Startup Of The Week: Abalt
We live in an era of data, where everything that surrounds us is linked to a data source and everything in our lives is captured digitally. That’s the fact around us. And this week we introduce you to our Startup Of The Week – Abalt, which is related directly to the open data! They created an open data platform that provides expertly prepared company information that reveals the essence of business.
Read their story and find out what are the biggest challenges for them while working on this product and how they manage to overcome it.
Tell us about your startup. What is Abalt? And how does it work?
We are an open data platform, and we help small and medium businesses to mitigate credit risk and increase sales potential by providing free credit scores, financial ratios, credit limits, and other insights to accomplish lower losses and higher sales. We compare ourselves rather to business navigation than a map – we show the shorter and faster way to reach high-quality prospects and risky routes to avoid.
Our platform consists of data about all Lithuanian companies, you can assess your clients, business partners, other stakeholders. The data provided on the platform is updated on a daily basis and only from reliable and official data sources: Register of Legal Entities, Social Security Fund SODRA, State Tax Inspectorate, courts, etc. The data and insights provided on the platform enable companies to make data-based decisions.
What are your competitive advantages that work? What are your competitors?
Our product is unique in a way that our service cannot be directly compared with already existing on a market – it combines open data and credit bureau functionalities. We are preparing to offer services based on open banking as well. In some areas, we compete with credit bureaus and yellow pages.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
We live in an era of data. There is a huge amount of various data around us: financial, legal, creditability, etc. Some of this data is closed, some open, but it can be used for various purposes. Having experience in credit bureau and data business, we have noticed the lack of knowledge in small and medium companies how the data can be used in their businesses, so we spotted an opportunity for a brand new service combining open data, open banking, and credit bureau functionalities. We foresaw the power of open data and the impact it would make on businesses long before it was cool.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
We have launched our products and platform in 2018. The key challenge was to build a strong and motivated team. But we have succeeded in this and proud of our team. And as the next step, we have to build strong confidence among our partners and clients while launching the new name of the platform – currently, we are trusted by 1500 clients.
Currently, we are operating in the Lithuanian market and preparing to expand to other countries. Our customers are small and medium businesses with a need not only to mitigate their credit risk but also to grow even during the pandemic. Currently, our platform has 10 thousand registered users and 1500 corporate clients for paid services with numbers constantly growing.
What are the biggest challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming it?
The biggest challenge is the amount of open data in Lithuania – comparing to other European countries and despite the slogans about data opening, Lithuania is at the end of the list of data economy developments. So, we are constantly publicly raising the importance of open data for business and the economy, the need for open data strategy in Lithuania, and showcasing our own example on the benefits of an open data economy.
Tell us more about funding. How did you get it? Do you seek extra funding?
We are happy to have a business angel who shares his network and experience. Lately, we have received funding from Startup Wise Guys and have a commitment from an investor for some part of the funding.
Startup Wise Guys is our business angel and we have secured investment from this team. We have a long-term commitment from the local investor for the part of the funding as well. Participating in the accelerator enabled us to meet many potential investors. Now we are seeking 1.2 million EUR funding by 2 rounds to scale to 3 new markets.
Please introduce your team!
Currently, our team consists of 17 data, sales, marketing, and IT professionals. Our management team has years of experience in their fields and still are inspired by the idea to improve things and make it all work as good as possible. Since we were not able to work on our ideas in previous corporate set-ups, we decided to quit comfortable corporate jobs and dive into the world of startups.
Strong startup culture is not something that can be created overnight but it can be worked towards with some conscious moves. So, what are your moves towards this?
Speed of operations and decisions, flexibility, excellent customer experience, and sales, sales, sales are the main factors that drive our team. United under the same values, we proudly call ourselves sales maniacs. 😊
Bonus question: what is next? Tell us about your future plans.
Currently, we are intensively working to launch our renewed data platform and rebranding to the new name Okredo. As the functions of the platform expanded, our services do not fit into the current setup. We are building a new one based on easy navigation and advanced customer experience. Expansion to new countries is in our plans as well, and you will hear about it in nearest future.
Thanks for sharing your story, Abalt team!