“Crunchbase raises $30M more to double down on its ambition to be a ‘LinkedIn for company data’ - TechCrunch” plus 2 more

“Crunchbase raises $30M more to double down on its ambition to be a ‘LinkedIn for company data’ - TechCrunch” plus 2 more


Crunchbase raises $30M more to double down on its ambition to be a ‘LinkedIn for company data’ - TechCrunch

Posted: 31 Oct 2019 05:33 AM PDT

The internet and search engines like Google have made the world our oyster when it comes to sourcing information, but in the world of business, there remains a persistent need for more targeted market intelligence, a way to get reliable data quickly to get on with your work. Today, one of the startups hoping to build a lucrative operation of its own around that premise is announcing a round of funding to get there.

Crunchbase — a directory and database of company-related information that originally got its start as a part of TechCrunch before being spun off into a separate business several years ago — has raised $30 million, a Series C that it plans to use to continue expanding its base of paid subscribers and expanding its product to include more predictive, personalised information for its users by way of more machine learning and other AI-based technology.

CEO Jager McConnell, who has long viewed Crunchbase as the "LinkedIn for company profiles," said that of the 55 million people who visit the site each year, the company currently has "tens of thousands" of subscribers — subscriptions are priced at $29/user/month varying by size of company contract — which works out to less than 1% of its active users. That's "growing quickly," he added, speaking to site's potential.

Indeed, he noted that since its last round in 2017, when it raised $18 million, Crunchbase has tripled its employees to 120 and has 10 times more annual revenue run rate. It's also more than doubled its traffic since being spun out.

This latest round was led by Omers Ventures, the prolific investment arm of the giant Canadian pension fund of the same name (which is, incidentally, also now opening an office in Silicon Valley to get even more active with startups there).

Existing backers Emergence, Mayfield, Cowboy Ventures and Verizon (which still owns TC) also participated. McConnell said Crunchbase is not disclosing its valuation with this round, but he did note that it was "well within the target range" that the startup had set, that it was an oversubscribed upround and that it was on the more practical than exuberant side.

"I believe we are seeing too many high valuations with low annual revenue rates, and it's catching up with people, and we were very focused on not hitting that valuation trap in order to be successful in the future," he said. "This is a good round but not something insane." Strong logic I suspect could be supported by Crunchbase data. For some context, Crunchbase had a post-money valuation of $70 million in its previous round in 2017 (having raised $26 million), according to PitchBook — ironically, one of Crunchbase's big competitors (CB Insights, Owler being others.)

With its start as a side project of TechCrunch, the DNA of Crunchbase has always been in tech companies, and that is still very much the heart of the data that is in the system today. The kind of data you can get via the site includes basics on when a company was founded, who the founders are, who the current executive leadership is, how much money it has raised and from whom and what has been written about it in the media. You also can find original content on the site by way of its own team of writers covering funding rounds and other Crunchbase-relevant content.

Then, via a number of third-party integrations with companies like Siftery and SimilarWeb, you can get deeper data around competitors and more (most of which you can only see if you are a paying, not free, user).

personalized homepage

The company notes that it currently makes 3.9 billion annual updates to its data set — which people upload themselves in the old wiki style, or are manually or automatically uploaded, by way of some 4,000 data partnerships and syndication deals (these include the likes of Yahoo! Finance, LinkedIn, Business Insider and Amazon Alexa, which in turn make some 1.6 billion annual calls to the Crunchbase API).

The growth of that information trove, and more interesting ways of parsing it to drive subscriptions and potential licensing revenues, will be of paramount importance to the company's bottom line. Today there is some advertising on the site, but McConnell confirmed to me that Crunchbase is in the process of winding down advertising on the platform.

"The impact on the business was not material enough to sacrifice the user experience to have ads," he said.

On the subject of the self-styled LinkedIn comparison, you've probably already noticed that LinkedIn does have company profile pages, but McConnell's argument is that the site was built with individuals' profiles and recruitment in mind. That makes the company pages more of an add-on and not something that can be effectively developed at this point in the way that Crunchbase has done.

"Once you do that, it's hard to change," he said of the direction that LinkedIn has grown. "Its company profiles are more brand representations, not a source of truth about the companies themselves."

What's interesting to me is to see which direction Crunchbase will evolve in the longer term. As the world has continued to grow into the bigger vision of "every company is a tech company, and every problem has a tech solution," it seems that Crunchbase's own ambitions have also grown.

In the company's blog post and press release announcing the fundraise, it's notable to me that the word technology, or any variation of it, isn't mentioned even once in the text (the only exception being the boilerplate description of Omers).

