Techiexpert Team had an opportunity to talk to Geoffrey Michener, CEO of dataPlor
What is dataPlor and the Main problem it solves?
dataPlor connects global companies to micro-businesses in emerging markets. Our platform enables people living in these emerging markets to earn money for collecting brick and mortar business information using their smartphones. We currently have over 120,000 trained “Explorers” on dataPlor’s platform. We are based in Los Angeles with satellite offices in Honolulu, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo.
Background of the founders and their journey
Geoff Michener is the CEO and Founder of dataPlor. Michener is an international business executive and serial entrepreneur with over ten years of experience solving complex problems in the big data, small business, and enterprise space. His passion for helping small businesses stemmed from studying abroad in Nicaragua and working in restaurants throughout high school, college, and grad school. The idea for dataPlor came to him when he was working on another data startup. He realized the potential of untapped data that exists in emerging markets, and how better access to hyperlocal data could benefit companies operating in these markets. dataPlor is his second venture-backed technology company. Michener is also an active commercial real estate investor. For fun, Michener enjoys waterman sports, golf, and table wine.
How does dataPlor help other businesses grow?
dataPlor is closing significant data gaps and correcting inaccurate information about local businesses in emerging markets, bringing many of them online for the first time. We are also providing an additional source of income for thousands of locally based, independent contractors who receive payment for collecting information from brick and mortar businesses and entering it into our system.
Which emerging markets you are focusing
Currently, we are focusing on Latin America and Southeast Asia as these regions have the largest concentration of micro-businesses.
What is dataPlor’s USP?
dataPlor’s hand-collected business data from micro-businesses in emerging markets helps companies succeed. For the micro-businesses, data collected by dataPlor provides accurate, online information about their operations. Having this digital footprint, means they are visible to companies ranging from Fortune 500 to startups. For larger companies, our data offers a competitive advantage in the sales process. For example, one of our customers in the financial services industry purchased business data from traditional online scraping vendors. 10% of their leads were qualified. After partnering with dataPlor, 90% of their leads were qualified. This improvement demonstrates the value of hand-collected data and technology to solve massive data challenges.
Can you discuss any difficulties you faced in the early stages of the company?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during the early stages of the company was hiring. We had many part-time team members, which limited how fast we could scale our efforts. I quickly learned the importance of hiring slowly and carefully. For us, it became more beneficial to take our time, pay attention to referrals, and start out new hires on a 90-day trial period. This helped everyone better understand the dataPlor’s mission, as well as the expectations and demands of the role.
Have you raised funding?
We recently raised US$2M in funding and we’re backed by a great team of investors including Quest Venture Partners, ffVC, Magma Partners, Sidekick Fund, Blue Startups, and Hawaii Angels. In total, we have raised US$2.9M in funding since 2017.
Can you provide any details on dataPlor’s user base achieved so far?
As a B2B company, we are focused on building our small business database, at present, we are on track to reach 1 million. Currently, we have over 120,000 trained “Explorers” collecting data using dataPlor.
What is next for dataPlor?
Our goal is to reach 50,000 “Explorers” in Brazil by the end of 2019. In 2020, our plans include expansion to Chile, Peru, and Colombia.