The generation where ‘information is power’ is over. Actually the problem is information overload. Therefore the real power lies in analysis. Seravia, an eighteen-person team start-up headquartered in Beijing is trying to tackle the problem of making scattered public company and people information meaningful. I recently chatted with Casper Johansen, founder and CFO about Seravia.
As Casper puts it, Seravia is “Google Analytics meets Dun & Bradstreet”. D&B (NYSE:DNB) is source of commercial information and insight on businesses such as credit reports and sales and marketing insights. The problem they are trying to solve is that there are “literally billions of these legal filings in the deep web that don’t get indexed by Google. Even if you knew which jurisdiction or which government website to use, how to use their search function and pull out the filing it takes time and is difficult to make linkages. So we make it much easier to find targeted information about businesses, people, companies and brands.”
Like Google Analytics, the system can give you a high level overview of the data but also the ability to deep dive into the information. You can cut and view the data by people, companies, geographies, brands etc. To get an idea of the scale, Seravia has collected over Seravia has collected over 76,000 filings for Microsoft.
The web based version will be a freemium model where higher level of searches and reports can be seen for free. Where deeper detail is needed, they will charge at a one-off or offer a subscription based model. Additionally, Seravia can conduct specialized custom analysis for a fee.
The key source of data comes from public government databases such as the SEC, US Patent and Trademark Office, Secretary of State offices, Federal Election Commission, Food and Drug Administration, US Copyright Library, US Department of Education, IRS and their sister entities in other countries. “The job of the government is to make this information available and useful but unfortunately with limited budget it’s expensive for them to make it as user friendly as possible.”
Seravia has an ambitious goal of collecting all the business related public filings in the world, where billions exist. Currently they have 150 million, from close to 100 countries where two-thirds are US focused and aim to have 500 million by year end.
Casper, CFO is an ex-Goldman Sachs investment banker and serial entrepreneur. Thomas Escobar, CEO is an ex-Google Product Manager and, Danny Yang, CTO, is ex-Like.com software engineer (acquired by Google).