Crowd Analyzer’s Ahmad Sa’ad and Bahaa Jalal are eyeing the Saudi market. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: How much would you give, as a company, to find out exactly what your consumers are saying about you?

And what if you could read every single tweet, blog, news article, and social media post about you at the click of a button, without having a team to scan through the internet? Crowd Analyzer, a Dubai-based start-up, is betting on that demand for data, and has built a platform specifically to address it.

“What we do is we offer [companies] a platform, and in that platform, they can see what people are saying about them, about their problems, about their brand, and their competitors in all the public social media or even in the news,” said Ahmad Sa’ad, co-founder and chief executive officer of Crowd Analyzer.

While there are existing algorithms that can do that for English text, Crowd Analyzer’s platform is programmed to understand both Arabic and English.”

 - Ahmad Sa’ad | Crowd Analyzer CEO and co-founder

“If you’re searching for your brand name online, you need to have a platform to comb [through] the data, then crunch the data, and analyse it automatically, and that’s where our advantage comes.”

Crisis management

The platform uses an algorithm that can understand text, and scouts the internet for mentions of brand names. While there are existing algorithms that can do that for English text, Crowd Analyzer’s platform is programmed to understand both Arabic and English.

“Our algorithm basically understands the text and we are the only company in the world so far that understands the Arabic text in different dialects,” Sa’ad told Gulf News in an interview.

The platform sends users notifications when someone mentions their brand name online, and is used by companies to assess marketing campaigns, and more importantly, for crisis management.

Crowd Analyzer, which started selling access to platform in 2016, already has a clientele list that includes Souq.com, Uber, Expo 2020, Abu Dhabi Airport, the UAE Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Labour, among others.

Access to the platform is sold on a subscription basis at a price of $20,000 to $100,000 a year.

We know what you’re thinking; Isn’t a quick Google search a much cheaper, much simpler alternative to this platform?

“You can do that [use Google], but Google will not give you all the results. Imagine if Google gives you 100,000 results. Are all of them relevant? How can you analyse those results? You can’t even know how many of those results were from yesterday and how many from the day before,” Sa’ad said.

Crowd Analyzer’s algorithm understands the text it combs through, the gender of the person writing that text, their location, and whether what they’re saying is positive or negative. It is based on machine learning.

Funding and expansion

And the platform breaches no privacy; it can only access public content but not information on any private social media accounts.

Earlier this week, the start-up received $1.1 million in pre-Series A funding from a group of venture capital firms based in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. The investors were led by Wamda Capital, and include Arzan Capital, Faith Capital, and Raed VC.

Crowd Analyzer will use the funds to expand its operations in the Middle East. The company, which currently has offices in Dubai and in Egypt, is finalising an office in Saudi Arabia.

Sa’ad said the Saudi market has strong growth potential as the kingdom is one of the largest consumers of online content in the world, and with a high rate of internet penetration, companies are aware of the importance of anlaysing social media content.

The start-up will be looking at setting up operations in Turkey and North Africa next, with plans to use its latest round of funding to update its algorithm to analyse new languages that include Turkish and French.

Name: Crowd Analyzer
Sector: Technology
Year founded: 2014
Founders: Ahmad Sa’ad, co-founder and chief executive officer; and Bahaa Jalal, co-founder and chief technology officer
Number of employees: Around 60