That could point to how — as Crunchbase expands its horizons in terms of the kinds of information on businesses it can provide to users — it might see a role for itself not unlike that of LinkedIn, spanning across multiple verticals and the communities of people (or in CB's case, businesses) that have built around them.

"We are thrilled to partner with Jager and the talented leadership team at Crunchbase," commented Michael Yang, managing partner at OMERS Ventures, in a statement. "Crunchbase continues to show significant traction as the leader in research, information, and prospecting for private companies – an incredibly large and valuable market to address and service. By utilizing and collecting aggregated data, adding tools and apps, and continuing to customize each user experience, the lead generation and deal value Crunchbase can provide is unprecedented, and we are proud to support this next phase of growth."

Free translator software: Boost your global growth with translation - Augusta Free Press

Posted: 31 Oct 2019 07:34 AM PDT

computer essay writing

Photo Credit: Wrangler

Online translation services have helped businesses expand to unchartered territories. Chart a course to global growth with a free translator software.

Launching a successful startup and growing globally is a challenging undertaking.  However, working with an established online translation agency and using the right translation experts and tools will help you succeed. With a free translator tool, you can quickly translate your business documents, design credible bilingual customer support, and fuel your growth in the global marketplace.

What Stimulates Growth for Business?

Scaling your business operations into foreign markets goes beyond just opening business branches in new locations and hiring foreign employees. This may not be an affordable and effective growth path for startups with limited budgets. Hence, working with an established online translation service provider is a faster and efficient way of reaching your business's designated foreign markets. With the right translation services and a free translator tool, you can scale your business affordably without compromising on the quality of services you offer.

Challenges Startups Face When Expanding into Global Markets

Many startups face significant growth limitations, such as operating in a highly competitive environment, shoestring budgets, and limited resources. Enterprise-level businesses can find their way around some of these restrictions. In most startups, 82 percent of all their funding comes from the founders themselves. This means that huge global campaigns with limited resources can be counted as an expensive approach.

As a founder of a startup business, you probably manage most of your business's operations, including product development and marketing. In essence, the lack of an effective internal structure in a startup can be crippling to the business. It is almost impossible to invest in an in-house localized team when a business doesn't have a defined department for crucial operations such as human resources.

Since startups are founded on revolutionary ideas, and thus they need global expansion to survive in the fast-paced environment. Startups can't afford to build a dedicated localized team or established business headquarters in the foreign countries they want to expand to. Hence, their best strategy is to use translated content to expand their reach.

As a startup business owner, you should consider investing in localization and content translation as a way of growing your brand globally without busting your limited budget. The translated content is tailored to meet the specific needs and values of the target audiences. You can easily build trust with your foreign audiences and ensure all your communications resonate with their expectations through quality translation.

Why You Need to Hire a Translation Agency

Cost-conscious startup owners understand the value of hiring an established translation agency. Asking your bilingual employees to translate your startup's official documents is a serious mistake that can damage your brand image down the road. Professional translation agencies employ professionally trained translators with the right language skills and experience in handling various translation projects. Hiring a professional translation service provider has the following benefits:

  • Access to Qualified and Experienced Translators

A reputable translation agency employs experienced translators who are often located in-country to stay up-to-date with cutting-edge linguistic and cultural developments. Hence, trying to find a qualified translator on your own might be counterproductive.

A translation agency has a roster of trusted, qualified translators from different parts of the world. Moreover, an agency has the resources to coordinate with their translators, monitor their progress, confirm availability, and communicate project specifications all in real-time.

  • Translation Quality Control

Not every speaker of a particular native language is a good translator. Translation requires the usage of the right language structures, proper translation styles, correct grammar, and punctuation.

A professional translator may take years to study how to render the meaning of one language in another accurately. Your startup's global growth goals will be achieved if you use the services of an agency that understands the value of translation quality control.

  • Administrative Tasks

While managing a small team of freelance translators may seem easy, dealing with multiple teams working in different time zones can be overwhelming. Instead of tracking their progress and processing the invoices of each of your translators, let a translation agency handle all the administrative tasks on your behalf. Furthermore, outsourcing your translation needs to an agency will free up enough time that you can dedicate to running your startup.

  • Access to Advanced Translation Tools

The translation industry is filled with numerous translation tools and file formats. To avoid the confusion and stagnation in your global growth path, consider working with an agency that will give you access to a translator tool. Established translation agencies have reliable and efficient translation tools that you can rely on.

How Online Translation Is a Scalable Solution to Your Global Growth

As an entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate already. You shouldn't waste your valuable time looking for someone to translate your business documents or communications into a foreign language. Instead, outsource those services to an online translation agency and spend your time focusing on the core aspects of your business.

