Startup Review: Remesh
Remesh’s product enables a single moderator to chat with and ask open-ended questions to a large group of people. The group's answers are analyzed in real-time using the Company’s machine learning AI powered by the group and an easy-to-use data panel makes expert level analysis of the answers easy for anyone. From there, the Company collects, analyzes and presents the opinions of a group of people in real time. Advertisers can utilize this information and data when making marketing decisions.
The goal of the Company’s product is to find out the most common opinion of a group of thousands of people. This is achieved by allowing a single moderator to converse with a group as if they were a single intelligence. According to the Company, the Platform enables qualitative research to be conducted at a quantitative scale. The flexibility and insights of a conversation can be measured and applied. The Company’s real-time virtual focus groups use Artificial Intelligence to surface deeper insights at speeds that have never been possible.
In essence, the Company is seeking to build the most effective and fastest focus group on an unprecedented scale. After the “focus groups” have been completed, Remesh has tons of data that a user can comb through can draw conclusions upon. The Company’s dashboard and insights can help make decisions faster and easier. Remesh hopes to put real insights into the hands of businesses while also providing a confidence that are typically reserved for less insightful data.
The problem Remesh is trying to solve revolves around a neglected issue in the market research universe. There are several ways that a marketer can go about collecting data relevant to their business, but two of the most common and long-practiced are the Focus Group and the Survey. There are issues with both of these, however. The Focus Group provides deep qualitative understanding, but not enough statistical significance. The Survey provides deep statistical significance, but no qualitative understanding. This also helps to eliminate the observer problem: when results are influenced by the researcher conducting the focus group. The Company’s AI platform helps limit this human error issue significantly.
The main problem is not one that seems glaring in the moment. However, the Company’s solution is surely one that would immensely help out those who are using data everyday to acquire customers and shape their products. Market research is a multi-billion dollar industry that consistently provides returns on investment. Big Data has taken over the industry in the past couple of years, but how to harness and deploy this data is still being sorted out. Every marketer and data analyst can rely on their data and statistical findings, but only to a certain extent. The more confident a marketer can be, the more efficient and effective they can be when making decisions.
There is no silver bullet when doing market research because there is just no way to predict the future, which is essentially what marketers are trying to do. However, this means the industry is constantly ripe for improvement. That’s the main goal of Remesh: improve the systems/processes that already exist. It should be noted that this is not a bad way to disrupt a market and has plenty of precedence throughout human history. As the saying goes, entrepreneurs are freaking just trying to build a better mousetrap.
As a market research entity, Remesh is not seeking to completely absorb the industry. There are tons of other applications that the Company can utilize to grow and acquire customers. This platform could be great for any collection of individuals that might want to utilize group-based surveys (an over-simplification, but still, it works) and get back actionable data. For instance, companies could utilize this for employee feedback, professors could improve upon end-of-semester surveys, and organizations can use this technology to pull insights from within its own knowledge base.
The Market Research industry has a market size of approximately $45 billion in the United States as of 2015. This dollar size has been rising each year since 2009, and shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, the US leads all countries in the global marketplace, but plenty of emerging countries (China, India, etc.) have shown rapid growth in this sector as well. Nearly 250,000 jobs in the United States are focused on the collection and analysis of market research. Remesh is probably not positioned to completely absorb this industry, but to have a major impact on its influence and reach.
The focus group industry is rather fragmented and hard to quantify. It’s hard to say exactly what the market price for a focus group-based company would fetch today. However, this fragmentation does point to a strong opportunity for Remesh to eat up market-share.
Online survey entities, however, are a little easier to find comparable companies within the space. Qualtrics was most recent valued at approximately $2.5 billion. SurveyMonkey’s valuation has been around $2 billion for the past four years and has a likely IPO on the horizon. There are also smaller companies, such as Survata, who has shown an ability to raise money in seed and later stage fundraising. The valuation market definitely exists for survey-based companies.
The Company has graduated from the 2015 Barclays / TechStars Accelerator in New York City and the 2014 FlashStarts Accelerator in Cleveland, Ohio. In April of 2017, the Company raised approximately $2.2 million in seed stage financing from the venture capital firm LionBird. LionBird is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has a young group of initial seed-stage companies in it’s portfolio and does not have any major exits yet. However, the VC has just raised its second fund in April of 2017, with a total fund size of $35 million.
· Andrew Konya (CEO): Andrew is co-founder and CEO of Remesh. He started Remesh when he was a PhD candidate in computational physics, inspired by friends from areas of the world in conflict that just wanted to be better understood. To try to help, he decided to use his chops in artificial intelligence to devise a way to interact with people and understand large groups much more authentically. While no longer thinking about how to measure the universe everyday, he applies his algorithms to power Remesh's innovative technology.
· Gary Ellis (COO): Gary is a co-founder and COO. He spends much of his time fixing leaks (oftentimes literally).
· Aaron Slodov (Co-Founder): Co-founder of Remesh, Aaron can be found accomplishing whatever mission is necessary. A physicist and engineer by education, Aaron has previously worked at Google, Google[x], and Meetup.com working on projects ranging from mundane tech company support to self-driving cars.