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Startup profile: Growth Intelligence

Caroline Baldwin

Growth Intelligence is a technology startup offering a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product to B2B corporations wanting to search for sales leads.

The software tracks the performance activity of every registered company in the UK by analysing the firm’s web behaviour. This activity is collated in real time by searching through vast amounts of publicly available data from the internet.

“Growth Intelligence listens to the sound that companies make on the internet and the signals given off and looks at a whole range of noisy information, but together with smart machine-learning algorithms we can say something about the companies in the economy,” said Tom Gatten, CEO and founder.

How does the technology work?

“The way our system is different is that we classify companies using all the information they put on the web about themselves,” said Gatten.

The company uses machine-learning algorithms – a branch of artificial intelligence, which allows systems to learn from data. For example, the software could be trained to learn to distinguish between spam and non-spam emails. After learning, it can then be used to classify new messages into spam and non-spam folders.

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The machine-learning algorithms pick out certain information and to leave irrelevant information, and the software learns what to track. It can track press releases, articles, online reviews, patents, trademarks, websites, and other online data in real time to create an idea of where a company stands in the market.

The software also uses text mining to classify by sales process, how well the business sells, who it sells to, and in what sectors.

“Companies do many things and with Growth Intelligence you can understand it in a much more subtle and sophisticated way,” said Gatten.

It can track events in a company’s history to provide a timeline of events and is also able to estimate how much a company may be worth in real time. Rather than searching through the Companies House database – the average filing for a company is 16 months old – Growth Intelligence looks at the company’s web signal of traffic, online advertising spend, job adverts and IT investment to estimate its value.

“There are hundreds of different signals, thousands when you include the news feeds.” said Gatten. “We use historical data, turnover filings and the real-time signals and apply it to the companies, and we can track turnover with a fair degree of accuracy.”

What are the benefits for IT buyers?

When looking for companies to sell to, government Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are traditionally used to group UK companies into different categories. However, Gatten believes these are largely out of date. Corporations can use the Growth Intelligence software to filter and search for companies at a more specific level, cutting out time in the sales process.

“The traditional ways of segmenting companies are full of errors,” said Gatten. “SIC codes are extremely out of date, and many companies can choose their classification themselves - 10% of all UK businesses are in the ‘other’ category.

“If you’re an insurance company and want to sell a product to a company who sends their people abroad, you have to call hundreds of companies and hope one of them has a need for that service. Telesales call hundreds of companies because the data is very poor, really annoys people and there’s no need to do that,” he said.

“Growth Intelligence pinpoints companies likely to sign up for a product right away. By identifying what a company does and how well they’re doing in real time you can pinpoint your sales much more accurately. It also identifies companies you may want to trade with in other ways.”

How will the technology work in a typical corporate infrastructure?                   

The system is SaaS-based, on a subscription model. A user will need the internet and a browser and then can log into the product. Companies can be filtered by revenue, growth, sector, companies which make particular products, B2B or B2C, whether it has an upcoming acquisition, associated terms, names and many more.

The software will deliver a list of registered companies in the UK that meet the filtered requirements, allowing sales to be targeting to a specific company for which a product meets their needs.

Who is the target market?

Growth Intelligence is aimed at B2B companies, particularly those in the technology, telecoms, insurance and finance space.

However, the Department for Business within the UK government is also using the product to monitor the effect of policy in real time. The product is currently being used or piloted in 75% of UK banks.

“Growth Intelligence can tell whether companies are growing or declining as a result of the policies made, while the government used to wait a couple of years to see if it has worked,” said Gatten.

Background of the startup

After a career in journalism, Gatten moved into business intelligence, starting a consultancy which investigated companies manually producing qualitative reports. After partnering a software and big data engineer two years ago, they put together Growth Intelligence - a move from a consultancy service to a more automated system. In December 2012, the company applied and gained a place on the Accenture FinTech accelerator, during which they were mentored by some of the leading financial institutions. The company is now based in Canary Wharf.


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