Jorge: Who does the team consist of and how did you meet?
Brett: All three founders worked together at Jigsaw. Jim Fowler was Founder and CEO. Rajan worked his way up the ranks of the engineering department to become Director of Engineering.
Tim was an early product intern who coincidentally had worked on the company data projects at Jigsaw.
Jorge: What inspired you to launch Owler?
Brett: At Jigsaw Fowler had seen the market for contact data and realized lack of innovation in the company data space. Fowler launched Owler to take on that challenge.
Jorge: How does Owler work and how can startups see the most benefit?
Brett: Owler is an online competitor-tracking platform. We started Owler because we found it so hard to find reliable, up-to-date information about private companies (including startups) in a consistent and digestible format.
Startups use Owler to identify new competitors in their space as well as track news, acquisitions, funding and product announcements.
Jorge: What has been the most challenging yet gratifying aspect of building Owler?
Brett: The most challenging part has been building a community of business professionals from scratch. In the beginning it felt slow. It was just us and a few early adopters adding company profiles and contributing data.
Now we have over 1,000,000 company profiles. We receive incredible feedback from our rapidly growing community everyday.
One of the hardest parts of building a startup is getting user adoption. There’s always a fear that you will build it, but they won’t come. When users finally do come, and they start using the products you’ve built, its incredibly satisfying.
Jorge: How can you get started on Owler?
Brett: You can get started by registering for free at http://www.owler.com. We’ll help you identify your competitors (or any other companies important for you to track) and you’ll start receiving news and reports on their activity.
Here’s a video we did for our soft launch: https://www.youtube.
We also have several blog posts highlighting specific use cases for the product:
What phillipskim18 says is almost true. When Owler told me they had set up a profile for my website, I discovered they had used the same URL for another company.
They got a million profiles by setting them up without the permission of those companies. One of their reps just told me my (unauthorized) profile would remain on Owler no matter what I requested. Worst practice ever.