Instead of wasting time and energy trying to find out what your competitors are doing ask Innobi to do it for you
This post was originally published on Geektime.co.il as part of Geektime’s Windows Azure accelerator program coverage
Every company has to face competition. No matter how unique you think your idea might be, the field you enter is going to be filled with competitive solutions and it’s up to you to figure out how best to leverage your resources and differentiate yourself from the rest.
Israeli startup Innobi was founded specifically for this purpose. The company makes order out of chaos affording users a simple, convenient and fast way of tracking their competition and their activity in the market.
Monitoring the competition
Innobi seeks to help reduce the time devoted to competitive intelligence research and allow users to automate the process of sourcing and displaying such information in an optimal format. Innobi’s CI platform allows users to track competitors, read publicly sourced articles published about them, and even allows users to compare themselves to their competition in terms of popularity, or to see how their various competitors measure up against each other.
Users register for the service through their LinkedIn account. First time users will be shown a list of their competitors and asked whether they wish to add more to the list. The interface itself is minimalistic, easy to understand and to operate. Informational updates include notifications for every time a competitor launches a new product/service, begins a cooperative relationship with another company, or completes the recruitment of a new member to their management team.
The idea is for companies to take this information and conduct competitive analyses of their competition, deducing where their competitors are successful and what’s driving their success. Innobi relates how after exhaustive efforts and having conducted hundreds of interviews with potential customers, they now understand that companies need accessible CI data to help make them part of the CI analytical process. Being part of the process is critical for a company to fully understand where it stands in the market with reference to their competition. Innobi currently targets small to midsize firms, seeing larger corporations as a potential growth vector in the future.
Innobi was founded in January of 2012 by Omer Reboh and Boaz Avidan after experiencing the need for a product such as this in their own entrepreneurial endeavors. In an interview with Geektime, Omar explains that for the past 8 years, from the army to the business world, he has been specializing in internet research. Throughout this timeframe he has been following the various trends in research and information gathering. This includes those methodologies that are commonly known and those that are trade secrets and industry specific.
During his work Omer met a number businesses, mostly small and medium enterprises, who could not afford these kinds of CI services and were left with the challenge of finding and tracking competitors themselves. At this point he realized that there was a very large market waiting for an affordable technology based solution that was smart, simple and applicable to companies of all sizes.
As befits their field, Innobi is well aware of its competitors. Omar explains that today most competing solutions use anachronistic tools such as RSS readers, which he says mainly produce noise and are not able to shape and present the information in any sort of helpful way.
Of course there are tools for monitoring social networks, tracking competitors based on their amount of Likes and Tweets – but there isn’t a solution that connects it all together with a more global tool showing all the various activities of the competition, such as the release of new products, emerging partnerships, funding announcements etc.
Regarding the business model, Innobi relies on a Freemium structure in which the base offering is free while the premium version, offering far deeper analyses, must be paid for. Having launched just this month, the company is still in closed beta granting a select number of registered users access on a daily basis. The company plans on releasing the open version of Innobi in the coming months, inviting owners of small and medium-sized companies to pre-register directly from their website.