Dublin startups tell their stories.
Meet Sameh, Tim, Deutsch and Javier…
Tell us about your product/service.
Intouch.com provides a central location for users to store the contact details needed by businesses such as retailers, financial institutions and utility providers. Our web and mobile apps act as a single point of contact, eliminating the need for users to constantly create profiles and for businesses to maintain accurate information. We use artificial intelligence, analytics and data modeling to further unlock unique opportunities.
What inspired you to start the company?
We are all international founders – Sameh is Egyptian, Tim is Dutch, Deutschin is Bulgarian and Javier is Spanish. Each of us experienced the same frustration when moving abroad: there was no central place to manage contact information with the new companies and people we met. Updating contact details was inconvenient, when they remained incorrect. Research shows that 22.5% of companies’ databases are out of date year after year, and it is 25 times more expensive to acquire new details than to maintain them.
Which market are you targeting and how big is it?
Global annual spending on data quality is $600B, and growing every year. Companies in the UK and Ireland are spending around $150 million each year on improving customer data. Our goal is to help our portfolio companies save $8B by 2020.
What is your business model?
Our service is free for both consumers and businesses. For businesses that want to get more out of their data, we’ve added features like API integration, analytics, and open data enhancements.
What was the funding process like?
Ireland is a great place for start-up funding. Intouch.com is the result of a merger between Qreach and Bundly, and both companies raised funds before coming together. Both companies were introduced by the National Digital Research Center (NDRC) and eventually merged into Intouch.com during the funding process.
Who are your investors, how much have you raised and why does it matter?
We raised it. €200K from a private angel investor, NDRC and Enterprise Ireland. We are currently raising our seed, and our investors will continue to make investments. We are looking for a strategic lead investor with a strong portfolio to close the round.
Who are your competitors and potential partners, if any?
We see single sign-on (SSO) solutions from Facebook, Google and Chrome Autofill as our main competitors. Additionally, we compete directly with “data cleaning” companies because we offer a different way to solve the same problem.
What are the biggest challenges your business faces today?
Companies need time to get used to the new way of sharing information. Historically the data belongs to one company, our solution puts the user in control. We consider our solution as Daas – Data as a Service. Disruptive innovation always needs some time for the market to understand and accept it.
What do you think made your investors write that check?
We are not trying to create quick fixes for the current (broken) system, but instead, improving the entire contact management structure. We’re building new and improved ways to share data.
What achievements do you intend to achieve in the next six months?
We are aiming to close 15 more accounts in the retail division in Ireland, increase our seed and continue to file patents.
What advice would you give to start-up companies in Dublin?
Contact your customers as early as possible (idea phase) to get an early opinion of what you are trying to do. Most Irish companies are open to working with individuals who can help them solve big problems.
Tell us one (or more) things you love about Dublin as a startup community and city?
In Dublin, people from different backgrounds are always happy to help each other and share their experiences. That’s a game changer because the best way to learn is from existing examples.
This article first appeared in the Dublin Globe. Visit their website for more stories from Dublin’s startup ecosystem and tech scene.