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Databroker mid-year 2020 update with CEO Matthew Van Niekerk

- By Valentina Ponomariova | July 31, 2020


Summary:

  • The platform building blocks are now securely in place
  • We are now executing our mass-market marketing enablement strategy
  • Our team is growing




Words from CEO, Matthew van Niekerk

Before getting to the updates, I would like to thank everyone in our community for their patience and trust in this project. 

Building a two-sided marketplace (data buyers and data sellers) is a real challenge. We took the necessary steps to understand the market expectations so that we could appropriately reflect them in the platform user experience and with our commercial go-to-market approach.

It took more time than expected to sort out the technical details, so we sincerely thank our community for their continued patience. Now we are ready for growth!

The challenge of building a two-sided data marketplace

Building a two-sided data marketplace requires a clear understanding of the expectations from data buyers and data sellers, at both business and technical levels.

We spent months of research and trials working to identify and validate the best user experience to provide to our communities. Based on that research, we published the first commercial release of the platform and started a variety of pilots with large organizations.

Of course, we still face the ‘chicken-and-egg’ dilemma. While the data market is huge and growing rapidly, our challenge is to simultaneously capture the attention of both sides of the marketplace (buyers and sellers). Our strategy in this regard is to work in close collaboration with market leaders from different industries (government, healthcare, real estate, automotive, etc.) with the aim of: 

1. Creating demand for data (attracting data buyers)

2. Creating supply of data (attracting data sellers)

3. Maximizing the number of matches - both peer-to-peer and via the tailored DataMatch service - between buyers and sellers (improving the efficiency of the marketplace).

We are ready to grow

A full year of technical development is now behind us. Here are some highlights of the biggest improvements we brought to the platform: 

- DXC (Data eXchange Controller). This is a thin software that is required to enable peer-to-peer data sharing. Initially developed to support data files and data streams (for IoT devices), we have now added API sharing support. This opens up supplementary market opportunities. The first version of the DXC was available for Docker. We now support ARM7 and soon ARM8/9 processors, making it possible to install DXC on small IoT devices like a router or a PLC Next Controller gateway (see our previous blog about the collaboration with Phoenix Contact, a global leader in Industry 4.0 automation). Data sellers can now run multiple DXC’s and conveniently monitor each one’s availability in the dashboard.


 

The installation of the DXC is pretty easy. After the creation of a user account on the databroker.global web portal, the data seller can download the DXC in his user account with easy-to-follow instructions provided.



- Captcha and email verification. As the platform gains visibility, unsurprisingly bots are trying to misuse it. Recently we have added supplementary security features which make the platform even more secure than before. Captcha and email verification were necessary to implement to mitigate bot attacks.

- Platform development insourcing. Some user interface components of the platform development were initially subcontracted to allow our internal developers to focus on the core functions. Since May, we allocated a supplementary product manager and two extra developers to focus on the user interface. The handover from the subcontractor to our internal developers is now complete. This provides us with more flexibility and streamlines the development process going forward.

- SEO optimization. To support our growth strategy, we optimized the platform SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to increase its visibility on search engines.

- Integration with Stripe for easy payment processing. Stripe has been selected to ease payment friction for data product purchases. Each payment (fiat) received will be automatically exchanged into DTX tokens and appear in the data seller’s wallet after a warranty period of 30 days. This warranty period allows data buyers to issue a complaint in the case the data does not meet specified quality criteria.

- Private sharing of data. As part of our go-to-market strategy, we developed a new function called “private sharing of data.” This function allows organizations to better control who they want to share and monetize their data with. 


This function is particularly attractive for hardware manufacturers who are looking to move from a traditional hardware selling model (one-time fee) to a data selling business model (recurring fee), a growing trend in the industry. With private sharing of data now enabled, Databroker makes it possible to share and monetize valuable data privately next to data that is publicly available in the marketplace. 

Our market enablement strategy

We have finalized our market enablement strategy and started to measure a variety of conversion funnel metrics. Among other benefits, this helps us to understand if buyers and sellers are facing issues during their initial registration on the platform. 

- Thematic content. The Databroker marketing team has started to create thematic content to increase the platform’s visibility on the web. The focus of our content takes into account the different needs of buyers and sellers separately.



As an example, we are in the final stages of publishing our first minibook, called “What is the value of your data?” 


