Polish Startup Challenges SEO Market
The SEO tools market is still quite young, but it seems to me that a rapidly expanding Polish venture could be challenging this sector's business model before it has even fully taken shape.
A number of companies have already received significant investment to develop services that effectively track, gather and visualise web data and provide SEO tools, which subsequently help to improve traffic and ROI. US startup Conductor is a prime example, having recently received over $30 million in funding. Rivals Moz (formerly SEOmoz) and Searchmetrics, on the other hand, have received total investments of $19.3m and $6.75m respectively. Judging by their increasing client bases, these companies are growing fast. So why am I interested in Poland?
The company that has caught my eye is Positionly. This 18-month-old startup received $300,000 in seed funding from German investors Point Nine Capital, who were joined by angel investors Michal Skrzynski and Mariusz Gralewski back in March. And while its rivals have been focussing on attracting enterprise clients, Positionly has been working hard to make its own system sufficiently versatile to cater for a far wider range of customers. Or, as Point Nine Capital’s Pawel Chudzinski noted after the funding, “Positionly wants to democratise the market and make it accessible to smaller companies.”
The beauty of the company's approach is that it has developed a single interface, which gathers together a standard selection of tools and data streams for its clients. Is has also subsequently launched a series of customisable add-ons and applications which can be tailored by the user.
This has the potential to greatly benefit the business, by expanding its market into the reach of small entrepreneurs with mixed technical backgrounds. What's most interesting to me, though, is not that Positionly has widened its potential market, but that it has effectively positioned itself to benefit from two different, growing forces.
By attracting a range of small-scale entrepreneurs and big businesses, the company is set to benefit from the network effect. This should allow it to reap the rewards of innovative clients who have high potential for growth and development. This is sure to deliver financial benefits, while Positionly will also benefit directly from the experience and knowledge of the innovative young startups and established Goliaths with which it works.
With this in mind, Positionly is arguably a prime candidate for acquisition or explosive solo growth in the near future. The small pool of existing investors will no doubt be excited at the prospect, and I predict anyone else willing to take a chance on the growing number of 'Digital David's' in Poland will be pleased with the results.