AnswerLab, provide user experience research and consulting for web, mobile and software applications. In a Q&A with Dan Clifford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of AnswerLab, Fernando of 37 signals asked him how AnswerLab was funded at first, and he had this to say for the for the Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud series.

My co-founder Amy Buckner and I funded the company ourselves. The nice thing about a professional services firm is it doesn’t take much capital to get started. All you need is a couple of phones and laptops. Add a website and you’re in business.
Amy and I continue to own the business and we haven’t taken on investors. We’ve both worked at multiple companies before starting AnswerLab and saw that the demands of outside investors to hit quarterly numbers can really impact the relationship companies have with their clients. Pressuring a customer to ensure that they sure they sign your agreement before the end of the quarter does not create a trusted advisor relationship.