An ambitious online business network which aims to help businesses grow by combining
the key features of Facebook and Google has launched in London.
The cloud-based start-up, called Companybook goes further than Linkedin by providing a suite of key enterprise tools and services which all small comapnies need, but few can afford. And it costs just £147 a year.
Norwegian Chairman Henrik B. Pettersen, 55, who helped raise £5million in private equity
to back the company said: "The potential for Comanybook is phenomenal. If we get five
per cent of the market, we are as big as Google."
Companybook is targetting 87 million businesses as clients and aims to be in all markets
by the end of 2013.
It gives budding CEOs search tools which identify potential customers, as well as rivals on
a global scale, right down to street level.
A media monitoring engine alerts subscribers to mentions in publications, websites and the
public sphere of social networks and creates a real-time sentiment analysis of companies.
This allows enterprises to tackle public relations issues at source, as well as identify other
potential clients who might need their services.
Companybook boasts access to corporate, financial and global information from nearly 90 million organisations in over 200 countries, along with news from over 3 million online sites. Its partnerships include Dun & Bradstreet/Hoover, Cisco, and SuperOffice.
And it claims to supply the combined services for a tenth of the cost of buying them
Companybook harnesses the key Facebook element of recommendations by allowing companies to create groups of customers and associate businesses who are happy to work with them, turning them in effect to a sales team.
Founded by CEO Harald Jellum, 50, the start-up follows previous successes including two
Norwegian search-and-match companies, IntelliSearch and Cyberwatcher.
Speaking at the launch in Soho last week, Jellum said: "Never before has global company
data been combined with social media tools for users in the UK or internationally."
"We asked ourselves how far organisations of all sizes would go to find the right customers and how we could use our expertise to build the first social platform that would become indispensable for their business."
It's early days yet, but well worth a look and I will be exploring how it can help me grow as a new business in the coming months.
Follow Trevor Davies on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hashablemedia