Startups need data to grow, and Pareto CEO Phoebe Yao wants to make it as easy as possible.
The company was founded in 2020 to provide virtual data analytics for businesses. A team of Pareto data experts provides useful insights into sales, marketing and recruitment channels. This data can be anything from finding TikTok influencers to qualifying leads for B2B sales, finding candidates, and researching NFT communities.
Yao, a Thiel Scholar, was born in China and moved to St. Louis at an early age with his father, who was a truck driver, and his mother, who worked as a nurse. She was originally interested in a career in classical music, but when she applied to Stanford, her parents wanted her to take a different direction.
She eventually became interested in computer science, specifically how systems design empowers people to access skills.
Taking a year off from college, she worked at Microsoft to create a virtual workforce for housewives that would give them a skills gap, outsourcing and a culture to work with overseas companies.
“There was an infrastructure to create a workforce, but a lack of a culture to support skills development and turn them into meaningful tech career opportunities,” said Yao gaming-updates.
He decided to open a boot camp to teach women how to become virtual assistants, analyze data and, in fact, be the right hand of an entrepreneur. Yao was coaching 20 women when the global pandemic hit.
She then decided to drop out of school and focus on the company, starting to become the founder of the service to be used. However, as she began to see patterns in projects that focused more on collecting and processing data, she and her team turned to Pareto’s operations teams to analyze the data and create additional technologies to help them process the data. To analyze and create a virtual analyzer system with human participation.
“We are committed to democratizing access to quality data by empowering working-from-home moms around the world,” Yao said. “Our operations team is 100% female-led and we rely on flexible remote work options and world-class training and mentorship in a supportive peer community.”
Today, hundreds of companies use Pareto, including Modern Fertility, Wanderer, Launch House, and Pave.
Now Yao is looking to scale and improve the business, from a virtual assistant that will perform intensive operations to virtual analytics that will be more technical to provide actionable data to customers. This is especially true as an estimated 1.1 million women have quit their jobs in the last two years as uncertainties about education and childcare persist during the pandemic.
In 2020, the company raised $600,000 in pre-financing and today announced that it closed $4.5 million in seed funding in November. Investors include Mack Venture Capital, Seabed VC, Soma Capital, Fearless Fund, Liquid2 Ventures, Slope Agency and Thumbtack founder Jonathan Swanson. Yao said the new round would net Pareto a total net profit of $51 million.
Yao said the new funding is expected to keep the company going for years to come. The company plans to build a team of engineers and marketers to improve product-to-market fit.
Last year, Pareto’s surgical team had 40 members, and that number has more than doubled in the past year. At the same time, monthly recurring income increased from $10,000 to $50,000, she said.
“We plan to use the new capital to answer questions about product-to-market fit, how much we are asking for a product, its long-term value, and how we look to the future, how to turn customers into customers. Long duration,” Yao said. “By allocating funds to different questions and hypotheses, we get a softer benchmark for our Series A.”