By Marcella McCarthy
Retailers are constantly recording customer experience data and product reviews – and there’s a lot of it. But one of the challenges they face is that the data is spread across reviews on several different websites (or channels) as well as gathered in brick and mortar stores. And the information in the reviews is very nuanced. In short, it’s not organized in a way that’s easy to analyze and pull insights from.
That’s the need that Birdie.ai, a venture-backed insights-as-a-service startup, is working to fill since its inception in 2018. Birdie’s main offices are in Miami and Palo Alto.
With the use of machine learning and AI, Birdie can identify which particular features of a product people are liking or disliking, and with access to those insights, product developers can hone in on the aspects that matter most to the consumers when working on improvements.
“People may be talking positively or negatively about a product [in a review] – let’s say a computer – but there are different parts about the computer that their comments could be based on, such as the mouse, the keyboard etc. and we can disseminate this information and show it in a meaningful way, “ said Patricia Osorio (pictured above), Birdie’s CMO and one of the company’s four co-founders.
For example, let’s say HP has 12,000 online reviews for one of its computer models and the end result is 4.2 stars. There’s no way for HP to know what about the computer people are complaining about the most. Birdie helps HP see that if the keys clicked louder when typing, 76% of the complaints would disappear or turn to positives.
Birdie has already landed some major clients. They are working with P&G and Samsung, who also invested $50k in the startup via an accelerator and later became a client.
The executive team is the four co-founders, with Osorio based in Miami. The CEO is Alex Hadade, who is in San Francisco. Rodrigo Pantigas is CPO, and CTO Everton Cherman leads the tech team in Brazil.
Most of them have been working together for decades. In 1998, Hadade started a marketing technology company in his native Brazil, where he is an Endeavor Entrepreneur. Osorio and Pantigas, also both Brazilians, joined and helped Hadade grow the company from 30 employees to 400 employees and acquire clients in 9 countries in Latin America along the way.
It was from one of their clients that they got the idea for Birdie. “When they [client] started telling me what they were looking for, the hair on my arms went up, it was the exact same information I was looking to get so that we could better market their products,” said Osorio.
The three team members came together and decided that they needed to build a separate company, Birdie, which would be based in the U.S., and that they would need the help of a CTO with machine learning and AI knowledge to do it. That’s when they brought on Cherman, who has a Ph.D. in machine learning and years of experience with AI. At the age of 26 at the time, Cherman was the youngest person in Latin America with a Ph.D.
Birdie’s target market is large and enterprise consumer products companies that sell or want to sell in the U.S. Birdie charges clients a yearly fee for their services, depending on how much data they need to collect and analyze and from how many channels. To gather data, Birdie crawls the multiple channels of reviews (Amazon, Reddit, and so on) and the data is copied onto their databases, which is then processed and presented on easy-to-understand dashboards for the clients, as seen in the example below with Samsung refrigerators.
Birdie raised $420K in an angel round in November 2018 led by DGF Investimentos. In addition to the $50k from Samsung, Birdie received a R&D grant from the Brazilian government.
Osorio is participating in 500 Startups Miami’s current Growth Program. She is also the co-founder of GVAngels, a Brazilian early-stage investment group with 200-plus members that have invested in 20 startups.
Osorio recently shared more about the startup with Refresh Miami:
On growth: “As a B2B enterprise company, our sales cycle is longer. We currently have a $10k MRR and this is expected to grow by 6x until the end of the year. We’ve processed more than 40 million product reviews from 100+ different channels helping brands like Samsung and P&G to accelerate their go-to-market and automate their competitive landscape analysis, and our knowledge database grows about 10% every month.”
What’s ahead: “We’re 100% focused on automating the insights generation in our platform, building models that help companies predict and anticipate trends and crises with no more than 2 clicks in our dashboards. After almost a year working exclusively with a couple of clients to improve the product, now it’s also time to start acquiring new customers, too.”
Biggest need from the #MiamiTech community: “As we’re new to the U.S. and to Florida, our main challenge here is to get brand awareness about Birdie and what we do, while developing a network that we can collaborate with. We believe in the power of collaboration and diversity, so the more we exchange information with other people that are passionate about consumer insights, market research, entrepreneurship, and AI, the better we will become and the stronger the ecosystem will get.”