Tuesday, 21st September 2010
Nancy Davis Kho
A story by Bloomberg News this week introduced Quid Inc (http://quid.com/), a startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area that is jumping into the private company database game. According to the piece by Bloomberg News writer Ari Levy, Quid - founded by Yelp and YouNoodle alumni - is focusing on private companies in the tech space. (http://digbig.com/5bckeg) Still in beta phase with a few key customers including Microsoft, Quid plans to launch in December 2010.
I had a chance to speak with Bob Goodson, Quid's CEO, from the company's San Francisco headquarters about the challenges and opportunities in collecting private company data. The start-up is keeping a tight focus for its initial launch.
Goodson says, 'Our focus is venture-backed, privately held tech companies having the biggest impact on tech landscapes'. With an in-house team of 40 staff speaking 14 different languages, the company plans to collect data on privately held tech companies around the globe. In addition to a solid base of North American and UK companies, Goodson mentions China, India, and Brazil as priorities for coverage going forward.
Consistent collection of meaningful private company data has long been a challenge to information vendors; Quid is using innovative data collection methodologies to develop what Goodson says will be near real-time updates. Company co-founder and CTO Sean Gourley did research into the mathematics of war for his PhD thesis at Balliol College, Oxford; those techniques of open source intelligence (http://digbig.com/5bckej) are being applied to private company data that's freely available on the web.
'These privately held high-tech companies leave a digital footprint behind', Goodson explains. 'Maybe it's an online job posting that tells us how fast they're growing and what skill sets they're adding, or office building lease information available online that shows an increase in their square footage'. Social media data like Twitter feeds mentioning the company or customer sentiment are also streamed directly into the database, which users will access by means of a dashboard user interface.
For now pricing is still in flux, but Goodson expects to introduce monthly subscription pricing that reflects various use case scenarios. We'll continue to track Quid and cover them in a future product review as appropriate.
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