The summer is practically over (or rather way over up here in Sweden=) and inboxes are getting alive again, phones ringing and I guess I just wanted to say hi and welcome back! Of course I have my selfish reasons to write this too… We’ve been hard at work these last couple of months and well.. it’s starting to show! I thought I’d give you a sneak preview so you understand why I’m all hyped up about the things to come.
New Versions of Burt Apps in a Shiny New Home
We’ve introduced our apps users our newest creation - The Burt Hub! It’s this awesome new place for all existing and future Burt apps. They’re all pretty and hip and are now called reasonable names, like Site Analytics and Campaign Reporting. There’s also a unified login and management controls, I’m telling you - it’s the bee’s knees and it’s getting better by the hour.
Besides the many trips between our offices in Stockholm and Gothenburg our second most visited city must be Oslo. We have signed some great deals there, adding more customers to the previously signed Nettavisen and Finn.no (read more about them in the official press release).
But the best thing with Norway is all the people we’ve been meeting, and the enthusiastic conversations we’ve had on how to make the Internet advertising experience better. Even though the Swedish market has been our natural focus we’ve had our eyes on Norway for some time.
Long winter days in Sweden are slowly taking a turn; Gothenburg rainy as always, Stockholm rarely lit by sun but since Christmas things have been exciting and intense enough that no one seems to even care about the weather anymore.
The last couple of months our offices have just been bursting of positive energy and excitement. Restless and eager to make things happen we almost need to rein ourselves in from time to time. After the first investment round closed in the late autumn last year big steps forward have been taken in our product development. We have released loads of new features and this week we will launch a brand new version of Rich, with new design and better insight inspiring reports than ever.
We’re extremely happy to announce that we recently closed a new round of funding. The round of 20MSEK (approx $3M) was led by Industrifonden, that built and recently sold multi-billion-dollar analytics company QlikTech. More on what this means for our customers, for you (speaking of which, we’re hiring!!!) and the world in general is the topic for an upcoming post. But it’s all exciting stuff we can promise you that much!
For those of you who cannot wait, here’s our politically correct press release :)
An hour ago, we put a brand new, super-stable version of our analytics platform Rich in play. Some of you have already gotten invites, others have to wait some more, and the rest should sign up for a Rich invite right now!
The biggest difference from our previous Rich platform is that it’s cheaper for us to run, so we can now seed it to wider range of advertisers and agencies without going bankrupt. The feature set is a bit scaled back, but it’s still the most competent analytics tool for banners out there. The tracking code is super small and it runs on top of any ad server or ad network. Try it and see for yourself!
The months follow our presentation at Cannes Lions has been extremely busy for us. The ”agile advertising” meme has caught on well and we’ve seen solid growth in the number of agencies, advertisers and campaigns running on our platform. As some of you may know, growing has been lots of fun but not entirely without pain…
In august we realized that our conventional Hadoop solution for data analysis wasn’t going to cut it for what we wanted to do, and when Åke started as our first full time designer in august it became clear just how much room we had for improving our visual design and user experience. So we did what we’ve always said we wouldn’t - we rewrote most it from scratch.
So, it’s getting crowded at the Gothenburg office.
This week we’re adding four brilliant computer science grad students that will do their final theses on media fraud detection, and big data. Although we’ve already done our fair share of work in these areas, it’ll be very interesting to see what happens when ambitious genius’-in-the-making will question everything we’ve come up with so far :)
The last couple of weeks have been a fantastic ride for all of us at Burt. Since <releasing Rich for Free> in mid december, we’ve had over a thousand requests for an account and we’re letting on more and more users every week. If you haven’t signed up for an invite - <do it now>!We’re working on a major update that will be released in a couple of weeks, but yesterday we deployed a couple of tweaks that should make the whole experience of getting started a lot easier:
It’s the last pun based on the product’s name, promise ;)
So last week we finally started seeding the free version of Rich to a wider audience, and ever since we’ve tried to keep up with the avalanche of traffic, emails, invite requests, tweets and press - Brand Republic, Creativity, AOTW, AdExchanger to name those at the top of my head. And we’re on track to have analyzed over 20 million exposures by this evening. Not a bad start.