- Age of business: One-year-old (2014)
- Name of business: CommoPrices
- Location: Paris, France
- Team: Martin Gross (founder), Victor Gross (founder), Guillaume Lancrenon (technical director), Mériadec Buchmuller (sales & marketing director)
- Funding: €99.6k
- Pitch: We enable users to easily track the price of any commodity, on a single portal.
How did you meet?
We’re brothers, so we’ve known each other for quite a long time… With complementary backgrounds (management and engineering), we always wanted to start something around commodities, a world of great interest for both of us. Open data was the perfect opportunity.
Where did the business idea come from?
From our previous work, we realised how difficult it was to find independent, easy to access and affordable market data regarding commodity price references. Business intelligence can be expensive and difficult to access. To cover different commodities, you needed a number of accounts from different market data providers. Open data meant we could build a single portal integrating the widest range of commodities.
Are you working with any other partners?
Our main business partner for now is French Customs. Even if we know customs data very well, we keep learning about the way it is structured to master it completely.
Regarding investments, we have already been reached by VCs, but we want to improve our metrics first, in order to raise money in the best position possible.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If we were to start again, we would do it faster. My brother and I are perfectionists. We are attached to details. We want the product to be perfect, and we want to publish accurate data. So, we don’t do shortcuts. This way of doing things has for sure increased our time to market. But at least we know our product is robust.
How has ODINE helped you so far?
ODINE helped us in a broad way through networking, mentoring and visibility.
With great expertise in open data, we can strengthen our value proposition in a field of great potential and opportunities. We also get speaking opportunities at various European events on open data!
What advice would you give to other companies pitching to ODINE?
Remember that ODINE comes from an investment perspective. They will assess your business model, your market, your competition and your growth potential as any investor would. Don’t underestimate these aspects – they are key!
What would you say to other startups thinking of working with open data?
We believe open data is a great way of getting into entrepreneurship. The best thing about it is that you don’t start from scratch, since you already have something to work on. In our case, we work mainly with data coming from public institutions, which gives it authority, independence and strength.
How would you encourage big business to buy into the open data movement?
It is only a matter of time before every company will leverage external sources of information. In our case, customs open data offers great market information for companies. The innovators who understand it will get ahead in terms of decision making, negotiations and competitiveness. Don’t miss the train!
What’s the key trend in open data at the moment?
It’s a little bit away from our business but we find the open government movement really interesting. We believe that it can bring a new wave of interest into politics and to our sometimes “old” democracies.
This article first appeared on the Guardian.