a big impact on me in my life, personally and professionally, and I realized if I dedicated full-time capital, resources and focus to building a search engine powered by artificial intelligence, this could help a lot of people,” Bornancin said.
He built the company out of pocket, forgoing a salary for the first 12 months and paying himself below poverty levels the following year. Now, the company is soon to close a seven-figure round of fundraising.
In its current form, Seamless is a search engine powered by artificial intelligence that helps companies maximize revenue, increase sales and acquire their total addressable market by providing real-time contacts and business addresses.
For example, if someone needs to specifically reach tech companies with 50+ employees in the New York area, Seamless can use its AI algorithms to provide names, emails and phone numbers with 95% accuracy – a rate that’s significantly higher than the average database.
“We’re researching hundreds of millions of people in real-time, and the AI engine is learning and validating with every search,” Bornancin said.
In addition to coverage, he added that Seamless’ other big draws are accuracy and insights.
“We’re researching hundreds of data points so you can personalize your marketing campaigns to build a long-term profitable relationship with these companies,” Bornancin said.
Now based in the Rutgers Business School building in Newark, New Jersey, which also houses Amazon’s Audible.com, Seamless plans to use its incoming seed funds to invest in sales and development to perfect the platform. As Bornancin says, too many entrepreneurs think you launch a product and optimize it over time, when in reality, creating a successful software or product will likely take a few overhauls.
Seamless, for example, underwent three rebuilds in three years.
Going in, Bornancin’s goal was to empower professionals through the platform and positively impact a billion people. And when venture capitalists kept saying no and challenges mounted, those ideals are what kept him going.
“I almost quit a few times, but my passion helped me overcome the challenges we faced,” Bornancin said. “Too many entrepreneurs quit too early.”
Advice-wise, he suggests all entrepreneurs go in with a ten-year outlook and prepare to be broke for a long time.
“You’re going to make nothing running a startup, and if you do pay yourself, it’ll be very little,” Bornancin said.
Obsession is a word he uses a lot, and that obsession is why Seamless is thriving despite hundreds of potential investors telling him everything that’s wrong with the platform. Everything from the idea to where he was located were reasons thrown at him as to why he was not fundable.
“Every investor will have ten reasons why you’ll fail,” Bornancin said. “It’s about what you can learn from the feedback you got and apply it to optimizing your business and optimizing your investor fundraising pitch.”
For every 99 that said no, he found one that said yes. That tenacity is why Seamless is now scaling instead of starting over. The company expects to double its workforce in the coming months, hiring both sales people and developers that will accelerate Seamless’ growth.