May 22, 2012

TechCrunch

Apptegic Uses Big Data Analysis To Help Companies Retain And Upsell Their Customers

For SaaS companies, whose customers are usually signed up on recurring monthly billing cycles, the art of retaining customers is just as important as winning them over in the first place. In fact, it’s probably more important, since customers aren’t tied in to long-term deals. It’s also a lot cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. So they need to better understand them and work harder to keep them coming back, which is where Apptegic comes in.

The startup, which is being launched as part of TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield, uses big data to provide detailed analytics that companies can use to better engage with their customers. To do so, Apptegic is introducing what it calls a “customer guidance system” (CGS) to identify trends among customer usage and to give them tools to message users in real time and suggest new features that they can use.

Founders Karl Wirth and Greg Hinkle worked together at Red Hat, where they built operations management tools for SaaS companies. What they found was that there weren’t a lot of tools out there to help those businesses understand their customers and retain them. So they set out to build those tools.

Apptegic provides a cloud-based platform that essentially uses big data to analyze behavioral click-through data from customer interactions, then scores the engagement so that businesses can know which features customers find important, and which aren’t. What’s sticky, and what keeps customers coming back. Once a business recognizes that, it can build tools to improve the way that it interacts with those customers.

They can customize those reports based on the data that they find important. Apptegic customers can also use the platform to set rules around certain types of customer usage and message their users in real time. That can help guide them to features that they might not be aware of, or to help upsell them on features they haven’t yet bought.

Currently Apptegic is focused on web applications, but Wirth told me that it’s looking to extend onto other platforms, and could optimize for mobile applications. It’s currently working with 30 beta customers, but will be launching the cloud-based service this week to add more trial users.

Apptegic has five employees now, and has raised $2 million from Point Judith Capital, Advanced Technology Ventures, Jit Saxena, and other angel investors.

Disrupt Q&A
Q: What do you include that current systems don’t?

A: We combine real-time click-stream data and real-time messaging.

Q: What was the Ah-ha moment that told you the world needs this?

A: We were working with a lot of customers and realized that there were a lot of people building this themselves.

Q: How is this more than Google Analytics?

A: This gives you information down to the user and offer the opportunity to reach them in real-time.

Q: Where are you in terms of launching, and what’s the revenue model?

A: We’re launching today and starting to charge today. We charged based on the number of end users that our customers reach.