Qutee operates in the digital community conversation and research space. The digital community sector is currently dominated by legacy social, news sites and forums where audiences increasingly can’t be heard and community owners find it hard to listen. These digital channels are inadvertently drowning out quality online conversation. It’s become a case of quantity over quality where insightful comment disappears in a heartbeat without being properly explored.
There’s a gap in the market for a new way of doing things. Put simply, the internet needs an overhaul of its approach to comments, to allow digital communities to flourish again – to give everyone a genuine chance to contribute to the debate and feel that their opinions are being heard. We interviewed Tim Wilson, CEO and Founder of Qutee, to find out more about the company and how they’re addressing this market.
Start by describing in your words what your company is and what it does.
Qutee is a powerful, data-driven comments platform for collecting digital community insights. It provides a powerful way for content publishers – such as media companies, influencers and brands – to collect meaningful, real-time insight on their digital communities and for audiences to have a voice.
Community owners get to use the free conversational analytics dashboard to analyse thousands of comments at the click of a mouse, and can conduct snap polls as the basis for additional insight. For brands and publishers, we offer the ability to embed the Qutee platform into their own websites.
The upshot is true data democracy – with every post contributing to a debate, every opinion heard and retained, and every insight captured and available for analysis.
What do you think makes it distinct to any other companies – what’s its USP?
Qutee data discussions analyze, organize and archive every comment allowing users to now filter and understand large conversations containing thousands of comments. On Qutee the discussion doesn’t drown under a sea of tweets or pages of comments, no comment is wasted and everyone sees the main data points and understands the conversation.
At the same time, behind every Qutee page is a free world-class conversational analytics dashboard that would normally cost anywhere from $5-10K a month. We are putting our analytics technology and data in the hands of everyone to transform online discussion and understanding, data democracy.
What is your personal background?
I have a degree in Law but have spent much of my career working as a music producer, guitarist and song writer. However since the advent of the Sinclair computer I have kept a close eye on tech developments. Together with Flint Barrow I set up Sentiment360 – Qutee’s parent company – to develop a real-time NLP and tagging methodology. The ground-breaking Octo survey and comments systems we developed forms the backbone of the Qutee experience.
What inspired you to start the company?
Frustrations with seeing so much conversational insight lost within legacy social media, news sites and forums as well as the unfair walling off of insight and data from the public.
What is the story of the company from launch until now? How big is the company now?
We started development of Qutee in 2015 and now have a team of nine. The tech team is primarily in Atlanta, while I split my time between NYC and London.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your company?
I would say deciding on the right growth model. We decided to partner with world-class influencers to grow Qutee, which has turned out to be a really successful strategy. It gave us grade A conversations and data from the get go –all the way through beta. The other challenge was probably determining how to run a successful beta. Thankfully the influencer strategy has allowed us to test the UI/UX, provide the influencers with new features, and also nuance the scalability as we moved from beta through to launch.
What’s your biggest milestone/ which are you most proud of?
There are three: the that fact intelligent influencers are onboarding; Elizabeth Linder’s (who ran Facebook government relations worldwide and set up Facebook India) decision to come on board as an advisor; and our recent FIFA 18 influencer discussion which within 24 hours identified issues with the current game way ahead of any other conversational/research platfom.
What is your business model? How have you monetised your product?
We went live in November so it is still early days but we plan to generate revenues via advertising, affiliates and also licensing the core technology and API.
What’s the next step for growth?
Growing the influencer base to over 50, followed by the app launch next year.
Will you be looking for more funding?
As we scale more funding will be required, however the various B2C and B2B revenue streams will soften the need for any future funding rounds.