Text Analytics: From Working in Cafés to International Success

Incubators

Neticle is a Hungarian text analytics startup, now offering its services in multiple countries and aiming to become a major regional player in the near future. The Budapest Business Journal talks with CEO Péter Szekeres about the company’s journey.

Péter Szekeres

BBJ: How did the core idea of Neticle come about, how did your business journey begin?

Péter Szekeres: The idea of Neticle was born in 2011 in my thesis inspired by an article about how Twitter mood predicts the stock market. I wondered: what would be the benefit of monitoring the whole Hungarian web? To answer the question, I began to develop an algorithm with university friends Róbert Horváth and Zoltán Csikós. The result was our first product: Neticle Media Intelligence, delivering media monitoring, media analysis and social listening with perfect coverage, now already available in several languages.

BBJ: What does Neticle have to offer that separates it from its competitors?

PSz: Neticle went through the stages of a startup company: we worked from coffee shops, our family invested into our goals, there were even a few times when we thought there was a chance we could not continue. But today, Neticle is market-leader in Hungary and already has a prominent role in other European countries. Our service is not just online monitoring: Neticle provides an enterprise text analytics toolkit. The company’s strength is our outstanding human-level sentiment and semantic analysis that supports decision-making with valuable, real-time insights.  

BBJ: How many people make up Neticle’s team?

PSz: Even the conference room is bigger now than our first office. We have more than 140 clients in nine countries, we are working on opening new markets and this needs resources. Neticle’s headcount is more than 40 and our scalable flat organization is based on empowerment, clear responsibilities and direct communication. If we have chemistry with someone who has the same values, we definitely find them a spot in our system.

BBJ: What successes has Neticle achieve thus far?

PSz: I would say one of our biggest successes was the first payment from a client. Though it was just HUF 32,000, it was the validation of our idea and proved we are on the right path. Since then we have collected some prizes (Sales/Marketing Startup of the Year, 2014) but as a real milestone in 2016, Neticle entered five markets: Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania. This growth was the result of an investment by Hiventures (the Hungarian state-owned venture capital company). Another impressive step was gaining our first clients in Poland, Germany and Austria. With the next milestone, Neticle’s enterprise toolkit was born: Zurvey.io broadened our portfolio for better customer and employee experience with automated text insights. This software, a survey maker and feedback analysis tool, will analyze any kind of text data like verbatim NPS [net promoter score], open-ended survey responses or product reviews in minutes.

BBJ: What are the business’ plans for the future?

PSz: Neticle started as a university project, and now I have to admit that we are undoubtedly leaving behind the startup label. The plan is to continue our growth rate: besides our international expansion to become a major player in the region, we are developing new modules for Media Intelligence and Zurvey.io as well, but one of the first steps will be the expansion of the team to ensure we have the professional resources for future projects.

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