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Elucify

Free and crowdsourced database of business emails

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Mihir Deo
Maker
@mihir_deo · Mihir Deo, Elucify
Thanks for hunting us @sama! We’re extremely excited to be launching on PH today 😃 Elucify (YC W16) is a free and crowdsourced database of business contact information. Once you sign up and join the community by anonymously sharing contacts, you can get access to over 200,000 company profiles and business contact emails at those companies completely for free. I was an early sales employee at Dropbox and realized that finding the contact information of sales prospects was a process filled with problems because: 1. Contact info/emails can be incredibly hard to and time-consuming to find through guessing and Google searching. 2. Lead providers/email database providers are ridiculously expensive We built this for salespeople and business development folks who want a quick, easy, and free way to reach out to their prospects without having to pay lots of money or spend hours manually guessing emails on Linkedin. We were interviewed by Siftery recently, and you can find out a bit more about our product vision here: https://medium.com/@siftery/find... We’re early in the process of Elucify and always figuring out ways to make it better! We’ll be here to answer any questions people have!
Daniel Snell@danielsnell
@mihir_deo great job guys, I've thoroughly enjoyed using and sharing elucify! Keep up the work guys :-)
Joel Andren@joelandren · co-founder, PressFriendly
@mihir_deo @sama Just to be clear, when I sign up and Auth with my google mail, you scrape my entire contact list? This is the "crowdsourced" part?
Mihir Deo
Maker
@mihir_deo · Mihir Deo, Elucify
@joelandren a part of it, yes, though most of the shared information from users is used to validate the publicly crawled information we already have. Parts of the crowdsourcing model is that users can also vote to improve the company info that we have on the system. Essentially with Elucify is a give-to-get model, where you securely and anonymously share business contacts in return for access to the database, which is a combination of publicly crawled information validated by crowdsourced data. However, we are going to be offering a paid option soon (as seen on the pricing page) to allow opt-out of sharing your business contacts. We realize this is a sensitive area and we're definitely making sure that we're taking all the efforts we can to ensure that our user data is safe and that we're doing this in a smart way.
Chris Messina@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
What are the moral or ethical implications of sharing other people's contact information in exchange for access to other people sharing the same?
Paul Walsh@paul__walsh · Founder, @MetaCert and Creator, @bCRM.
@chrismessina How about providing your opinion? ;) Personally, I *really* dislike the idea of people sharing my email address in return for them getting access to other emails. If what you say is true, it's snake oil. Would love to learn more from the creators.
Paul Walsh@paul__walsh · Founder, @MetaCert and Creator, @bCRM.
@chrismessina I noticed you didn't reply to my last 3 messages so thought I'd circle back in case you missed them. haha
Gerald Fong
Maker
@geraldfong · CEO & Co-Founder, Elucify
@chrismessina Hey Chris, that's a really really good question. There's no right answer but I can share how I think about it. For me, whether it's OK to exchange your contacts comes down to how one views contact information in general. Today, a person's email address is something almost anyone can get if he or she spends enough energy/effort looking for it. The tricky part is actually getting your messaged delivered -- the spam networks put in place by gmail and the various email reputation networks are getting smarter every day. If a very small percent of people mark your email as spam, you will not be able to deliver your email to very many people. Our goal is to enable people who have legitimate products and services who are reaching out to people who can legitimately benefit from them. To filter out "bad guys", we also require all accounts be tied to a legitimate business domain and in the future we may put even more stringent requirements if we find our users abusing the data we have access to. We also never touch non-business related emails, so no relatives, grandmas, etc will end up in our system. Full disclosure, I'm one of the founders of Elucify. I've spent an incredible amount of time thinking about the implications, and I myself get a lot of sales/marketing emails. Happy to continue the conversation over email as well at gerald@getelucify.com.
Gerald Fong
Maker
@geraldfong · CEO & Co-Founder, Elucify
@paul__walsh @chrismessina Hey Paul, apologies just saw this! I put an answer below -- happy to continue the conversation here as well as over email as well. Having access to emails is incredibly powerful (to do good and bad) and it comes down to whether 1. the people who have access to it are doing legitimate business with it (ie, non profits, up and coming companies with valuable products, and not viagra or scam related things) and 2. whether there is a strong system in place to penalize bad actors that fall through the cracks. Gmail and other email spam guards are very powerful and can quickly hone in and prevent bad actors from delivering emails. Also, in the status quo today, there are providers like Rain King, Data.com, ZoomInfo, etc that give large corporations access to all this data for very high prices that are out of reach for business that have not made it yet. We are coming up with a business model that enables smaller businesses to have access to the same resources, so long as they do not abuse them.
Paul Walsh@paul__walsh · Founder, @MetaCert and Creator, @bCRM.
@geraldfong @chrismessina There is a right answer. It's ok for me to post my email address where I want as it's my property. It's not ok for you to share my email address unless you ask me for permission. You can of course, do as you please. But if you want my respect, or to do business with me, you will respect my wishes. We have this concept called "opt-in" for good reason. And it's why Mailchimp doesn't allow you to spam the shit out of people without asking for their permission first.
Paul Walsh@paul__walsh · Founder, @MetaCert and Creator, @bCRM.
