The Data Appeal Company and the value of the data

The Data Appeal is a technology startup that recently joined our community which collects and analyzes all the information available online that will impact people’s behavior as well as all the information you normally look for before making a decision about a service, a product, a business such as a restaurant, a hotel or a store in a specific territory.

“We collect everything we find on digital maps, such as ratings, reviews and comments, from all the channels through which it is possible for them to be tracked online and we combine them with a series of information related to the territory itself,such as weather, events, prices and everything that somehow defines the dynamics of the territory in question” explains Mirko Lalli, the CEO.

The Data Appeal Company to date is in a post-round A phase, having closed a major round A with Indaco and a German fund at the end of 2018 and using these resources to expand the market since the company was previously called Travel appeal and only worked in a specific sector. Now they are ready for Round B.

The Data Appeal has built a proprietary technology allowing you to analyze a huge mass of constantly evolving data to understand what people’s perception is, for example, segmented by nationality, or which are the most popular businesses that are doing better in a given territory. “It is possible for us to obtain a series of other information by extracting it from the data in our possession both at an individual business level as well as at the aggregate level according to various dimensions, or by category or area,” says the CEO explaining who the customers interested in these services are. There are three categories.

The first are those who need to enrich the data of their customers with information of qualitative perception as perception is very often a predictor of business, revenue, turnover. This is very important information for banks, for example.

The latter are those who use our data to analyze themselves,for example against their competitors, to understand the strengths and weaknesses and trigger internal change processes. In this category are all those who work in the world of tourism and catering but also in the world of retail and shopping: it is the feedback economy.

In the third category there are all those who need to analyze an area, a location such as real estate or even the world of tourism, regions and municipalities wanting to understand what happens in their territory and how to change some dynamics and how to improve them. These are the three big compartments in which we move and that use our data in different ways.

Since its inception, this startup has participated in open innovation projects “because – explains Lalli – it allows us to meet relevant players in the market and to test our ideas and there are many chances to transform these opportunities into business opportunities that then also find subsequent developments”.

As far as the team is concerned, The Data Appeal’s team is very young, the average age is just over 30 years. It has about 35 people and it is a team that will grow in the coming months. About two thirds are technical profiles working on the technological infrastructure allowing us to deliver the services we offer to clients and continuing to extract value from millions of data.

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Cerved and business opportunities in fintech

The collaboration with Fintech District immediately proved to be an important and indispensable opportunity, according to Valerio Momoni, Director of Marketing, Product and Business Development, who explained the concrete benefits associated with it at the event to launch the second year of membership

“First of all, we have come closer to the world of finance and innovation, which has always been a fundamental asset for us. And then we have had the opportunity to work, not only with fintechs, which we had expected to do but also with all the other players who gravitate around Fintech District. With Fabrick, for example, with whom we have a partnership. It was something we hadn’t thought of at the time, but it is definitely a concrete result of the first year of collaboration with Fintech District”.

Momoni highlights amongst others two of the most important moments of this year working together, namely: the recent edition of Cerved Next and the meeting with the startups who participated in the Data-Driven Competition.

Cerved Next is an event that brings together all the players that operate around the data-driven economy. Fintech District has collaborated in bringing many startups and companies from the fintech world to the event, showing tangible advantages of the collaboration.

“Confirmation of the importance of the project, the Data-Driven Competition, carried out with the Fintech District, came when the startups who had participated returned from Cerved to establish business relationships – explains Momoni – the competition, in fact, opened up to us a world of operators who could push innovation a lot in the coming years”.

In this second year of membership, which has just begun, Cerved expects concrete opportunities for business development. “We are also very curious to see how the world of Fintech will move from September onwards when PSD2 will become a reality – adds Momoni – It could be very facilitated and find a further boost of development”.

Looking at the Italian fintech sector and what could help it grow, Momoni believes that more trust is needed, both from institutions and from market operators, such as Cerved, which give it a further boost.

