(Photo by Juliana Reyes)
After five years of sharing office space with 50onRed (and later, RightAction) in the Cira Centre, Leadnomics has moved into its own space. At nearly 40 full-time employees, the software company founded in 2007 by Stephen Gill and Zach Robbins had outgrown the shared office, but it was also a matter of perception, said Robbins, 28, of Center City. They were tired of people confusing them with the other two companies. (All three share Gill as a cofounder and financial backer, though they each have separate ownership structures.)
Leadnomics, which finds potential customers for insurance companies, moved into an 8,000-square-foot space on the fifth floor of 3020 Market Street last September. It looks like a lot of the startup offices we’ve visited in Philly: an open floor plan with a few private offices, phone booths and lots of windows, glass and reclaimed wood. The company keeps minimalist Japanese notebooks and pens in stock for their employees (“I’ve been obsessed with them,” Robbins said about the notebooks, which he orders online). There’s the requisite startup posters, too.
The staffers are split up by team (one row is for sales, one row is for engineering, etc.). When we visited last Wednesday morning, there were about 20 staffers in the office. They share the building with organizations like the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, an office of Lincoln University and Intech Construction.
The startup designed the office with the help of local firms like architects Moto Designshop, interior designer Shophouse Design and carpenter Kole Made, who made its conference tables, cafe tables and big barn door that leads to one of the conference rooms.
Leadnomics currently focuses on finding and selling leads to health insurance and auto insurance providers but it’s soon going to launch homeowners insurance, with mortgage refinancing and student loan refinancing to follow. The company works with big insurance providers like State Farm and Allstate, as well as smaller firms. Leadnomics only gets paid when it delivers leads (“It’s extremely transactional,” Robbins said) and there are performance expectations, like you’ll only get paid if one out of 10 of those leads actually ends up buying the insurance.
Yes, Robbins knows your eyes probably just glazed over. That’s a question the company’s grappling with, he said: how do you make insurance sexy?
One possible way is with quality, engaging content, he says. For the second half of the year, the company will be focused on creating content to put on their landing sites as a way to draw consumers in, instead of just using keywords to rank well on search engines. (The landing sites they build and use are not branded as Leadnomics sites. Here’s one example.) That means videos, ratings, reviews and tools to do price comparisons. The company bought the domain smarterspending.com and plans to launch it later this year. Venture for America fellow Julia Anaya is leading the content charge.
In other Leadnomics comings and goings, via LinkedIn:
- Michael O’Hara was hired as COO last November. O’Hara spent more than a decade working in the publishing and media industry. Most recently, according to his LinkedIn, he was doing consulting for startups.
- Erick Sawby was recently promoted to VP of Business Development.
- Joshua Irons was promoted to VP of Sales and Account Management.
- Senior client acquisition manager Rachel Cosgrove left to become CloudMine’s business development director.
- Director of consumer products Anittah Patrick is no longer with the company.
- Digital strategist (and former chairman of PhillyCHI) Phillip Le has left to join RJMetrics as a product designer.
- Principal architect Tom Shawver has left to become the Chief Technology Officer of a Nashville, Tenn.-based consumer education company, TechnologyAdvice.
Leadnomics also has a small New York City sales office out of coworking space WeWork in Manhattan. Three staffers are based there.
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