@geraldfong @chrismessina I couldn't disagree more with your approach. I'm founder of bCRM.com - it makes it easy for chatbot owners to get information on all of its users - everything that each platform API permits. It even surprised Slack people when I showed them, the level of detail - including email addresses. I have created a very detailed privacy statement to assert what is possible. And soon, I'm going to enforce our customers/developers to make it very clear in their privacy statement, the data that they collect - not just the data they use. I believe it's extremely important to be very open and transparent with respect to a person's personal or company contact information. In summary, I am *not* ok with anyone giving out my email address unless I know them to be of very high quality. Failing that, they should ask for permission. For example, Chris is very high quality so if he gave someone my email address, it's only because he knows us both and feels like we would both benefit. I know for a fact that he wouldn't sell my information in order to get information about someone else - that's just dirty in my opinion.
Tom Uhlhorn@thomasoscareric · Founder, Tiny CX
@paul__walsh @geraldfong @chrismessina this is a great point, and I abandoned the sign-up process when I saw that signing up via Google would scrape my contacts. It was a simple matter of asking myself, "would I want someone adding my email to an open-source database without my consent? No, I would not". I think this is a wonderful idea, but the ethics of it are a little too shady for my liking. I'm sure there's a workaround, though!
Gerald Fong
Maker
@geraldfong · CEO & Co-Founder, Elucify
@paul__walsh @chrismessina Hey Paul, completely respect your view. I will opt out your business from our database and prevent you from ever being added to it.
Gerald Fong
Maker
@geraldfong · CEO & Co-Founder, Elucify
@thomasoscareric @paul__walsh @chrismessina Really appreciate the feedback Tom!
Andreas Duess@andreasduess · CCO, Nourish Food Marketing
@paul__walsh @geraldfong @chrismessina If I would find out that somebody is contacting me via a tool like Elucify I would tell them to fuck off in no uncertain terms. As Paul says, my email address is mine to share, not yours to sell. I find the enthusiasm for the product displayed on this page incredibly disheartening. I would have thought that the PH community has higher standards.
Dainis Kanopa@dainiskanopa · https://middle.io
@paul__walsh @geraldfong @chrismessina I agree with you, but I also understand that there will be a portion of people who work differently. We see already the product is in top position by votes. That means it has some demand in terms it works.
Steven Hambleton@stinhambo · Founder, Emailancer
@andreasduess How do you feel about tools like Rapportive giving out your email address?
Andreas Duess@andreasduess · CCO, Nourish Food Marketing
@stinhambo Rapportive, as I understand it, scrapes publicly available information. Huge difference.
Steven Hambleton@stinhambo · Founder, Emailancer
@andreasduess If the emails are publicly available, pick a 2nd or 3rd degree contact on LinkedIn and let me know what you find.
@geraldfong I think the only way to make this legitimate is to have the people whose emails are being shared decide if they're happy to opt in. The fact that emails are hard to find manually is the barrier to many would-be spammers. Is there any way a user of Elucify can see the email address/es they're mailing? If so, what's to stop them spamming people from different domains, or selling the data on?
Gerald Fong
Maker
@geraldfong · CEO & Co-Founder, Elucify
@andhugg Hey Andrew, we will soon be releasing an opt out feature where people can remove themselves from our database. The two precautions we have in place to stop people from spamming are 1. we limit the amount of data that people can pull from our system -- if users hit a certain data limit, we will automatically freeze their account for review. 2. In order to sign up for an account, a user must use an email account tied to a business domain (not @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com etc). This is a proxy for determining which accounts are doing legitimate business (and not trying to sell viagra, or resell our data etc). Over time we will implement more methods to make sure only reputable businesses receive data from us by 1. checking what their registered domain sender score is and 2. cross referencing their business domain with our internal database of businesses. However, we do not want to create so many hurdles that only big established businesses but no startups are able to use our product as well. We will constantly be battling to make sure we only let in users selling legitimate products with legitimate emailing methods. I have previously worked on Stripe's risk team and saw the various fraud fighting techniques they used to let in legitimate merchants instead of those trying to launder money or test credits cards to be resold on black markets. Finally, if people fall through the cracks, there is also an enormous and well built out domain reputation system built by gmail and various other spam protection companies which make it very difficult for users to send mass amounts of emails if users repeatedly mark them as spam. We have a very strong vested interest in making sure email as a channel is here to stay and have seen first hand cold how out bound emailing is the life blood of an enormous number of businesses, big and small all over the US.
Aaron Payne@aaron_payne · Designer, Awdience
@geraldfong can you opt my business out as well?
Chris Messina@chrismessina · 🏆 PH Community Member of the Year!
@geraldfong @andhugg @paul__walsh I read about 1% of the legitimate emails I receive anyway, so even if you got my email through this service, there's a very low chance I'll ever get to it... LOL. :)
Steven Buccini@stevenbuccini
This is an awesome product. I'm not in sales, but in college I had to hunt down people's emails to invite them to different events, ask them for advice, etc. Some of them have "private" emails (which aren't distributed widely and get less inbound, making it easier to manage) that don't follow the normal paradigms. Even then, validating emails was such a pain.
Mihir Deo
Maker
@mihir_deo · Mihir Deo, Elucify
@stevenbuccini That's exactly one of the reasons we created Elucify. Finding emails should be like Googling a restaurant: totally free, look it up and just find the email. Thanks for the kind words!
Navid Nathoo@navidnathoo · Executive Director, TKS
Super easy to use - great product for any lead gen / sales teams / hustlers!
Tyler Denk@tyler_denk · Co-Founder, VentureStorm
Have been using Elucify for nearly a month now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Very intuitive and helpful.
Mihir Deo
Maker
@mihir_deo · Mihir Deo, Elucify
@tyler_denk Glad you're a fan :) Appreciate the support!