Gerrit Richter (Co-Founder, CEO) and Janina Mütze (Co-Founder, COO). © Nils Lucas
What inspired you to found your startup?
We all have a strong political and scientific background, used to work in ministries, universities and communication agencies or lobbying associations. In our daily jobs, we realised the pain of getting good data to work with. It was either imprecise or very expensive. We knew that we need a better information base to take right decisions.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Of course there is KPIs that measure our company’s success: We are proud that we could reach so many goals in our first months: launching our MVP after intense months of scientific research, having the largest online access panel within Germany or great cooperations with the key players in German media landscape and getting first customers…Still, one of the best things to be proud of is the individual growth of our team and ourselves.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
It would be remarkable if in a two year history of a company, there wasn’t anything that we would do differently today. One thing that we could point out: we were way to modest in the start. With all the work, you sometimes forget to see the achievements you have made in the meantime. In our company culture we make “celebrating success” now a key factor.
What problem does your product solve?
Pollsters have severe recruiting problems. Less and less people give their opinion on the landline without getting anything in return. Civey redefines polling with a new deal for survey participants and shows the representative live-result. No hidden results. In return, users provide us with more information and participate more frequently in our polls. This allows, on the one hand, finer statistical procedures and, on the other hand, larger sample sizes. We give that quality to our customer.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
We have grown very fast in Germany. In less than one year after our product launch, we proved our statistical quality in multiple state elections when we could provide better results than many other traditional polling institutes. We built the largest panel of survey participants and worked together with nearly every large publishing house. After the federal elections in Germany, we will start planning first tests for internationalization.
How are you different?
We have disrupted the way of reaching out for survey participants. The quantity and quality of information we collect is unique. For our customers, we provide the first live database for opinion and market research. We take large sample sizes, so that customers can filter by many characteristics, e.g. age, gender, education or population density, and still get valid answers concerning the preferences of their target group.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Our panel is not only the largest online access panel, but also the most active. More than 50.000 users participate on our polls once a day or every second day. Others gives us their opinion at least once a week.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
We give back trust in polling market. People are suspicious against polling institutes, since they are less and less willing to provide personal information without getting anything back. Instead of convincing survey participants with money we show them weighted results and raw data. We call this transparency the new deal for the user.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The startup scene in Berlin has become adult. There is many entrepreneurs that run already their second or third company and bring in experience from over more than a couple of years. This is very helpful for the entire ecosystem.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Berlin is a great place to launch your startup. Compared to other places you find great and affordable possibilities to let your company grow. Even though the city seems to fear change, we feel that people and politicians see the chances that the more and more international tech scene brings to the capital. We experienced a lot of support from public administration, the startup association and other entrepreneurs. We found great employees and have built a reliable, professional network.
Civey was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.