Startup of the Week: ClearCi
ClearCi was founded by Joe Levy, Tomer Sofinzon, Kfir Sasson, Ron Oz and Michael Clews. The company launched in March 2011 with the mission of helping companies to obtain competitive intelligence.
We help companies get the intelligence they need to compete.
Company Description: ClearCi helps companies collect, analyze and manage intelligence so they can effectively compete in today’s digital era. Its patent-pending SaaS application works as an automated Competitive Intelligence (CI) informant to collect data about competitors and the market, and distribute it to decision makers across the enterprise. As of now, we support over 75 companies in 10 countries.
Reflect a bit on where you’ve been as a business, and where you aim to be in 3 years.
Tomer Sofinzon and I (Joe Levy) analyzed many industries to find a market ripe for disruption. We realized competitive intelligence, as an organized function, was missing a dominant player and we saw tremendous growth potential.
We partnered with developers Kfir Sasson and Ron Oz, experienced in CI technology, to create a solution that could turn data into actionable intelligence. After a year of R&D, clearCi launched its software in 2011, and we teamed up with former Meltwater colleague Michael Clews to begin marketing and selling the product to mid- and large-sized, global enterprises. By the end of 2012, clearCi had won four awards at UP-START Cloud Awards competition in San Francisco.
In the next three years, aside from expanding our product features and capabilities, we plan to continue educating the growing market about enterprise intelligence and innovative CI techniques.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
Educating the business community about new ways to monitor the competition and market is an ongoing challenge, but we overcome it every day. Our sales and marketing teams work diligently to create international market awareness about a technology many people are not familiar with using to support strategy and improved decision making. In fact, we’re noticing our clients and prospective clients talk openly about clearCi as an excellent tool to use, especially at large international conferences. Word of mouth is very powerful so it makes us feel good to know people are starting to “get it”.
What remains the biggest obstacle?
Although we’re on a great winning streak with new client acquisition, we could certainly use more capital to execute the growth strategy we set out for the near future. On a positive note, we continue to see growing interest from the investor community as we show attractive signs of growth in a market with a stark need for a solution like clearCi. Our press exposure in Wired’s Innovation Insights, KMWorld, and The Miami Herald has helped us tremendously and we’re seeing the right kinds of people get curious about what we’re doing to help companies compete. We’re also optimistic about a few large, strategic partnerships we’re finalizing that could position our business to immediately grow our user base. We’re very excited about that, especially since we’re already seeing results from their involvement.
Are you currently looking for financing?
We are working towards raising a Series A round, so we spend a good portion of our time meeting with potential investors to showcase clearCi’s tremendous growth potential.
Any last words?
Mitchell Kapor, an information technology pioneer once said, “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”
What are most companies doing about it? NOTHING.
To find out what clearCi is doing to change that, visit our blog at www.IdeastoCompete.com
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