The seven-figure deal. It's the holy grail of software.
In addition to real revenue, the million-dollar contract brings with it credibility and the stamp of approval from a big institution. It enables the vendor to tell the world, "We sell to the enterprise."
For a small start-up like Quid, it marks entry into the big leagues.
Quid has come out of nowhere to sign three such agreements in the past three months before ever putting out a press release. That can happen when a company sits at the intersection of massive technology trends like big data and artificial intelligence and layers on a simple tool for digesting all that information on a single Web page.
Quid's visualization software algorithmically determines what the user wants and displays it in an intuitive fashion. Among its newly signed multimillion-dollar clients is global management consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group, which is utilizing Quid's expansive database of private company information to better inform and serve customers.
"It's very complementary to the sorts of things we do," said Patrick Forth, BCG's global head of technology, media and telecom. "Our consultants are trained to get data and draw insights from that data. Quid prepares it in such a way that it's easy and efficient."
Forth is quick to point out that Quid is a "relatively modest part of our armory," and that BCG has partnerships with many data providers and software developers.
For a 60-employee shop like Quid, that's a big endorsement. The San Francisco-based company has only been selling its fully baked Web product since January of 2014, though the technology has been in development for years.
Quid was launched in 2010 as a rebirth of sorts after originally being created as YouNoodle three years earlier. Co-founder Bob Goodson, who previously helped build Yelp, had lofty ambitions—to map the world's information.
Visualization alone is a booming business. Tableau Software, which allows users to turn data from their desktops and servers into graphs and charts, went public in 2013 and is valued at over $6.5 billion.
To finance Quid's product development, Goodson raised about $20 million from the likes of Facebook backer Peter Thiel, Korean investor Charles Lho, Artis Ventures and Atomico, the European venture firm started by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom.