Start sales and marketing as soon as possible

Clarida Technologies developed software products and services to all kinds of organisations

Please introduce yourself and your startup Clarida Technologies to our readers!
My name is Robin Poelmans, I am the co-founder and CEO of Clarida Technologies. Clarida stands for “Clarity In Data”, so we develop and promote software products and services to turn the data organisations collect into a valuable asset based on which companies can save or generate millions of euros. Our core product is the Clarida Excalibur Software suite, this platform has been developed over a 10 year period and is used to tackle some of the hardest and most complex problems faced by organisations. We combine the human domain expert’s knowledge and experience with powerful analytics software to detect value leaks, identify their root causes and optimize them.

How did you get the idea to Clarida Technologies?
Back in 2007 Dr. Jonas Poelmans was tasked with figuring out which commercially available analytics software package would be able to answer the problems and questions faced by a EU law enforcement agency. After testing out over 30+ analytics software packages he came to the conclusion that the needs of the LEA could not be met so he started looking into new technology which could do just that. So it was an accident that he even started software development at all. His main goal was to create a data analytics solution that could do more, faster and better than the available products. Fast forward 10 years, the product we have now is incomparable to what was made back in 2007-08. It can handle billions of data records, various types of data, make more connections between variables than any other product available in the world and the speed is unrivaled.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
The very start is not that hard, this was the fun part. The hard part comes after the initial startup: finishing products, figuring out how to bring your product to market, try many things and see what works and what doesn’t. It is a constant learning process and given that there is no clear step-by-step guidebook on how to become successful, it brings along lots of uncertainty and insecurity. I could probably write an entire book about all the challenges we faced but in general I think being able to deal with uncertainty is the hardest part of running your own company, even more so when promoting a complex new technology product made to solve the most challenging problems faced by organisations.

Who is your target audience?
Mainly medium to large organisations who collect vast amounts of data or whose business depends on processing data. We have booked significant successes in banks, law enforcement agencies, tax authorities, contact centers, hospitals, etc. We have never achieved less than a ROI of 10:1 for a client within 6 months of acquiring our products or services, usually it will be closer to 30:1.

What is the USP of your startup?
We make it possible to handle the most complex data challenges faced by organisations in more detail, with more accuracy and speed than any other product on the market. Our products are made with the domain experts in mind, everyone can use the software and absolutely zero programming knowledge is needed. Combining the domain expert’s knowledge and experience with powerful analytics software provides the most advanced new insights possible (link blogpost: https://claridatech.com/blogposts/post3.html). More often than not, data analysis is performed by the IT department of an organisation, whereas the goal of an analytics project is typically to solve a business challenge. An IT expert does not necessarily know much about cardiology for example.

Our closest competition needs 6-12 months to conduct a Proof of Concept for a data-analysis project of similar complexity; we can complete a Proof of Concept within 3 weeks and deliver a report containing our findings. The current operational architecture of an organisation won’t be altered at all, our software can run on standard hardware for most analytics scenarios, it can be set up in about 2 minutes after which the platform is ready for use. In other words, we make it as easy as possible for organisations to go beyond superficial analysis/reporting and uncover “unknown unknowns” hidden in the data (link blogpost: https://claridatech.com/blogposts/post2.html).

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
Get up at about 08.00h, drink a litre of coffee, get to work until lunch time, continue in the afternoon until about 18.00h, train for about 1h30min (I practice rock climbing), have dinner with my girlfriend and start work again until about 02.00h.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Clarida Technologies in five years?
We have plenty of growth opportunities both provided by the versatility of how and where our products can be used as well as commercializing other products that are currently in the pipeline. There is so much value that remains unlocked in organisations worldwide and what is being done today through data analytics merely scratches the surface of what can be achieved. Our goals are massive but so is the opportunity: organisations just start to realize that their data can actually be used for something more than standard BI reports. We aim to be a company with a global presence.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
– Don’t waste money, look at every cent you spend and spend it wisely. Even when you start generating revenue or receive funding, it’s not a bad trait at all to squeeze as much value as possible from your expenses and know the value of money.
– Start sales and marketing as soon as possible, even before a fully finished version of your product has been delivered. We made this mistake and only started promoting our products after completion of the software suite underestimating the duration of B2B sales cycles.
– Choose your business partner(s) carefully, make sure the vision is aligned both in the short and long term and ensure you can work together extremely well. The same can be said about hiring people: hire quality instead of quantity.

More information you will find here

Thank you Robin Poelmans for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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