Zambia hints at fifth telco operator

A fifth telco
for Zambia?

Enough room says
industry regulator.

Thursday, Feb 20th

SA's BrandsEye readies to woo New York investors

SA's BrandsEye readies to woo New York investors

The newly crowned 2017 Business Innovation Award winning firm BrandsEye predicted Brexit and Donald Trump's victory, leaving many a pollster in the dust.

The two engineers at the helm of BrandsEye which was founded in October 2006 have won all-expenses-paid trip to pitch their online crowd supported opinion mining business to potential investors in New York at the Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) in September.

BrandsEye beat a total of 550 entrants who were cut down to 12 finalists for the 2017 leg of the awards.

Jean Pierre Kloppers, CEO of BrandsEye says the company's use of of crowdsourcing machinery to measure public sentiment as expressed through social media helps their clients make more accurate decisions.

"We believe that how people feel today influences what they do tomorrow. We are an opinion mining company and we aim to put software tools in the hands of our customers to help them make better decisions."

Social media is representative

Craig Raw, BrandsEye founder and Head of R&D says the Cape Town-headquartered company has found that its mix of algorithms, human-crowdsourcing and machine learning to mine online conversations for sentiment (and the topics driving the sentiment) works well even in regions where use of social media is low.

"I think it is a bit of a misconception anecdotally from what I have seen. Even in the South African municipal elections we could accurately see the coalition government's forming. You could argue in that case that some of the political parties were more heavily skewed on social media than others, but that simply wasn't true for the data that we tracked. Even in South Africa social media is more representative than one would think in terms of what is happening."

Raw says BrandsEye is unique. "We are the only people that do this to the level of accuracy that we do it. Organisations like Google and IBM use natural language processing to try and understand the human language, but machines just aren't great at understanding people yet."

Opportunity to scale

BrandsEye clients include Uber, Adidas, MediClinic, Capitec Bank and takealot.com.

Catherine Townshend, Managing Director of Endeavor South Africa emphasises that BrandsEye will benefit a great deal from being crowned winners of this year's contest.

"The partnership with FNB gives BrandsEye access to the Endeavor ISP, an opportunity to engage with a network of leading international luminaries and high-impact peer groups. Endeavor offers founders entry to international markets and access to networks that can help them scale".

Romeo Kumalo, a member of the six-person judging panel, says the bulk of the finalists in this years competition have the potential to make an impact anywhere in the world.

"These are the kind of businesses that are ready for acceleration and that can compete on the global stage. It wasn't easy to make a decision because they are all fantastic businesses. These are not startup businesses, but they are not big businesses. They are at the stage where they need the right guidance, capital and exposure to accelerate. There are many businesses on the African continent that are ready for this type of initiative and are poised to grow with the right support."

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