We are very happy to introduce StrategyEye as one of our most recent additions to the Seedcamp Founders’ Sponsors. Seedcamp company CEOs will gain access to StrategyEye’s Digital Media platform for a full year and StrategyEye will also be regually publishing interviews with Seedcamp CEOs. Below is StrategyEye’s ‘Hot Company Profile’ on, Seedcamp company, Futurelytics.
Big data is big business at the moment. And while Futurelytics concentrates on small-to-medium-sized businesses and emphasises the importance of relevance when it comes to customer analytics, rather than simply the size of data sets, potential customers will perceive its offering as a big data solution. The firm recently won funding at Seedcamp Budapest and CEO Daniel Hastik is now aiming to make an impact by selling to sales and marketing teams in the US.
¤ What differentiates Futurelytics from similar services?
It is a data mining solution. We connect marketing and sales guys, giving them information about customers by tracking data from multiple sources and scoring the customers from the best to the worst based on various parameters. We then group these customers’ information into segments so the guys in marketing and sales can use targeted campaigns. We also pull the data from our platform to marketing automation systems like MailChimp and Marketo.
We take the best practises and visualise the data and work with companies automatically so that the end user doesn’t have to make any major decisions. We tell them what will work and that’s the major difference. For example, we could say ‘in order to get churn customers back to you, you should do this’. Our team has a background in business analytics, so we are looking for meaningful patterns in the data. It doesn’t matter if it is just two rows in Excel, if someone doesn’t understand it then it’s the same if he has five terabytes of data that he doesn’t understand. We give the user what we think is important and what is not. Other companies focus on the size of the data and not the relevancy.
¤ What is your business model?
We make money in three different ways. One is a monthly subscription model for the platform itself, which is USD450 per month. The second revenue stream is our independent app on a CRM marketplace, for example Salesforce’s App Exchange. The third is license fees for what we call ‘powered by Futurelytics’. We are negotiating with certain CRM providers to embed our functionality.
¤ Who are your main competitors?
One would be Custora and the other one would be Cloud9. There are obviously the big players like SPSS from IBM, but that’s not the segment for our customer reach, we don’t go up into the enterprise we stay with small-to-medium sized businesses.
¤ What’s the biggest challenge you currently face?
We are a US-based company, but all the guys are in the Czech Republic at the moment, with one sales guy in the UK. For most businesses to set up in the US you need to be a US citizen so it’s quite difficult for European startups without having a US citizen in the team to actually start a business in the US.
The other challenge is getting the word out, so the marketing and sales, which we have not tracked as well as we do the technical side. We are now looking for people who can help us with that and that’s one of the reasons we joined Seedcamp. Their network, their knowledge and their companies within their investment team solved the same problems we are facing. So we are sharing a lot of information and that has been really helpful.
¤ What do you think is the hottest trend in digital media?
Competition between the stable, TechCrunch-like blog styles against blogs for particular technologies, which shift from the more mainstream to specific technologies. I am finding more information from our competitor’s blog than on GigaOm, for example.
The demand for big data services is booming. The market will be worth USD18.2bn this year before climbing to USD47.8bn in 2017 and analytics applications revenue is forecast to be the fastest-growing segment in the next four years, with revenues expected to increase by nearly 300%. Services such as Futurelytics, which promise to decipher the reams of online information and present actionable strategies from it, offer obvious tangible benefits for companies and salespeople. IBM expects its overall business intelligence revenue alone to come in at USD25bn by 2015, with plenty of dollars available to those that can gain scale quickly.
The main challenge for Futurelytics is standing out in an already overcrowded space. As well as startups such as Custora and Cloud9, big guns like Accenture and IBM are trying their hand at customer analytics. While Hastik maintains that the likes of IBM are after the big enterprise customers, where it is after small businesses, it doesn’t seem a stretch for IBM to scale out to SMEs. Futurelytics needs to make sure it can build out its offering quickly and expand rapidly to new markets.
The other issue is its current focus on the US. Hastik already concedes that it is struggling to expand, with problems setting up its services in the US hampering progress. Plenty of homegrown competition will continue to emerge stateside, while Futurelytics deals with these challenges. The firm also doesn’t disclose financial information, making it hard to ascertain how things are going in markets where it is available. It is important to note that it’s still early days, with the firm only launching in September. And it does already have 25 clients on board, including brands such as Yamaha, Time Warner Cable and Livestrong. As a result, the firm is “just starting” to generate revenue and the next six months will prove crucial for the startup.
AT A GLANCE CEO: Daniel Hastik HQ: Delaware, US Founded: September 2012 Employees: Six Commercial launch: September 2012 Funding to date: EUR50,000 (USD67,000) Investors: Seedcamp