Startup of the day: Data Publica uses Big Data to do predictive selling
It took two years of research and development to create the solution
Frenchweb: How did you get the idea for your company?
François Bancilhon: Originally, Data Publica was the extension of a research project devoted to open data, which resulted in the creation of the first private public data directory with 16,000 data sets, well before the birth. of Etalab. The idea then came when we saw that companies needed data and solutions to deliver it. We have therefore become data sources. Finally, with this new project, C-Radar we are focusing on the exploitation of business data.
What need are you responding to?
All B2B businesses are looking to sell more, and more efficiently. Today with our new C-Radar offer, we are launching a new service that is unprecedented in France, predictive sales. This service is the result of two years of R&D and specific services to our customers. We are now able, thanks to the latest scraping techniques, datamining, machine learning, to tell a company that operates in the B2B field “we know who your next customers are”.
Very simply, how do you make money?
We allow our clients to prioritize their prospects by identifying those for whom the chances of turning into clients are the greatest. And we identify new prospects for them. We also allow them to better understand their market, by segmenting the players in their market.
Who are your competitors?
There is no one in France in this segment at the moment (but I guess it will come ”it’s more fun to compete”), The first actors appear in the Anglo-Saxon world (Growth Intel in England and Radius in the USA). Overall, the field of predictive sales is exploding and we are one of the leading players in Europe with an original offer.
What or which companies are you being compared to in error?
The name Data Publica, chosen at the start of the project when we were very focused on the open data part, often makes people believe that we are specialized in this aspect. Open data and public data in general are of course important for our business, but they are not the only ones: data from the Web, data from social networks, data from the media (press, specialized sites, forums, etc. .) are also important.
What was one of the first issues in your development, and how did you deal with it?
The two key points were funding and recruitment. The initial funding was provided by IT-Translation, a seed fund, accompanied by angels. The other traditional financing mechanisms for French start-ups (Oséo in particular) have enabled us to raise the necessary funds. The constitution of a technical team is one of the challenges of this space: bringing together the skills of quality “data scientists” takes time and energy, but it is one of the essential ingredients of success, and we are particularly proud to have crossed this obstacle. Completing this technical team with marketing and sales pros who understand this new market is the second part of the equation.
In this market, what is your main asset ?
The combination of content (the data accumulated on companies) and technologies (the tools for processing and enhancing this data). The major asset in the data industry is content. If you look at the Internet giants, what constitutes the real barrier to entry is the data they have accumulated. Take for example Linkedin: they have accumulated a database of soon 300 million CVs which is now unique in the world. It is this base which constitutes their main asset and justifies their valuation.
What is the best advice you have been given and by whom?
The first time I went down the Ardèche in a canoe (a compulsory exercise for all Ardèche residents), the instructor explained to me: “if you want to steer your canoe, you have to paddle faster than the current” . I think the advice is valid for the success of startups, if you follow the flow you go in circles, you have to anticipate to master your destiny.
Who is the personality you admire the most?
I remain fascinated by Kurt Gödel and his two incompleteness theorems, it is probably the most important result in mathematics and logic of the twentieth century. I discovered it with wonder during my studies in the United States. The character himself is serious and unknown to the general public. I had a Czech friend, a computer scientist from Brno (his hometown), who did not know who K. Gödel was. But curiously, we see him appear here and there in several of William Boyd’s novels and I recently read an interview with Béatrice Dalle (and yes) who spoke of him!
Founders: François Bancilhon, Christian Frisch and Benjamin Gans
Investors: IT Translation
Creation date : july 2011
Number of employees : 9
Sales figures : NC
Company based in: Paris