“The world of fintech is evolving rapidly but the truth is that from a dimensional point of view it is still a very marginal phenomenon in the world of financing,” he explains. A novelty that could help the sector is the just approved sandbox. “I expect the system to give more confidence to the fintech sector – he concludes – This also means giving a regulation that allows to space and consolidates something that in other countries already has a rather significant dimension”.

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Open innovation with Cardo & SpazioDati

Open innovation: what is it exactly? It is an approach to innovation according to which companies are also based on ideas, resources and technological skills coming from the outside, in particular from startups, universities, research institutions, suppliers and consultants. But what about in practice?

Let’s find out what open innovation really means, looking at this process from the point of view of startups, often involved by the Corporate itself to bring new ideas, technologies, services. During the Data Driven Competition organized with Cerved, we got to know about the experience of Cardo and SpazioDati. The first is the story of a collaboration that has just begun, while the second one has lasted now for over 5 years.

Let’s start with Cardo, a technological suite allowing institutional investors to have access to all available opportunities for investment in alternative finance, at present with a particular focus on invoice trading. We talked about open innovation with CEO Altin Kadareja.

Altin, how did you start collaborating with Cerved?

The collaboration started thanks to the participation and victory of the “Data Driven Competition” contest. During the 3 months of development, we used the API made available to us by the creation of the first model of machine learning able to predict the number of days of late payment of every single bill visible on the marketplace.

Have you had difficulty working with a corporate in terms of open innovation?

We have not had any particular difficulties. Cerved proved itself very attentive to innovation. Every week, during the Data Driven Competition we made alignment calls with a team exclusively dedicated to us for solving any problems and doubts regarding the use of their API. We are very satisfied with the service that has been offered to us.

What advantages is it giving you and will it give you an open innovation experience?

Having access to the Cerved databases has certainly been a huge advantage. This information, appropriately re-elaborated and integrated into our systems, is used to develop our credit scoring models and test our portfolio optimization algorithms.

What are your goals for this collaboration with Cerved?

We have created the first statistical model providing a delay in the number of payment days for invoices. In the future, we want to expand the offer by inserting other algorithms which at present are being developed such as those dealing with the risk of fraud. We aim to include other asset classes within the Cardo (P2P Lending and real estate crowdfunding) and then we will use the data provided by Cerved to create specific risk models for this type of product. We would also like to integrate the two Cardo and Cerved platforms to offer maximum transparency and maximum data granularity to our investor.

Now, let’s find out how the collaboration between Cerved and SpazioDati proceeds. SpazioDati is a startup that operates in the big data and semantic field. We talked about open innovation with CEO Michele Barbera.

How did your collaboration with Cerved start and what does it consist in?

It started in 2013 when SpazioDati was just over a year old. Cerved was one of our first corporate clients in Italy. At that time we were mainly dealing with natural language analysis and generalist semantic engines, we were not yet specialized in the company world and business information. At first, Cerved commissioned us a Proof of Concept and then a real product that is still used today to improve its internal processes. The relationship became more structured and Cerved invested in the capital of SpazioDati.

What were the greatest difficulties of “adaptation” in working with a corporate? How have you faced and overcome them?

Initially, SpazioDati was for Cerved only a provider of technology for Cerved and know-how in the Big Data and artificial intelligence sectors, subsequently, the relationship evolved and the Cerved sales network began to distribute our products. The impact with a wide and articulated B2B sales networks like that of Cerved and the ways in which it interacts with customers required a rapid and radical adaptation of the processes of SpazioDati as we were a startup used to working almost exclusively online. It was a period of strong growth of for the team as well as continuous changes of the organization to be able to respond to the needs of Cerved and its many customers. At the same time, we have tried to preserve the nature of SpazioDati, our creative capacity and innovation. We managed to grow without losing the startup spirit.

What advantages is this experience bringing you?

The B2B sector is very complicated for a startup. If you sell complex products that generate significant changes in the customer’s internal processes, the sales phases are very long and elaborate. It is difficult for a startup to face them alone. The partnership with Cerved has allowed us to overcome many barriers and has greatly accelerated our growth. Cerved’s first investment in SpazioDati has brought not only capital for growth and commercial relationships with its customers, but also an enormous amount of valuable data regarding the entire Italian business ecosystem. It would have been impossible to find them elsewhere.