Targeting primarily data sellers, the report outlines the growing value of data across industries and the public sector. We feature a number of businesses that have benefited from the use of third-party (external) data to drive valuable insights, create new value add, and streamline processes. Readers of the report are likely to conclude that businesses should consider making their data available in a marketplace like Databroker.global. The minibook’s publishing will be followed up by a webinar to address the subject and where Databroker fits in. Stay tuned!

- Growth hacking. We hired a growth hacker to accelerate our go-to-market approach. Our hire will assist in applying modern automation techniques to reach large organizations worldwide and to engage on a business level. We aim to highlight the merit of the platform to every organization that produces data that may be valuable to others. This activity is supported by our team of more than 10 sales representatives located in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

- Matching service. As noted above, matching data buyers with data sellers is key to signing deals, generating revenue, and driving the value of DTX.




Every day, organizations are reaching out to our DataMatch Advisor to search for specific data. This interaction guides us in our search for potential data sellers to engage with going forward.

To support this activity, we will soon enable a chatbot and livechat function, making it possible to instantly connect each website visitor to our DataMatch Advisor or to schedule a meeting for when he/she is available. 

- Promoting data offers. With each new data provider, we determine the best audience to target for their data offering and we support them by reaching out to potential buyers. We also create thematic content that will drive organic search to their offering. For example, “Explore Data Sets from Smart Buildings” is content that drives potential buyers to suppliers of data from sensors in buildings. 

This approach is a win-win opportunity for data sellers, data buyers, and us (the platform). Sellers can increase their reach in order to generate supplementary revenue from data selling and new data-related projects. Each new data buyer registering on the Databroker platform, meanwhile, can be potentially converted into a supplementary data seller and vice-versa. This cycle drives both sides of the marketplace, leading to growth in adoption of the Databroker platform.

Update on DTX exchange listing

Now that we are back on track at the technical level and focusing squarely on business growth, we are confident of successfully listing DTX on supplementary exchanges in the near future.

DTX (the DaTa eXchange Token) is a cryptocurrency utility token that operates on the Ethereum platform. Since Databroker is a next generation, decentralized marketplace for data that leverages blockchain technology, DTX is a core component that allows data buyers to purchase data with an ERC20 utility token.

30-day warranty and easy refunds

When a data product is purchased, the purchase amount is converted from EUR to an equivalent digital currency token DaTa eXchange (DTX) according to the market value at the time of the purchase.

Databroker offers a 30-day warranty on all data sold. This means that buyers have 30 days to check their purchase, and to contact data sellers if there is any problem. If the complaint is deemed valid, we reimburse the buyer. 

Databroker enables revenue sharing among multiple stakeholders

At the end of the 30-day warranty period following a sale, when a data seller redeems his earnings, Databroker transfers the DTX amount (according to the market value at the time of purchase) to his Databroker wallet, minus the 10% transaction fee. 

This is particularly interesting for IoT platforms that can get a percentage of the revenue to facilitate the data exchange for their clients.

At any time, data sellers can transfer fiat equivalent amounts from their Databroker wallet to their bank account.

Application priorities

We are still reaching out to establish relationships with the most reputable exchanges including Bittrex (for which our application request has been under evaluation for two months). We still hope for a successful collaboration with Bittrex, but we also intend to apply with other top-10 exchanges worldwide.

Current Exchange Application Status Update

Listed

Ongoing

  • WhiteBIT – we are currently evaluating the value of this exchange and the benefit it can bring to the community. We invite the community to contact us on Telegram to share your experience.

Application in progress:

  • Bittrex – re-application is pending. Waiting for validation.

Team Update

While our team grew with the additions of Adrien (Developer), Jonathan (Developer), Vincent (Product Manager, DataMatch Advisor) and Stefan (Sales) last year, this year we have so far onboarded Gyan as Product Manager and two new developers, Sathish and Satish. With Gyan taking over the platform development lead, Vincent will be able to apply the market enablement strategy together with the global sales team.


Compared to our team (SettleMint and Databroker) of 12 people in 2019, we are now approaching 35 people with a growing presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Exciting times ahead!

Do you have data to sell or share?

Databroker’s marketplace for data lets you reach large communities of potential data buyers worldwide. Get in touch to find out how you can use the Databroker marketplace to generate new revenue streams from data you’re already collecting.

Are you looking for specific data?

Then take advantage of our free, tailor-made DataMatch service and contact our DataMatch Advisor, Vincent Bultot. Vincent will explore your data needs, and put you in touch with data providers in our network.

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