Today we have selected Péter Szekeres to take his interview. He is the Co-Founder and CEO Of Neticle.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Thank you for your concern! Neticle’s team is doing great despite the circumstances, though we’ve had to reprioritize a bit and focus more on our mental health. We have adapted well and quite quickly, so the pandemic did not take an unnecessarily large toll on us.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
Throughout my career, I have been focusing on how automated text analysis and related AI technologies can support decision-making and the daily work of marketers. My tech specialties include natural language processing, fact-based decision support as well as text-, opinion- and data mining.
I graduated as a Business Information Technologist from Corvinus University of Budapest (BCE). In 2012, me and two of my fellow BCE graduates – Zoltán Csikós and Róbert Horváth – founded the text and media analysis company Neticle. During our studies, we realized that providing solutions to businesses with a lot of textual data was something that we could be good at we had the necessary tech knowledge and we also really wanted to try our hand at building a startup. That’s how Neticle came to be.
We now manage a company that is one of the fastest-growing B2B SaaS scale-ups in Hungary, providing text analytics solutions in 19 countries, mostly in the CEE and DACH region. Our clientele ranges from SMEs to large enterprises, as the company boosts business decisions with two major products. Neticle Media Intelligence is a smart social listening tool that collects and analyses an enormous amount of publicly available online content – including the text’s underlying sentiments – in real-time. Another flagship product is Zurvey.io, a professional survey maker and feedback analyzer geared for a better customer and employee experience.
How does your company innovate?
We are always listening to clients’ feedback and requests, and studying prominent media insight analysis methods. Then we try to add the more advanced features with clean programming and the smoothest appearance possible.
How does the Coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
A few of our clients have had to cut back on marketing or PR budgets (especially in the hotel and recreation sector last year), which affected our cooperation and therefore, our finances. However, there has been no major setback. Most of our clients know that social listening is a good investment in the long term. Even in those cases where the cooperation had to be suspended, we’ve tried to maintain the partnership and support these companies by leaving some alerts/notifications on for them, which we know is especially important during a crisis.
As of May 2021, I can also say that our plan to achieve complete European coverage is advancing as we intended it to, which of course we’re very happy about.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
I am proud to say that we did not have to let go of anybody. On the contrary: we hired several colleagues, especially at the beginning of 2021. This tells me that we are on the right track, though we cannot sit back and relax – there’s a lot of work to do to keep up the current growth rate and stick to our plans.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
The majority of us have been working remotely since last spring, which is why we’ve been keeping track of our team’s overall wellbeing with an in-house survey called Team Health Check. We also make an effort to pay extra attention to each other in seemingly small but important ways: for example, we almost always turn our cameras on for meetings, and we try to make sure that the company updates reach everybody with weekly news sessions.
Software-wise, we were using Slack and ClickUp even before the pandemic to stay in touch and keep track of all of our tasks. However, these tools have proven to be especially useful during the past year, and we’ve put an emphasis on updating our statuses and tasks’ progress to make sure everyone stays in the loop.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
I am proud to say that currently, there are several languages that only Neticle’s algorithm is capable of analyzing directly, which means we don’t use a translation to do it. For more widely spoken languages such as English or German, our main competitors are Talkwalker, Ubermetrics, and SentiOne for Neticle Media Intelligence, while Zurvey.io competes with Qualtrics, Medallia, and Alchemy.
Neticle has always been dedicated to complex languages besides major ones, and we intend to keep this up. If we get a request for a new language, our algorithm can learn it in about two months, which opens up a world of possibilities for whole geographical areas. To accompany that, we have centered our approach around consultancy. If a client needs a custom solution, we are more than happy to immerse ourselves in the details and work out something that fits just right.
Your Final Thoughts
Since this interview focuses on the effects of the pandemic on businesses, I would like to mention that in 2020, Neticle was announced as The Best Crisis-Agile Startup of the Year by The Startup and Innovation Award of Hungary. This award recognizes outstanding startups and startup minds, so we are very proud of this result.
- Spokesperson: Péter Szekeres
- Company: Neticle
- Website link: https://neticle.com/