Moreover, as your business grows and enters the global markets, your content needs will also grow. So, working with a reliable translation agency will ensure that, over time, the services will be customized to match your increasing workload.

You don't have to put your expansion on hold to look for professional translators whenever you want to enter a new foreign market. An established translation agency has an international team of qualified translators who can be contacted quickly and be tasked with the translation of your projects. Regardless of the language pair you need, an online translation agency can accommodate because it has a prepared translator on their team.

The resourceful APIs used by translation agencies combined with your CMS make the translation process more efficient. The API integrations will help you select the right pages and fields to be translated from your back office before you send them to the translation agency.

Machine-assisted translation solutions help startups improve their communications across multiple languages. An online translation agency uses automated translation processes that can be seamlessly integrated into your content creation. A credible translation service provider has the resources to handle all your translation projects within your defined processes.

How to set up a Facebook Business page - Startups.co.uk

Posted: 31 Oct 2019 08:11 AM PDT

How to make the most of your Facebook Business page

In this section, we identify some of the best ways to develop your Facebook Business page.

Optimise with strategically placed keywords

Using strategically placed keywords on your Facebook page is a key way of optimising it, with the aim of increasing traffic and followers – as well as improving search ranking positions. Keywords are a crucial element of search engine optimisation (SEO).  

Some of the best places to include keywords are in your page's title or name, as well as the URL and 'About' section. Also, the address section can be particularly useful to help you rank locally. 

Other areas of your page to include keywords are in the 'Notes' app, as well as of course in the content that you post, such as descriptions, photos, and updates.

You can find which words or phrases to implement using a keyword research tool. Or, type into search engines any queries you can think of that your customers would use to find your business.

Add a pinned post

If you want to keep a post at the top of your timeline, then you can add a pinned post to your page. There are a number of reasons for doing so, including:

  • Ensuring that key information is easily seen
  • Showcasing a current campaign
  • Displaying a new product launch
  • Promoting an event
  • Directing users to your blog or website

How to add a pinned post to your Facebook Business page:

  • Go to your page timeline
  • Find the post that you want to pin
  • Click on the '…' icon in the top right of the post
  • Select 'Pin to top of page'

How do you know if a post has been pinned?

  • It will appear at the top of your page's timeline
  • A blue and white pin icon will be displayed on the post

Note that the pinned post feature is not available on personal Facebook page timelines.

Make the most of tabs

Offering an easier way to navigate your page, tabs can help to improve the user journey, as well as provide as much information as possible on your page. This could be especially useful when you want to promote a particular product or service. 

Tabs can be found under the cover photo on your page. Some examples of tabs include the About, Events, and Photos sections on your page. There is also the option to add a recommendations or reviews tab – this can be found in the 'Templates and tabs' section in your page 'Settings'.

It's possible to create custom content and apps in the Tabs section, too. For example, if you run a restaurant or other food business, you could include a menu tab. You'll need the technical know-how to do this, though – otherwise, you could work with a developer. If you do have the ability and knowledge, you can follow the steps from Facebook for Developers on using Page tabs

Once the tabs have been created, you can drag-and-drop them into an order, allowing you to choose the top four that appear on your page. You can do this from the 'Manage tabs' option in the 'More' menu on your page. Note that it's not possible to change the first two tabs, which will always be the 'Timeline' and 'About' tabs.

Interact with users

Some ways to interact with users include:

  • Asking questions – this is a way of involving users and communicating with them
  • Responding to comments – answering commenters' questions helps to show that there's a real person or team working on the page
  • Sharing and liking content – by being an active member of your Facebook community, you can help to create an exchange between your business and your customers
  • Running a competition – promote a product or help to drive engagement with a competition, although be sure to check Facebook's rules on running them

Manage comments

Once you start to build a community and interact with other users more frequently, it's likely that you'll start to receive some comments on your page. You'll need to manage these, so that you keep control of what happens on your page. 

There are steps you can take to ensure that only relevant or useful comments are displayed, as well as to take action against any abusive or inappropriate comments. Also, Facebook offers the option to block words and turn on the profanity filter. 

But it's not only necessary to manage negative comments – by taking control of your comments sections, you can help to provide a generally enjoyable customer service experience. 

Plus, it allows you to accurately reflect your brand and ethos: everything from the tone of voice to the timing of your responses helps to build your community and create a relationship with your customers. And, if the worst should happen, you can also help manage expectations.