3 practical tips for a startup (fintech) that wants to collaborate with a corporate…

  1. Identify the “champions”: people within the Corporate who know the mechanisms and who can help the startup move within the complex gears of a large company. Each phase of the relationship needs its champions belonging to different divisions and having different skills and roles in the company.
  2. Have strength, obstinacy and flexibility. The first two to keep its vision even when you are in front of seemingly insurmountable walls, the third to know how to adapt to the needs of the large company.
  3. Know how to involve the whole team in embracing change, without ever losing your enthusiasm.

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If you want to learn more about the activity of CARDO read here!

CARDO wins The Data Driven Competition

Cardo was selected last week as the winner of The Data Driven Competition, the first challenge launched by Fintech District and Cerved to identify new companies able to develop innovative products and services in the Fintech sector. The data and economic-financial information of Cerved on over 6 million Italian companies provided through API form the basis of the competition.

Cardo is a tech company offering institutional investors the opportunity to explore, analyze and create investment portfolios in the European markets of Invoice Trading, P2P Lending, and Real Estate Crowdfunding. Using the databases provided by Cerved, Atoka and Fintech platforms present in their machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, they are able to offer investors a technological platform to support investments in Alternative Finance. Cardo’s team has received a 10K euro prize and has the opportunity to collaborate with Cerved in launching their project on the market.

Together with that of Cardo, four other projects also made it to the finals, after being selected from over 45 proposals received for the call ranging from software developers, IT experts to Fintech startups and companies involved in digital transformation, interested in launching innovative and ambitious projects starting from Big Data.

The members of the selection board – Valerio Momoni (Cerved), Alessandro Geraldi (Cerved), Corrado Chiodi (Cerved), Gabriele Antonelli (SpazioDati), Filippo De Vita (Vodafone) and Alberto Adorini (Fabrick) – evaluated the projects according to three main criteria: valorization of the Cerved data assets, innovation of the Use Case and marketability of the Use Case.

The Data Driven Competition format, according to Valerio Momoni, Cerved’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, “encourages open innovation and the Corporate Venture Capital, which is growing at a rate of 20% per year and confirms its strong driving force for innovation. Today, mature companies innovate by collaborating with startups, they put their ideas and flexibility to good use and ensure their access to the markets “.

According to Alessandro Longoni, head of FD, the number of candidate projects is “the demonstration that many young Italian fintech companies are ready and want to collaborate with incumbents”. Satisfied with the success of the Data Driven Competition, Longoni hopes “to see the products born from this initiative created in partnership with Cerved arrive soon on the market”.

In addition to Cardo, Moneymour, Ecomate, Studiomapp and Two Hundred also made it to the finals.

Two Hundred Crowd, a company led by a group of experts in crowdfunding, finance, and marketing at the service of innovation, has created FAST (FundAbility Scoring Tool). This tool analyzes the ability of a company to attract investments from private companies by collecting and processing public or private data, such as the age of the company, competition, the experience and provenance of the work team and its online presence

StudioMapp, an innovative startup based in Ravenna specialized in ICT and artificial intelligence, has proposed a location intelligence service that provides an index of the quality of life of a neighborhood and displays all official information on a map. This tool is called Qirate and should help buyers find the best area in which to buy a house and sellers the best way in which to conclude the transaction faster.

The Moneymour project uses the data CERVED and Atoka (data of companies in the area of residence, real estate valuation, economic fabric, etc …) to increase the accuracy of credit scoring algorithms on individuals. Moneymour’s algorithms use machine learning techniques to measure the performance of companies.

The algorithm developed by Ecomate, a startup that helps European companies to grow using innovative digital tools, calculates the sustainability rating of companies, taking advantage of the contribution of experts and operators in the sector and the most advanced machine learning techniques. Ecomate uses the Cerved API to keep the rating updated in real time.

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