Here are some top tips:

  • Check comments on your page regularly
  • Identify comments that require action
  • Respond accordingly
  • Review any other steps that you need to take, e.g. exchanging an item

How to manage comments:

  • Go to the 'Settings' section at the top of your page
  • From here, you can allow or disable visitors from publishing posts on your page
  • Within this, you can decide if photo and video posts can be published, as well as if visitor posts have to be reviewed before they're published

Note that comments on page posts can't be disabled, but they can be hidden or deleted individually. To do this: 

  • Go to the comment
  • Hover over it
  • Click '…'
  • Select 'Hide' (or 'Delete', if applicable)

You'll need to manage comments in multiple areas of your page, including posts, photos, and videos. However, other areas of your page where comments may feature include:

  • Reviews – users can also comment on reviews, although reviews can be turned off (if you set up this feature – mentioned in the tabs section above). It's also worth remembering that reviews may help people to find your page
  • Ads – while you may think comments are only for posts, users may be able to comment on ads if and when you run them, so be sure to manage them accordingly

When responding to comments, you can opt for a public or private response. Note that if you choose the latter, it will show that the comment has been responded to privately. You might want to do this when following up on a customer service query, for example.

Join groups

Joining Facebook groups allow you to network and share content, such as within your industry or with other startup founders. 

When you contribute to a group discussion, it allows you to position your business as an industry leader, such as by responding to queries for advice or call outs for experts. Plus, it's another way of promoting events, products, or services.

Also, as groups can be set to public, private or secret, the latter two types can be used to create a sense of exclusiveness.

How to join groups:

  • From the news feed on your business page, select Groups' – it'll be in the menu on the left side of the page
  • Enter keywords to search for the type of group you're looking to join. You can also search for the group name if you already know it. Some ideas could be to search for what's relevant to your industry or product, as well which professional networks or trade associations are applicable
  • Click on 'Join group'
  • Choose the option of joining as your business page

While there are many groups out there, it's possible to create your own, allowing you to further develop your community and identify yourself or your business as a leader. 

How to create a group:

  • From the Groups homepage, select 'Create group'
  • Complete the steps provided
  • Alternatively, create a group by clicking on the arrow menu in the top right hand corner next to your page notifications

Consider Messenger for Business

Messenger apps are becoming increasingly popular, so think about using this feature on your Facebook Business page too.

In June 2018, a Facebook-commissioned survey found that 61% of those surveyed in the UK had messaged a business in the past three months.

With the ability to interact with your community in real-time, Messenger offers another form of customer service, meaning that your business can provide help across more platforms. 

Messenger can also be used as a way of increasing brand awareness and support for your company. There are also more advanced options available, including using chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) as a way of promoting products. 

To allow messages:

  • Go to 'Settings' at the top of the page
  • Select the 'General' option
  • Find messages
  • Edit settings
  • Tick the box to 'Allow people to contact my Page privately by showing the message button'
  • Save changes

If you wanted to disable the Messenger function, then you would untick the box.

Messages can be further modified through the Settings section, too. For example, you can use Response Assistant to set up instant messages or greeting text

Instant messages allow your page to respond as soon as a message is sent to it, such as to acknowledge receipt of a message.

How to set up instant messages:

  • Go to 'Settings'
  • Choose 'Messaging'
  • Select yes for 'Instant messaging'
  • Edit the message to what you want to say
  • Save changes

Greeting messages allow your page to interact with users before they send a message.

How to set up greeting messages:

  • Go to the same Response Assistant as above ('Setting' then 'Messaging')
  • Select yes to 'Show a messenger greeting'
  • Create the greeting text that you want for your business page
  • Save changes

It's also possible to set a status for your page – for example, it can be set as 'Away' for up to 12 hours. This is useful for the response time rating, e.g. 'very responsive', which is displayed at the top of the page. To set an away status:

  • Go to 'Inbox'
  • Select the message icon with the green dot
  • Choose 'Away' 

For more details, see the Facebook Message help guide

Note that your Facebook Business page username will also be your Messenger username.

Claim unofficial pages

Imagine searching for a company, only to find a confusing array of similar results. By claiming unofficial pages – such as a Wikipedia page about your company, or a customer checking into the wrong place – you can help make things clearer for users, and even improve your rankings on search engine results pages. It's also a great way of retaining control of your business' brand and image.

How to claim unofficial pages:

  • Locate unofficial pages
  • Find and select the 'Is this your business?' icon, below the cover photo on the page
  • Decide if you want to request to claim the page, or to merge the page into your business page
  • Complete the instructions that will appear on-screen

You may be asked for details like contact information or documents to claim an unmanaged page – this is to confirm your relationship with the business. 

If you know the page admin of an unofficial page (e.g. a former team member), it may be possible to contact them and be added as a page admin that way.

Note that there are some exceptions – for example, pages that come from Wikipedia or that represent locations (e.g. London) cannot be claimed.

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